Wigger Please is a documentary feature film chronicling the cultural stereotypes of white Americans embracing hip hop culture. Currently in production, the filmmakers are interviewing rappers, actors, artists and writers who have had their political or personal perspectives influenced by their experiences with hip hop or black culture. For information on the project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports on the 60's and 70's campus radicals "The Weathermen" have been everywhere in the last few weeks. The group (also known as the Weather Underground Organization) made waves as young radicals dedicated to the revolutionary overthrow of the U.S. government. The group's leaders said it was "the revolutionary duty of white radicals in the United States to come to the aid of brethren revolutionaries in the Third World--including those in the "black colony" at home--through violent and disruptive protest."
The Nation magazine recently featured reviews of four books out now that chronicle the exploits of the group in their heyday. Founding member Mark Rudd also just gave an interview with Campus Progress that'll knock your socks off:
Rudd and 10 other [founding] members presented a paper advocating armed struggle, entitled “You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows.” They argued that it was the responsibility of white, middle-class youth to sacrifice their privileged positions and unite in the "Third World"'s struggle by bringing the anti-imperialist, anti-racist war to the United States.
The Weather Underground set its sights on the revolutionary overthrow of the United States government. Its members preached sacrifice of privilege and solidarity with anti-racist struggles from Vietnam to America’s ghettos. As one of its leaders, Bernadine Dohrn, said, “White youth must choose sides now. They must either fight on the side of the oppressed, or be on the side of the oppressor.” During the 1970s, the Weather Underground staged over a dozen bombings at sites ranging from the New York police department to the Pentagon. Aside from one accidental detonation that killed three Weathermen, the group did not inflict any casualties.
Today, Rudd is unsparing in his critique of the organization he helped found. “It was juvenile, it was less than juvenile,” Rudd said. Though the Weather Underground gained rapid notoriety for its views, the group, Rudd argues, helped pave the way for the unmaking of the student left. By discarding SDS and pursuing militancy, says Rudd, the Weather Underground abandoned the basic principle of any strong political movement: a commitment to organizing. According to Rudd, this is a legacy that persists in contemporary student movements. Failure to do the hard work of organizing, Rudd said, is what continues to hold progressive students back today, even as they try to piece together new methods of political engagement.
Rudd argues, the rise of the Internet and a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry have simultaneously encouraged youth to define themselves by their consumer choices, not their politics. Today’s youth are “just stuck in their countercultural niches,” Rudd said: “I’m hardcore punk, I’m west-coast hip-hop, I’m nouveau punk, and so on.” Rudd argues that clinging to such identities—what he calls, quoting Freud, the “narcissism of small differences”—keeps youth voices trapped in the entertainment world and invisible in the political realm.
[F]ear of failure, Rudd believes, isn’t license to look away. “This country is like a giant aircraft carrier, and you’re trying to change the direction, and it’ll take generations, but you’ve got to start!” he said. “[It’s] nearly impossible, but…has to be done.”
Michael O'McCarthy is a journalist (Los Angeles Free Press) and blogger (The Hollywood Liberal.com). Today he has a featured piece in the Atlantic Free Press entitled "Why I Won't Support Obama" or Hillary the White House Spouse." The commentary is all over the place, but O'McCarthy (a recovering alcoholic) has some interesting points regarding his experiences as a white man in black spaces and prison. It is worth passing on this portion:
[P]rison was the Belly of the Beast. There I would meet America, the land that the white Christian Jesus gave to the Anglo-Saxons head on.
My relationship with the woman of color would brand me a â€œnigger lover.â€ The guards hated me, the white prisoners hated me, blacks treated me with a mixture of admiration, suspicion and out-right hostility for having taken that "black woman from them." You either surrender, die or fight. I fought. I survived. And in a tortured way, I won. I became a prison organizer. I helped organize the first multi-racial prisoners union in the history of this nation.
And one day I became comrades with George Jackson, long time resistance fighter, black liberation leader, comrade who one tragic day would become known throughout the world as The Soledad Brother. After attempts by guards and white racist prisoners to kill me; when I didn't surrender to the racism psychosis bled through the prison system George contacted me. We became friends and comrades. We shared both an analysis of American and the "Dachaus of America" that were holding African Americans as political prisoners; that were the catchall for the poor and dysfunctional of this nation. We shared dreams of a different America, a different world, one of personal, social and economic equality. We were socialists in a world of economic vampires.
