[Marxism] RE: norman mailer eat your heart out

Calvin Broadbent calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 22 08:03:55 MDT 2004


Hi,

This is bang on- as even its defenders have admitted, part of the supposed 
'hilarity' of Ali G is that he is a white man (an arab in fact) who is 
attempting to act black. Aside from the fact that it is impossible to 'act 
black', there is nothing necessarily wrong (whether vicarious, patronising, 
or racist) with white people adopting the 'mores', the customs, styles, and 
idioms developed and popularised by black people (provided, I would suggest, 
that the adoption is not rhetorical or stereotypical). In fact, the actual 
poetry contained in hip hop music, for example is very often funny, 
insightful, illuminating, provocative, clever, etc. etc.- all that a person 
should require from good poetry. As rapper Busta Rhymes once said, in a 
society which wasn't racist it would be perfectly normal for white people to 
adopt black people as their heroes and role models. The controversy about 
Eminem being white, a controversy in no way promoted by the actual hip hop 
community (which, in fact, has included white people rapping for years now) 
but vociferously propagated by the media, merely shows the extent of racism 
in white capitalist culture. (This is not to say that once Eminem's being 
white was made such a big deal of, and an *integral element of his 
popularity* that the hip hop community had not got plenty to say- they did 
of course). People interested in reading about more recent 'wigger' (sic) 
controveries would do well, I think, to read Chicago hip hop writer William 
Upski Wimsatt's article 'We use words like mackadocious' in his brilliant 
*Bomb the Suburbs*.

Anyway, personally I don't wish to focus too much on Ali G- I haven't 
watched him in years (since I saw his woeful film- a must for all true 
fans). Nor do I wish to promote hip hop music too much- the music industry 
is just more endless consumerism. Nevertheless, for those that care, I 
recommend digging around for a slew of classic hip hop albums from the 1980s 
and 1990s- pick em up cheap if you can.

cheers.

David Quarter Wrote:

  Yes -- and how pathetic for a "white" man to act "black"?

the assumption, of course, being that there is such a thing as
"being" or "behaving black", "acting white", etc, (i.e., the black and
white essence?). Hence, blacks who break with their socially
prescribes roles in society and consequently are branded "race
traitors", or "white wash". The perfect example of the above being
my mother who grew up in her island (Aruba's) ghetto -- not by
coincidence, an area made up almost entirely of black people,
most of whom had immigrated to Aruba from surrounding islands --
yet who went to university in Holland as opposed to staying a
perpetual slave to the Dutch and Yankee tourists and, to make
matters worst, decided to marry and have kids with a white
(Jewish) man. The prototypical "race traitor" according to social
prescriptions.  This is where the whole notion of the uncle Tom
nigger stereotype in the *broader sense** of the term comes into
play.

DOQ

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