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Basic Bitches, Hate Labels and an Amazing Kreayshawn Remix

By on Apr 17, 2014 in Culture, Gotta Hear This Music, Media, Politics, Racism |

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, among them Slate’s Double X Gabfest. In a recent podcast they discussed the concept of the “basic bitch.” Immediately I thought of Kreayshawn’s 2011 hit, “Gucci Gucci” which proclaims “Gucci Gucci Fendi Vendi Prada: basic bitches wear that shit so I don’t even bother.” At one point in the show one of the hosts declared she wanted a remix of that song, and I am here to supply. How can I resist when Party Ben’s remix is so damn good? The hosts discussed basic bitches as compared to hipsters. They seem to me to be perfect binary opposites. Both groups are lashing out at the presumptions they expect from their counterpart. The basic bitch thinks the hipster is uppity for not following social conventions (I gave a perfect example of this in my first article on hipsters, sourced...

Why There Are Riots Tonight in Oakland

By on Jul 8, 2010 in Culture, Politics, Racism | 4 comments

I wasn’t surprised that officer Mehserle wasn’t convicted of murder despite all the video footage and witnesses of him shooting an unarmed teenager. I first had my suspicions when Forum reported there wasn’t a single black person on the jury. But then I took heart in thinking that the prosecution would want a whiter jury so it would be harder for the defense to appeal. Besides, the victim, Oscar Grant, was hand-cuffed face down with another police officer’s foot on his neck. So for weeks I held out some hope for a verdict of second-degree murder. Mehserle claims that he accidentally grabbed his gun when he meant to grab his taser. I asked an ex-cop about this and he doesn’t think such a thing is possible. For one thing, a gun is much heaver than a taser and tasers are designed to have mechanisms that don’t work like firearms to prevent exactly this...

Hard to Keep Up With How Much the World Sucks

By on Dec 12, 2007 in Politics, Racism |

Maybe my blog posts are so depressing and fatalistic because it seems like I live behind a veil of privelige that screens me from the things that are happening in the world. Nay, the things my country is doing in the world. Activist lawyer Bill Quigley recently emailed us a long story about the thirty-three mistakes of Katrina, deliberate or otherwise. Briefing them is beyond the scope of this blog, but you may read them for yourself at Counterpunch: How to Destroy an African American City in 33 Steps. But this is not the miscarriage of justice that makes me feel the veil is lifted momentarily. I Stumbled Upon an article about the things they don’t show in the pictures of Abu Ghraib. Charges of children being held at the camp, children being rapedand tortured so that their parents might confess to crimes. Women were passing out messages “saying ‘Please come and kill...

Update On the Neighbors

By on Aug 23, 2007 in Class, Culture, Environment, Racism |

I am classist after all! I was saying hi to my neighbor the other day, he is about my age, Mexican, drives an SUV. I got up the will to confront him about throwing away furniture. I told him about the place up the street where they take furniture donations. He said that that wasn’t their furniture at all. Random people had been dumping it by our trash. That is why they had started locking the gate at night (another thing they were doing that was really annoying because it doesn’t make me any safer and it takes extra time). All it took was a little communication. Now to figure out why he’s driving that gas-guzzler. To make matters worse, I found out that their aunt used to live in this apartment before she died. So at that time they had this whole complex all to themselves, one big happy extended family. I feel like an intruder. No wonder they are polite. We are like a...

This Blogger’s White Privilege is Showing

By on Aug 10, 2007 in All, Class, Environment, Racism |

My Mexican neighbors keep throwing away their furniture. I don’t know how they go through it so quickly, but once a month or so I will see sofas and pillows and dining chairs stacked by the trash, like a big-boned house of cards. I wonder how many tissues, crushed soda cans and credit card offers I can fit in the space these will take up in the landfill. If they were white, I would ask them about it. I would ask whether they knew there was a thrift store three blocks up that will sell their furniture for the benefit of disabled children. I would say that I know a guy there who would walk the three blocks with a dolly to come get the stuff. But they are not white. They are first generation immigrants living the American dream: a gas-guzzler in the driveway and furniture that matches the carpeting. Herein lies the disconnect between us: conservation activism is a luxury. It is only...

Frank Talk About Racism and Classism

By on Mar 25, 2007 in Class, Culture, Racism |

I was sitting on a bench during my ten-minute break from work when I was approached by a young black man with dreds. His clothes were shabby and his eyes were damaged and baggy from the level of exhaustion that usually only comes with the assistance of drugs. He offered me a quarter to use my cell phone. This reminded me of my boyfriend, who looks a little like a “terrorist.” We had an argument once because he walked a mile home to use the phone rather than asking a person on the street to use theirs. He told me that it never works and people usually get scared or annoyed. He would rather walk the mile than ask. So it ocurred to me that it wasn’t easy for this man to approach me. I also thought of all of the things my racist and classist culture has taught me: that he must be desparate and willing to do anything, that he is jealous of my luxury and riches and will...