I believe no greater bond can be made among humans this pledge of a shared vision and the work to bring it to fruition. It is a cause beyond one's self. It is about selflessness.
When they came at me again spiriting me into yet another "administration segregation" where so many of us were killed or maimed, George came to my aid, securing the legal aid of the wonderful late Charles Garry and Fay Stender who saved me. I owe my life to him and to the late Huey Newton.
Newton's decent in drug induced madness aside, they embodied the living legends of African American freedom fighters: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nat Turner, Sinque, Denmark Vesey, Malcolm X. And of course, John Brown. How can you value their heroic efforts to bring humanity to America and not see the world differently from that time on?
"We got Americans with families that can't even buy a meal/ Ask a brother who's been downsized if he's getting any deal/ Or a white boy bustin ass til they put him in his grave/ He ain't gotta be a black boy to be livin like a slave/ Rich people have always stayed on top by dividing white people from colored people/ but white people got more in common with colored people then they do with rich people"
Former Senator John Edwards will appear on the Tyra Banks show this Friday in his ongoing publicity and campaign to be the Democratic nominee and eventual next President of the United States. Check your local listings for time and channel. A clip leaked out earlier this week and is gaining buzz on the politico blogs as Edwards is asked, what it feels "like to be a minority?" (The video is embedded below).
It's all fun and games and shooting ducks in a barrel for poli-sci students who want to laugh at a guy who may have (as Chris Rock puts it) picked the worst time in history to be a white dude running for President. But those who have been following the career and politics of John Edwards for a while know that he's onto a lot of issues that touch all Americans (white or black) ravaged by injustice and inequality. Even Martin Luther King III (son of Martin Luther King Jr.) has stepped up and commented that his father would be proud of Edwards' dedication to economic and social justice--issues pushed by the civil rights leader heavily towards the end of his life. Here's an excerpt of a letter that MLK III wrote to Edwards earlier this week:
I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.
I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.
From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.
I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.
So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.
A reader of the Wigger Please myspace page thought this would be funny enough to pass on. It works out for us, because we're editing some pieces for the film. Have a giggle or voice your hatred. The choice is yours:
no i didnt mean 'bad' meaning 'bad'. i meant 'bad' meaning 'good'
FIRST OFF, FUCK YOUR BITCH AND THE CLIQUE YOU CLAIM..
i see you're wearing the apple-bottom jeans and the boots with the fur
GET OUT THE WAY YO GET OUT THE WAY YO
1. u all racist 2.u pale as hell 3.u fuckin stupid 4. u stereotype blacks cuz u all dumb 5. ur fat 6. u look like marshmellows 7.u look like gluesticks 8. u all have dogs 9. u jus straight up bitch 10. u make me sick
CBS News' Scott Conroy reported from the campaign trail that on MLK Day Presidential candidate Mitt Romney greeted a largely African-American crowd and chanted, "Who let the dogs out?". Romney "called out, as he stood there beaming in his shirt and tie. “Who! Who!”
That's some funny shit--the video below proves it. But some of the uniqueness is missed. Romney is gaining press for running while acknowledging and not hiding his Mormon faith. The documentation of the Mormons and their racism towards black African Americans has been documented for ages. Included are the writings of President and "second Prophet of the Mormon Church" Brigham Young in his Journal of Discourses:
You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.
The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings.
This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race--that they should be the "servant of servants" and they will be, until that curse is removed.
Mitt is just like any other suburban whiteboy rapping along to the hits of the day. He's just 'bellin!
The Bird pecks aways at the white hip-hop poseurs in P-town From the beak of The Bird to the ear of Stephen Lemons Published: January 17, 2008
Comedian D.L. Hughley once quipped that everybody wants to be black 'til the cops roll up. And as The Bird's colleague Niki D'Andrea discussed in her recent cover story, "Raising Terrazona" (January 10, 2008), with Phoenix's African-American population at 5.6 percent, there's a buttload of crackas in this megalopolis tryin' to be black in the PHX rap game.
