Posted by
• 05.07.12 02:40 pm

NPR discussed “Hipster Racism” with our own Kyria Abrahams, Jezebel’s Dodai Stewart Lindy West and Racialicious’ Andrea Plaid. The short version is: Kyria slayed. 

Here’s the long version…

Accusations of racism have become so ubiquitous, they’ve diluted their meaning down to nothing so, in a desperate plea to breathe life back into their dying cause, the PC left is re-inventing the brand. Now it’s called “Hipster Racism” or “Ironic Racism” and many of us are guilty of it without even knowing.


Fortunately, sunlight is the best disinfectant and nothing shows the sheer idiocy of this whole thing more than a brief conversation. When pressed to give examples of this new insidious form of racism, the PC left cites the way Kyria talks to her black/Hispanic boyfriend and the lack of “people of color” on an HBO show. For this particular discussion, the host decided to choose a “racist” ad for Pop Chips that featured Ashton Kutcher doing an Indian accent.

Though the show is introduced with this example, it is abandoned quicker than you can say Peter Sellers. Without mentioning the merit of the chips accusation, the panel trudged back to the tyranny of clichés and provided zero actual examples of this happening in real life.

Here Andrea Plaid tells us intent doesn’t matter and if someone is offended, you need to listen to that person. No matter how trivial it may sound. She also tells us that race mixers are often just as racist because they are practicing fetishism.

Then she says Hugh Grant was being racist when he approached a black sex worker and said, “I like your big lips” and “I like your skin.” Plaid would have preferred if he liked the “sex worker” for her personality. I’m not kidding. Listen to it.

Here Kyria points out that people are not, in fact, running around making nigger jokes. Where are all the examples of this horrible secret racism that’s looming over us? Can we have one? Ashton Kutcher didn’t last long. What else ya got?

Lindy West comes on and says that Kyria can say things in private to her boyfriend because that’s her business. (Thanks Lindy). “But” Lindy adds, “People aren’t just saying these things in private. They’re saying them on the street … and around people they don’t know.” They are? Who is?

Then a caller says that when people say things aren’t racist, they’re racist. Kyria comes back with,

“So ..if I say I’m not racist, I’m automatically a racist and the only way for me to not be a racist is to say, ‘well, everybody’s a little bit racist and I guess I’m a racist so I’ll try really hard not to be.’ That’s not acceptable to me. I am not going to be guilted into a false confession of racism as if I don’t know what’s in my heart and mind. If I say I’m not racist. I’m not racist.”

Then someone asks why black people are allowed to make racist jokes. Andrea Plaid fields the question and in between stutters, she says Louis CK is the expert on this. As Kyria later points out, this is a strange defense because Louis CK is the guy who said he once caught himself thinking “That nigger really made the shit of my coffee” after a barista did a really good job of making his coffee. He also has a story that ends with him calling a deer a nigger for wrecking his car. Louis hates when people substitute “the n-word” for “nigger” and calls such people “faggots” and “stupid cunts.” Is Plaid okay with this level of “ironic racism” and “hipster homophobia” and “cool sexism”? If so, I’m not sure what we’re arguing about.






  1. Alexander A says:

    If this racism is so insidious that nobody can provide actual examples of it, why is it a problem?

  2. tommy gun says:

    that louis ck routine is the best thing ever.

  3. Late to the Party says:

    Yeah I listened to Andrea Plaid’s lasts comment with the Louis C.K. thing and had to say out loud, “WHAT!?” She made absolutely no sense, and like you said, Louis C.K. makes “nigger” jokes all the time in a funny way. I saw some comedy special with Seinfeld, Gervais, Chris Rock and C.K. and Rock was saying how Louis C.K. is the only white guy he knows who will say “nigger” on stage. This whole argument against, “Hipster Racism” which is a ridiculous term to call it in the first place, is hilariously demeaning to minorities like they’re some default humanoid with no say-so or opinion. Fetishism? Hilarious. That Plaid lady is WACKED. I think she has some serious race issues herself.

  4. Moral of this story: everyone needs to stop being such a fucking pussy.

    Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s the moral of a lot of your writing.

  5. MillsBills says:

    That terrible Pop Chips ad is basically The Love Guru, in ad form.

  6. raymes says:

    There’s a stand-up loophole for racist jokes then? The whole thing is a big boring stupid mess who cares.

  7. onyx blackman says:

    i just realized ‘hipster racism’ is the
    ‘teens drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk’ of scandals.
    im sure a few kids have actually tried it, but its not a fucking epidemic.

