ebogjonson.com's what is B.O.G.? archive

biraciality and multiraciality in theory and practice; on color and class; on the B.O.G.

November 9, 2006

the pink elephant in harold's room

Prometheus 6 links link to this curious post on blackcon site Booker Rising regarding Harold Ford's white woman problem:

How Harold Ford's Impulsive Love For White Women Cost Him - And Black America - A U.S. Senate Seat

[...]

The controversial and later-pulled ad peaked with the white blonde claiming she met Junior at the Playboy party. Her image appeared again, as the last one to close the ad. All the other issues mentioned in the ad - guns, terrorism, North Korea, porn donors, etc. - were mere supporting characters to the ad's true intent, which was to code Rep. Harold Ford Jr. as a lover of white women.

I was surprised how most critics only focused on how this ad played to Tennessee white male fears of black male-white female unions. Booker Rising was one of the very, very few observers to note how the controversial ad also played to the anxieties of another group on this issue: black women, who comprise the majority of Tennessee's black voters. 81% of likely Tennessee voters, of all races, saw the ad, and undecided folks who saw the ad broke 2-1 in favor of Mr. Corker.

Let this be a lesson for other black men who seek higher political office: when you believe that you are too good for black women, don't be surprised if chasing after white women hurts your career with voters. Particularly in a tight political race. How many black women - who could have perhaps reversed that slim lead of 48,495 votes that Mr. Corker possessed at the end of this political race - did not turn out to vote (or left the ballot for this particular race blank) because they were turned off by what they saw in the ad? [full posting]

I don't buy Booker Rising's argument that the ad was a black-vote supression tool (if we were really that quick to reject every black man with a white woman on his arm, half of the black corporate, entertainment, political, literary and academic leadership class wouldn't be where they are) but I do find the notion interesting just for ambient and textural reasons.

Leaving right or wrong aside, the spirited discussion of the post on Prometheus 6's blog covers territory and gets at nuances that were absent from about 100% of the mainstream (read white) reporting and commentary on the purpose and impact of the Ford ad. I think there's a sense in which the discussion on P6 operates as a "private" or "inside" discussion, which is great, as it allows for racial nuances to percolate up that may not be blocked in a more open forum. But I do also wish there was a way for national discussions about race to reflect that inside expertise, as opposed to being so predictably impoverished.

Posted by ebogjonson at 1:25 PM | Permalink

September 8, 2006

spicy hot

California Governator Arnold Scharwzenegger is down with the explosive power of race mixing:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today apologized for saying the lone Latina Republican lawmaker in California had a "very hot," fiery personality because of her ethnicity, a comment captured on audio tape last spring in his private office.

The governor made his apology in Santa Monica standing next to Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City), the Latina lawmaker whom Schwarzenegger characterized as hot-blooded.

"The fact is that if I would hear this kind of comments in my house, by my kids, I would be upset, and today, when I read it in the papers, it's something when you say things, but it is another thing when you read it in the paper. It made me cringe. It made me feel uncomfortable. And so this is why I thought I should come out and address the issue right away."

On the recording, Schwarzenegger describes Republican legislators as the "wild bunch" and refers to Garcia, casually saying that "black blood" mixed with "Latino blood" equals "hot."

"I mean, they are all very hot," the governor says on the audio recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

Garcia said there was no need for Schwarzenegger to apologize.

[...]

"I love the governor because he is a straight talker just like I am," Garcia said. "Very often I tell him, 'Look, I am a hot-blooded Latina.' I label myself a hot-blooded Latina that is very passionate about the issues, and this is kind of an inside joke that I have with the governor. [full story]

Inside is right, Assemblywoman Garcia, inside is right. Thank you very much, Mz. Cuchi Cuchi Coo 2006.

Some CA Latino leaders reportedly told Der Arnold that they "are not preoccupied with this kind of thing" but Der Arnold sure seems preoccupied by the various attractions of Afro-Latino woman. I, of course, do not need to remind you of this:


I detect a long-standing pattern. I'm not particularly mad at Der Arnold myself but I think his wife Maria Shriver might be. While there is something vaguely telenovela about Shriver, I don't think she satisfies Arnolds obvious yen for certain racially-coded attributes.

