The Blog and the Bullet

An Aggregator On The Best Blogs Concerning Racial Issues, White Supremacy, and Other Radical Musings

Archive for the ‘Commodification’ Category

The Exotifying Gaze

Posted by Jack Stephens on August 16, 2008

Johanna blogs:

I am really uncomfortable with how a lot of vegan cooking is described as “exotic” (to whom?). It assumes so much about the audience racially & culturally, & as well is loaded with really creepy connotations — the exotic is there to be conquered, mastered; it’s there purely to titillate your (white/Western/etc.) self (which also implies that white people have no culture — a convenient excuse used by people participating in cultural appropriation, but not actually true). It’s a “safe” way to imagine you’re experiencing other cultures without, you know, having to do that pesky thing known as actually engaging with the people whose cultures you’re attempting to eat via their food.

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Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »

Exploitation

Posted by Jack Stephens on February 17, 2008

Bambu rants:

i recently got a myspace message from an old friend who had a little bit of a beef with me. she wanted to know why i was “knocking the hustle” of so many young pinays in the import model/go-go dancing game. she felt that by me trying to persuade young women (especially young women of color) away from standing next to vehicles at car shows, or dancing on a platform by speaking “ill” of them, i was hurting their pockets and not supporting my sisters.

hmmmm…

my intention is never to make my sisters feel trashy, but it’s also not meant to sugar coat anything. we’ve been struggling and fighting for such a long time. i just want young people to understand what exploitation means and how many levels there are to being exploited.

i want everyone to celebrate their physical beauty! i want us as a people to be truly happy with our beautiful faces, our beautiful bodies and our wonderful culture!

Posted in Commodification, Male Supremacy, Women of Color | 1 Comment »

Ling Ling and Ching Ching??

Posted by Jack Stephens on February 6, 2008

Jenn from Reappropriate blogs about the racist panda ad that appeared during the SuperBowl:

The two pandas, named “Ling Ling” and “Ching Ching” speak in stereotypical Asian accents and grammatically incorrect “Chinglish”, perpetuating the Perpetual Foreigner stereotype. The commercial’s soundtracks include gongs and mandolins, and the writing is in that “chopstix” font that is supposed to be reminscent of Chinese. “Ching Ching” the wife panda is clearly supposed to be a manipulative laze, who sits on her ass while “Ling Ling” does the work of running the store, playing up the “shrew” stereotype of Asian wives that has become more prevalent of late. “Ling Ling” meanwhile, is viewed as idiotic — eating his (implicitly shoddy) products.

I am so glad I didn’t see this commercial on television. I think I might have broken the television.

Posted in Asian Issues, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

Kid GenocidalNation

Posted by Jack Stephens on December 18, 2007

Rob Schmidt blogs about the “reality” TV show Kid Nation in where a bunch of kids “go back to the basics” and live in the “Wild” West in Arizona. In one of the shows the kids meet Native Americans in where a whole slew of stereotypes, tepees and all, take place:

Let’s sum up what the kids (and the viewers) have learned about Indians from “Where’s Bonanza, Dude?”

Indians lived here “centuries ago” but are now (almost) gone. You’ll find them only out in the wilderness somewhere if you search long enough. Led by a chief, they live in teepees and do colorful dances. They impart sage advice around flickering fires.

Since the Indians have vanished, the land is empty. It’s okay to to claim this vacant land as your own–to move in and raise towns on it. No Indian people stand in the way of this, your manifest destiny.

So Kid Nation is built on the bones of Indian nations. In that sense, it’s much like the American nation. Greedy, selfish pioneers took what they saw and thought nothing of it. They acted just like children.

