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Alfons
15-07-2008, 02:15 AM
theo parrish on (dance)music and race:
http://www.moodmat.com/?p=977

zhao
15-07-2008, 09:49 AM
only half way finished gotta run but so far theo is on point

swears
15-07-2008, 11:02 AM
Once they get it ready to put out, they’ll use pictures of little black children, and black women with afros-

lol, on every retro soul and funk clubnight flyer ever.

viktorvaughn
15-07-2008, 11:17 AM
I read an interview with him somewhere and he basically seemed like a cock, whining about how real music was made on old school synths etc, basically some purist snoozefest.

'I don’t believe in genre titles.'

Not this again! Snoozefestival alert. There's only good music and bad music. Yeah not like, I dunno, developing nuance and subtleties in palettes of language to describe and differentiate things to fellow humans is actually pretty fucking useful is it!?

Pestario
15-07-2008, 11:20 AM
He doesn't believe in genre titles but manages to use them all through his answer

straight
15-07-2008, 11:20 AM
i love you theo but f-u-c-k y-o-u. come on. I dont want to be seen as fighting in eminems corner but i dont think you can call him a tourist

IdleRich
15-07-2008, 11:31 AM
"This mere notion wasn’t even circulated until some white folks were made to feel uncomfortable at a party they had no business being at"
Nice.

sodiumnightlife
15-07-2008, 11:32 AM
I love theo too, but white people not belonging at certain club nights? Hello racism. These rants are only ever counterproductive.

viktorvaughn
15-07-2008, 11:44 AM
From a Resident Advisor interview -

'with traditional forms you're dealing with hands-on, hard-learned lessons, so those kinds of shortcuts like Fruity Loops, Acid, Serato, Final Scratch and even MySpace too—all of these different things, they make me kind of skeptical of the folks that use them'

'So what do you want to call your music?' 'Sound sculptures.'

Oh dear.

Immryr
15-07-2008, 12:05 PM
the righteous indignation of a racist prick

stelfox
15-07-2008, 01:02 PM
Jesus, you could drive a bus through pretty much all of those arguments about music itself. Still i'm not at all surprised. I love his music, but don't really love this

mos dan
15-07-2008, 01:31 PM
'I don’t believe in genre titles.'

Not this again! Snoozefestival alert. There's only good music and bad music. Yeah not like, I dunno, developing nuance and subtleties in palettes of language to describe and differentiate things to fellow humans is actually pretty fucking useful is it!?

pet hate of mine, this. dubstep heads like using it when you're explaining to them that they are listening to aquacrunk or similar ;)

stelfox
15-07-2008, 01:55 PM
the righteous indignation of a racist prick

not especially cool to go around calling african americans racist, btw, whatever you might think of what he's saying. what he's saying is extremely ill-advised in lots of ways, but reverse racism or whatever you want to call it is pretty damned thorny ground to start treading, especially when the issue at hand is the idea of an endemic white-on-black racism at the heart of western society.

Jaie Miller
15-07-2008, 02:39 PM
Lauryn hill,

I found this interview empowering.

Mr. Tea
15-07-2008, 02:41 PM
not especially cool to go around calling african americans racist, btw,

What, even when they're being just that? I can't really see the problems of racism and racial inequality getting much better any time soon when you've got people, of any skin colour, promoting segregation the way he seems to be (at clubs/parties, where people are supposed to relax, have fun and forget about their hang-ups, right?). He also trots out some tired Afrocentrist rubbish about how "all music music is originated on black experience".

He's got some good points, but he's got some badly over-simplified and misdirected ones too.

Edit: he also thinks RATM were an "all-white band", bless.

Eric
15-07-2008, 02:42 PM
not especially cool to go around calling african americans racist, btw, whatever you might think of what he's saying.

you're suggesting self-censorship? this is weird stelfox ...

anyway it seemed to me that theo just answered the question put to him. `have you stopped beating your wife?' this kind of thing. a reasonable answer seemed not to be expected.

straight
15-07-2008, 03:05 PM
not especially cool to go around calling african americans racist, btw, whatever you might think of what he's saying. what he's saying is extremely ill-advised in lots of ways, but reverse racism or whatever you want to call it is pretty damned thorny ground to start treading, especially when the issue at hand is the idea of an endemic white-on-black racism at the heart of western society.


Being brought up in northern irish means i understand how anger at how another group has treated you can colour your opinions but i think talking about white folk not having any business being at certain parties is cut and dried racism. Calling white people thieves for using the same samples (pieces of a record hes nicked himself!) is down right insulting. white people dont have a sense of musical community?

elgato
15-07-2008, 03:09 PM
its an interesting one for sure. i agree with Stelfox to a fair extent... i think perspectives, no matter how alien or threatening, on the 'African experience' (and therefore African-American experience, and other instances of historical oppression) should definitely be approached with an open mind and careful tread. i think that strong reactions are at very significant risk of propagating negative understandings of behaviour and ongoing power dynamics

on my more cynical days i have brushed with similar (although less extreme and much less erm black and white, no pun intended) sentiments to those expressed here, although ultimately i dont think i would ever settle with a perspective which is so negative and divisive

john eden
15-07-2008, 03:41 PM
It is a bit of a dumb thing to say, but what he is saying is slightly outweighed by the larger issues of:

a) institutional racism / the legacy of colonialism/slavery
b) black culture being appropriated by white people
c) white people profiting from black culture without paying their dues or giving credit where credit is due
d) other forms of racism

I'm not a cultural relativist but it is a bit odd to see people being so quick to shout "racist" in that context.