Here is a question for the ladies: what's a woman to do when her man is a serial groper with a thing for an entire class of ladies that look nothing like she does?

Posted by ebogjonson at 6:07 PM | Permalink

January 4, 2006

brokeback boondock

I've been wanting to write about The Boondocks, but, you know, alas and alack and all that. The following posting in the Afrofuturism yahoogroup (about a range of things, including the Boondocks and Richard Pryor and the loa that might be writing each or none) offered a low-sress way in.

[the Boondocks] damned-well *should* have happened back in the mid-90s when the iron was hot and he first developed his lines of reasoning and critique -- back when a public enemy record *and* a boondocks animated series would have been culturally *unstoppable.*

the boondocks (static and full-motion) is a labor of love for a specific black sociopolitical demographic, not a force for change. as such, it is "white media" so to speak. c'mon, the whole show is farmed out to low-wage korean animators like any other contemporary cartoon that isn't *proud* of low-fi visuals (12 oz. Mouse, ATHF, etc.)

I was curious as to where folks thought a show like the Boondocks might have aired 10 years ago. The great answer from the list?

I think that liquid television-era MTV would have been the best candidate for the boondocks... and it would have worked well in the blipvert format of that show -- look how peter chung finally cashed in on aeon flux almost a decade later.

The list's notion of the Boondocks as a demographic coming-out-party struck a chord, as it historicized the show the right way and also encapsulated what I like/don't like about it. What's the demo? Well, their fantasy exemplars (in my experience at least) are crotchety, middle-aged, straight dudes with vaguely Long Island associations. (The list's Public Enemy name-check was pretty apt.) These guys are post-Civil Rights, old enough to have arc'd pre and post hip hop. Party affiliations are largely "Democratic" but they're also disaffected and prone to third party ambitions. Ironic Sharpton protest voters. College educated and either southern-born and non-HBCU educated, or northern-born and HBCU educated, which is to say, their backstory includes an orthogonal passage through a membrane structuring distinct black "success" strata. Socially liberal in the way anyone who lived in the shadow of bad old 70s-80s New York City is socially liberal, socially conservative in other ways (crime & punishment, for example) for the same reason. (Homophobic just because.) Complicated, formative relationships to (not being) one of the cool kids in high school. Deep investment in the notion that black self-criticism and self-reliance have magical, anti-genocidal powers. These are products of integration who nonetheless have heavy romantic entanglements with an idealized, pre-integration "community." In afrofuturistic terms they subscribe to a Darwinian/Zizekian racial reading of the The Matrix (first movie, at least) where black superpowers not only only work in the zone of our oppression, but also require said oppression in the first place. For the Zizekian Matrixian hero (both neo and morpheus), that means all progress requires some literal skin in the game, some act of christ-like self sacrifice. That or change just weakens you, robs you of your powers, advances the common good but reduces the singular you to nostalgia. (Older, parallel comic book framesets - Krypton must be destroyed for there to be a superman; our mutations don't make us freaks but heroes, no bad heart, no motivation to build the supersuit, and so on.)

As media producers, these dudes are so skilled at a jokey, ecumenical form of racial jujitsu precisely because their best friends once upon a time really were cosmopolitan white men or white institutions, either literally in the fifth grade or professionally later. (I have seen the enemy and he is that dumb kid I used to play with.) That the Boondocks is on Adult Swim is just part of what one list poster called the Boondocks' "lethal weaponizaton" - black show on a white network. It also seems to me to extend the lifespan of a triumphal, integrationist, Kirk/Spock-slash meme that was in the air last year about Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan. The meme goes like this: for every disaffected black genius there is one true white male bestest-pal/collaborator/network out there (ie. a Neal) in whose safe, strong arms and unwavering gaze the aforementioned black genius will find their national voice. As opposed to the classic, pre-post Civil Rights relation of cynical seduction and patronage, the Chappelle/Brennan diad exists not to provide material support but to minimize the troubling distractions that can crop up for a black genius while in the loving embrace of a black bestest-pal/network/collaborator, which is to say, in the arms of a brOther. (Is there a more fraught relationship than that between two unrelated, middle aged, high-achieving black men not interested in fucking each other? White supremacy has so evolved that "race" is increasingly expressed only while we're facing each other, while our relationships with the right white people become oases of rest and calm.)