[Hat Tip: Racialicious]

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, First People Issues, Media, Propaganda, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

“American Gangster” and the Hip-Hop Generation

Posted by Jack Stephens on November 21, 2007

Bambu, a militant rapper from LA, blogs about the movie American Gangster:

i’m glad this movie sucks. if this movie was better than malcolm x (which it ain’t) that wouldn’t sit well with me. why the fuck do we idolize frank lucas anyway? because he flew to saigon to buy heroin? because he came from nothing and turned himself into the biggest heroin trafficker in new york? he killed a lot of his own people! a lot! with the biggest voice in the world today, we, as the hip hop generation, have decided to make albums based on the lives of these people… we’ve taken the names of italian mobsters, we put pimps in our videos and we treat the mothers of our people like cigarette butts on the street. why? jay-z can make any kind of record he wants. he can make a record about elmo and muthuhfuckuhs will buy it — what does he do? jumps back in the studio after watching this weak ass movie!!! inspired by frank lucas. would he have done the same if they did a noteworthy movie on bobby seale? or assata shakur? probably not. let’s stop glorifying those figures in our history and in our present who get rich over the graves of our own. c’mon, hip hop generation, wake up…

Posted in Commodification, Male Supremacy, Media, People of Color, Youth | 2 Comments »

Subduing the Subversive

Posted by Jack Stephens on November 5, 2007

Ray, of the blog Silent Vowel, writes about the subversive, and popular, UK graffiti artist Banksy and the selling of his art for auction:

How can subversive art resist the all-consuming power of capitalism, which reduces satire and political commentary to a commodity? Anything that is visually unique is reduced to style; and its message ultimately put aside. Mass production results in loss of meaning. It’s why we have Che Guevara’s image on T-shirts produced in Asian sweatshops and why the word “punk” appears next to skull and cross-bones symbols on little girl’s tops in K-Mart.

Posted in Art, Capitalism, Commodification | Leave a Comment »

“You to can be Oriental!”

Posted by Jack Stephens on October 22, 2007

Angry Asian Man posts:

Halloween is…the time of year where we see all sorts of lame, racist costumes. You, too, can be Asian for Halloween! For instance, the Asian Princess Costume, available at Target. Or how about the China Woman Costume. There’s also the Sexy Giesha Glam Costume. And my favorite, the Oriental Delight Costume: “Try out something exotic and erotic with Forplay’s Oriental Delight. This sexy, Asian inspired dress features tied-up sides, a V-Neck neckline and authentic Asian accents. Fancy fan also included.” Fancy fan? Awesome! Ugh.

Posted in Asian Issues, Capitalism, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Media | 1 Comment »

“You to can be Oriental!”

Posted by Jack Stephens on October 22, 2007

Angry Asian Man posts:

Halloween is…the time of year where we see all sorts of lame, racist costumes. You, too, can be Asian for Halloween! For instance, the Asian Princess Costume, available at Target. Or how about the China Woman Costume. There’s also the Sexy Giesha Glam Costume. And my favorite, the Oriental Delight Costume: “Try out something exotic and erotic with Forplay’s Oriental Delight. This sexy, Asian inspired dress features tied-up sides, a V-Neck neckline and authentic Asian accents. Fancy fan also included.” Fancy fan? Awesome! Ugh.

Posted in Asian Issues, Capitalism, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Media | Leave a Comment »

The Only Good Civil Rights Leader is a Dead One

Posted by Jack Stephens on October 14, 2007

David Schraub blogs:

Many contemporary anti-racism activists have expressed frustration in the way MLK–and indeed, the entire 60s civil rights movement–has been “neutered” so as to mask just how radical and revolutionary its agenda was (and, by extension, how far short we fell from achieving it). I’ve noticed, along with this, a meme that floats around the conservative right that tries to split the “good” civil rights activists of the 60s, whose cause was laudable and just (though not, it’s worth noting, during the 60s themselves, as anyone who has read National Review articles from that time knows) from the next generation of Black leaders, who are charlatans and “race-baiters.” Dr. King is the emblem of the former group, and perhaps its only political member; virtually no other civil rights pioneer of that era gets similar treatment. Dr. King serves as an apt model because he is quite conveniently dead, and thus unable to take positions that might be inopportune for his more conservative supporters. Had he not been assassinated, I firmly believe that White America would not have accorded King his current valorized status, for the precise reason that it would have been that much more difficult to mythologize his legacy if he was alive to contest it.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, History, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

