Tuesday, January 23, 2007


"But i didn't say Nigger . . ."

I've seen two recent pop culture incidences of white people not saying nigger.

In a segment on Best Week Ever Doug Benson, the Pop Culture Bachelor did not give a rose to Tigger because he punched a kid in the face at Disney world. The segment ended with Benson saying "Tigger, please!"

I also Subscribe to an environmental pop culture e-zine and this was the blurb on one of their more recent stories.

Art attack
With more subtlety than a "wash me" message, reverse graffiti artists have hit the streets to take a bite out of grime. And as to the softer side of urban art? Knitta, please.

Photo: Alexandre Orion

Is it just me or is this a sign of worse things to come?

Saturday, January 20, 2007



"omnipotent administrators...are generally considered... weak, delicate, and effeminate, with the affectations of demonstrative homosexuals. the serfs and peasants are...physically strong, sturdy, hearty, fecund--'supermasculine.'" --e. cleaver, soul on ice

*note: omnipotent administrators-- white men

(take a hint from your own picture, ike.)

i just can't believe all the things people say...

(don't know who to begin your essay? try an anecdote.)

the first time anyone ever called me a nigger, i was eight years old. though they had married in january, my mother and stepfather took their honeymoon in the summer of 1988, and my grandmother was put in charge of my sister and me. one day, we headed to the big lots at southgate plaza, a shopping center on the south side of fort wayne, indiana near many black--and white--neighborhoods. as we walked towards the store, i noticed a young white boy sitting on the hood of what was presumably his parents' car; i could see who i assumed to be his father through the dirty windshield, sitting in the driver's seat. the boy, undoubtedly younger than i, lay on the hood, in black sneakers and shorts, and shouted towards us, "hey, you niggers!" my grandmother instructed my sister and me to ignore him, and ushered us into the store.

my second brush with racist banter was a few years later at camp potawatomi. this time it was a bit more insidious, subtle. my parents had sent my stepsister and me there for a week during the summer between my fifth and sixth grade year. one day, the camp counselors instructed us to return to our cabins and clean up a little, as we would be having guests at the campsite. as my white friend and i trudged back to our cabin from the dining hall (funny. i guess i've always had a one white girl quota.), we complained about having to get cleaned up (as well as two young campers could) for a group of potential strangers. after i said something to the effect of, "we don't even know who these people are," she replied, "yeah, i mean, they could be black or something." realizing, albeit too late, that her eleven year old compatriot was black, my friend immediately apologized for her remark. outside of mumbling, "it's ok," i didn't say much after that.

i was twenty-three the first time anyone ever called me a dyke.

an ex-girlfriend and i were in my car, heading back to hyde park after having a sunday night dinner on the north side of chicago. it was a relatively pleasant summer evening, and as we drove south on lake shore drive, my then-girlfriend leaned over from the passenger's side, and kissed me. just as she did this, i noticed the headlights of the car behind me moving out of my rearview, and into my driver's side mirror. the driver sped up, and as they passed us, the black woman in the passenger's side of the car leaned her head and chest out of the car window, and yelled "dykes!" i went cold. my girlfriend, having neither seen nor heard the utterance, questioned my sudden change in mood. i didn't tell her. i couldn't.

what i remember most about that summer evening four years ago was my response. i was as silent, as shocked, as nervous, as confused, and as numb as i had been when i was eight and eleven. i often suggest that sometimes someone can say something to you so insensitive, so racially charged that you are shocked into silence. i think about the time a fellow student in a english class sought me out to talk about how she had the greatest fried chicken and collard greens during her trip to the southside of chicago as an example of this; weeks later she would take it upon herself to add her version of "negro dialect" to a story i'd written about an obviously middle class black family. yet i was just as upset when a black woman--who had gazed into the privacy of my car-- screamed a homophobic epithet at me. and it is with this that i think of isaiah washington.

the long-windedness continues here. or here.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?