As you might expect, these wanna-bes don't like being called out as local Jamie Kennedys, Kennedy being the star of the 2003 comedy Malibu's Most Wanted. In the flick, he played a rich, Jewish dork from "the 'Bu," who desperately wanted to be black, though he was as pale and goofy as Josh Groban.
For her story, D'Andrea compared and contrasted two scenes: the long-running Blunt Club (now in Tempe), which draws a predominantly white crowd, with a sprinkling of other colors; and The Door's Groove Candy, which draws mostly African-Americans and a few lighter shades.
Groove Candy founder and Power 98.3 DJ Karlie Hustle, summed up the dichotomy in the cover story.
"There's definitely a division amongst the scenes," squawked Hustle to D'Andrea. "They [the Blunt Club] do have that sort of white hippie, hemp necklace, backpacker, super-hip-hop-nerd group. And then you have a more mainstream 'commercial' community."
Generally, D'Andrea found Groove Candy to be a blacker and more authentic hip-hop night. Hence the piece's subhead: "To put it bluntly, Willy Northpole and the Groove Candy scene represent real Phoenix hip-hop."
Now some fools in both scenes are running around like a buncha thin-skinned bitches claiming D'Andrea's a racist for calling it as she saw it.
D'Andrea ain't racist. Nor is she prejudiced against the Blunt Club, which is emceed by African-American Emerg McVay, who graced the cover of New Times' 2004 Best Of issue. (Merg is one of the few keeping that scene from being whiter than a Miley Cyrus concert.) To the contrary, D'Andrea's given the Blunt Club much love as a writer and editor. She actually wrote up Blunt Club for Spin magazine in 2005, a prop Blunt Clubbers love to tout.
The fact she did this hasn't been mentioned by anyone in the midst of the silly shit storm following "Raising Terrazona," a story that's allowed New Times to do what no other major pub in this burg has the gonads to do: put a black MC on its cover.
Check it: The day after the story hit the streets, Willy Northpole, the rapper on the cover, called D'Andrea to say, "I want to thank you for putting a black, thug-looking man on your cover. That makes a major statement."
So who's pissing and moaning? Well, there's Kim Commons, owner of Club Red, where the Blunt Club's held, who recently wrote a War and Peace-length epistle to the editor announcing he will no longer be advertising in New Times 'cause he regards D'Andrea's article as "one of the most one-sided pieces of 'journalism' I've ever seen."
Kim, New Times does magazine-style journalism — that means journalism with a freakin' point of view. We're not about roasting Ball Park franks, cuddling by the campfire, and singing "Kumbaya." Did you just move to town or something? Do you read our paper?
Every locale that's made a significant contribution to hip-hop has been the scene of competition, beefs, out-and-out feuds, and sometimes, shootouts, whether we're talkin' 'bout The Dirty South, New York or South-Central Los Angeles. Sheesh, ever watch 8 Mile? Though that movie's about one of the few successful white rappers in history — Eminem — the message of the movie is that you can't step to the mic and be a punk.
For too long, the PHX hip-hop scene has been filled to the brim with small-timers, mirror-muggers, and Caucasian clichés. All D'Andrea's done is make an observation. She's had the ovaries to point out that many of these pretenders are of the persuasion of Jamie Kennedy's film character Brad "B-Rad" Gluckman.
That may be why so many wiggas have been whining on the local hip-hop message board Arizonabeats.com, specifically this dumbass "Ill Al the Anglo Saxon," who claims D'Andrea's article was "poorly written and racist." This, despite the fact "Anglo" looks like he and K-Fed share the same gene pool.
Stung by the negative feedback, Karlie Hustle on the same site changed her tune, and suggested D'Andrea was off-base because she is an "an older, white person." Uh, Karlie, D'Andrea is only one year older than you. (D'Andrea's 31; Hustle is 30.) And Hustle's as white as the walls in this warbler's office. To this tail-wagger, Hustle copped a little-known fact: She's of Armenian descent. Maybe her real name's Hustlamanian. On the phone, she talks like any other white chick. But on air, she affects the black, street vernacular.