DJ PIMP
15-07-2008, 03:57 PM
The ism schism.

IdleRich
15-07-2008, 04:04 PM
"It is a bit of a dumb thing to say, but what he is saying is slightly outweighed by the larger issues of:"
It's certainly a dumb thing to say but I would say it's (unintentionally) adding to all those larger issues you mentioned rather than being some kind of small opposition to them.

swears
15-07-2008, 04:12 PM
He comes of as more of a rockist than anything.

CHAOTROPIC
15-07-2008, 04:16 PM
he also thinks RATM were an "all-white band", bless.

I dunno, I used to think they were alright :D

The points are valid but "this music like all other music is originated on african/black experience" is overegging the proverbial, surely. Is he really saying that black people 'invented' music, or 'own' it as some kindof racial inheritance, with every white musician condemned to be a parasitic racially-inferior tourist? Sheep pretending to be lions? I am reading him right? I'm guessing it's a phone interview & he got carried away with his own rhetoric or something, 'cos it makes sense apart from that ridiculous 'ALL'.

sodiumnightlife
15-07-2008, 04:36 PM
It is a bit of a dumb thing to say, but what he is saying is slightly outweighed by the larger issues of:

a) institutional racism / the legacy of colonialism/slavery
b) black culture being appropriated by white people
c) white people profiting from black culture without paying their dues or giving credit where credit is due
d) other forms of racism

I'm not a cultural relativist but it is a bit odd to see people being so quick to shout "racist" in that context.

Not like I can ignore any of those things, but I also refuse to let them temper my reaction to a "think piece" that wasn't really very well thought out and contained a lot of iffy statements. Racism's still racism, whoever propogates it.

elgato
15-07-2008, 04:50 PM
I would say it's (unintentionally) adding to all those larger issues you mentioned rather than being some kind of small opposition to them.

this is probably true, but for me thats not the key issue. it can't be about blame, its got to be about solutions, and so getting defensive is the wrong (if understandable) way to go imo, its about thinking how best to engage these kinds of attitudes and move beyond these perceptions and divisions... whether we like it or not the memories of colonial or other racial oppression are very fresh in the minds (or in fact an every day part of the lives) of many, many people, and the way that those memories or situations form the understanding of anyone's actions imo are very important things to take into account when deciding how it is best to act as an individual

don't get me wrong i don't think i have the answers, im thinking out loud cos i've been reading / working on a few things which relate to this issue so i have a few relatively underdeveloped thoughts on it

straight
15-07-2008, 04:54 PM
i dont take any offence from the (heavy handed and simplisticc) views on the record business. But I do from a man who is treated like a god and then insults a new generation of producers on purely ethnic grounds. what happened to being flattered when someone emulates you? doesnt that mean you are doing something right? especially in a genre (or sound sculpture park, whatever) as founded on appropriation and outright thievery as house/techno.

elgato
15-07-2008, 05:17 PM
perceptions such as "all music originates with black people"?

such as parties where white people shouldn't be?

yes those are precisely the perceptions i was referring to


I'm sorry, but being black doesn't give you carte blanche (lol) to come out with rubbish like this. It's just going to alienate white people and distract from the very real and pressing issues of inequality and prejudice.

no it doesn't give carte blanche. but it does make it different, and requires a different response. it most likely will indeed alienate white people, and further entrench division. but, alternatively, people, particularly white people, could instead try to understand and sympathise with that kind of perspective, and look for ways to work past it... as everyone has said and i think everyone agrees, his arguments have significant holes, and therefore the negativity in his views could be addressed through positive rather than negative dialogue

Mr. Tea
15-07-2008, 05:35 PM
as everyone has said and i think everyone agrees, his arguments have significant holes, and therefore the negativity in his views could be addressed through positive rather than negative dialogue

That's an admirably upbeat take on things - I'm picturing you as a goatee'd, roll-neck-sweatered counsellor (in the nicest possible way, really! :)).

I deleted my last post out of a sort of second-order white guilt that it's kind of pointless for me to be getting worked up about something that doesn't really have anything to do with me (beyond the general fact that it's about society, so it obviously has something to do with *everyone*) and I'm not exactly as clued up as some people on here are about the music industry and all that jazz.

