Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is your attempt to eschew racial terms paradoxically racist?

Jackie shares this tidbit of (our) local news reportage from CHML news radio:

Niagara Regional Police are looking for two men after an LCBO Avondale combo store in Vineland was held up

Police say the suspects grabbed a quantity of booze around 7:30 last night and took off in a brown minivan.

A citizen was struck by the van and received minor injuries as he and a store employee gave chase.

The minivan was found abandoned later.

One of the suspects is non-white and 20 years old, the other is white and 17.

The only reason I can think of for using the (not at all helpful) adjective "non-white" to describe the first suspect is a desire to avoid using an actual racial adjective.  Unfortunately, this calls attention to the whole problem, i.e. that he is "racial."  Oy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yes it is.

On his blog, Roger Ebert points out this rare delightful moment on Fox News, when some GOP "strategist" who hates the US Post Office gets called out by Fox's token "liberal" (read: not totally insane person) and then by Senator Al D'Amato on, and I quote D'Amato, his "racist bullshit."

Note that the host dubs this rare moment of truth on FoxNews an instance of "going postal."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is your improvisational cocktail party performance racist?

Dolly inquires about the marketing of this dress from Studio 5050—which suggests that Soho shoppers might appropriate Masai wedding traditions to their own urban leisure activities:

interactive dress

The copy reads:

Masai dress

Inspired by Masai wedding collars, this dress salutes both our global provenance and our desire to create our own soundtrack as we move in mysterious ways. With every step, strings of hand-formed silver beads that hung from the collar brush against conductive threads sewn into the dress, generating a series of sounds. A leisurely walk or a night at a cocktail party turns into an improvisational performance.

A long asymmetrical swoop in the back of the dress recalls Balenciaga’s famed wedding dress – an homage to a maestro that visually and aurally blends cultures, traditions and emotions. The dress comes in a luscious deep-sky blue silk jersey and white nourishing Sea-Tiva (75% cotton, 25% algae).

A dress that heals body and soul.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Are Jewly Bandz racist?

The Consumerist poses the question, "Why is there a DOLLAR SIGN in the Jewly Bandz Chanukah set?"

Apparently the company's owner offered this explanation to TheGloss, who originally broke the story:

The dollar sign in the set is there to symbolize the "Chanukah-Gelt" - which is an old Jewish tradition. During Chanukah Jewish children all over the world are given coins or chocolate coins (to symbolize the real coins). The Dollar sign in the set comes to remind us of that. By the way, they were created by Rabby Moshe Rabin. Maybe it is not the best choice, but this is what the manufacturer chose for that symbol (probably if he would have tried to show coins it would just be a round silly band - and that would defeat the purpose).

Submitted by Will, who offers the alternative interpretation, "(it's funny b/c jews love money!!!)."

We all love them, but let's be clear: Museums of Natural History are racist.

John and Nancy submit this photo, from a recent trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York:

Says Nancy, "I like the part where you can keep going straight for 'Asian mammals.'"  Where does one draw the line?

What are you? Racist?

One of the benefits of being ambiguously racial (like me) is that you get to entertain the perpetual question from people who don't know you of "what you are."  My favorite formulation to date was from a guy I met back in my high school open-mic coffeehouse poetry days who approached me outside Java Joe's and declared, "YOU—you are definitely some kind of culture."  I would like to extend that observation to the lady gracing this product, found by Cassie at Fred's ("a Dollar General type store," she explains):

"Calypso," Cassie writes, is a "line of products meant for African American hair.  On some product, there's a woman who is clearly 'ethnic.'"  Exactly.

Is "taming the beard" racist?

Chad submits the following:

He notes, "So the magazine is for metro-Muslims, but I love the article tag line that is 'Tame that Beard,' which is kinda racist."  I myself am a bit concerned about the advice dispensed under "Black and Can't Get a Wife?"

Are your tea towels racist?

Shaun and Dolly found these delightful tea towel patterns while out and about at the local fabric store:

I have been assured a complete set is in the works.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is Asian Ken racist?

Dolls of Color invites us to consider the new Asian Ken:

japanese ken

Oh, and his sidekick, Asian Barbie:

japanese barbie & ken

I...just...*sigh*  Submitted by Susanna.