In terms of lethal networks, one can conceive of BET loving you like a brother, but only in a School Daze sense, which is to say, after a course of physical abuse and in the service of arcane, crypto-greco-egyptian ritual. (Bob Johnson will also anally rape you, but that's another movie.) FOX only loves you the way your pre-gentrification landlord loves you - as long as the rent is on time, and if you don't ask for anything, and only to such time as you can be replaced with a richer/whiter tenant. But the fantasy of being loved and accepted (finally!) by the white boys at Adult Swim or Vertigo or Neal, well, those are what crossover dreams are made of.

The list is right that the determinant open window for when the Boondocks happened wasn't "when would this be culturally unstoppable?" Instead it was: "when would it best cro$$over?" From jump something like the Boondocks has a foundational requirement for distribution on mass, regularly scheduled networks, this even as the show presents as nominally antagonistic to the values of mainstream media in the first place. (Wheels within wheels, doublings and mass media DL, all of which can functionally extend the Dave/Neal K/S riff if one is so inclined.) That mass media love-hate circle gets squared only if the show can find a white distributor who is "open" (the way alleged ex-weedhead Neal was open?) - i.e., if its distributor has roots in debased genres like comics or cartoons, for example, or is a time traveling VC from 1995s, or is an upstart TV network in search of a competitive advantage. If you want to go back in the crate, Van Peeples had to get down with pornographers just to distribute a black movie to black people. Looking at that cast of characters, Adult Swim seems about right in its own weird way

Me, I'm curious to see what happens if the show doesn't pan out ratings wise. This isn't M*A*S*H, so its lifespan isn't going to stretch into decades. What will the white boys from Atlanta do when it stops pull enough eyeballs? Or what if the night starts demo'ing as too ethnic? Adult Swim has put itself on the line as being motivated by more than profit with all the in-you-face, attitudinous inter titles. We'll see if that voice shifts in response to shifting numbers. Maybe that trademark white-text-on-black will blame white audience members for killing the show. Or perhaps it will start hectoring us for not supporting quality, cable television, just the way nobody colored supports jazz except the Japanese.

Posted by ebogjonson at 10:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 17, 2005

the yacubian doctrine

From the Boston Globe:

Scientists Find A DNA Change That Accounts For White Skin

Scientists said yesterday that they have discovered a tiny genetic mutation that largely explains the first appearance of white skin in humans tens of thousands of years ago, a finding that helps solve one of biology's most enduring mysteries and illuminates one of humanity's greatest sources of strife.

The work suggests that the skin-whitening mutation occurred by chance in a single individual after the first human exodus from Africa, when all people were brown-skinned. That person's offspring apparently thrived as humans moved northward into what is now Europe, helping to give rise to the lightest of the world's races.

Hat-tip Kwaku Gardiner. In an email on a related topic he writes: that Bakos ain't nuthin' but a mutant. True indeed. True indeed!

(Brother Kwaku has also been doing some excellent blogging on the fracaso between Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and the head of the Philly NAACP.)

The discovery by credible scientists (read: white scientists) that ofayism is the result a genetic misstep should have members of the NOI and Five Percent Nation buzzing. As I understand it, the Nation of Islam's genesis myth posits a black-ruled, high-tech pre-diluvial eden that got ruined by the machinations of Dr. Yacub, an albino biologist who created white people in order to pave his own deformity over with the bio-industrial steamroller of mass paleface replication.