Gabba Flamenco Crossover
15-07-2008, 05:49 PM
Apart from the 'no business being at' line, it comes over as being more paranoid than racist. It would make more sense if there were pop producers racing up the charts with thinly disguised knock offs of Theo's sound, but the last time I looked there weren't...

stelfox
15-07-2008, 05:50 PM
i'm not saying that there aren't significant problems with what parrish is saying, it's just that when an established power dynamic exists where one group of people are significantly less empowered than another i.e. the day to day experience of white people *in general* vs the day to day experience of people of colour *in general* those at the more empowered end of the relationship can't really go round accusing those at the less empowered end of the same prejudices they are accused of — accused of most of the time because, either consciously or unconsciously, they're guilty, incidentally.

even if there are some pretty ugly prejudices out there in almost every community, directed to almost every other community, white people claiming that black people are "racist" just doesn't wash or make a great deal of sense. (and even if the not making sense doesn't matter to you, the fact that it makes you look like a knob probably should). prejudice doesn't mean anything at all without the weight of privilege and power behind it. if you're white, calling black people racist is massively insensitive to the history behind the views you find offensive and presents a completely off-whack perception of your own position in this dynamic. put bluntly, parrish is saying white people shouldn't go raving; white american society has dictated all his life that he's a lot less likely to be able to hail a cab, more likely to end up in jail, and more likely to die violently - who's really getting the shitty deal here?

white people calling black people racists (in general) is like straight people accusing gay people of heterophobia or men accusing women of sexism ie totally ridiculous. the only time it isn't is when, as in the case of our last discussion of racism here (a certain poster versus every eastern european immigrant in the uk), it's delivered from a similar position of privilege and power. in that case: "i am english, i have the passport, i've been here longer, you're taking our jobs, you're animals, fuck off back to your own country etc". it's that claiming and assertion of a very real power that made it so bad.

especially interesting here is the fact that parrish's arguments really fall down with his discussion of latino people as white

noel emits
15-07-2008, 05:54 PM
'The music industry , like most huge industries, is owned by white men.'

No, the music industry, like most huge industries, is owned by RICH white men.

Being oppressed, ripped off and crapped on is not the preserve of black people or black musicians, although they may be sometimes better placed to see it in a more intensified form and/or be more conscious of the reasons behind it. These days that should be considered an advantage if anything.

I think a lot of what he says there is, or was - things are obviously changing fast for the big music industry entities, quite true but he's going way too far in mapping a 'black experience' dynamic on to it. One's experience of the music industry may be such and such a thing but it's not reasonable to come to the conclusion that it's ALL because you are black, a lot of that is just how it is for MOST people. It's important to make that distinction and not get hung up on that negatively reinforced paranoia cos that's actually where a lot of racism and prejudice in other forms comes from, and it clouds one's view to the real issues. Chip on the shoulder innit.

Mr. Tea
15-07-2008, 06:05 PM
Stelfox, no-one here is claiming "black people are racist". Theo Parrish said a couple of things, in an interview, that could be construed as racist; that doesn't even necessarily make him racist, just prone to daft generalisations and having a chip on his shoulder. Theo Parrish ≠ black people.

stelfox
15-07-2008, 06:07 PM
Stelfox, no-one here is claiming "black people are racist". Theo Parrish ? black people.

nor am i saying that anyone did. someone called theo parrish racist. he is black. my reasoning stands

Gabba Flamenco Crossover
15-07-2008, 06:13 PM
especially interesting here is the fact that parrish's arguments really fall down with his discussion of latino people as white

I noticed how he talked about 'certain non-black producers' in the positive comments right at the end. I interpreted that as a move to a more neutral term from someone for whom the word 'white' is always a natural insult. But it could also be about excluding latino people from the black experience, or granting them 'step-child' status, you're right.

I've got mixed feelings about your post as a whole. On the strictest of levels I don't agree. I think racism is the negative prejudice of individuals along racial lines, and the refusal to acknowledge that individuals can transcend that (which Theo eventually does, grudgingly).

But I wouldn't argue with your contention that in the real world, racists can only really make thier mark when they get into a position where they can impose thier views on others.

sodiumnightlife
15-07-2008, 06:14 PM
I get a lot of what you're saying stelfox but I don't understand how black people can't be racist, unless you consider racism just to be the persecution of black people by whites? If so, fair enough, but that's not my understanding of racism.

stelfox
15-07-2008, 06:25 PM
i'm not saying that either. i'll refer everyone back to the bit about gay heterophobes, the concept of matriarchy, female/male sexism. it's not that it prejudices don't exist or that's it's impossible for any non-white person to be racially prejudiced. it's just that it's not as insitutionalised and that power dynamic renders it less meaningful. this is simple stuff.

i'd rather say what he's saying is stupid and short-sighted.

crackerjack
15-07-2008, 06:30 PM
i'm not saying that either. i'll refer everyone back to the bit about gay heterophobes, the concept of matriarchy, female/male sexism. it's not that it prejudices don't exist or that's it's impossible for any non-white person to be racially prejudiced. it's just that it's not as insitutionalised and that power dynamic renders it less meaningful. this is simple stuff

And I'm sure we all understand that. But upthread you implied that we should do everything possible to tiptoe around calling a black man racist, even when he is being just thaty. If you object to the r-word in this context, I think the onus is on you to tell us which pejoratives are acceptable.