Vogue: Skinny White Models With “Quant Token Africans”

Posted by Jack Stephens on August 21, 2007

Carmen Van Kerckhove posts a blog about a commenter on the New York Times blog fashion page:

Wow, this commenter on New York Times fashion editor Cathy Horyn’s blog really summed up how I’ve always felt about those “Out of Africa”-type fashion spreads in Vogue.

American Vogue is a sad joke–the racism and elitist mentality of Vogue is astonishing. The few minorities featured in this magazine reek of tokenism and I would respect them more if they simply had no African-Americans, Asians or Latinos in their magazine. The fact that they hide their racism and ignorance with subterfuge offends even more.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Media, People of Color, White Privilege, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

Vogue: Skinny White Models With “Quant Token Africans”

Posted by Jack Stephens on August 21, 2007

Carmen Van Kerckhove posts a blog about a commenter on the New York Times blog fashion page:

Wow, this commenter on New York Times fashion editor Cathy Horyn’s blog really summed up how I’ve always felt about those “Out of Africa”-type fashion spreads in Vogue.

American Vogue is a sad joke–the racism and elitist mentality of Vogue is astonishing. The few minorities featured in this magazine reek of tokenism and I would respect them more if they simply had no African-Americans, Asians or Latinos in their magazine. The fact that they hide their racism and ignorance with subterfuge offends even more.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Media, People of Color, White Privilege, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

The Exotic Redman and Theatre

Posted by Jack Stephens on August 1, 2007

Rob Schmidt, of NativeVue, writes:

Soon after meeting the strange and exotic “redmen,” Americans began staging shows about them. The efforts included Wild West exhibitions such as Buffalo Bill’s and historical romances such as They were usually stereotypical, with savage braves, swooning maidens, and stoic chiefs.

Since then, playwrights have gotten serious about Indians. They’ve tackled subjects ranging from spirituality to substance abuse to suicide. The last few years have seen an explosion of genuine Native-themed dramas and comedies.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, First People Issues, Racism | Leave a Comment »

The Use of “Ghetto Chic”

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 31, 2007

Wendi Muse, who writes for Racialicious, blogs about the term “ghetto chic:”

Over time, the term “ghetto” has been used in a way that separates it from its history, a dark one of ethnic exclusion (i.e. forced isolation of Jewish communities) and government-sanctioned segregation (i.e. communities of color in the United States). Little thought is given to the true meaning of the word and how people ended up in ghettoes to begin with when it’s used. Along the same lines of a proposition made by Robert B. Moore in his essay “Racist Stereotyping in the English Language,” I’d like to make a little proposal of my own. Moore challenges typical methods of teaching and discussing the history of the United States by making his readers take a closer look at those who were oppressed in order to create it. He suggests that the “next time [we] write about slavery or read about it, try transposing all “slaves” into ‘African people held in captivity,’ ‘Black people forced to work for no pay,’ or ‘African people stolen from their families and societies.’” Imagine if we replaced “ghetto” with something like “the only place African-American men (who had fought for their country’s freedom from totalitarianism) and their families were allowed to live due to redlining, racist real estate monopolies, and restrictive covenants” when used as a noun. Or what about “a type of behavior I associate with the poor even though I don’t know anyone who lives in the projects or has had to struggle to make ends meet”/ “a style of dress that I associate with poor blacks and Latinos becauseI am racist and classist deep down inside, but cover it up by using this word instead of saying what I really mean because it’s more socially acceptable” when used as an adjective. So that’s a little harsh, but it would put a whole new spin on saying something or someone was “ghetto,” now wouldn’t it? It might make people think twice before applying it to any and everything that they deem as sub-par.

