Race: July 2005 Archives

Michael Eric Dyson is on C-SPAN2 right now at the Harlem Book Fair. Someone just asked him if you can simultaneously say that we need to work on structures in society and work on attitudes within the black community. He didn't really answer the question at first but spent a long time complaining about Bill Cosby's steretypes of what counts as attitudes worth changing. He picked out the names Bill Cosby made fun of, names typically found among black Americans that were made up to sound African but with no basis in Africa (and one Islamic name, Muhammad). He picked out styles of dress that count as illegitimate, seeing one style of dress as superior. The only example Dyson mentioned, though, is the unwillingness to pull pants up high enough to cover underwear, which I think does have a moral element. Flashing people just isn't socially appropriate, and that's not a racist attitude.

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