Slothrop
15-07-2008, 06:34 PM
white people calling black people racists (in general) is like straight people accusing gay people of heterophobia or men accusing women of sexism ie totally ridiculous. the only time it isn't is when, as in the case of our last discussion of racism here (a certain poster versus every eastern european immigrant in the uk), it's delivered a similar position of privilege and power. in that case: "i am english, i have the passport, i've been here longer, you're taking our jobs, you're animals, fuck off back to your own country etc". it's that claiming and assertion of a very real power that made it so bad.
There's some question as to whether or not Theo Parrish is actually in a position of privilege and power relative to white dance artists and audiences, though, or at least whether they're in a position of privilege and power relative to him. I don't know much about his background but he's university educated and a respected techno producer. And the parties where the belleville 3 began - parties where white people 'didn't belong' - were distinctly well heeled affairs. So the idea that because he's black he's automatically in the role of the oppressed seems a bit reductionist.

ripley
15-07-2008, 06:43 PM
And I'm sure we all understand that. But upthread you implied that we should do everything possible to tiptoe around calling a black man racist, even when he is being just thaty

no he is not. Because racism involves not only prejudice but also power. that's what Stelfox said about three different ways. Racist statements are statements that have the backdrop of social power.

It's not tiptoeing, it's avoiding inaccuracy and avoiding contributing to blinkered ideas about power in society.

You could say Parrish is being prejudiced, or mean, or short-sighted, or something else if you don't agree with him. But it really eliminates something meaningful to equate a black person being prejudiced against whites and a white person being prejudiced against blacks. It ignores the larger power dynamic that supports white prejudice and makes the effects of white prejudice systemic (not hailing cabs, not getting loans, being more likely to be shot by police

the "acceptable perjorative" question is just silly. It's not about what's acceptable, it's about what's accurate and true. "Racist" is not just an insult, it means something - it means that the racist act contributes to and relies on racial hierarchy in society.

I'm surprised at the level of anger in this thread. I thought he got a bit sweeping at the end (the last two paragraphs), and that he didn't raise the other racial issues (latino, asian, etc) as much as he could, but on the whole I thought much of it didn't seem too inaccurate a description of how the American music industry has worked. it has worked in a racist way (big surprise).

crackerjack
15-07-2008, 06:52 PM
no he is not. Because racism involves not only prejudice but also power. that's what Stelfox said about three different ways. Racist statements are statements that have the backdrop of social power.

No they're not, and saying it three, or as many different ways as you like, ain't gonna make it so. That blacks have suffered more from white racism than vice versa (and women than men etc etc) isn't in dispute, but that doesn't give you carte blanche to redefine the language.

Slothrop
15-07-2008, 06:54 PM
no he is not. Because racism involves not only prejudice but also power.
That's a specific (presumably social studies?) definition of racism, though. I can see there are good reasons for using it, but common usage tends to include prejudice even in the absence of power.


Racist statements are statements that have the backdrop of social power.
In the context of underground dance music, though, Theo Parrish does have social power...

crackerjack
15-07-2008, 06:57 PM
That's a specific (presumably social studies?) definition of racism, though.



Snort.

noel emits
15-07-2008, 07:01 PM
I thought he got a bit sweeping at the end (the last two paragraphs), and that he didn't raise the other racial issues (latino, asian, etc) as much as he could, but on the whole I thought much of it didn't seem too inaccurate a description of how the American music industry has worked.
Yeah, he is pretty much telling it like it is as far as I can see, except for the excesses.

However, just as you say it is important to understand the historical and institutional backdrop to power relationships I would say it is even more crucial at this point to recognise that 'white people' ≠ Power and to hold this position is to miss the point and play into the hands of power. Drawing things along colour lines like that is divisive and counter-productive.


anyway it seemed to me that theo just answered the question put to him. `have you stopped beating your wife?' this kind of thing.
To be fair, this as well. The question was about race dynamics in the music industry after all.

Alfons
15-07-2008, 07:01 PM
no he is not. Because racism involves not only prejudice but also power. that's what Stelfox said about three different ways. Racist statements are statements that have the backdrop of social power.

It's not tiptoeing, it's avoiding inaccuracy and avoiding contributing to blinkered ideas about power in society.

You could say Parrish is being prejudiced, or mean, or short-sighted, or something else if you don't agree with him. But it really eliminates something meaningful to equate a black person being prejudiced against whites and a white person being prejudiced against blacks. It ignores the larger power dynamic that supports white prejudice and makes the effects of white prejudice systemic (not hailing cabs, not getting loans, being more likely to be shot by police

the "acceptable perjorative" question is just silly. It's not about what's acceptable, it's about what's accurate and true. "Racist" is not just an insult, it means something - it means that the racist act contributes to and relies on racial hierarchy in society.

I'm surprised at the level of anger in this thread. I thought he got a bit sweeping at the end (the last two paragraphs), and that he didn't raise the other racial issues (latino, asian, etc) as much as he could, but on the whole I thought much of it didn't seem too inaccurate a description of how the American music industry has worked. it has worked in a racist way (big surprise).

Ive never used or understood racist or racism in that way (english is not my first language tho), but it makes sense, but I still think prejudiced isnt strong enough to cover talk in this of vein.

Im certainly not angry about it, thought the first half or so was an alright description of the industry, but wasnt really new at all. I thought it was the last half was some sort of prejudiced and purist rant which suprised me coz in earlier interviews I had read and seen he came across as more positive, inclusive, open etc...

