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Jezebel's Complete Guide to Hipster RacismFollow

#1 May 01 2012 at 1:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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On the one hand, I understand how joking about racism gives people carte blanche to say some pretty hateful **** on the grounds of humor. This board is a prime example of that, although I know many of us are mature enough to realize that this **** wouldn't fly in the real world.

On the other hand, censoring this sort of behavior would significantly cut down on pillow talk in the JoFleael household. Smiley: dubious

It is, however, a new way to think about an old issue which I thought was interesting. I have had people that I have met in RL that have said some truly alarming racist crap in the guise of making a joke, or even honestly seemed to be peeved that they didn't "get" to use the n-word. Here's the part that very much resonated with me (bolding in body mine):

Lindy West wrote:
"But it's a JOOOOOKE."
Here's the thing about jokes. They only work when they're aiming up. I wrote this in another piece recently, but I'm just going to plagiarize myself: People in positions of power simply cannot make jokes at the expense of the powerless. That's why, at a company party, you never have a roast where the CEO is roasting the janitor ("Isn't it funny how Steve can barely feed his family? This guy knows what I'm talking about!" [points to other janitor]). Because that would be GROSS, and both janitors would have to work late to clean up everyone's barf. Open-mic comedians, I know you think you're part of some fresh vanguard in alternative comedy who just discovered that a lot of black ladies don't like it when you touch their hair, but pleeeeeeease just stick to stuff about how your stupid girlfriend is a *****. (Just kidding. Please never speak again.)
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#2 May 01 2012 at 1:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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People in positions of power simply cannot make jokes at the expense of the powerless

That's the sort of rule the powerless come up with. Like white chick bloggers.

Really, she lost me with "It's racist to make white-people covers of hip-hop songs". Which was her very first point.
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#3 May 01 2012 at 1:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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TL;DR: All white people are racist. Smiley: nod
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#4 May 01 2012 at 1:50 PM Rating: Good
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That article basically alternated between truisms, and incorrectly labeling things racist.
#5 May 01 2012 at 1:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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You can make jokes "down", but they can't be broad brush jokes. If you have a co-worker who always makes jokes about him/her self and how they are poor/stupid/ugly, you can then make your own jokes. Just don't go beyond what the person already did. That doesn't give you the right to make generic poor/stupid/ugly jokes about entire sections of the populace.
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#6 May 01 2012 at 1:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Really, she lost me with "It's racist to make white-people covers of hip-hop songs". Which was her very first point.
I wasn't going to read the article, but now I feel compelled to do so.

Edit: There was a list. Smiley: laugh

Edited, May 1st 2012 1:55pm by Poldaran
#7 May 01 2012 at 1:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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=4 is based on the principle of making jokes down. 'Cause fuck anyone newer, with a lower post count or who plays a different game than me.
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#8 May 01 2012 at 1:52 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
"It's racist to make white-people covers of hip-hop songs".
Only one I can think of immediately is Gin & Juice by The Gourds, and it's kind of hilarious putting a country twang to rap lyrics.
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#9 May 01 2012 at 1:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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I watched a documentary about "nerdcore" rapper MC Front-a-lot a while back and there were some girls talking about how racist it was for some white guy to make rap songs about nerdy topics. Didn't he know that rap was the sole providence of the black community and making rap songs about video games or science was tearing down all the great things rap has accomplished?

Racism:


Edited, May 1st 2012 2:58pm by Jophiel
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#10 May 01 2012 at 2:01 PM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
TL;DR: All white people are racist. Smiley: nod

Not true, I hate all people regardless of melanin level in their skin.
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#11 May 01 2012 at 2:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I watched a documentary about "nerdcore" rapper MC Front-a-lot a while back and there were some girls talking about how racist it was for some white guy to make rap songs about nerdy topics. Didn't he know that rap was the sole providence of the black community and making rap songs about video games or science was tearing down all the great things rap has accomplished?
What was the name of the documentary? Was it solely about him or was his a segment on a larger documentary?
#12 May 01 2012 at 2:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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What the heck did I just read? And why the heck is she so obsessed with black people? Smiley: confused
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#13 May 01 2012 at 2:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think it was called Nerdcore Rising. It was solely about him and his first tour and the idea of nerdcore in general (which I realize isn't "solely" about him but they didn't spend time on anyone else). It used to be on Netflix Streaming once upon a time and I watched it one slow afternoon.

Edited, May 1st 2012 3:06pm by Jophiel
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#14 May 01 2012 at 2:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Quote:
People in positions of power simply cannot make jokes at the expense of the powerless

That's the sort of rule the powerless come up with. Like white chick bloggers.

Really, she lost me with "It's racist to make white-people covers of hip-hop songs". Which was her very first point.
The first point is by far her shakiest, but are you saying that she is making the rules, or advocating? I read it more as advocacy, despite the frankly overdone smartalecky tone (I guess I have learned to tune that out over the years). She isn't saying she herself takes offense, but that the culture who owns that expression may do so, and it's best to err on the side of sensitivity. Also, I'm sure you are being a smart aleck yourself. Forum=4 is no way to look at life.

Demea wrote:
TL;DR: All white people are racist. Smiley: nod

I don't think y'all can help it.

Eske Esquire wrote:
That article basically alternated between truisms, and incorrectly labeling things racist.

Interesting. Which things?

