Are They Racist?
There was an interesting story at Slate yesterday about some music critics who are accusing Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields of being a racist. At the recent Experience Music Project conference, in Seattle, Merritt had the sheer balls to suggest that "Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah," from the racist Disney musical Song of the South (the South!) is a great song. Also, he once made a list of the best songs from each year of the 20th century or some such, and his list only had 11 black artists on it.
I don't know whether this fudge (he's an actual fudge) is a racist or not, but the Slate article brings up an interesting point. Just because a white guy doesn't like black music, does that make him a racist? What about all these black d-bags you find on the Internets that are so vocal about their distaste for all things white, especially white music? It's the rare occasion that you find any young crackety-cracks who don't listen to at least a little hip-hop, but there's plenty of jigs who listen to pretty much nothing but music created by other jigs.
I suppose black people who don't listen to white music aren't racist - or at least aren't as racist - based on the theory once put forth by important black leader Kevin Powell, in an episode of MTV's once-great The Real World, that black people can't be racist because black people don't control anything in this country. Also, since so much so-called white music is based on black musical forms, you can't really claim to like white music without tacitly admitting to liking some form of black music.
One current example would be the young crackety-cracks who listen to the reggae artist Matisyahu. Discounting the stoner classic Legend (which also kinda sucks - face it), I can't imagine that very many of these bags ever listened to a reggae CD a day in their life before that douche bag came along. Does that make them racist?
- Blacklisted [Slate]