  8. Stevie nicks says:

    Ask Das Racist why they were so upset about the ad? Props to the peter sellers reference. After all the hype I watched the pop chips clip and I wasn’t offended. I mean why aren’t women offended by drag queens they are mocking women. I’m black though, what do I know? I think there is a difference between the black face from the 20’s and on and the pop chips ad, plus that stupid skit at the oscars with billy crystal in black face as sammy davis. I think people don’t know what to say anymore. Everyone is on edge and easily offended because they feel they have to be. Why don’t we just admit that yes there is racism? and yes the show girls is a show about white girls written by white girls from their perspective. No one should tell them what to write. The show is in their words from their point of view. which quite possibly could have limited exposure to black people or other minorities. Even then, if they did write minorities into the show then do they have to get a black consultant to help them write about their lives and include a black character and black perspective that won’t offend black people as a whole? Even then, all black people are different. Some were raised in middle class and wealthy environments, some are bi racial, some are poor, some are college educated. So what kind of representation of a “black” will they have on the show? Will it be the mandingo that the white bitch thinks is so exotic and cool to date or maybe she sees a human side to him because black men are all beasts and not thought of on the same level as being human. Will it be her poet black female friend with dreadlocks who might be a lesbian but also fucks white dudes? My point is that all black people in america have a different perspective of what constitutes racism and what is offensive. Just like you can have black friends that let you call them nigger and they don’t get all uppity. Whereas if you say it it to a total stranger who happens to be black you better run for your life cause they will kick your ass or worse call you a racist. Where do we draw the line? How is there a happy medium? I would say that blacks born after 1970 to the present really don’t know what oppression is or racism is compared to what their parents and grandparents experienced. So for me when I do become offended it’s a gut reaction. I feel like I have to be offended because I’m black and this white person said something out of ignorance or naivete. As a black you just have to take these things on a case by case basis, really analyze if you really need to be offended and if the words or actions were used to hurt you because you are different skin tinged. I know that you are going to bust on my writing. Sorry I just have a lot of ideas racing through my head. I can take this and edit it later but for now this is what I think.

  9. Stevie nicks says:

    I just had another thought. Why aren’t white people offended that beyonce has blonde hair and blonde eyebrows? She’s in white face isn’t that offensive? Why aren’t black people offended by this as well I mean she’s denying who she is and all of her blackness. I want to see her wearing an angela davis afro and a dashiki and at least she married a black man. I think the entire us would implode if Jay Z was married to a white woman.

    why aren’t jews offended by Jon Lovitz? He hasn’t been funny in like 30 years or more. why aren’t men offended by lesbians? why don’t people just chill the fuck out and quit being so whiny about everything? Until young black men can walk down the street and not be gunned down for appearing menacing/threatening I think we can not give a fuck about ashton kutcher in indian/asian face or white girls writing about white girl problems. I think there are greater issues at stake.

  10. I’m starting a fake craze where hipsters say “popchips” instead of “bullshit” — “That is SO popchips, dude/man”

    PS: Stevie nicks — you said “racing.” That might be racist! :-)

  11. Kennedy says:

    I guess I have a fetish for hot white chicks.

  12. Thanks, Gavin. I gotta admit, it’s not easy to go on the radio as the “resident bad guy”. I was eager to do it, though. People already call me a sinner, so now they can call me a racist, too. They can all be wrong in one big self-righteous lump.

    Speaking of, since I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, I was disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to address the correlation between religious fundamentalists and the Racist Thought Police. I see a lot of similarities there.

    In short, I think people are full of fear. Scared to death that they might not be living their life the right way at all times. It’s too scary to have to judge each situation and each person on their individual merits. What if you’re wrong? *Holy fuck, I might be a bad person! Quick, read a blog about it so I can know that I’m good inside!*

    Having been raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, I can relate to how good this feels. It’s very tempting to live a black and white life (pun not intended). It feels GREAT. You never question anything.

    But to strive to be a moral person without an organization or rules or a god is a place most people don’t dare to go.

    I think this quote from Ernest Becker in ‘The Denial of Death’ says it all:

    “It doesn’t matter whether the cultural hero-system is frankly magical, religious, and primitive or secular, scientific, and civilized. It is still a mythical hero-system in which people serve in order to earn a feeling of primary value, of cosmic specialness, of ultimate usefulness to creation, of unshakable meaning.”

