Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I'm not going to say that I hate U. of C. people. And I will not use the term "Frontin'" at all. But there is just this big group of white people who think that bridging racial barriers means pretending to be black, a la Steve Martin in Bringing Down the House. Ugh! In my age group (28-35) it's a bunch of people whose only interaction with African Americans was watching the Cosby Show and maybe liking some hip hop. Now that MTV went beyond YO! MTV raps, it's a bunch of white kids (16-27) who think all black people must love Jay Z and talk "ghetto." Guess what? It's possible, really - to like hip hop and not dress in Fubu head to toe. It's also possible to be white, and hang out with non-white people, and not have to ape their culture to appreciate it. Same thing applies to non-white people, you're not "acting white" by having a white friend. It's even possible to enjoy aspects of someone else's culture without exploiting it. You CAN like ethnic foods without having to wear a costume. What is all this playing dress-up instead of actually hanging out with people or learning about them outside of a college class? Parents, what have you taught your children?
There really is a fine line when it comes to cultural blending - where does a genuine appreciation or enthusiasm for a culture by an outsider stop being nice and start being insulting? I have no idea where it starts or ends, but I will opine that the U of C party sounds like a bunch of white youngsters who purport to be "street" and tell their friends that they live on the "south side" even though they probably don't leave the campus...ever. And that's not cool. And if you are in the camp that thinks it's ridiculous that this made the paper, well yeah, it is I guess. Those kids don't deserve this kind of attention.
Chicago Tribune | U. of C. gets rap for theme of party