May 1, 2012

The "Ironic Racism" Crisis

From the Chicago Tribune:
Trayvon Martin, Kony 2012, L.A. riots -- and now 'hipster racism'
Matthew Pearce 
The Trayvon Martin case, the"Kony 2012" phenomenon, the L.A. riots anniversary.... The conversation about race in America never went away. Now a new discussion about so-called hipster racism has brought the talk to the millennials, and it's gotten a little awkward. 
Among the questions: Is hipster racism real? Is it any different from more traditional racism? Or is all this talk just the byproduct of a generation that barely remembers Rodney King and O.J. Simpson and has no idea how to talk about race? 

20 comments:

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Of course hipster racism is real. The hipster guys are terrified to the point of peeing their pants over black violence, how could it not be real w/all the downstream implications of submission and subordination required by this fear.

White hipsters are pussies, plain and simple. They want to make nice so black guys don't injure them or rape their (white) girlfriends. Basically, they exist at the forbearance of black folks. They deserve everything they get, as do all the rest of us.

Gen. Patton said...

When your grandson asks you what you did during the great Hipster Racism wars of 2012, you won't have to say, "Well, I was submitting reviews to Bateflix"

Thomas said...

The issue put much more succinctly: the youth vote Obama could count on will come out for Axelrod's flimflam "postracial candidate" but not the divide-and-conquer Chicago wardheeler we got in the White House. That makes for a bona fide crisis in an election year.

Whiskey said...

Subtext: White hipsters have rejected Black culture nearly 100%. Not surprising, Rap is not very attractive if you're not a thug, and/or posture as one. So it has little to offer hipsters. Since those guys (hipsters) wield outsize influence on culture, that has significant effects.

Anonymous said...

Subtext: White hipsters have rejected Black culture nearly 100%. Not surprising, Rap is not very attractive if you're not a thug, and/or posture as one. So it has little to offer hipsters. Since those guys (hipsters) wield outsize influence on culture, that has significant effects.

Actually there are black hipsters:

http://www.theroot.com/views/rise-black-hipster

Also I'm not sure hipsters have an "outsize influence". They seem to mainly influence other hipsters. It's a very solipsistic subculture. Many normal whites despise hipsters and SWPLs and reject their ways.

Aaron B. said...

This "hipster racism" stuff is just a reminder that anyone can be accused, so you better watch it! Racism isn't just for Southerners and conservatives, and being a good liberal and supporting all the right causes won't protect you for certain. If you cross a line -- even one they invented after you crossed it -- and you're white (or whitish, as in the case of Zimmerman), they will do their best to destroy you.

I like how they claim we don't know "how to talk about race." As if we're allowed to! That's the whole point of this stuff: to make everyone so terrified of being called racist that no one goes anywhere near the topic. It's not that we don't know how to talk about race; it's that we've spent years in schools and sensitivity training learning how to NOT talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Hipsters (and gays) have a rather more nuanced take on race than their generational cohort. They are usually the vanguard of whiteness into the reclaimed old sections of cities, like Brooklyn and Boston's South End. They see the minority community in all its unvarnished dysfunctional glory, and slowly begin to understand that their lying eyes may not be lying after all.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this is getting attention. Back in my hipster days I was painfully aware that all the hipsters were white, lived in white neighborhoods, had all white friends, listened to music only listened to by other whites, had SWPL tastes. And yet they carried this air of moral superiority about not being racist like all those other horrible white people. Of course none of this was ever mentioned in polite company.

Chicago said...

Hipsters and all the rest of these little identifiable subgroups are the ultimate conformists and group-thinkers. It's all pose and affectation. They wear the same type clothing (Salvation Army scruffy), have their hair suitably tousled, talk in the same way. Once one unwraps the package there's nothing there. It's just one uniform by which those under thirty can pick a peer group to kick around with, much like people in years gone by would have joined a compatible bowling league and worn the league's shirt.
So-called hipsters, SWPL and the rest usually have the conceit that they hold the high ground of being with-it. That they avoid the ghetto like lesser folks do isn't something they like to talk about much, preferring to throw up elaborate verbal smoke-screens instead. Just more me-too-ism.

Anonymous said...

Hipsters can't afford to move away from black people the way rich white yuppie types can. They try, and they have special neighboorhoods, but they know that if mommy and daddy stop sending them a check every month they will have to move into a NAM neighborhood. This is terrifying to them.

Anonymous said...

Hipsters (and gays) have a rather more nuanced take on race than their generational cohort. They are usually the vanguard of whiteness into the reclaimed old sections of cities, like Brooklyn and Boston's South End. They see the minority community in all its unvarnished dysfunctional glory, and slowly begin to understand that their lying eyes may not be lying after all.

Gays are like the minority community though in their low future time orientation, their sexual promiscuity, their urbanization, their politics, their aggressiveness and impulsiveness, their STDs, etc. Hipsters aren't this bad but there may be things such as high promiscuity, disease, politics, urbanization, etc. as well.

Anonymous said...