As Mother Tynetta Muhammad recalls the Elijah Muhammad putting it:

The more we know about the White man's studies in these fields of knowledge, the more advanced we will be in the Hereafter. His words along with the subsequent discoveries he is making in every field of science, caused me to reflect upon Yakub's history and the scientific studies that he engaged in while studying in the laboratories and schools of his day. Though Yakub had a strong premonition of the work he would do as a child, while playing with two pieces of steel - one with magnetic in it attracting the piece that didn't have magnetic in it - he ultimately discovered while looking through a microscope, the secret of two people lying dormant in the life-germ itself. It was through the study of the life germ that he altered the genetic material lying dormant in the Original Man and people. Thus through a special method of birth control, practiced in a specially chosen environment, he gave birth to every race and people that has come to populate our planet today. This experiment began with the Original Black Man and People, and it is our responsibility and challenge to perfect the evolution of our species for the whole of humanity. There is a saying that Truth is Stranger than Fiction!

I remember rather vividly the front page of the Final Call going all gaga over the release of Independence Day, given the mother wheel depicted therein. As Louis Farrakhan memorably put it:

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Motherplane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekial, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day but a pillar of fire by night. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad said that that wheel was built on the island of Nippon, which is now called Japan, by some of the original scientists. It took 15 billion dollars in gold at that time to build it. It is made of the toughest steel. America does not yet know the composition of the steel used to make an instrument like it. It is a circular plane, and the Bible says that it never makes turns. Because of its circular nature it can stop and travel in all directions at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. He said there are 1,500 small wheels in this mother wheel which is a half mile by a half mile. This Mother Wheel is like a small human built planet. Each one of these small planes carry three bombs.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said these planes were used to set up mountains on the earth. The Qur'an says it like this: We have raised mountains on the earth lest it convulse with you. How do you raise a mountain, and what is the purpose of a mountain? Have you ever tried to balance a tire? You use weights to keep the tire balanced. That's how the earth is balanced, with mountain ranges. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that we have a type of bomb that, when it strikes the earth a drill on it is timed to go into the earth and explode at the height that you wish the mountain to be. If you wish to take the mountain up a mile, you time the drill to go a mile in and then explode. The bombs these planes have are timed to go one mile down and bring up a mountain one mile high, but it will destroy everything within a 50 square mile radius. The white man writes in his above top secret memos o the UFOs. He sees them around his military installation like they are spying.

That Mother Wheel is a dreadful looking thing. White folks are making movies now to make these planes look like fiction, but it is based on something real. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that Mother Plane is so powerful that with sound reverberating in he atmosphere, just with a sound, she can crumble buildings. And the final act of destruction will be that Allah will make a wall out of the atmosphere over and around North America. You will see it, but you won't be able to penetrate it. He said Allah (God) will cut a shortage in gravity and a fire will start from 13-layers up and burn down, burning the atmosphere. When it gets to the earth, it will burn everything. It will burn for 310 years and take 690 years to cool off.


Posted by ebogjonson at 6:12 PM | Permalink

susan crain bakos is an idiot (updated)

Ebog update note: I wrote this piece some time ago, but in light of recent dustups about sexist language on liberal blogs, it seemed to me that some of my attacks on Bakos here were attacks on her gender as opposed to attacks on her stupidity. (There was also some unnecessary side business that fell under the category of the gratuitous fat joke.) As my main goal here has always been to make sure you understand why Susan Crain Bakos is an idiot, those rough edges have increasingly struck me as egregious and careless, so I figured I'd clean them up. Part of this is self-serving, as I don't want to be accused of living in a glass house, but part of this reflects my belief that the more thought-out, more careful and less alienating version of an idea is almost always the better one.

A real whopper in The New York Press. Hat tip, the instigatinist illhindu.

A WHITE WOMAN EXPLAINS WHY SHE PREFERS BLACK MEN

By Susan Crain Bakos

Black skin is thick and lush, sensuous to the touch, like satin and velvet made flesh. There's only one patch of skin on a white man's body that remotely compares to nearly every inch of a black man's skin. The first time I caressed black skin, it felt like a luxury I shouldn't be able to afford. I craved it more strongly than Carrie Bradshaw craved Manolo Blahnik shoes. That phrase, "Once you go black, you never go back" is all about the feeling of the skin.