Jaie Miller
15-07-2008, 07:04 PM
i aint the one.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h22/elliot_wisdom/IAINTTHEONE.jpg

crackerjack
15-07-2008, 07:12 PM
however, just as you say it is important to understand the historical and institutional backdrop to power relationships i would say it is even more crucial at this point to recognise that 'white people' ≠ power and to hold this position is to miss the point and play into the hands of power. Drawing things along colour lines like that is divisive and counter-productive.

otm

IdleRich
15-07-2008, 08:07 PM
"No they're not, and saying it three, or as many different ways as you like, ain't gonna make it so. That blacks have suffered more from white racism than vice versa (and women than men etc etc) isn't in dispute, but that doesn't give you carte blanche to redefine the language."

2That's a specific (presumably social studies?) definition of racism, though. I can see there are good reasons for using it, but common usage tends to include prejudice even in the absence of power."
Totally right.
Of course racism (and pretty much anything else) from people with more power is more harmful but that doesn't mean that racism doesn't work in a number of different directions.

Gabba Flamenco Crossover
15-07-2008, 08:55 PM
It's just occured to me that the title of the interview unintentionally refers to the popularity of early house music on the UK gay scene.

ripley
16-07-2008, 01:10 AM
Yeah, he is pretty much telling it like it is as far as I can see, except for the excesses.

However, just as you say it is important to understand the historical and institutional backdrop to power relationships I would say it is even more crucial at this point to recognise that 'white people' ≠ Power and to hold this position is to miss the point and play into the hands of power. Drawing things along colour lines like that is divisive and counter-productive.
.

do you really think that the most important thing is not to talk about how white people are advantaged in relation to black people? can you explain how it helps black people to not talk about that?

noel emits
16-07-2008, 10:12 AM
Of course, let's just all only talk about how we are personally disadvantaged, that sounds like a great recipe for unity and fighting power. Or is it only black people who have right to complain about anything?

It's fucking stupid and offensive. No wonder you get people talking about how the white working class has been abandoned.

If you are black, or fat, or gay, or whatever, and you look at everything through that lens, if your whole identity is bound up in that then, apart from most likely being an asshole, you are going to have a very distorted view of the world and how others experience it. You are going to resent your fellows and assume they have an easy time or are somehow responsible for your suffering because they don't have exactly the same experience as you. And you are going to miss who the real enemy is, that we share.

So let's fight amongst ourselves and blame each other while the rich and powerful laugh at our division.

noel emits
16-07-2008, 10:51 AM
By the way Jaie

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/09_03/primamyGPX1809_228x459.jpg

stelfox
16-07-2008, 11:05 AM
is it so hard for people just to agree that i'm right for once?
it's not a lot to ask, especially when i am.

Eric
16-07-2008, 03:09 PM
is it so hard for people just to agree that i'm right for once?
it's not a lot to ask, especially when i am.

lol

I don't know if the societal power structures support this but I am prejudiced against people who think they are right :)

Mr. Tea
16-07-2008, 03:25 PM
no he is not. Because racism involves not only prejudice but also power. that's what Stelfox said about three different ways. Racist statements are statements that have the backdrop of social power.

It's not tiptoeing, it's avoiding inaccuracy and avoiding contributing to blinkered ideas about power in society.

You could say Parrish is being prejudiced, or mean, or short-sighted, or something else if you don't agree with him. But it really eliminates something meaningful to equate a black person being prejudiced against whites and a white person being prejudiced against blacks. It ignores the larger power dynamic that supports white prejudice and makes the effects of white prejudice systemic (not hailing cabs, not getting loans, being more likely to be shot by police

the "acceptable perjorative" question is just silly. It's not about what's acceptable, it's about what's accurate and true. "Racist" is not just an insult, it means something - it means that the racist act contributes to and relies on racial hierarchy in society.


I certainly see what you're getting at here, but I think it's an oversimplification. After all, you could say there is a 'balance of power', or 'power dynamic', at work in every kind of interaction between two or more people, be it social, commericial, artistic or whatever. White people may be more likely to be politicians and black people more likely to be in prison, but that doesn't automatically invest any given white person with some magic power over any given black person, regardless of the situation. As others have pointed out, Parrish, as an established and well-known artist, is in a position of power relative to some up-and-coming DJ or producer (whatever his ethinic origin) who's trying to make a name for himself.

Obviously there is this larger backdrop of the historical and continuing context of race and politics, but I think it's a mistake to assume that this somehow outweighs the particulars of any given instance of a prejudiced statement or act. To give a specific example, a couple of people I know were attacked by some black guys and could very easily have been killed (this was in Chicago's South Side) for being "in the wrong part of town" (which is to say, for being white) - to then say "well, blacks are generally less privileged than whites and there was the whole slavery thing, so it wasn't really racist" is just bullshit. I mean, who had the better part of the 'power dynamic' in that situation?

Also, GFC's comment deserves a hearty ROFL. :)

Amplesamples
16-07-2008, 04:52 PM
The funny thing is as well is that Parrish is very selective with his musical history. Did none of the original black techno artists have any white European influence? I remember reading something that Simon Reynolds wrote about this - the obvious pointers are the Derrick May description of techno - Kraftwerk and George Clinton stuck in a lift. Many of George Clinton and Sly Stone's band members were white. Sly Stone used to get threats from the Black Panthers about using white musicians. And of course there's the whole Bambaata/Kraftwerk thing too.

