Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Speaking of Giving...

How much do I wish I had written this article?

The NY Times has a gift guide for people of color this year. And, sadly, not surprisingly, people (mostly white people, apparently) are calling it racist. Here are a few excerpts for those of you who don't have time to click (but trust me; it's worth a click)

Culturally, all people are not the same and it is ignorant to believe otherwise. The politically correct belief that everyone is and should be exactly alike - which, in reality, tends to mean that all should share the same interests as the majority - actually serves to strip people from different cultures of the richness of their heritage and limits our society.

Would the criers of "racist" claim that in addition to cultural traits, all hair textures and facial features should be identical? Should they all be that of a Caucasian person? Follow the logic down this path and the proponents of a "colorblind" society start to sound racist.

"But what if the NY Times had a section of gifts by white people for white people?" some ask. I would argue that it already does. That's what its regular gift section is.
By Lola Adesioye for The Grio, 12/14/09

The rest is equally as brilliant. Check it out.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.


CrackerLilo said...

Gods, that last sentence, ain't it the damn truth. Thank you for referring me to this.

As a white person, I did feel a bit hinky about it at first, but I saw that black and multiracial people in my life had no problem with it and even kinda liked it in some cases. So I figured I wasn't going to be oversensitive *for* them, if they didn't feel like it was necessary for themselves.

2 Dollar Productions said...

Thanks for the link, and it was a thoughtful, reasonable and well-written piece, which doesn't usually happen when anything having to do with an even slightly controversial race issue comes up. And I had missed this whole thing with the gift guide.

BostonPobble said...

Cracker Lilo ~ And a difference there is, as a white person, you were feeling hinky *for* your friends of color. Most of the comments calling racism were white people upset because *they* were being left out. *sigh*

$$ ~ Yes, race discussions devolve quickly, which is the last thing any of us need, considering how desperately we need to have the conversations in the first place. Glad you appreciated. :)

Neo_Prodigy said...

Speaking as a POC I'm gonna have to play devil's advocate for a second.

The problem with this list is something I've seen to often from clueless white people. "Gee, what ever do I give my black friend. Hey how about this gift. It's something pertaining to black people and he's black, he'll have to love it."

It's one thing if the person you're getting the gift for already has an interest in it, such as skin care, modeling, etc. , then yes these would be excellent gifts for POCs but I fear the message being sent is, can't find a black gift for your black friend, then get something from this list.

My question is why don't white folks get these gifts for other white people? This would go a long way towards broadening horizons and opening them up to a culture that exists within their country. Why not by that Obama book for a little white boy or little white girl?

Thing is, you suggest that, and most white folks will look at you like you have leprosy.

BostonPobble said...

Neo-Prodigy ~ This is actually my bitch about ALL gift guides. They are generic and have that same sense of ignorance about them. The issue, imo, isn't if it's a good gift guide (which is an oxymoron if you ask me). The issue is if it is the ever popular "reverse racism", e.g. "what about a WHITE gift guide, hmmmm????? what makes them so special???? Hmmmm????", or not.

Should the book on the president and Justice Sotomayor be on every gift guide for American kids this year, regardless of skin color and ethnicity? Yep. Is it racist to have a gift guide for POCs because it "leaves out" the white folks? Oh hell no. And *that* I believe is the larger issue here.

Meanwhile, feel free to suggest to anyone that they get your white friend out here Hair Rules products or makeup by Iman. I promise I won't look at you like you've got leprosy. :D:D:D:D

Neo_Prodigy said...

" it racist to have a gift guide for POCs because it "leaves out" the white folks? "


In that case then, yes you are absolutely right. LOL!

Oh and speaking of presents, the must have gift this season for any POC, a nice big bottle of White Woman Tears.

Because that gift never gets old. ;D

Rose said...

I can't imagine anyone having the nerve to complain about the list. After all almost every single list I've seen was totally geared to white people. People need to stop this crap or we'll never get past these issues. It's just suggestions which by the way I wasn't interested in any, or maybe I would get the book by fine Hill Harper.