And I had the socially acceptable explanation for my craving. I used that paucity-of-available-white-partners rationale to explain my relationships with black men for several years. A white woman past forty is often passed over by her white-male contemporaries. She goes younger or ethnic or foreign-born or down the socioeconomic scale or darker or she spends lonely nights at home with her cats. Black men are happy to get the babe they couldn't have when she was twentysomething and fertile. The laws of the marketplace do prevail. It's not me, it's them--them being the white guys who weren't after me anymore, or so I claimed.

[...] I want black men. They want me. We look at one another and exchange a visible frisson of sexual energy in the lingering glances. And our attraction is based first on race. We are not those couples who "happen to fall in love" with someone of a different race or more purposefully come together but out of some greater sense of interracial understanding and respect. Not as politically-correct men and women do we seek one another out.

[...] Black men have something white guys don't have anymore: confidence in their masculinity, their sexuality. They clearly know they're men. White men appear to be waiting for the latest sociological research study to let them know if they are men or not. Yet black men are gentlemen, something else white men no longer are. They make me feel like a woman, both respected and desired. I can let go of my inhibitions, my need to control, when I am with them. How many white men can treat a woman like a lady and ravish her too?

[...] White men over 40 have lost their waistlines and their zest for life--if they ever had it. They carry resentments, grudges and extra pounds in their basketball bellies. Perhaps a good part of that bloat is unhappiness. Even the thin ones look flabby somehow and deeply aggrieved. They nurse the smallest perceived slight longer than their double shots of Scotch. Surely our culture as much as biology turns them into softer, spongier, less-interesting versions of their youthful selves just at the point where women and black men and other minorities are emerging strong. Society overvalues the white man, leaving him angry and bitter when he realizes, around age 40, that he's not all that.


And so on.

I have to say, if one were inclined to let Bakos' corny, frothy prose air out in the sun a bit, after a while one might return to find there were indeed a few grainy bits of something rattling around the confines of her ridiculously general and largely put-on argument. These are not so much grains of truth as coins and crumbs of conventional wisdom, the kind of thing that sticks to a naked buttock after a zipless romp on a heavily trafficked bar couch. Bakos' basic aim with this crap essay isn't to wax about interracial sex, it's to rather predictably vent about what she sees as the sorry state of white sexuality. That "sorry state" bit about white folks - especially the genus Americanus Whiteboyus - is by this point such a mass media commonplace that on any given Sunday no less a repository of received cultural wisdom than the NYTimes will have some or another arch dumbshit going on about it. Man-dates. Violent "good" guys on TV. That hardy new perennial, the metrosexual. Viagra suppositories. There's so much anxiety about whether or not the (marginal) assimilation of feminism into the cultural DNA produces men who don't act like "men" that racist fantasy like Bakos' can now be deployed in polite company, this as part of a tendentious side-argument about like, white female sexual emancipation.

Even shorn of its canned, whole-body dick fetishism, and even when reduced to corollary evidence about the "what's wrong with white men?" thing, Bakos' rather banal reveal of her proclivities illuminates little beyond her - wink wink, you rascal! - proclivities, that and her deep racism. The barrier to understanding that is Bakos' white privilege has been left intact despite the gaping ruin that is her interracial-sex hymen. This half-deflowering leaves her unable to appreciate how her vision of the other and his proper, horizontal place in her life is just a flat, reality TV caricature, as transgressive as Springer or Girls Gone Wild "catching" two drunk coeds rubbing girlish nips together while on winter break in Mexico. I mean, of course Bakos has noticed that black and white men don't have the same dating heebee-jeebee's. Despite great gains and growing oases of inclusion we're still largely born and raised in parallel universes, get interpolated as subjects in different ways. Forget about the games, hustles, issues, gambits and conflicts that will come to fore when the average brother is confronted with a snooty 50+ "sex journalist." So tell us something we didn't know, Susan. You are the purported sexpert.