What about The Prodigy? Two frontmen - one black and one white. Eminem used to get props from every rapper in the game when he was doing stuff on Rawkus - just before the release of his first Slim Shady album. Produced by one of the best producers in any genre. Yeah R&B is sugary, but so is pop music. Backstreet Boys? Take That? N-Sync?

People like Timberland and Neptunes (and yes I know that Chad is not black) have the money and resources to work with anyone. And guess what? Sometimes they work with some singers who are white (Gwen Stefani, Timberlake et al) and sometimes they work with non-white perfomers (Clipse, Keri Hilson, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg). So what? How would Hollaback Girl sound with Beyonce performing it?

"If you recognize that and are smart enough to possibly have a plan for them, we’ll have you killed, make you a ‘hood’ martyr, and make money off your product for decades long after your gone. Were not trying to be sponsors of a revolution here…(Tupac/Biggie)".

Is this some kind of bizarre conspiracy theory here?

Did Tupac really say anything incendiary on his records? He was never a revolutionary - I'm still mystified at the amount of people who love his work when he was at best, crushingly mediocre. He got killed because he had an argument with some people who had guns. End of story.

Public Enemy never got killed, as I understand it, Chuck D got a job on CNN at one point didn't he? And surely they're more 'revolutionary' than most black acts (Revolution Generation, Fight The Power etc)

Just my two cents worth.

gumdrops
16-07-2008, 05:41 PM
this seems to fall into the bizarre 'black people cant be racist' notion. or people just being over-liberal.

Immryr
16-07-2008, 05:46 PM
It's fucking stupid and offensive.

i think that sums up how i feel about stelfox and ripley's line of arguing here....

stelfox
16-07-2008, 06:03 PM
i'm not liberal. after reading this thread, i'd have you all jailed if i could

padraig (u.s.)
16-07-2008, 06:53 PM
this is probably one of those things that can't really be explained over a message board, but to chime in w/stelfox & ripley; it's not about any reluctance, stemming from political correctness or guilt or what have you, to call people who aren't white "racist". it's just incorrect to apply the term in that manner. racism has to do not only with power, but with power structures & institutions. so even grievous individual cases, like a white person being mugged in a black neighborhood w/presumable racial overtones, don't transcend those overarching forces. nobody is defending Theo Parrish or hypothetical muggers, nor is anyone claiming that racial prejudice of any kind is good or desirable.

the difference, is between prejudice & racism. all racism stems includes prejudice, but "racism" by definition implies systematic power, and it flows in one direction in relation to power. white people don't have a monopoly on racism by any means, but they control the most wealth/territory/resources & have done so for a long time, so generally they have gained/gain the most benefit from the status quo. the same thing goes for male/straight/wealthy/etc - for each one of those pieces you get an inherent advantage, & well it might not ensure success it does, as stelfox pointed out, make the idea of gay heterophobia or female sexism against men an absurd one.

to further confuse the matter of power, in situations where dominance is less clear, more fluid, it's harder to differentiate; I'm thinking about parts of the Balkans, the tangled web of relationships between Israel/Palestinians/other Arabs, the complex rivalries between different immigrant groups in the U.S., and so on as always w/race things quickly get very fucking complicated if you delve into any situation in any depth, even if in this case w/Parrish things are pretty clear-cut.

like I said, a message board doesn't really do this justice. plus, it's kind of semantics at this point, with "racism" and the oxymoron "reverse-racism" getting tossed around so much that the former is almost redefined by the contexts people use it in. it's like Chapelle - tons & tons of people laughed at the racial humor while totally missing the point.

crackerjack
16-07-2008, 07:18 PM
but "racism" by definition implies systematic power, and it flows in one direction in relation to power.

OH, god not again.

No. It. Doesn't. Not in my dictionary, not in any online one I can find.

here's thefreedictionary.com's definition.

Noun
1. hostile or oppressive behaviour towards people because they belong to a different race
2. the belief that some races are innately superior to others because of hereditary characteristics

No mention of power or heriarchy.

noel emits
16-07-2008, 07:30 PM
'Racist' is not the best term to use here, I think we all mostly agree on that. But still.

white people don't have a monopoly on racism by any means, but they control the most wealth/territory/resources & have done so for a long time
Some small percentage of white people. It's quite possible I'm not white though, that would explain why I haven't been given my Peerage yet.

make the idea of gay heterophobia or female sexism against men an absurd one.
No, it's not absurd. On a day to day, one to one level it is not absurd if it affects the interactions of real individuals who do not always represent or have behind them the weight of some historical or systemic power structure they had or have no part in constructing or maintaining, and might in fact themselves be disadvantaged by. Stop the the fucking wheel of karma.

when the issue at hand is the idea of an endemic white-on-black racism at the heart of western society
Specifically the issue at hand in this case is the 'recording industry'. Are all creative non-black musicians getting vast amounts of unconditional support from big record companies right now? I think Mr. Parrish's view is an understandable one but it's heavily skewed. It is very much the basis of racial prejudice to overlay colour on to what is really more like a class or business issue.

noel emits
16-07-2008, 07:36 PM
Kraftwerk
Yeah but Kraftwerk are a blues band dontchaknow.

stelfox
16-07-2008, 08:48 PM
OH, god not again.

No. It. Doesn't. Not in my dictionary, not in any online one I can find.

here's thefreedictionary.com's definition.


