Miley Twerk. Racism Jerk.

Read: http://jezebel.com/on-miley-cyrus-ratchet-culture-and-accessorizing-with-514381016?utm_source=recirculation&utm_medium=recirculation&utm_campaign=afternoon

So. Many. Thoughts.

I was just going to post this on Facebok and be like DISCUSS. But then my brain got to working and my fingers got to typing and well. This:

1. Could we not – for arguments sake, say that with Miley’s “I am a grown ass woman” phase that she is trying to distance herself as far away as possible from say super pristine artists like Taylor Swift? A strong antifeminist with a serious case of I hate all the boys but will keep dating all the boys but never talk about the sexing of the boys because I must maintain a Christian virgin like look? Cyrus talks about doing “lines in the bathroom” doing Molly and smoking weed which like cool girl do you. She is clearly trying something new for herself. Much like trying on new new clothing styles sometimes it takes a few different looks before you find a perfect fit.

2. The whole “gangsta” thing has taken over the fashion world, and while sometimes I do see it as people going a bit too far and not understanding the culture that they are all of a sudden repping, it also seems wrong to get mad at white people who take an interest in other lifestyles. Like white people DO listen to rap. White people DO live in the projects. No a white person is never going to be a black person, but wasn’t the point of our parents fighting so hard in the 60’s so that we could not use color as a descriptor? ALSO just because you were raised a certain way, it does not mean that adult you will remain that way. Young kid grows up in the hood – goes to college – becomes a lawyer. Yes he is still from where he is from, but his kids will never know that life, and he will assimilate himself into the world that he is now a part of.

3. Of COURSE Miley was raised on Disney and all things white as fuck. So of course there is a bit of discomfort to see her twerking, and you do wonder why she is in fact doing this SO hard. But at the same time I don’t feel this to be an act of someone ignoring their privilege or trying to monopolize off a culture.

4. Recently in New York I have seen tons of black kids wearing Abercrombie and Hollister – which I think everyone would agree are both pretty god damn white and or WASPY. Does the conversation go both ways? Are white kids allowed to be like: stop coping our look? Or because of their so societal/racial privilege are they not allowed? If a white person wants to dress in the clothes that they see in rap videos, and dance as they see black artists dancing are they immediately being backwards? If a black kid dresses in super preppy clothes and starts speaking a certain way are we to tell him to stop acting white?

I am the product of white parents. And growing up I often heard from black kids that I spoke funny. That I dressed funny. That __________ about me was funny. White kids often joked that I was “the whitest black person” that they knew. I was stuck in a weird place, I loved to skateboard and I listened to both rap and post hardcore. I shopped at Pac Sun and wore skater clothes, and would often get looks from black kids or hear snickers and comments about how “white” I was. So because of my skin color what the fuck was I supposed to wear? Is there a book that I wasn’t given at birth for each race depicting what it is that they are allowed to present as?

Elvis took black music and made millions off it. But did he take it as to rob black people from it? Or did he fall in love with it and want to make that kind of music himself? Amy Winehouse’s sound echoes of black artists, should we have told her to shut up and go love someone else’s sound? If the appreciation of those who did something before you is there, and you recognize who made this style possible can you still not do it yourself?

Paula Deen is under fire because of allegedly throwing around the N word and having black “slaves” serve at one of her parties.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/06/20/193913397/stuff-you-might-have-missed-in-the-paula-deen-brouhaha
Now if we want to talk about some back ass ways of race. This is a blaring one. When I first started reading about the allegations I started thinking about when I opened Huckleberry Finn for the first time. At the beginning Mark Twain explains why the book has uses of the N word; he explains that during that time in the south this is how people talked, he was telling a story about that time period and therefore felt it was necessary to include how people actually spoke and interacted. I respected that. How can you tell a story if you are sugarcoating it to make modern day readers feel “comfortable”. Deen on the other hand is using the history of the south as an excuse to further her own racism. It is absolutely astounding that she feels that in 2013 she can hide behind the past as a way to be blatantly racist.

While we are on the topic of the N word. White people. I need you to stop saying nigga I don’t give a flying fuck how many black friends you have, you sound like an ignorant idiot. Oh but nigga and nigger are two different words! Nigga is like totally slang. Oh? Why don’t you start calling you gay friends fags? And while you’re at it the next older black person you meet kindly greet them with a: whats up my nigga. Please let me know how that goes for you. I will be here waiting patiently.

5. I see so many white people dressing pretty much identically to Miley in this video DAILY in Brooklyn. Are we to not believe that it is possible that Miley does hang out with black people? And is genuinely interested in their style? Does it not go both ways? In the sense that when a group of black people see a white girl or guy that can break it down they FREAK THE FUCK OUT. Like: Oh damn for a white girl you can fucking dance. IS that not just as wrong?

Look race is a fucking tricky subject. And is something that we will debate about for years. It makes me HELLA uncomfortable when white people talk to me about how ashamed they are for their white privilege. I literally do not know what the fuck to say. I get equally as uncomfortable when black queers talk about throwing parties for other black queers and only black queers. Maybe because of how I was raised, in a very racially mixed family my views on race conflict with many others. And I won’t say that my views are 100% correct or more relevant than anyone else’s. I do think that conversations about race need to happen. And I do think that people need to recognize what they are projecting to the world with their word choices along with making attempts in understand why certain things are offensive to other races. Sensitivity and understanding along with open dialogue. That is all I’m asking for.

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2 thoughts on “Miley Twerk. Racism Jerk.

  1. All the questions you raised were really on point. I’m a white queer female person. I think that you’d really enjoy an article called the Default by Kartina Marchand in Salon a couple months ago. It was about whiteness and blackness and this concept she coined called the default, where essentially by being the default race in america (everyone is assumed white until otherwised noted; “that man” vs “that black man” etc) white people have robbed themselves of their ability to have an ethnic culture, which is why you see white people performing acts of cultural appropriation to escape being the default – the problem being do white people escape that? Anyway this is a super long and rambling comment, so I hope you just read the article! I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Keep writing, I love your work.

    heres a link to the article: http://www.salon.com/2013/04/25/how_can_white_americans_be_free/

  2. My main problem with Miley her current video, and twerking to juicy J, is that like it or not she is a role model for many young women. Young women should not be taught that is the way to garner attention nor is idolizing misogynistic lyrics. Now as a grown ass woman I get down and have twerked and thats ok but I recognize it for what it is, a overt sexualization of myself. Just like high heels are the modern equivalent to chinese foot binding. I recently ended up at a waka flocka concert and 13-14 year old girls were onstage twerking because they believe its cool and acceptable to objectify themselves. It sickened me, I was profoundly saddened. Lupe fiasco articulated it well in Bitch Bad, on Food & Liquor II.
    As for the racial aspect of her recent actions I can’t really say anything poignant, I am a white girl raised by white people. However I think there’s an inherent irony that a rich privileged girl is acting and playing into the “ratchet culture” but thats her thing and I cant say much against it.

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