Despite her piece's blatant, built-in absurdities, I can't get particularly mad at someone for pursuing their bliss, no matter how stupid said bliss is. What I can do, though, is take the dudes who've been fucking her silly to task - not for turning her out, but for failing to complete her sexual education. Although there is a part of me that wants to pat these gents on the back for having so completely bamboozled old girl with the mandingo-schtick, I have to fault them for their lack of social responsibility. With great power comes great responsibility, so any privilege that accrues from the continued belief in totemic, black cock requires brothers wield their dicks judiciously, ensuring that any white women they fuck know better than to believe and traffic in this kind of idiocy. (To believe this kind of thing and to say the dumb shit AND to get paid for it outside of the porn biz is just unforgivable. Her ex-lays should put together some kind of petition disavowing her.) I mean, I've known (biblically) my fair share of white women, and while modesty forbids I sing my own sexual praises, I can say with great pride that I have always left them better as white people than when I found them - more, like, wry and ironized if nothing else. Apparently this call to honorable service wasn't heard by the brothers who've been kissing Susan Crain Bakos' knees (yeech!), leaving all of us that much more the poorer and skeeved out.

Bakos pats herself on the back for being a sex journalist who not only talks the talk but takes takes it up the "A" pipe, but she's really just the rankest sort of payola eater, her printed thumbs-up for black male sexual "confidence" just a form of product placement for which she shamelessly boasts of receiving payment in inches, milliliters, stuttering orgasms, what have you. It's not bad work if you can get it, but that doesn't mean Bakos isn't a racial hack stealth-marketing a certain, arriviste strain of post-civil rights self-hatred, one that infects some classes of black men like a cycline-resistant social disease. New York City is full of this kind of brother: single, middling-to-successful I-bankers and corporate lawyers, all of them the same soul age (45+) regardless of what their biological clocks actually say. These are often men whose lives have been marked significant class or geographic dislocations, who view access to Manhattan's white society as an escape from humble beginnings, who hope to transition from sticky, complicated, narrow blackness into a better, broader, whiter world. Unlike the scions of the actual black bourgeoisie (who have been schtupping wan Gwyneth Paltrow clones since prep school, and who increase the black upper classes by bringing their white women back with them to Martha's Vineyard, this in order to make make café-au-lait babies) Bakos' black men are lost to the race forever, eagerly disappearing into whiteness and leaving no trace or marker behind them except for white misunderstanding and white racism along the lines of Bakos'.

Bakos' yen this particular class of men is no accident nor does it speak to any intrinsic love of actual blackness on her part. Bakos would have you believe that actually she's doing fine when it comes to getting laid, that she went black just for the kicks and dicks:

The truth is, I attract about the same percentage of available white men my age (and far younger!) now as I did when I was thirty--and that's not including the unavailable white men who want to play around anyway.

Enough white men want me that I was hardly facing enforced celibacy, but I don't want them.

That may be true enough, but at the end of the day, Bakos' jungle fever is a mercenary, self-serving rear-guard manouver forced upon her by advancing age. As she herself puts it rather explicitly, under prevailing sexual "market conditions" this is the only class of sexually-functioning dude who will have her. She finds her self-hating level in this particular Other, these men smoky, soft-focus mirrors where her racial ignorance, advancing age and class pretension blur into an unexpected trio of assets - reciprocal desire, seasoning and sensibility. If Bakos has a sympathetic quality, it's the matter-of-fact stoicism with which she stares down being a mere, late-coming substitute for poor, schmucky brothers who, as she puts it, couldn't get the "babe" when those girls were "twentysomething and fertile." The fact that dudes still don't have the babe is, of course, obvious, but Bakos spares herself the indignity of spelling it out. Indeed, hanging over all of her essay and claims about white and black sexuality is the omnipresent but unacknowledged edifice of heterosexual market relations under what the kids like to call sexism, ageism, lookism and patriarchy, a regime of value and meaning and power that profoundly, viciously devalues Bakos, but that she actively props up in exchange for being allowed one last favorable (to her) position.