Posted in Class, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Corporations, History, Identity, People of Color, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

The Use of “Ghetto Chic”

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 31, 2007

Wendi Muse, who writes for Racialicious, blogs about the term “ghetto chic:”

Over time, the term “ghetto” has been used in a way that separates it from its history, a dark one of ethnic exclusion (i.e. forced isolation of Jewish communities) and government-sanctioned segregation (i.e. communities of color in the United States). Little thought is given to the true meaning of the word and how people ended up in ghettoes to begin with when it’s used. Along the same lines of a proposition made by Robert B. Moore in his essay “Racist Stereotyping in the English Language,” I’d like to make a little proposal of my own. Moore challenges typical methods of teaching and discussing the history of the United States by making his readers take a closer look at those who were oppressed in order to create it. He suggests that the “next time [we] write about slavery or read about it, try transposing all “slaves” into ‘African people held in captivity,’ ‘Black people forced to work for no pay,’ or ‘African people stolen from their families and societies.’” Imagine if we replaced “ghetto” with something like “the only place African-American men (who had fought for their country’s freedom from totalitarianism) and their families were allowed to live due to redlining, racist real estate monopolies, and restrictive covenants” when used as a noun. Or what about “a type of behavior I associate with the poor even though I don’t know anyone who lives in the projects or has had to struggle to make ends meet”/ “a style of dress that I associate with poor blacks and Latinos becauseI am racist and classist deep down inside, but cover it up by using this word instead of saying what I really mean because it’s more socially acceptable” when used as an adjective. So that’s a little harsh, but it would put a whole new spin on saying something or someone was “ghetto,” now wouldn’t it? It might make people think twice before applying it to any and everything that they deem as sub-par.

Posted in Class, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Corporations, History, Identity, People of Color, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

Exotic

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 24, 2007

Frances M. writes:

This weekend I had a customer at work come up to me and say “you’re so exotic looking, what are you.” Granted she was smiling & I suppose trying to compliment. But it got me thinking about what the term exotic to the mainstream American mind.

It’s hard to know how to react when people say “you’re so beautiful…exotic…what are you?” I know they’re in part trying to compliment so I don’t want to be all bitchy about it but on the other hand ignorance is not my shade of bliss & if I can prevent another person going though the silliness of such questions, I’d perhaps want to try. Well I’m off to have pizza with my beautiful & just plum pretty girlfriend. Thank goddess she she’s my soul & not just my skin!

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, People of Color | 1 Comment »

“Let’s Eat Fried Chicken and Paint Ourselves Black!”

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 21, 2007

Detective Mat writes about the rising trend of racially themed parties being held by predomenently white college students:

Of course if you ask any of these beautiful people if they’re racist, they’ll violently deny it. Which is actually to be expected. These are the ideals that surround them, whether by their peers or by the media they’re surrounded with. White dominance in American society has become more dangerous as time moves on by subtlely disguising itself as the negative stereotypes of black people pushed onto whites and deeming it as whats hip. For almost all these people, they’re only delusion to being exposed to black culture is exactly what is emulated here. As the product of white dominance, it is racist.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Racism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

“Let’s Eat Fried Chicken and Paint Ourselves Black!”

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 21, 2007

Detective Mat writes about the rising trend of racially themed parties being held by predomenently white college students:

Of course if you ask any of these beautiful people if they’re racist, they’ll violently deny it. Which is actually to be expected. These are the ideals that surround them, whether by their peers or by the media they’re surrounded with. White dominance in American society has become more dangerous as time moves on by subtlely disguising itself as the negative stereotypes of black people pushed onto whites and deeming it as whats hip. For almost all these people, they’re only delusion to being exposed to black culture is exactly what is emulated here. As the product of white dominance, it is racist.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Racism, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