No mention of power or heriarchy.

ok, so now every concept can be fully defined by the dictionary and no further examination is needed. bearing this in mind, i give you...

Main Entry:
mu·sic Listen to the pronunciation of music
Pronunciation:
\ˈmyü-zik\
Function:
noun
Usage:
often attributive
Etymology:
Middle English musik, from Anglo-French musike, from Latin musica, from Greek mousikē any art presided over by the Muses, especially music, from feminine of mousikos of the Muses, from Mousa Muse
Date:
13th century

1 a: the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity b: vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony2 a: an agreeable sound : euphony <her voice was music to my ears> b: musical quality <the music of verse>3: a musical accompaniment <a play set to music>4: the score of a musical composition set down on paper5: a distinctive type or category of music <there is a music for everybody — Eric Salzman>


and

Main Entry:
1cul&#183;ture Listen to the pronunciation of 1culture
Pronunciation:
\ˈkəl-chər\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Middle English, cultivated land, cultivation, from Anglo-French, from Latin cultura, from cultus, past participle
Date:
15th century

1: cultivation, tillage2: the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education3: expert care and training <beauty culture>4 a: enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training b: acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills5 a: the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations b: the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time <popular culture> <southern culture> c: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization <a corporate culture focused on the bottom line> d: the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic <studying the effect of computers on print culture> <changing the culture of materialism will take time — Peggy O'Mara>6: the act or process of cultivating living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media; also : a product of such cultivation


and


Main Entry:
pol&#183;i&#183;tics Listen to the pronunciation of politics
Pronunciation:
\ˈp&#228;-lə-ˌtiks\
Function:
noun plural but singular or plural in construction
Etymology:
Greek politika, from neuter plural of politikos political
Date:
circa 1529

1 a: the art or science of government b: the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy c: the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government2: political actions, practices, or policies3 a: political affairs or business; especially : competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government) b: political life especially as a principal activity or profession c: political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices4: the political opinions or sympathies of a person5 a: the total complex of relations between people living in society b: relations or conduct in a particular area of experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point of view <office politics> <ethnic politics>

and


Main Entry:
phi&#183;los&#183;o&#183;phy Listen to the pronunciation of philosophy
Pronunciation:
\fə-ˈl&#228;-s(ə-)fē\
Function:
noun
Inflected Form(s):
plural phi&#183;los&#183;o&#183;phies
Etymology:
Middle English philosophie, from Anglo-French, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos philosopher
Date:
14th century

1 a (1): all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2): the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology <a doctor of philosophy> (3): the 4-year college course of a major seminary b (1)archaic : physical science (2): ethics c: a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology2 a: pursuit of wisdom b: a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means c: an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs3 a: a system of philosophical concepts b: a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought <the philosophy of war>4 a: the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group b: calmness of temper and judgment befitting a philosopher

stelfox
16-07-2008, 08:52 PM
paging matt woebot, moderators et al...

please close down the entire board. there is nothing further to discuss. ever

IdleRich
16-07-2008, 09:31 PM
"like I said, a message board doesn't really do this justice. plus, it's kind of semantics at this point, with "racism" and the oxymoron "reverse-racism" getting tossed around so much that the former is almost redefined by the contexts people use it in."
Some people are trying to redefine it in this very thread but not the people you are talking about I fear.
What Stelfox, Ripley et al are doing is giving good reasons as to why that comment may be fairly mild racism or perhaps reasons to explain or justify that racism but they are not giving any reasons why it is not racism.

fokse vektaire xeven
16-07-2008, 09:54 PM
Stelfox was right to say that racist is an ugly word in this context. racism in the contemporary sense wouldn't exist without the establishing imperialist conception of race. what's disappointing about this interview is Parrish reinforces the taxonomy you'd hope he'd reject, really as much for what he says about black as white people. Some of these remarks may be tantamount to racism but that doesn't make racist the best word to reach for, especially as the interview as whole is mostly guff. as was said upthread it all seems more paranoid and/or embittered than anything else, and it was a loaded question. i read it and wasn't particularly offended, just a bit disappointed i spose... having said that there are white people involved one way or another in black music on this board so i'm not surprised at some hair triggers over the accusations of "tourism"!

Slothrop
16-07-2008, 10:20 PM
paging matt woebot, moderators et al...

please close down the entire board. there is nothing further to discuss. ever
Discuss what you like. But if you get surprised or start saying "by definition you're wrong" when people use terms in the sense that they're commonly used and that appears in the dictionary they're probably going to get narked.

And yeah - to me it is an interesting question: how wide a lense do you use to decide who's in a "position of social power"? Are white people actually in a position of social power in the context of underground dance music? Is that too narrow a context? A definition that requires the sort of broad perspective that Padraig's talking about makes me kind of nervous just because there are going to be so many special cases and exceptions and it seems to risk generalizing people away into neatly defined categories too much for a useful discussion...

padraig (u.s.)
17-07-2008, 02:32 AM
OH, god not again.

No. It. Doesn't. Not in my dictionary, not in any online one I can find.

here's thefreedictionary.com's definition.


