Don’t fence me in

The title–“10 Codes of Ethics for White People in Hip Hop“–kinda says it all.

Jennifer Calderon, aka “JLove“, signs the post, but I got it from GrandGood, who copped it from Uppity Negro Network.

My two cents: I wish this didn’t exist. not in the “I wish racism were eradicated” way, either. (Of course, I wish racism didn’t exist, but I also wish this Top Ten List didn’t, just for totally different reasons.)  I’m sympathetic to the impulse, I suppose, and even the “lowest common denominator” interrogative mode.  I am in the middle of preparing my syllabus for a freshman seminar on The Sociology of Hip-Hop and Rap Music, and my previous semesters’ drafts are filled with indications that the impulse and tone are…gulp…appropriate. My problem with it is that I find it ineffectual.  That is, I think those who are out sculling the Internets looking for a Top 10 List for White People Who Love Hip-Hop need something that will actually challenge their pre- and mis-conceptions, which this will likely not accomplish.  On the other hand, those white folks who really need a 1.0 won’t spend a Thursday morning googling “ethic+ hip-hop hip hop hiphop”.  Trust me.  It feels like church to me.  Churchy, I guess.

On a personal note, I find the contrast between the “oh, I’m just finding my way through this, like you” confessional tone and the didactic Top 10 listyness (and especially the final “America is for Americans” gambit) suggests a deep, inner struggle within JLove to which I am unsympathetic.  Tammy will understand me when I rejoin, “But maybe I’m the asshole.”

If you want my version of this kind of thing, I strongly recommend that you go read you some Billy Wimsatt.


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