Did anyone think Miley Cyrus' performance was racist??
Apparently, some journalist at The Nation did. The National Review covers it:
"....Chief among the purveyors of critical inanity was The Nation’s Aura Bogado, a woman who is so obsessed with race and sex that her takeaway from the Manning trial last week was that “Bradley Manning was found guilty of wanting to make the world a better place for women of color like me” and claiming in an open letter that Manning’s statement had improved upon the Declaration of Independence. Reacting in a similar vein to the MTV Video Music Awards, Bogado ranged from the incomprehensible assertion that “White is the new Miley” to the self-parodic confession that “Every time I see @MileyCyrus slap that black woman’s butt, I think about the way that enslaved blacks were whipped for white entertainment.”
If this is true, I would suggest Bogado seek professional help. During her act, Cyrus wore a skin-colored latex bikini, ran a foam finger down another performer’s crotch, and “twerked” (a dance move in which one shakes and twists ones hips in a sexual fashion). Tasteful or not, none of these things has anything to do with race — let alone with slavery. It takes a particularly depraved mind to link a glorified pop concert to the transportation and subjugation of an entire class of people. It is reasonable to conclude that those that are capable of so doing lack even the most basic political judgment.
Bogado’s take on Miley Cyrus’s hit song, “We Can’t Stop,” was similarly impressive in its monomania: It is, she contended, “actually a song about how some white people can’t stop doing really racist shit.” Well, isn’t everything these days? New York magazine’s Jody Rosen certainly thinks so. “The shock that Cyrus was peddling wasn’t sex,” he wrote. “It was all about race.” And just how badly was he shocked? Well, Rosen claimed, “her act tipped over into what we may as well just call racism: a minstrel show routine whose ghoulishness was heightened by Cyrus’s madcap charisma.” Color me cynical, but one suspects that “we may as well just call it racism” is not a novel instinct for this author.
Rosen went on to observe, apparently without irony, that “a doctoral dissertation could (and will) be written on the racial, class, and gender dynamics of Cyrus’s shtick.” But of course it will. Graduate liberal-arts schools, the only places in the country in which such preposterous nonsense can make it far enough past the hysterical laughter to gain any respect, are primarily devoted to teaching students to discover things that are not there. This is not just an academic instinct, but a financial one too. To ensure the future of the college, the faculty must ensure that America’s debt-laden and probably unemployable perpetual students feel as if they have gained something concrete from their efforts, and, in the modern era, this something is the ability to see in a dimension that nobody else can. (This is a skill that is apparently better suited to inviting universal mockery on the Internet than to ensuring success in the job market.)
Nevertheless, if such a dissertation is to be thrown unread into the ever-expanding graveyard of post-graduate tosh, I nominate Isabelle Nastasia to write it. Her column, peppily titled “The VMAs Were the Racist Sprinkles on a Horrible Summer for Racial Justice,” was utterly inspired in its silliness. “Miley Cyrus’s minstrel show ‘Can’t Stop’ filled the room with the sounds and sights of the cultural appropriation of working class Black culture,” Nastasia wrote, with all the erudition of someone who has just discovered that there is literally no limit on what she can get away with. She went on to claim that rapper Macklemore only sells records because he is “a white dude” (because black rappers find it notoriously hard to sell records and win awards) and that Justin Timberlake has been “busy whitewashing R&B for over a decade,” as well as to complain that watching white artists’ “clean sweeps of the award winnings as white artists in traditionally Black music genres like Hip Hop and R&B” pushed her to put her “head in her hands.”.....