Bakos's claim that she only wants what she has left - "I don't want them" - flies in the face of the very sexual and racial system that's endowed her with the interracial fucking annuity on which she plans to coast into old age. We're expected to believe that Bakos doesn't the things that system denies her? The wealthy, Viagra-enabled white, well, dicks in Manhattan who ritually leave wives of Bakos' age, intelligence, accomplishment for much younger women? The adoration of legions of men invisibly masturbating to electronically mediated images of women just out of girlhood? What about that class of black men of which her personal faves are just wan, fading echoes, the rappers and ball players and thug heartthrobs who are the actual black crowned princes of contemporary American sexuality? Perennially "twentysomething and virile" themselves, those cats have made their own accommodations with the rigged sexual system that simultaneously hates and privileges them, and as a result they wouldn't come near Bakos the proverbial 14-inch pole. Does Bakos not want them as well?

As this piece appeared in the generally odious New York Press, Bakos can't resist taking a smug swipe at black women who frown on brothers with jungle fever.

Even in a time when nearly 40 percent of single Americans have dated outside their race, that deliberate seeking of the specific other makes some people, especially black women, damned mad.

We are what they denigrate and castigate: white women and black men who choose one another because of our racial differences. They resent our taking their men. Black men are two and a half times more likely to marry a white woman than a black woman is to marry a white man. Black women can point to that statistic in justifying their wrath. But in truth, black sisters, we're after the sex, not the ring--and these guys aren't the marrying kind anyway.

Yes, the sex!

Bakos is typically wrong on this score. Black women don't dislike her kind because she's "taking their men." They dislike her because she's an insufferable asshole who exudes a blithe, rather uniquely white female sense of entitlement. Bakos believes that her whiteness has such intrinsic value that it trumps the downward pressure exerted on her sexual stock by her age, and has cannily decided to traffic her one remaining asset where it's literally most scarce, i.e. across the color line. The benefits of crossing the sexual border, though, obviously accrue to black women and white women differently, as those marriage numbers attest to, the rich (or at least those privileged by the current sexual regime) just getting richer. (This is a stretch aside, but Bakos unintentionally retraces an arc Judith Butler identified in the career of transsexual tennis player Renee Richards, where an ageing, mediocre white male player becomes a minor star after sex reassignment surgery. When power crosses a border it only gets more powerful, whether it's white women, transgender tennis players or the "straight acting" or "bi-curious" men so prized by certain classes of gay men.)

Bakos's story may be age specific, but her sense of entitlement is global. If you go to the online communities where black men and white women meet and greet, you can initially mistake what's going on for an upending of the existing sexual order, as women who might otherwise be deemed "unattractive" by the reigning sexual regime are suddenly sought-after commodities. Women who might have been seen as overly aggressive or loud can recast themselves as "straight-up gangsta vanilla" seeking "educated thugs." Women who might have viewed themselves as fat in comparison to mainstream images of white womanhood discover that it really is (sort of, in a way) true what they say about black men and ample asses. And of course, older, professional women with gym memberships and Upper East Side real estate find that their whiteness makes them exotic to certain black men, whereas to most white men they're just, well, themselves.

To black women, though, these transformed relations are racial business as usual where whiteness is privileged and blackness is scorned. From their POV, there isn't a busted white girl in America - two rangy kids, a dirty apartment, ten credits shy of her GED - who doesn't believe that under the right lighting and circumstances any black man from Tyson Beckford to Colin Powell will gladly get down on all fours to eat her out till her nose bleeds. From the myth of the black rapist to the Bakos myth of the irresistible 50 year old white knees, white fantasy, black male desire and black female invisibility remain constant.

There actually are great, tectonic shifts going on in how and why people who are different from each other fuck, but you won't hear about that from Susan Crain Bakos. She's a liar and hack, but most importantly, Susan Crain Bakos is an idiot.