Single White Male Supremacist Seeking Stereotypical Submissive Dragoon Lady

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 19, 2007

Wendi Muse, writing on Racialicious, blogs about personal ads and Craigslist:

In the world of online dating, where a user name, masked email address, and optional photo sharing means freedom to speak ones mind in complete anonymity, users frequently abandon political correctness and resort to exotification, stereotypes, and blatant racism when referring to racial/ethnic “others” in their attempts to choose a mate. While some ads include the user’s thoughts on race is more subtle ways, for example, simply stating a racial “preference” (still, arguably, a sign of prejudice), others are more obvious in their descriptions—ranging from the utilization of explicitly racist phrases or terms to describe his/her own background and/or the background of the person being sought to downright exclusion a la Jim Crow style (“No -insert race here- need apply”).

Originally linked by RaceWire.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Male Supremacy, People of Color, Racism, White Supremacy, Whiteness | Leave a Comment »

The Dragoon Lady Stereotype

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 14, 2007

Jenn writes:

The conflation of Asian women with whores only plays off of the hypersexualized stereotypes of Asian women as sex kittens — a stereotype popularized by the Vietnamese prostitutes of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. This hypersexualization diminishes Asian American women into fulfilling a single role: that of being the sexual plaything of men, White or otherwise. We are rendered little more than the sum of our sexuality, incapable of being doctors, lawyers, scientists, mothers, sisters, daughters or real people in our own right.

Posted in Asian Issues, Commodification, Male Supremacy, White Supremacy, Women of Color | Leave a Comment »

Coco Dorm Controversy

Posted by Jack Stephens on May 11, 2007

Darian Aaron, of the blog Living Out Loud with Darian, writes about promescuity and gay culture:

In the wake of the latest Coco Dorm controversy and a recent outing to see the sexually driven film Boy Culture (which is excellent by the way), I’ve been pondering over the widely held belief that all gay men are promiscuous. You’ve heard people say before that being gay is all about sex and that gay men cannot maintain long -lasting relationships…

So to say that all gay men are promiscious is an unfair generalization. How many of us have straight male friends who are constantly competing to see how many women they’ve slept with; as if they’re going to get a trophy for being in the triple digits? This behavior is not only condoned in many circles but it is considered an example of true masculinity.

Queer Kid of Color writes:

Coco Dorm (operated by the owners of Flavalife/men) is in yet another brawl with the Health Department. I don’t give a fuck how much money you make off of videos showcasing men bare backing; no money in the world can cure any of these men if they are infected. I don’t like the powers that be at Coco Dorm and I commend Darian, Jasmyne Cannick and the other bloggers who are taking the initiative in raising awareness on what these disgusting savages are doing.

Jasmyne Cannick blogs:

There’s a lot of money to be made in sex, and gay male sex at that. But what’s the cost? Our lives? And I am posing the question because like I said, I know people who thrown these types of parties here in Los Angeles and while I have never gone, friends of mine have and it bothers me because they’re playing Russian Roulette.

I suspect that like with the down low, the South Florida story tonight may spark a national discussion on the sexual practices of gay men, and we will be right smack dab in the middle of it. And like with the down low, it will get labeled as a Black thing, when we all know that bath houses from here to Japan, cater to white gay men among others.

Bernie, of the blog Bejata, states:

I am a Black gay man who loves my Black gay brothers unconditionally. I am always concerned about our collective well-being. I can’t sit idly by, staring at a video image, knowing the people I’m watching may be unnecessarily putting themselves at risk of infectious disease while someone else makes money off of it. That’s not sexy. That’s not hot.

Instead of trying to silence bloggers for writing about what’s going on, perhaps Flavaworks should spend more time really doing something to keep their models safe.