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
You can make jokes "down", but they can't be broad brush jokes. If you have a co-worker who always makes jokes about him/her self and how they are poor/stupid/ugly, you can then make your own jokes. Just don't go beyond what the person already did.
That is staggeringly incorrect.
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#15 May 01 2012 at 2:09 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
And why the heck is she so obsessed with black people? Smiley: confused
Once you go black ...
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#16 May 01 2012 at 2:09 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
I think it was called Nerdcore Rising. It was solely about him and his first tour and the idea of nerdcore in general (which I realize isn't "solely" about him but they didn't spend time on anyone else). It used to be on Netflix Streaming once upon a time and I watched it one slow afternoon.
It's still there, it seems. That'll kill a couple hours tomorrow.
#17 May 01 2012 at 2:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Atomicflea wrote:
I read it more as advocacy, despite the frankly overdone smartalecky tone (I guess I have learned to tune that out over the years). She isn't saying she herself takes offense, but that the culture who owns that expression may do so, and it's best to err on the side of sensitivity.

I'll keep that in mind the next time some black dude samples Dan Fogelberg for his hip-hop song.

Also, I'll spell Fogelberg correctly next time.


Edited, May 1st 2012 3:15pm by Jophiel
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#18 May 01 2012 at 2:16 PM Rating: Good
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I think the irony here is that the author seems to be unable to shift her mindset away from the very same racially biased assumptions that she's arguing against in the article. She assumes that thugs are black, that going to IHOP or seedy bars has something to do with race, and that certain styles of clothes, music, whatever are all automatically associated with race and that all minorities are automatically offended if someone wears a style that she's decided is associated with them. Um... wow. Just wow.


She's got a minor point about the joke thing. But I'll add another: White people who feign outrage and solidarity at such things by writing blatantly racist articles like this one. Just as bad as any joke in the same vein IMO.
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#19 May 01 2012 at 2:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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"Janitor Bob is poor... haha!" is just a bad joke.

What if Janitor Bob owned a pet rat he kept photos of in his janitorial closet? Would be wrong to make a few jokes about the janitor being on the side of the building's rats just because the joker made more money?
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#20 May 01 2012 at 2:22 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
Atomicflea wrote:
I read it more as advocacy, despite the frankly overdone smartalecky tone (I guess I have learned to tune that out over the years). She isn't saying she herself takes offense, but that the culture who owns that expression may do so, and it's best to err on the side of sensitivity.

I'll keep that in mind the next time some black dude samples Dan Folgelburg for his hip-hop song.
Because Dan Fogelberg's music is the way his race expressed decades of anger and self-affirmation due to their long history of being oppressed by the dominant, predominantly black hip-hop culture? Sure, that makes sense. Smiley: rolleyes
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#21 May 01 2012 at 2:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
"Janitor Bob is poor... haha!" is just a bad joke.

What if Janitor Bob owned a pet rat he kept photos of in his janitorial closet? Would be wrong to make a few jokes about the janitor being on the side of the building's rats just because the joker made more money?


I think if "Janitor Bob" loved drawing but was a terrible artist, you could make jokes about his poor artwork, because in that case you're not superior to him. I guess the pet rat thing would be similar to that, so roasting "Janitor Bob" and pulling out a pack of rat traps would be perfectly acceptable.
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#22 May 01 2012 at 2:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
And why the heck is she so obsessed with black people? Smiley: confused
Once you go black ...


Apparently. I guess it just throws me for loop when I read something that seems so focused on the black vs. white thing.

Go figure... Smiley: rolleyes
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#23 May 01 2012 at 2:24 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Atomicflea wrote:
I read it more as advocacy, despite the frankly overdone smartalecky tone (I guess I have learned to tune that out over the years). She isn't saying she herself takes offense, but that the culture who owns that expression may do so, and it's best to err on the side of sensitivity.

I'll keep that in mind the next time some black dude samples Dan Fogelberg for his hip-hop song.

Also, I'll spell Fogelberg correctly next time.

The inclusion of Crazy Train in a rap song is by far the most egregious example I think I've ever come across.

First they took away the n-word, and now Ozzy!
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#24 May 01 2012 at 2:27 PM Rating: Good
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I blame Sean Combs.
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#25 May 01 2012 at 2:30 PM Rating: Good
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Atomicflea wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Atomicflea wrote:
I read it more as advocacy, despite the frankly overdone smartalecky tone (I guess I have learned to tune that out over the years). She isn't saying she herself takes offense, but that the culture who owns that expression may do so, and it's best to err on the side of sensitivity.

I'll keep that in mind the next time some black dude samples Dan Folgelburg for his hip-hop song.
Because Dan Fogelberg's music is the way his race expressed decades of anger and self-affirmation due to their long history of being oppressed by the dominant, predominantly black hip-hop culture? Sure, that makes sense. Smiley: rolleyes


So black people are incapable of writing or performing music that isn't about some kind of racial struggle for equality? Maybe I missed the hidden racial struggle message in "Baby Got Back", but I'm thinking that the very assumption you're making is part of the problem and not part of the solution. Heaven forbid people of different skin colors find things in common to share or anything.
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#26 May 01 2012 at 2:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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Atomicflea wrote:
Because Dan Fogelberg's music is the way his race expressed decades of anger and self-affirmation...

In the 70's, sadly yes Smiley: laugh

These sorts of things always turn into "You guys have all these rules about things you can't do. These guys can do whatever they want." Then there's confusion and anger about why this doesn't work out.
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Belkira wrote:
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