Posted by ebogjonson at 4:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (16)

December 9, 2005

origin of future species

From Sci-fi.com. Hat tip Mike:

Edward James Olmos - Commander William Adama

Q: I cannot easily remember the last Latino cast member of a show set in space, and here you are as the commander of the entire ship. Do you feel that TV needs more of this kind of representation?

Olmos: Yes I do. ... I'm a total human being myself so all I can tell you is yeah, it feels really great and I think they should continue to move in that direction. Because the future really is in the hands of the culturally diverse. There's no way the European-based cultures are going to be able to replenish themselves as quickly as the non-European cultures do. So there's going to be a lot more Africans and a lot more Asians and a lot more Latinos than there will be Europeans a hundred years from today.

But that's what happens when colored bodies start slappin' across a relatively short evolutionary time frame.

Posted by ebogjonson at 10:01 AM | Permalink

December 8, 2005

racial switcheroo

From the Moonenite UPI. (Sorry.) Hat tip NABJ listerv.

The FX cable network will air a documentary series that switches the races of two families, which drastically changes their everyday lives.

Filmmaker R.J. Cutler and hip-hop actor Ice Cube produced the six-episode series, "Black. White.," in which makeup was used to turn a black family white and a white family black, Zap2it.com reported Wednesday.

"I'm really excited to be a part of a show that explores race in America," Ice Cube said. "'Black. White.' will force people to challenge themselves and really examine where we stand in terms of race in this country."

The Sparks family of Atlanta and the Wurgel family of Santa Monica, Calif., shared a home in Los Angeles for six weeks of filming during the summer.

"This series is an example of how television can be an extremely powerful and useful medium," Cutler said. "I believe the Sparks and Wurgels took a big chance but are better people for having done so."

The show is scheduled to bow in March.

Needless to say, I really can't wait.

The set-up and casting for this show suggests a fairly low level engagement with the great BOGish, alchemical work (which is to say, with the physical transmutation of black men into white and vice versa). What will likely happen is that the two families will be asked to "live like" the other while Cube cracks wise, which may tell us more about class in LA than race.

One can, however, imagine a 2.0 version of the show that involved the deployment of "passable" families firmly associated with specific polarities - a light skinned black family, or some curly haired Sicilians perhaps. Full on racial prosthesis may be another solution, although, the BOGish work of transmutation is as easily frustrated by glitches in the software as it logistical problems associated with the wet stuff.

One question though: what is the official Moonenite position on BOGish transmutation? All those group marriages, did they mix the races up as well?

Posted by ebogjonson at 2:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 6, 2005

mulattonator

Fairly hilarious travel video from the 80s featuring California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (then just a hunk of celebrity man meat) grabbing ass and staring at Brazilian ladies during Carnival. Super money quotes:

To brazilians, especially men, the mulatto is the symbol of everything sexy and erotic. During carnival gorgeous mulatto bodies begin move in ways that even a fitness expert like me can't believe. One thing I do believe: they must be very healthy.

You know something? after watching the mulattos shake it, I can absolutely understand why Brazil is totally devoted to my favorite body part, the ass."

See the here. Logrolling hat tip to the HuffPuff.

You know, not to defend der Arnold, but those of you who know me know I'm not exactly mad at the Brazilian mulatto ass. My verbiage about such things is structured slightly differently than the Governator's, and I'm not wired in a manner that mighty allow me to gape so stupidly and open-mouthed (on camera), or to hump the nearest dancer with such clumsy heavy-hippedness. Still, there's a whiff of false liberal piety and prudery to some reactions to the vid. It's an embarassment, not a sex scandal.

One question though - is that a sequined tranny der Arnold is cavorting with at one point? Just wondering...

Posted by ebogjonson at 12:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 14, 2005

what is B.O.G.? part 1



This meme is picking up steam in my circle of friends. (You can buy the shirt here if so inclined.)

More comments later when I'm done with some work.

Posted by ebogjonson at 3:27 PM | Permalink