Best Of The Web This Week

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The Root: Blackness Primer Revisited – Writer John McWhorter argues that it’s not stereotyping to say that religious leanings, a love of fried chicken and a penchant for dancing are black cultural traits. Well, I guess there are black people out there – me included – who do these things… But how far do you go with this type of argument? A love of fried chicken is pretty harmless. However, some might say that, judging by statistics, low educational achievement, a propensity towards violence and lawlessness and poor family values are also traits that appear to be associated with black culture. But I know that’s not right and I would call that stereotyping. So I’m not quite sure I agree with John McWhorter on this one. It’s dangerous ground.

The Guardian: Black, British & Proud – This one was written by myself. My opinion is that despite being black, I am also very much British and proud to be. Being black (or any other kind of immigrant or offspring of) does not stop you from becoming immersed in the culture in which you were brought up in. I had a range of thought provoking and interesting responses…One friend of mine was sad and frustrated with me. “England colonized us”, she said. “How can you claim them?”. See what you think.

Chicago Tribune: Smear Campaign Speaks Volumes About Society – Interesting piece by Ahmed M. Rehab about being Muslim and American. Seems we are all dealing with our racial identity issues!

Stuff White People Like: This is a very funny blog, written by Christian Lander. Yoga, Study Abroad Programmes, Coffee are all apparently things that white people like. Going back to my comments on the John McWhorter piece above – is this also an example of stereotyping (the author is white by the way)? I guess it is, but it is also satirical. Plus, being interested in yoga and coffee never really affected anyone’s position in society. These are all pretty harmless stereotypes and nobody says things like ‘you’re not really white if you don’t drink coffee’.

The Guardian: Entertaining Or Exploitative – This is another one of my comment pieces published this week. As BET launches in the UK this week, I ask if it’s something that Black Britons really need? Is BET entertainment, or exploitation?

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3 thoughts on “Best Of The Web This Week

  1. Loved your article in the Guardian, so positive and I am glad for you. For those of us who are little older than you where I was told point blank many years ago that I was not English and therefore not British, it’s a bit difficult to see things the way you do and to share your positive outlook. I live abroad now, and I’m glad that I have the opportunity of experiencing a very different environment (Nigeria) but do you think that it’s ok to define ourselves even though the white indigenous population still see you as something else?

  2. You ask a very good and pertinent question. That was one of the reasons why I wrote the piece – trying to make the point that although the indigenous population views people like you or I as outsiders, the fact is that we aren’t. Of course, we have other cultural influences, from Africa for example, but being British is still a large part of our identity. As more people of colour stay and settle in England for longer, the indigenous population will have be faced with this issue more and more and will have to come to terms with the fact that England’s make up will be people of all different colours and ethnic backgrounds who call themselves by the same terms as the ‘natives’. In any case, there are many white people in England who are ethnically not English. If they can call themselves English, why shouldn’t we able to? We may not want to, but if we do then we should have that option and be accepted for it.

  3. What concerns me is the introduction of BET. While holidaying the caribbean we ocassionally tune in. it is so insideous in the way it poisons the minds of young men. Before the introduction of bet i had NEVER heard the n-word used by anyone over there. Now it’s as common as muck ( only amongst it viewers). it is soo hurtful.
    It is no longer a black owned business and no longer has the black communities interest at heart.
    the way it potrays us, like clowns in blackface. I wish we could start our own from scratch

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