[Marxism] RE: Ali G

Mine Doyran mine.doyran at verizon.net
Wed Jul 21 12:44:42 MDT 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Quarter" <davidquarter at sympatico.ca>

>  In arguing that Ali G. is trying to "represent black people" the
> assumption is that most black people dress in baggy clothes,

I did not say that Ali G is representing black people. I did say that the
criticism of the show of on the basis of "cartoonification of black people
or black culture" is misleading. I was responding to other posts on Ali G.
Ali G is the rapper Cohen represents, anyhow, not black people necessarily.

It is not blacks who rap, BTW.  I have known Labanese rap, Algerian rap,
French rap, Turkish rap etc. There is a famous Algerian/ Ray singer Cheb
Mami. He sometimes sings with French black rappers. It is top quality world
music and has a social message (since Ray is a form of protest music, like
raggy). If you look at the world around yourself, you will see there are

Listen to Cerkez Kizi from Turkey, for example. She raps about the oppressed
situation of women in shanty towns or environmental  destruction of Istanbul
coasts (playing the famous Turkish poet Orhan Veli's "Listening to Istanbul"
Istanbulu dinliyorum in the background).

Sacha Cohen is imitating a black rapper, clearly, not generalizing or
representing black people. He is just witty, silly most of the time. He does
not have a social message.

Why to play with words here? Well, calling rap culture corrupt, degrading,
anti-working class, humuliating, etc. can be as "racist" as society's
classification of black culture, as if blacks cannot produce good music or
as if it is up to whites to do high quality music only.The solution is to
find ways of empowerment within rap music, not to deny it. Rap does not
always have to be corrupt or degrading, just as a porn is. We should
overcome these streotypes.


> speak very broken English and more generally behave like idiots.
> Obviously, you've  swallowed some very degrading and racist
> assumptions/stereotypes of black people to believe that.
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Calvin Broadbent" <calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com>
> >
> > > Frankly, much of the cultural dregs 'the
> > > workers' have to settle for do their minds no good. Many (probably
> > > English) workers will have fouind that other white man's black
> > > Jim Davidson's 'Chalkie', totally hilarious. Should I have laughed
> > > with them in the 1970s, for fear they would otherwise find me
> > > Ali G contributed to the cartoonification of black people and black
> > culture.
> >
> > Certainly not. Ali G  is *NOT*  the only charecter he represents. He
> > Borat from Kazhagistan, a white man. He also plays Bruno (gay punk) from
> > Germany. He represents a variety of types, among which black people is
> > of them. It is silly to charge him for "cartoonification of black
> > After all, if rap is part of black culture, there is nothing wrong to
> > it. Yes, he could done a better job of exposing it (old versus new
> > but than the show would not be funny. It would be a typical lecture,
> > the ones I miss on WBAI.
> >
> > The show is all about  stereo types. You should accept it in its own
> >
> > Mine Doyran
> _______________________________________________
> Marxism mailing list
> Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
> http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism

More information about the Marxism mailing list