In all the ink (real and virtual) that's been spilled over the Margaret Jones debacle -- little of it in the mainstream press -- Nishani Frazier left a long, thoughtful, and pointed comment on my last blog entry, a comment that's well worth reading in its entirety. I thought I'd spotlight it here, particularly her conclusion:
The building blocks of racism are notions of exclusion and perceptions of people of different races as "the other". Thus all these folks can participate in the absurd formulations of black life in LA through a white girl's eyes who "lived the life" WITHOUT asking the questions which many black people would find obvious to ask....mostly because her story is just so damn stupid. Where were the black people? No where...not among the critics, not among the journalists, not among the publishing house...and most importantly people---- NOT in that book she wrote.
Meanwhile, how it's not done: Michael Kinsley dashed off 750 words on the topic for his Time magazine column and called it a day. Message to Michael: if you're trying to illustrate how tone-deaf white media folks can be to black concerns, insulting Barack and Michelle Obama is precisely the way to go about it. I guess.