Lotta kiddos graduated from college this past weekend, or as I like to call it, fantasyland. And when I say kiddos, I mean kiddos, because the next few years are gonna be a rude awakening, and they’re gonna be tough, and they’re gonna be fun, and they’re gonna be existential, and they’re gonna be thrilling, and sexy. Consider what you are about to embark upon as “life college.” Be ready and willing to LEARN.
New French presy. Trayvon autopsy reveals knuckle injuries and a tragic score for Zimmerman’s case. Will Khloe Kardashian get a DNA test?! Will shits be given?!
Is anyone else as excited about Britney being on X-factor as I am? Aside from all of my Archdeacon girl cousins, because Lord knows they are. Are you brats even reading this?
Facebook…going public…money…IPO…young people…
Tough week for black musicians. Chuck Brown AND Donna Sommers passed. Oh wait, can I say black? This hipster racism controversy is mammoth and uncomfortable and I don’t know how to feel about it, other than uncomfortable. Especially in coming to terms with the fact that I am probably racist, and so are you, and no one’s safe. But I’m never going to think whispering “black” with a hand shield when describing someone is the PC way of doing so. She’s black. I’m white. You can call me white. It’s what I am. It’s not fair all that comes along with that. It’s awful that we’re reduced to our race, which doesn’t even exist, but I guess we are. So if you call me white, can I call you black?
Am I making a fool out of myself?
Locally, the dialogue has taken form in a firing squad on my friend’s food truck, the Fojol Brothers, who travel around wearing flamboyant outfits, in a flashy tin truck, hailing from the made-up land of Merlindia, serving GOOD food to the masses in a quasi-circus act. They happen to serve primarily Indian-inspired, but also Ethiopian and Thai food, while wearing turbans, fake mustaches, gold, sequins, bold stripes, bright colors, and large pants. They’re probably the most popular food truck in DC.
And then some guy, a white guy, maybe he’s a man, I don’t know, posted to Facebook a furious critique of their manifestation of hipster racism. But it’s cool because he has an Indian friend. Needless to say, people are talking.
Part of me is like Dude, chill out. Let these folks (who are ethnically diverse, is that the best way to say that? I’m not being sarcastic. I want to know) wear silly vests, serve tasty food that people love, and have a gimmick. This country is all about gimmicks. Are white people even allowed to speak on racism? Wait, isn’t that what I’m doing right now? Should I stop? AM I MAKING A FOOL OUT OF MYSELF?
And then there’s the part of me that’s like, well, is this racist? Are these cultures being mocked? Are they even being portrayed? This white guy certainly has the right to speak out against something that he finds offensive, even if the offense is not directed toward him. But they’re not intentionally directing offense toward anyone. But if it’s being perceived as such does that even matter? If one person is offended, (and more are stepping forward in an internet-sort-of-way) is that game-over? Is this all just one big misunderstanding? Is the mere conviction of such trivializing, and egregiously insensitive? Is this me being racist?
Hipster racism is real, and it is fucked up. And we think that just because we have a degree and liberal views and took some sociology classes in college and have a couple black friends and voted for Obama, that we’re above racism, and so making racially-charged jokes is okay. It’s funny. Chill bruh. Howcome I can’t use the n-word, but you can?
Personally, I’m not looking to use the n-word. I won’t, ever. But can I listen to Jay-Z? Because if I can’t, if I can’t play Aaliyah’s We Need A Resolution album for the rest of my life, that’s going to be a huge problem for me.
Have I shot myself in the foot yet? This is really hard. I don’t know why I took this on.
I think that I am a relatively culturally-aware person. I recognize my privilege. And living in this city, this neighborhood in particular, I’m reminded of it everyday. I’m very hesitant to laugh at those questionable jokes, and very critical of your “white girl problems.” (even more so your “super white girl problems.”)
The other day (a couple months ago) I was talking to this guy who lives in the living room of an apartment, and I was asking him if he had any sort of privacy, like a divider or curtain or something. It’s not what you think! It might be what you think. It’s not what you think. Anyway, he was like “yeah I have these folding doors,” and I was all “Oh, like those Japanese folding screens?” And he goes “yeah, I was gonna say that but I didn’t want to sound racist.”
Yikes! Immediately, I said “If saying the name of a culture is racist then…” Shit, I don’t remember exactly what I said but it was good and it was quick and he was like “Woah, you’re right.”
I don’t know where I’m going with this, and I’m trying to be as sensitive as possible here. I just want somebody to explain my ignorance to me. We need to be sensitive about these things, and our post-modern attempt to be hyper-ironic all the time is exhausting, obnoxious, and a slippery slope. But when do we become too sensitive? What can we laugh at? Dave Chapelle? Because people are in stitches over Chapelle’s Show. We’re not above racism, or past it. It is alive and well and living on my block. And I don’t know if I’m a hipster or not, or what that even means anymore, I’m pretty sure nothing, but I guess I could see how I might fit into that box, which is limiting and unfair, but if I’m referring to a mixed group of people, and I need to identify someone, I want to be able to say “The Hispanic woman” without that being racist. Not because otherwise it’s a hassle, but because she is Hispanic. And that’s beautiful. And wonderful. And need not be ignored, evaded, or overlooked. And she’s hanging out with a black woman, an Asian man, a white couple, and two Indian sisters. And that’s fucking awesome. And that’s the future. But she just dropped her wallet. The Hispanic woman. And my hands are full so could you please go run and give it to her?
I draw no conclusions. I couldn’t possibly. Of course this post has no picture, because what picture would I put?! This is really difficult, and uncomfortable, and it should be uncomfortable, and there needs to be a dialogue. All I know is that I smile and say “Good morning” to everyone I pass on the street. And they usually smile back and say “Good morning, sweetheart. Beautiful day isn’t it?” And I say “Sure is.” That’s gotta stand for something.
Or maybe that doesn’t mean anything and I’m just a naïve white girl who doesn’t get it. I’m trying. Know that I’m trying.
Thank God It’s Friday.