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 [email protected]
Heather Wood over at The Huffington Post has been doing some keen race based writing in the last few months. It's probably the hippest shit over on that blog, even if she does sound like Mad Tv's "Inside Looking Out" when she references the anti-racist credentials she's gained from being in a marriage with an African American man. Her entire piece today is on point (and linked above), but the below segment is worth sampling for this blog's topic:
2. Using Culture-Specific Slang to Relate to Other Races
K-Fed, you ain't. And you just shouldn't try to be--ever.
Black people have a wide array of colorful terms that come in and go out of style and can be used in a myriad of different ways. White people, it will be extremely tempting to try and incorporate these terms into your everyday language. Don't. When you guys start using our words, that's when we know it's time to stop using them.
- Nick Adams, author Making Friends With Black People
And I mean fucking LOVE. When these songs come on, White People look at each other and say "Awwww yeah" or "Hell yeah" and are compelled to sing along. Sometimes there's also a corresponding stupid dance move.
Having studied White People for 27 years, my authority on the topic is absolute; this list is damn near bullet proof.
"A woman watches from inside a downtown Jena shop as thousands participate on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007, in a national protest against civil right abuses of the the Jena Six in Jena, La." (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Sharon Steinmann)
Educator and activist JLove's latest novel THAT WHITE GIRL dropped yesterday. You can purchase a copy online at Amazon.com. The book is described by Publisher's Weekly as follows:
A white girl follows her cultural fascinations into hip-hop, graffiti and the Denver Crips gang in this mildly gritty and massively disappointing novel by JLove (a.k.a. Jennifer Calderon). Propelled by nothing much more than an overworked single mom and a perpetually stoned brother, high schooler Amber follows pal Juan into the local Crips crew, the Rollin' 30s. Despite the disadvantage of her skin color (it is white), Amber is soon completing her initiation-holding a gun on a convenience store clerk during a robbery-and earning a reputation as a graffiti tagger. The books' opening third is a fast-paced mix of danger and graffiti craft, but Amber's drama-queen tendencies become more annoyingly apparent over a string of cheesy romances, and when Amber moves to L.A. to attend college and decides that hip-hop is the key to solving racial strife, the narrative turns insufferable.
The book has also been getting more praise than a Sunday morning. The White Rapper Show host M.C. Serch says it is, "like reading a diary and wanting to reach out to the person writing the story to befriend them, so that they see that they are not alone." Jeff Chang chimes in adding, "JLove has the heart, the skills, and the underdog love to tell this deeply moving coming-of-age story the way it had to be told."
Pop Matters is featuring an interview with English rapper Plan B in anticipation of his debut album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words. One little nugget worth the snippet:
Do you think that hip-hop talks to the issue of race in a way that challenges what people really believe or think they believe?
So far, as I understand it, white culture seems so shallow. I see black culture as being more unified. White culture seems to be more focused on class and money. We have the same thing here in the UK. I think that because we don’t have any respect for our own race then we don’t have any respect for the any other race or people. The reason that the shitty hip-hop music is selling is because it gets sold to the suburban white kids who don’t know shit and think that re-done UK crunk music is good music. They get told by music industry pushers that “the kids in London are listening to it,” and the suburban kids say, “Really? Cool.” And so they buy and think that it’s what we’re listening to in London when actually we fucking hate that kind of music. But the suburban kids don’t question what they’re told and buy it anyways.
Yeah, I’m racist. I’m racist against other white people, especially against the white suburban kids who continue to get sold shitty hip-hop because they’re ignorant and instantly believe what they’re told. I’m proud of who I am as a white man who appreciates other countries and cultures, but I hate the fact that there are white kids in the suburbs who don’t stop to think and really listen to the good hip-hop that’s coming out of London. I know every race has scumbags, but I look around and I want to be able to say that I’m proud about having unity with other white classes. I tend to see that more in black and Asian culture, but not so much in the white culture.
The National Policy Institute recently released their "wide-ranging annual report" The State of White America, 2007. For those unaware, the organization--with the appropriately vanilla name--is a think tank that is "the right’s answer to the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
As detailed in their press release, "White Americans have been led to believe that “diversity” and “multiculturalism” are sacred. We’re conditioned to be shy when it comes to standing up for our own beliefs. Isn’t it about time someone spoke for us?"
They have yet to explain how they have replaced the previous National Association for the Advancement of White People, The United States Congress.
This new report (and the group as a whole) seem to admit that influences of hip hop culture and Critical White Studies are a few points of concern for future white folks:
Young people are trained to be sensitive towards “oppressed minorities,” but are stripped of pride for what their own people have accomplished. This anti-white—anti- American—campaign of an intellectual elite is waged in the most vicious language and it assigns collective guilt to our kinship in a way that would be considered intolerable if directed at other groups.