    Anyway, I was glad I had the opportunity to do this.

  13. Nate says:

    To listen to Lindy West, or anyone at “racialicious,” you’d think Jim Crow-esque pogroms are springing up in every hipster dominated area.

  14. Unca Mike says:

    If I’m afraid of black people, does that mean I’m racist?

  15. Demi Moore says:

    ‘Bout time Ashton had a comeuppance. HA HA HA

  16. Linda Maines says:

    Unca Mike:

    What scares you about them? Are the only one’s you see about to harm you? or do you work with any negroes at your office or your cool hipster startup? is their name is Raymond in IT (information technology) and they are really anti social? If you face your fear then you won’t be afraid any longer. Haven’t you watched the cosby show? Blacks and whites really aren’t that different. It seems like media leads us to believe that they are by constantly highlighting when crimes are committed by blacks and publishing poor test scores. American society trains everyone to think blacks are scary and stupid. The blacks who aren’t any of the stereotypes constantly have to be on guard about how they behave and present themselves and constantly re-educate others on their negative stereotypes. They have to show that they are not like that. Imagine how frustrating that is for a black. It seems like a double standard. Whites can do whatever they want. They can be assholes, they can cheat on their wives, they can have drug problems, they can not go to college, they can not know how to spell and still succeed in society. (believe me there is a woman in my office who dresses like a gigantic whore, hasn’t graduated from college and makes $250,000 a year). They benefit from this privilege because whites don’t hold other whites to the same standards. Whites automatically look down on blacks. I really want to understand what makes you fear blacks Unca Mike. What is wrong with being a racist? If some one calls you racist you should say. yeah, so what. what’s your point? I’m not going to change. I live in america i’m free to think like i want. Then ask them, what would you like me to do about it? Judge for yourself if you are willing to comply with their demand and then move on. Be sure to use logic in your argument. Be who you are. I’ve always said as long as i’m not hurting anyone else or myself then I can do whatever I want. That is what they call freedom.

  17. jonny tee says:

    good write up gav

  18. Ted Danson says:

    Why is Gavin so, so consumed by the need to point out that there is no racism in popular culture? It just seems to be a big campaign for him, to a weird degree.

  19. dotdotdot... says:

    It’s pretty amazing that Gavin was able to surreptitiously convince all those commentators to call out “girls” for having no characters “of color”, and then assume the fake identity of the hideous fat girl who wrote the “hipster racism” article, all so he could respond under various pseudonyms here to satisfy his weird needs. His obsession knows no bounds.

  20. Yup says:

    I think this is worth taking a look at. The “bad comedy” line actually is the crux of it all. For years now, “hipsters”, aka “outsiders”, alterna-thinkers (barf), have been enjoying the fruits of having an actually funny sense of humor, like-minded progressive thinking friends, and non-white friends… unlike most of the country. As “hipster” culture (or what it is now) becomes more mainstream, so has the zeitgeist of this mode of personality, and hence its typical jokes. As mainstream people appropriate this culture more and more things such as its jokes become more and more watered down, and in this case misused. Let’s face it, it takes a little more brain to craft a joke that is progressive, socially interesting, dark, and points out the true absurdity of something so loaded as racism. Because of this, you’re gonna get some leakage when any ol’ kid (or public ad company) tries it, and forgets that you can’t assume anything about an audience, and forget that a word like “faggot” even in jest may be offensive just because of the word itself. Which by the way, Louis CK has said that he works on not saying because his gay friends have said in any context is offensive. In a nutshell, I think we should place all these confused social humor analysts on trains and send them to camps somewhere.

  21. Joblome says:

    The U.S is ridiculously racist, but God forbid anyone actually talks about this big smelly
    elephant in the room, or you get…”but we have a black president.” ( let’s just ignore all of those white relatives, including his mother, who raised him)

    Ha, ha,ha, what a scam, and U.S banks are honest, the U.S was “discovered” (and it’s a big country, so good thing you had all that free labor), gifts really come from Santa, and hundreds years of horror and oppression clearly has had no lasting effects on anyone…now off to watch, yet another, Holocaust film. Let’s just talk about that.(We have to hold those bloody Germans accountable)

    By the way, Louis C.K. is Mexican and American, and also talks about how idiots think all Mexicans are brown, and make terrible racist jokes right in his face.

  22. Tim Lewis says:

    Joblome secretly craves black cock. thats why he has this race fantasy .

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