shoe fetish--and delicious food making. Note to self: get things done in a timely manner more often and get more boots on sale.
This is something I haven't yet mastered when trying to talk to students about racism and how it works in this moment. But, this muddled white boy humor (yeah, this was written by a guy) that has run amok in the past few years makes it seem like racism is not racism and, really, "kinda cool." Like, white people are just quirky, harmless, clueless folks when it comes to race. Hello Judd Apatow and Vince Vaughn. Why not make the ex-girlfriend in the movie South Asian, and the male prostitute dressed in drag, Black? What's the big deal? And, it continues to feel like I've been slapped in the face when I watch these movies. And I like to watch movies, mindless comedies to be exact. But, not only does Hollywood have to include a gay character in just about every film (which Stanely Tucci often plays, a la Devil Wears Prada and Burlesque), but now, just slip in some fantasies about race relations and obsessions about Black male sexuality and you've got a hit film. I mean, Madonna did it. Sandra Bullock did it. It's not a big deal for a white family to adopt a Black child, right? Not only does this minimize the reality of the numbers of Black youth in foster care who never get adopted, but makes it seem like transracial adoption and the raising of Black children is easy peasy. Just stick them in a "good (middle class and white)" environment and voila! racism solved. Make the requisite reference to Black male sexual prowess and voila! kill two birds with one stone, Black and gay.
OK, so maybe I'm making too much of the five minutes that Black characters were shown in this film and relying too much on Hollywood to really address racism and I should have prefaced this by saying that another Sony Picture Classics, Quinceneara was on LOGO this week...but, there is too much overlap between these kinds of jokes and discussions of "post-racial" in politics, education, and immigration. The Dream Act (which wasn't without problems) did not pass, but states are gearing up to push their SB 1070-like laws. And young, Black men who have sex with men continue to be the highest number of new HIV cases. These race relations and the racist approach that popular discourse takes to overshadow and belittle them makes cozy movie watching nights in, more and more difficult.