Patricia Williams gives what I think are terrible examples of a legitimate idea -- white voyeurism. She starts from the idea that white people tend not to think about race most of the time, as if it's a non-issue, unless you want to get into the bad aspects of those of other races that white people need to avoid or fight against (see Normative Whiteness and below and people's comments on it for some aspects of this). Now I have a much more positive outlook on most white people's attitudes about non-whites than she seems to have, but I do think there are some elements of this. I have definitely seen some evidence that white people enjoy controlled access to the fun cultural aspects of black society, for instance, but don't want to go out of their way for it to be much more than that. It's a spectator sport.
She somehow thinks the O.J. Simpson trial was an example of this, and I'm sure she'd say the same about Michael and Janet Jackson's current scandals, though I don't see how those fit this at all. One example she gives that makes some sense is the tourist attraction to black churches in Harlem. European travelers will show up in droves, invading people's ordinary lives as a fun way to experience the spectator sport of seeing black people in worship. As Williams notes, this isn't an experience of black culture but just a shallow appropriation of it.
I'm unfamiliar with this particular example, but her description of it makes it sound as if Americans don't do this, so I want some better examples, ones my students will be able to see and understand. The idea is that in some ways white Americans tend to desire the diversity and exoticness of other racial groups and cultures but don't tend to go out of their way to understand and appreciate the people involved. There's probably lots of evidence for this in pop culture. I could do better at coming up with them myself if I weren't about to collapse from exhaustion and congestion, so I'll put out a request for other ideas to get things rolling.
The result of these things would be the many things that white people just haven't thought about amidst what seems on the surface to be an appreciation for some of what black (or other non-white) culture has produced. Williams wants to be "seen but not spotlighted, ... humble but not invisible."
Update: Let me give some examples of how this sort of thing might go. I know some white people who have befriended black people and come to appreciate who they are, in the process also appreciating hip-hop culture in ways that I don't. I don't think that's true of every white, middle-class hip-hop fan. Are there ways this sort of fan is appropriating black culture in a way analogous to voyeurism? I don't know. The way Williams describes this sort of thing, it's an unwillingness (or inability, perhaps, sometimes due to geography?) to be a part of the lives of those whose surface ways one adopts, without any understanding of the deeper motivations or feelings behind those ways. It's one thing to enjoy the beat, the skillful weaving of rhymes into rhythmic lyrics, and whatever musical value there is in the background tracks. I think that's fine. It's quite another to adopt the whole surface acts of inner city youth in the process, imitating urban black youths' demeanor, linguistic patterns, and physical tendencies like ways of walking or postures. Imitation is flattery, certainly, but is it mere enjoyment of the surface elements of the lifestyle without the risky and racially difficult involvement in people's lives? I don't know. Maybe it depends on the person. The old minstrel shows were like that. This new hip-hop appropriation by white youth seems less so, but maybe there are similar elements.
Is our use of black comedians and black churches in movie and TV stories like this? It's a way for the average middle class white person to experience the "safe" parts of black culture (and even those that aren't viewed as so safe, for that matter, some of which I think are quite bad, others of which are usually just misunderstood or avoided because they make white people uncomfortable) without having to engage in anyone's life. It's one thing to appreciate black gospel music by watching The Blues Brothers or Sister Act or to enjoy the urban style, speech, and somewhat violent mannerisms of Chris Tucker in Rush Hour or Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, to appreciate the incredible athletic skills of Michael Jordan. It's quite another to walk into a black church and participate in all the rituals of worship rather or to work hard at building relationships with inner city kids through playing basketball with them on a regular basis. I'm not sure most people are on either extreme of this spectrum, but I would expect most white people in the United States are closer to less interaction.
Update 2: Other suggestions for things in the direction of this phenomenon (though not clear examples of it by any means) would be the fascination with martial arts and the ninja without any sense of the larger cultural and even religious elements behind them or the daily lives of people who practice them, the baby boomer love affair with eastern religious views (including surface versions of Buddhism) with very little understanding of the background behind either or the people who take those beliefs seriously because it's from their own culture. A Zen Buddhist former student of mine, who does happen to be a white American, has complained about this to me.