"Charles Ramsey is a hero because he called the police and helped them save three women from reportedly being raped and impregnated in a basement for a decade. But he’s a meme because he’s black and on TV, and because so many choose to ignore the horrible realities of the crime."
click through but this is the essence of it
I saw his interview for the first time this morning and realized pretty much simultaneously that he was a genuinely amazing man and that this was going to end badly in yet another racist meme.
i think it’s SUPER important to make clear that this is happening cuz he is *poor* too (or working class)—i’ve seen PLeeeeenty of middle class people of color saying shit like “omg, why did he have to be eating mc donalds…”
boo fucking hoo, you assholes. so sorry that a poor black man was fucking hungry right before he decided to help fucking humanity be a little less horrific.
- Appropriation of Black and Hip Hop culture
- Numerous instances of appropriation
- Use of the N Word
- Use of blackface
- Appropriation of the afro (also here)
- Wore a straight jacket and pretended to be a mental patient in video “Oh My Friend”
- Brownface and appropriation of cornrows
- Use of Black caricature’s as Twitter icons
"Rap music is so diverse in its themes, its style, its content but when it becomes a vehicle to be talked about in mainstream news, the rap that gets in national news is always the rap music that perpetuates misogyny that is most obscene in its lyrics and then this comes to stand for what rap is. Really its for me the perfect paradigm of colonialism, that is to say, we think of rap music as a little third-world country, that young white consumers are able to go to and take out of it whatever they want. We would have to acknowledge that what young white consumers, primarily male, oftentimes suburban, most got energized by in rap music was misogyny, obscenity, pugilistic eroticism and therefore that form of rap began to make the largest sums of money."
This morning my co-teacher played a warm-up video for the students. The video starts off with a white dude wearing dreads, a gold chain, and baggy clothes. Rap music is blaring in the background. He swaggers over to an innocent girl. He tells her that she is pretty and as she is caught up in the air of his compliment he is making off with her gold necklace. The students burst into a riot of laughter. Tashi! Tashi! (Again! Again!) they scream. The teacher hits replay and their little minds are directed back to the world of subtly convincing stereotypes. By the time they reach 18 they won’t even realize how they have been conditioned to view blacks.
The funny thing about the whole thing is that the skit was actually funny-the look on her face after being conned and the look on his face after being arrested—comedic! But wouldn’t it have been just as funny if the actor dressed up as a Boy Scout? Or what about an old man? How about an alien? Is it not foreseeable that any of these characters could also be thieves?
No, it is much easier to dress “hip hop style” or urban street and perpetuate stereotypes for an easy laugh. Now, before anyone labels me as being overly sensitive or not being able to take a joke, I want to point out why these images are harmful to young children (yes! even all the way over here in South Korea where there are only a handful of blacks).
Children begin to identify gender, culture, and racial patterns at an early age. They can easily make these connections through the anthropomorphic world. For example—if children were to regularly watch a cartoon that featured, let’s say, fruits and vegetables as heroes and villains, they would be able to tell which apple was good and which apple was bad. Add a pair of eyelashes, and plump lips to the apple and now they can make a gender connection as well. So what happens when an avocado is given a mustache, a sombrero, and a particular accent?
You guessed it? The same thing that happens when a white dude dresses as a person of color and makes off with a necklace; children start to make associations. Of course this isn’t something that happens overnight. It has to be reinforced over and over again before children start to connect the dots. Oh, rap music, dread locks, gold chains, and baggy clothes are synonymous with blacks and blacks are synonymous with thieves. The real surprise ending is that they won’t even remember the white guy because how many white men do you see walking around with dreads and gold chains?