Racist New York: Mmmhhmm gurrrl

Last week I went to a free show in red hook (Brooklyn) and not surprisingly, the fact that Das Racist was playing didn’t stop some white demons from being racist. Before you go all “OOOH MY GOD did she just write white demons???” bear in mind that it’s a reference to Das Racist ‘cus they have used the line during live shows. Also, COLONIALISM! I mean, if that wasn’t demonic…

Alright, alright, back to the show. There I was having fun and dancing to the sophisticated and badass sound of Action Bronson. Ok, I was most likely simply swaying back and forth ‘cus I got little rhythm. In front of me, there was a group of three girls enjoying the music as well as me, although more competently aligning their bodily movements and gyrations to the beat. To my right, there was this group of high school kids trying to move like rappers (especially this one tall kid) but looking instead like they had weirdly coordinated muscle spasms in their neck and one of their arms.

In case you assumed these girls were white ‘cus you know white is still the norm in our society, they were black. During the short break between the Action Bronson and Das Racist show, one of the girls got REALLY excited for some reason. It might have been because there was a hot guy on stage or in the VIP area or she remembered something hilarious – I have no idea. Regardless, she displayed her excitement quite strepitously. I think she was even jumping up and down at one point. All of a sudden I hear the white tall high school kid going:

“Mmmmmmmhhhmmmmm Gurrrrrrrrrrrl”

All while snapping his fingers and ungracefully wobbling his head in a “Oh no you didn’t” fashion. What the hell? These girls were having a ball, joking around, having a hilarious moment together and this idiot feels the need to interject with the so-called Z snap (according to urban dictionary), often used to portray the racist “Black Ghetto Girl” stereotype. Why? If other than black or non-white latina girls were making a raucous, would he have done the Z snap? I highly doubt it.

I guess if your black or latina and you’re being loud, mind you, WITH YOUR FRIENDS and at a show it’s like “Oh the z snap is coming!”

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Racist New York

This may come as a surprise to all of you but my range of interests do extend beyond New York City. Yes, I promise. I spend a lot of time learning and talking about race and racism, as well as trying to understand myself as a member of a racialized group. Although I’m not sure if constantly engaging in a racial analysis of the world around me is an interest as much as it is a necessity.

It is then with my new section, “Racist New York”, that I seek to intersect these two powerful subjects I devote considerable time thinking about: racial theory and New York. This section will focus on dismantling racial stereotypes that exist in New York City such as the thug, the JAP, the chola, etc... I will seek to understand their origins, multiple implications, evolutions, and their contribution in maintaining different systems of oppression including — but not exclusively — patriarchy and white supremacy.

I first thought of naming the section “Stereotypical New Yorkers” and making it a humorous section. However, I think it will be more valuable to unmask the racism behind stereotypization.

Please look forward to my next posts!

Love