November 17, 2007

OBSERVING RACE RELATIONS

I saw two very interesting and related events today that made me start thinking about race relations.

First, I was in the dollar store and a white dad and his white son were oohing and aahing over these "bling bling" toys. They were plastic necklaces shaped like dollar signs and stuff like rappers would wear. The white dad was using his outdoor voice to tell the kid how cool the bling was. And there were a whole lot of black people in the store who didn't bat an eye or seem to think this was at all weird.

Secondly, I later heard two middle-aged women at Michaels talking about beading and jewelery making. The white one told the black one that a certain type of magnetic clasp was "the bomb." And the black lady agreed.

Now I don't know exactly what each of these exchanges means on a grander scale. But it seemed to me today that elements of black culture are seeping into white culture, and the black people I observed today didn't seem to notice or mind. I thought it was pretty fascinating that in no way did the white people feel like they should watch what they said lest they appear to be co-opting someone else's culture or sound condescending, and the black people took it as fairly normal that a white lady would say "the bomb" or a white kid would want some 50 Cent style necklace.

I just thought it was cool. And I hope it does say something grander about our society.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:50 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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