You're posting too fast Steve, this topic demands longer at the top for more discussion.
I'd love to see how the hipsters react to this. Will they say that the definition of racism has gotten ridiculous? Or will they try to be inclusive? I'd love to see hipsters trying to get NAMs to appreciate Modest Mouse and other indie rock crap. Sounds like a great comedy skit.

David said...

>Hipsters and all the rest of these little identifiable subgroups are the ultimate conformists and group-thinkers.<

Accusing the others of racism is an effective way to stand out from the crowd.

not a hacker said...

I think I met my first hipster in 1982 in San Francisco, where I went to law school. I was walking behind this kid with green hair who was holding a Mountain Dew can. Suddenly he flung it up and over the wall separating the street from my school's courtyard. Middle-class me was enraged by this insouciant dismissal of bourgeois standards, so I grabbed him by the neck and marched him up there to pick it up. Made him apologize too.

Anonymous said...

"Ironic racism" is definitely a turn of the millenium, mainly American phenomenon.

I remember being a Brit kid talking to Yank kids around 2003-2008, and being surprised by this weird, to me, phenomenon.

It's common in South Park, so isn't just confined to Millenials, but among Gen X tastemakers.

I think the serious point about all this "hipster racism" and "ironic racism" is that really, it's a sign that no one believes the establishment line but they aren't willing to put their neck on the line and say, regardless of whether they think the phenomenon is cultural or genetic:

"These things, they're jokes, so it's exaggerated. But in a much smaller way, and on a smaller scale, this is what these people are really like.

And it is ridiculous to ask us to put these people centre stage and excoriate ourselves about what they are or aren't, or treat them as particularly something worthy of emulation, or to be learned from, rather than just another bunch of people with their own problems, perhaps somewhat more than ours.

These are hard times. The world is competitive and globalised, and there is no guarantee of anything much for the Millenial Generation. And there isn't time and money for any fluffy thinking."

Slabjob Pwozak said...

Have these people realized that, e.g., 'South Park' has been a thing, with sarcastic jokes, about race, for nearly 15 years now? Do they really not acknowledge any cultural precedent for "ironic" jokes about racism?

I'm pretty sure Steve is posting so much about this topic because he's as bemusedly credulous as I am that this is even a subject of critical debate.

Anonymous said...

Subtext: White hipsters have rejected Black culture nearly 100%. Not surprising, Rap is not very attractive if you're not a thug, and/or posture as one. So it has little to offer hipsters. Since those guys (hipsters) wield outsize influence on culture, that has significant effects.

The kind of Blacks who'd rock a zoot suit or an afro, in this day and age, those kind of Blacks are the kind hipsters will embrace.

But their dismissal of thugs and gangstas is absolute and crushing. And this isn't anything it oughtn't to be. They get that it's an affection or a sign of a poor lifestyle choice.

Gangsta rap is what they grew up with - its kitsch and dated and isn't something that you can really have nostalgia for, once you grow up and you're exposed to the real things in life.

That hipster recognition of that though, is a barometer of where youth culture is going, not a causal factor.

Paul Mendez said...

Hipsters and all the rest of these little identifiable subgroups are the ultimate conformists and group-thinkers.

EVERYONE is a conformist and group-thinker. The most annoying types of conformists, in fact, are the "nonconformists" so prevalent at the Occupy Wall Street protests.

"Always remember that you are unique, just like everyone else."

Anonymous said...

In a way, 'hipster racism' makes perfect sense.
Even since the 1950s, young people liked to be hip, and part of being hip was to be anti-square, to pull the rug from under the establishment, to offend mainstream sensibilities, to be edgy and daring, to say things no one dare say... yet also to remain aloof and above it all.

It was easy to be hip in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s against Catholic Church, sexual censorship, 50s conformism, and various other forms of conservatism. There were so many sacred cows to target, to mock, and laugh at. It was once daring to start a new nudie magazine or crack a joke about the Pope.

But what sacred cows exist anymore? There is open sewage porn available to just about any kid, cable TV is filled with F-words all over, rap music openly celebrates violence and thuggery, and etc. And pornified pop music culture is filled with whores.
Mad Magazine was hip in the 1950s. Now, stuff like FAMILY GUY fills the air in prime time for the whole family.

The ONLY sacred cow left is political correctness, and the biggest sacred cow within PC is the cult of MLK and 'racism'.
So, the only way one can be edgy and different--and stick out--is to say something about race that ruffles feathers.
It's the only way to save hipsterism since there's nothing else to be hipsterish about in a world without sacred cows to bust.

So, liberals face a problem. They wanna monopolize hipsterism but the only way to be edgy today is to be a 'hipster racist'--or maybe a 'hipster homophobe'.
Liberals wanna own hipsterism but carry on like schoolmarms about 'racism' and even throw hysterical fits and associate a harmless joke on twitter with the acts of the KKK. They are so unhip.

Svigor said...

The ONLY sacred cow left is political correctness, and the biggest sacred cow within PC is the cult of MLK and 'racism'.

Wrong. The Jewish Narrative trumps the Black Narrative. The Holocaust is way more sacred than MLK.