While minority celebrities, loyalties, and faiths are increasingly promoted in schools and other public places, symbols of the historic beliefs of European-Americans — from Christmas trees to crosses — are discouraged or even forbidden.
A new study by researchers from Ohio State University, Harvard University, and Georgia Southern University recently asked white Americans how much they would need to be paid to live a certain way. The response showed that the average white person would want $10,000 to become black permanently. When asked how much it would take to forgo television for the rest of their lives, the majority of the same group said, "about $1 million."
A co-author of the study (Ohio State University psychology professor Phil Mazzocco) commented that the results of the survey were possibly an indication of the unawareness some whites have on the struggles that blacks face--ranging from job opportunities to the justice system. "In general, the findings show that most white Americans are simply uneducated when it comes to the disparities."
The researchers plan to do follow-up studies with the participants in regards to other social groups such as women and Asian Americans. The question of how much money it would take for a black person to become white, however, has been answered by Clarence Thomas's $199,200 a year salary.
Ted Nugent (hard rock lameass, right wing wacko, NRA nut) recently wrote about his love of James Brown and hatred of 50 Cent in a column for the Waco Tribune. A man that searches everyone coming to his concerts and then hands them handguns if they are unarmed, criticized the negative impact of hip hop:
[W]hen I witness the vulgar depravity and racist suicide perpetrated by the 50 Cent bums of hip-hop and rap music, it breaks my heart.
The evil Ku Klux Klan surely must celebrate this crap, for it furthers the ruination of black America more efficiently that a Klan punk’s noose.
Even Klansmen aren’t stupid enough to attempt to stir such public hatred as these rap misfits do in their self-hatred.
Think about the repercussions: When was the last time you saw the Klan shoot or kill a black person? Yet behold black-on-black crime: shootings, stabbings, carjackings and more. Unbelievable and heartbreaking as it is, this cannibalism has a soundtrack. It’s called hip-hop, and it has no soul.
If anyone is wondering why there have been no more televised hip-hop award shows recently, it is simply because at previous attempts people began to randomly stab and shoot each other. Go figure.
I know all my heroes, from the late James Brown to BB King, felt and feel the same way about this sad state of anti-hero worship.
The slovenly, mumbling, nasty, overtly materialist blingbling decadence of hiphop sends sick messages to young people:
Get away with what you can. Crime pays, Bullet holes are a badge of honor.
From a Fast Company profile of Travis Knight and his father Phil, CEO of Nike:
In high school, Travis dreamed of becoming a rap star. This is the part of the story he'd just as soon leave on the cutting-room floor. In the early 1990s, long before hip-hop was mainstream, before Snoop Dogg became a pitchman for Chrysler, Travis was an oddity. He was not simply a white rapper but a white rapper in Portland. He was at the top of his class at Jesuit High School and had already been admitted to Stanford, but he had his sights on a recording contract.
Phil wasn't thrilled. "It's not like when your kid is born, you hope he grows up to be a hip-hop artist," he says. But he could relate. When he was 24, fresh out of Stanford business school and three years removed from the University of Oregon track team, Phil had told his father he was starting a sneaker business. "I'm disappointed," his father replied.
"Basically, it broke his heart," Phil recalls. William Knight, a prominent Portland lawyer turned newspaper publisher, envisioned a nice stable career as a CPA for his son. He was old school. "I can almost never remember him giving me a compliment," Phil says. "It was, 'You can do better.'"
Phil was different. He told his rapping son, "Why not try it?" Travis asked a family friend to pass his demo on to MCA Records, a major label, and soon he had himself a deal. Keith Shocklee, the former Public Enemy producer assigned to make the CD, said Travis had talent, but his family name didn't go unnoticed: "I was told, 'This is Phil Knight's son. Show him how it's done.'"
Travis, just 17, moved to New York, and on the advice of his managers, became Chilly Tee. For six months, he lived out of his parents' Manhattan apartment and rapped about being misunderstood ("Krisis of Identity") and about getting pushed to be something he wasn't ("Get Off Mine"). Chilly resisted the advice to milk his Nike roots--for the most part. The last cut on the disc: "Just Do It."
But the CD tanked, and the proposed tour never happened. Disillusioned, Travis enrolled at Portland State University, close to home but a long way from Stanford.
To this day, Chilly Tee's father keeps the CD on his iPod. His favorite song is "Get Off Mine," the title track. "I like the attitude," he says.