Friday, August 26, 2005

Shuckin and Jivin

I just read a disturbing article in the Washington Post about a monthly hip-hop event in New York called a "Kill Whitie" party, in which an almost exclusively white clientele gets down and dirty to the raunchiest booty bass and gangsta hip hop.

Now, I haven't attended one of these events, so I'm going just off of what was included in this article. The DJ that runs the party, Tha Pumpsta, says his goal is to "kill the whiteness inside" of the attendees by playing party hip-hop tracks for the nice white folks to dance to.

I'm all in favor of people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ethnicities getting their swerve on. And being raised in South Florida, I would love to hear some Luke, Poison Clan, DJ Laz, or Trick Daddy in the club. It would certainly be better then when I walk by mostly white bars and hear Montell Jordan coming out of the speakers.

But where the Kill Whitie party missteps is the fact that the attendees are there because they'd rather "be with their own" and "imitate" Black hip hop culture than participate in it. Here's what I mean.

"A regular Kill Whitie partygoer, she tried the conventional (that is, non-hipster) hip-hop clubs but found the men "really hard-core." In this vastly whiter scene, Casady said that "it's a safe environment to be freaky."

Hmm. Racial stereotype of black men as frightening? Check. Hold on, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. I've been to big hip hop clubs too, and they are really crowded, and normally there are way too many cats who aren't there to dance and have fun but just want to beef or grab asses. So maybe this isn't that "racialist."

"There's nothing subtle about his advertising. His street fliers come emblazoned with the words "Kill Whitie" across a woman's backside. Another flier offers free admission to anyone with a bucket of fried chicken."

Oh crap. Stereotype of Black people liking fried chicken? Check.

I just really don't understand why you would give this whole racial slant to a hip hop party. It is like a parody of reality. Why would people go to this party and put on some act. Either you like that music and enjoy dancing to it - or you don't. A "Kill Whitie" party full of white people isn't ironic. It's using their place of racial privelege as a safe space to act out what aessentially racial fantasies.

What's so perplexing is that hip hop has for the most part embraced its Caucasian patrons already. There doesn't seem to be a need to carve out this white niche within the culture. So why do the people attending these parties only feel comfotable behaving this way in the comfort of white-washed surroundings? Simply adding a self-deprecating title to the event doesn't change that these "white hipsters" are essentially dressing up in invisible blackface. It doesn't sound like they are being ironic - it just sounds pretty ridiculous.

Read the article then let me hear your thoughts on this.

8 comment(s):

  • Great post! I also found the "Kill Whitie" parties described in that article disturbing. That type of perverse parody should scare everyone.

    I wrote about the issue at http://www.jameslambjr.com/2005/08/whos-victim.html. Take a look.

    By Blogger James, at 6:17 PM  

  • No cover with chicken? What about watermelon or food stamps? How about illegitamte children? Do you get in for free if you can't swim? Terrible. By too "hard core", did she mean too darked skinned and nappy haired?

    These are the same people that say a part of town is "Ghetto" if there is any type of black population. Stupid. Same people who when I was playing Little League baseball when I was seven would say "he's got wheels" for every black player.



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 PM  

  • please someone give me a good old down home southern racist instead of these clowning pseudo-liberal fools. i would love to go down there on "angry black woman" night and tell them what i think of their tongue in cheek bullshit. grrrrrrrr.

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