Media tagged Whiteness

Chappelle Show- Racial Draft

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This 2004 satirical clip from the Chappelle Show begins with a discussion of arguments related to multiracial identity. "We have got to start arguing about who is what,” Chappelle says. “We need to settle this once and for all. We need to have a draft." Following the style of a draft for the NFL or NBA, one by one a representative from different racial and ethnic groups comes to the podium, selecting famous athletes, entertainers and other prominent social figures to “officially” be a part of their racial group. Among the picks, Tiger Woods is claimed by African Americans, Lenny Kravitz by Jews, and the Wu Tang Clan by the Asian delegation.

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Chris Rock, Message for White Voters (2012)

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This political advertisement parody by African American comedian Chris Rock aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live shortly before Election Day in 2012. Given that, according to Kimmel, Romney was still far ahead among white voters, Chris Rock took the opportunity to present a recorded message specifically targeted at white people. "In times like these you need a white president you can trust," Rock says, "and that president's name is Barack Obama." Rock proceeds to use a variety of facts to "prove" Obama's whiteness.

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CNN: Debate on the N-Word

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In this segment, CNN host Don Lemon leads a panel discussion on the use of the "n-word" by talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger."Dr. Laura," as she is known on the air, gives advice to callers about relationships and other social problems.  On August 10, 2010, a caller who self-identified as a black woman married to a white man, criticized Schlessinger for her use of the "n-word." Schlessinger responded that the caller had "too much sensitivity...and not enough sense of humor" and defended her use of the term by comparing herself to "black comedians." Lemon's guests include Jill Merritt, founder of the Abolish the N-Word Project, John Ridley, writer and commentator, and Tim Wise, a white anti-racism activist. All three guests agree that the problem of racism in the U.S. goes far beyond simply using the "n-word." Lemon speculates that discussion of the term--who can say it, when, and where--may actually distract people from the systemic forms of racism that persist in society. Wise observes that whether or not the term should be used is something for black people to sort out and that white people should not be involved. Merritt rejects all uses of the word, arguing that it is fundamentally racist and cannot be recuperated or stripped of its associations with history and violence.

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Dave Chapelle-White People Can't Dance

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In the introduction to this sketch from Season 2 of the Chappelle show, aired in 2004, Dave Chappelle recounts some of the negative feedback that he had received for presenting what he refers to as “racially charged sketches.” He concedes that stereotypical jokes can often lack subtly, and for this sketch, decides to reassess the idea that “white people can’t dance” – a stereotype often perpetuated by whites and blacks alike. Chappelle puts forth his hypothesis: white people can indeed dance as long as they’re listening to the right music. With help from guitarist John Mayer, Chappelle tests his hypothesis in a variety of settings, including a “control group” of Latino and African Americans. The final scene includes an “impromptu” encounter with a pair of police officers - one black and one white - and concludes with the maxim, “people of earth, no matter what your instrument, keep dancing.”

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Dear Young Man of Color - spoken word film

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“Dear Young Man of Color” is a spoken word piece written and performed by poet Fong Tran that takes the form of a letter to young men of color, addressing systemic, institutional, interpersonal, internalized, and intersectional racial, gender, and class oppression. Speaking from the center of a group of young men of color standing with and framing him, Tran covers topics such as the criminalization of black and brown bodies, the impact of African American, Latino, Asian, and class stereotypes, cultural appropriation, intersectional race, class, and gender oppression, colonization, immigration, the school to prison pipeline, police brutality, and resiliency and activism against oppression. The text of his original poem can be found here.

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