Posted in Black Issues, Blog, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Government, Heterosexism, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQI Issues, People of Color, Sexuality | 2 Comments »

The State of Corporate Hip-Hop

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 25, 2007

Paris speaks his mind about the current mainstream hip-hop scene in the blog Black Agenda Report:

The argument in response could be made in defense of labels that if they don’t respond to the streets then the music will just go underground. Huh? WHAT underground? Do you know how much good material is marginalized because it doesn’t fit white cooperate America’s ideals of acceptability? Independents can’t get radio or video play anymore, at least not through commercial outlets, and most listeners don’t acknowledge material that they don’t see or hear regularly on the radio or on T.V. Very few of us are willing to actually seek out material and messages to identify with. As with anything in our fast food culture, we want our entertainment choices fast and in our collective face. For most listeners, all the rest need not apply.

Posted in Black Issues, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Corporations, Male Supremacy, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

Appropriating Native Culture

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 15, 2007

Rachels, on the blog Ally Work, writes about a recent press release:

The American Sociological Association has released a statement in opposition to the use of Native American nicknames, mascots, and logos. The statement cites research indicating that these representations “reinforce racial stereotypes of Native Americans, and have negative psychological, educational and social effects.” You can read more about those specific outcomes in the press release and statement.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, First People Issues, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »

Your Very Own Mini-Natives!

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 14, 2007

Spottedele blogs about miniature figurines she found in a mail-in catalog which represented Native Americans:

In case you didn’t notice it, there’s a problem with the representation of sexuality in these figures**. The context here involves making “jokes” about people of color. White people have treated people of color as less than human, and we’ve tried to control their sexuality as well. Women of color are usually represented as having high sex drives and willingly having sex with anyone. These supposed traits make them fair game for white men in America, and frankly, I can’t bring myself to imagine what the cacti as breasts really represent. No, it isn’t just harmless fun. Men of color are either demonized as a threat to all white women due to their raging, animalistic*** sexuality, or they’re mocked as impotent. This planter encourages people to keep that tradition alive.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, First People Issues, Sexuality | Leave a Comment »

The Commodifying of Japanese Culture

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 12, 2007

Latoya Peterson, writing for Racialicious, discusses those who try to appropriate Harjuku culture:

And it was then, that it struck me – maybe the desire to learn is what separates someone who fetishizes a culture from those who merely wish to appreciate it. As I get deeper into anime and Japanese culture, I learned what causes some of the issues I see. I read about the rampant sexism in Japan, and their colonization of other Asian nations, which explained some of the more unkind images of Chinese and Koreans in manga illustrations. I learned that a social trend I thought was cool — the ability to pick up a part-time job for a day and be paid in cash as a student — was in some ways an outgrowth of Freeter culture which is becoming a bit of a trap for youth in Japan. The anime glitter was knocked out of my eyes, and I started to understand that Japan was… just Japan. Another country, with its own struggles and issues and cool parts of its society — not perfect, not horrific, just Japan.

Posted in Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Identity, Stereotypes | Leave a Comment »

Kevin Powell on Don Imus

Posted by Jack Stephens on April 11, 2007

Mark Anthony Neal, of the blog NewBlackMan, posts a response from Kevin Powell on the recent Imus controversy:

“Now, is Don Imus the problem by himself? Of course not, which is why I think calls for his dismissal are rooted purely in emotionalism and miss the larger issues here. Bigger problem number one is a federal government and a corporate hierarchy that have allowed destructive and despicable images and words regarding women to be transmitted, without any real regulation, for far too long, to the point where someone like Don Imus believes it okay to refer to women as “hos” on a nationally syndicated radio show heard by millions. Bigger problem number two is the American society we’ve become where, for the sake of profit and audience size, personalities, commentators, and pundits are allowed to spew all manner of hateful rhetoric, even as such language unwittingly reinforces negative stereotypes, perpetuates individual and mass bigotry, and wounds the self-esteem of the targeted recipients.”

Posted in Black Issues, Commodification, Contemporary Racism, Corporations, Male Supremacy, People of Color, White Supremacy, Women of Color | 1 Comment »