Let's face it, Hustlamanian talked smack in the article. Then she got called on it, and reversed her position online, saying New Times should be picketed. (Picketed? What does she think this is, the Montgomery Bus Boycott?) Hustlamanian then posted a poll on Arizonabeats.com asking what people thought about the picket idea. Currently, the survey has more respondents stating that they think it's a retarded proposal and will not be participating.
One more thing on the picket tip: If you want, bring it on, Karlie. This feisty finch would love to see you and four more of your wigga pals protestin' down here at Jefferson and 12th Street.
Half-white, half-Pakistani rapper Grime, himself the subject of a previous New Times cover story ("Rappin' Radical," August 31, 2006), was critical of D'Andrea initially but softened his position later, posting one pic on Arizonabeats.com of an all-white Blunt Club crowd and one of a far-darker Groove Candy scene, stating, "although there is some cross visitation, most of the people who go to Groove Candy don't go to Blunt, and vice versa."
Is there any problem with recognizing that one hip-hop scene has more color, and is more authentic than another? Hell, can you even think of more than a handful of successful white rap/hip-hop acts? Okay, Eminem, maybe Paul Wall and Everlast. Definitely the Beastie Boys, despite the fact they're annoying as shit. (The Bird figures you could throw in Kid Rock or Justin Timberlake or Nelly Furtado or Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, though they ain't this winged wordsmith's personal snifter of Hennessy.)
Christ, you almost have to include Vanilla Ice to get to nine, and everyone knows he was wack.
The Bird turned to Phoenix activist Jarrett Maupin for his view. The Rev. didn't want to take anything away from Latino artists or artists of other backgrounds, but he agreed the source of the art form matters, a lot.
"The situation with hip-hop is kind of similar to jazz," analogized Maupin, who's the local head of Al Sharpton's National Action Network. "I'm not saying that there's no room for Louis Prima or Dave Brubeck or George Gershwin. But jazz came straight out of the slave plantation. There was no way to have jazz without the black experience. And in its purest form, that's what it is."
Nor is there anything racist with indicating, as a writer and a critic, that something is weak. This bullfinch's been down to the Blunt Club many a time. And more than once, The Bird's cringed inwardly while watching some white ASU dropout rise to the mic. D'Andrea simply said what many have been too polite or too politically correct to say elsewhere.
Hip-hop sprang from the black cultural experience, and if you ain't of color, you'd better be damn good if you're going to come across as anything more than a wigga.
From Martin Luther King's WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE:
For the vast majority of white Americans, the past decade--the first phase [of the civil rights revolution]--had been a struggle to treat the Negro with a degree of decency, not of equality. White America was ready to demand that the Negro should be spared the lash of brutality and coarse degradation, but it had never been truly committed to helping him out of poverty, exploitation or all forms of discrimination. The outraged white citizen had been sincere when he snatched the whips from the southern sheriffs and forbade them more cruelties. But when this was to a degree accomplished the emotions that had momentarily inflamed him melted away. White Americans left the Negro on the ground and in devastating numbers walked off with the aggressor. It appeared that the white segregationist and the ordinary white citizen had more in common with one another than either had with the Negro.
When Negroes looked for the second phase, the realization of equality, they found that many of their white allies had quietly disappeared. The Negroes of America had taken the president, the press, and the pulpit at their word when they spoke in broad terms of freedom and justice. But the absence of brutality and unregenerate evil is not the presence of justice. To stay murder is not the same thing as to ordain brotherhood. The word was broken and the free-running expectations of the Negro crashed into the stone walls of white resistance. The result was havoc. Negroes felt cheated, especially in the North, while many whites felt that the Negroes had gained so much it was virtually impudent and greedy to ask for more so soon.
Why is equality so assiduously avoided? Why does white America delude itself, and how does it rationalize the evil it retains?
The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity. Overwhelmingly America is still struggling with irresolution and contradictions. It has been sincere and even ardent in welcoming some change. But too quickly apathy and disinterest rise to the surface when the next logical steps are to be taken...
This limited degree of concern is a reflection of an inner conflict which measures cautiously the impact of any change on the status quo. As the nation passes from opposing extremist behavior to the deeper and more pervasive elements of equality, white America reaffirms its bonds to the status quo. It had contemplated comfortably hugging the shoreline but now fears the winds of change are blowing out to sea.