No mention of power or heriarchy.

yes, well. I'll stick to my definition if it's all the same to you. not to be too redundant about it but the "the dictionary says..." argument is singularly uncompelling. in fact it's barely a step above supporting your arguments with quotations from the Bible.

padraig (u.s.)
17-07-2008, 02:49 AM
Some small percentage of white people. It's quite possible I'm not white though, that would explain why I haven't been given my Peerage yet..

either you're totally missing the point or you're deliberately being obtuse. it doesn't encompass only that infintesimally "small %" who literally control vast wealth. rather, for the past several hundred years whites have generally, albeit w/numerous exceptions & a great deal of fighting amongst themselves, had the upper hand over everyone else to the extent that many things are still tipped unnaturally in our favor. one does not have to like or agree (as I certainly don't & I suspect yourself as well) with power structures w/the staggering weight of history behind them to inadvertantly reap their illicit benefits. and yes, there are many other concerns that cut across race, class very prominent among them. however, if you are poor & white you still reap benefits of your skin.

and in general the individual people/cases/acts argument not only misses the point but is also an invitation to get inextricably tangled in casuistry. analysis doesn't make any person infallible for their actions, it merely provides a context in which to frame those actions.

aMinadaB
17-07-2008, 04:00 AM
Of course, let's just all only talk about how we are personally disadvantaged, that sounds like a great recipe for unity and fighting power. Or is it only black people who have right to complain about anything?

It's fucking stupid and offensive. No wonder you get people talking about how the white working class has been abandoned.

If you are black, or fat, or gay, or whatever, and you look at everything through that lens, if your whole identity is bound up in that then, apart from most likely being an asshole, you are going to have a very distorted view of the world and how others experience it. You are going to resent your fellows and assume they have an easy time or are somehow responsible for your suffering because they don't have exactly the same experience as you. And you are going to miss who the real enemy is, that we share.

So let's fight amongst ourselves and blame each other while the rich and powerful laugh at our division.
If you were to say this in the context of a serious discussion concerning race relations in the US, your statement would be not only ignorant but appalling, and you would be laughed out of the room, frankly.

Where even to begin in response to this nonsense? If all of the emo folks here want to whine and moan about blacks making blanket statements about whites, and then run behind the curtain of "oh no, that's reverse racism, you're fucking stupid and offensive, we are only supposed to fight for unity!" then you quite consciously and intentionally have chosen to ignore the interesting, salient, and relevant issues (which ripley and stelfox quite correctly pointed out). Call it what you want, cite all the dictionaries you like, call out Parrish for his views, fine, whatever, but that's missing the much more relevant points, which his comments bring the fore in a not entirely uninteresting way. The very first thing I think when I read that interview, is how to understand it, parse it, situate it, and learn from it ...not how to run to the nearest message board to hem and haw about his generalizations concerning race ...

And hey, given the historical context, so fucking what if non-whites want to make generalizations about white-dominated power structures? Seems to me that it is a fruitful conversation to have, and if people (e.g., Parrish) want to do it by making outrageous claims, then big deal, it's a discussion that I would MUCH RATHER HAVE, AND LISTEN TO, than to erase by your quick, easy, dismissive "oh how dare he generalize about all whites! tsk tsk" responses.

You know, it's a historically situated conversation and the question of racism in America is finally maybe getting some airtime in a fairly serious way (or, well, perhaps we're inching closer), so if you want to shut it down with sanctimonious and tin-eared shrill whining about 'reverse racism' then by all means, do so.

But my guess is that many folks have heard your complaints before and find them completely unhelpful.

Your comments about the white working class remind me, incidentally, of Hillary Clinton's last ditch re-invention of her candidacy as one for the 'working class,' which of course was a coded form of racism.

noel emits
17-07-2008, 09:46 AM
it doesn't encompass only that infintesimally "small %" who literally control vast wealth
What is 'it' you refer to?

rather, for the past several hundred years whites have generally, albeit w/numerous exceptions & a great deal of fighting amongst themselves, had the upper hand over everyone else to the extent that many things are still tipped unnaturally in our favor. one does not have to like or agree (as I certainly don't & I suspect yourself as well) with power structures w/the staggering weight of history behind them to inadvertantly reap their illicit benefits. and yes, there are many other concerns that cut across race, class very prominent among them. however,
Even as we can agree that this has been broadly the case, what are you going to do about it, who are you going to blame, and how is that going to help?

if you are poor & white you still reap benefits of your skin.
Yes, perhaps. But you are also going to be subject to a whole lot of other conditions as you say, so it's still highly reductive.

and in general the individual people/cases/acts argument not only misses the point but is also an invitation to get inextricably tangled in casuistry.
You know I'm not making an argument about an individual case, if anything I'm talking in more broadly human terms. If I mention 'myself' it's by way of being honest in declaring that we always make these assessments through a personal grid to some extent. And I was being a bit sarcastic :)

analysis doesn't make any person infallible for their actions, it merely provides a context in which to frame those actions.
Whose analysis and what actions? I'm not sure what you are referring to here.

There are many kinds of analysis. Where does this all lead to because it seems to me that this type of one dimensional 'historical' (Marxist?) framework does nothing so much as maintain those conditions and reinforce those categories.

noel emits
17-07-2008, 09:47 AM
The very first thing I think when I read that interview, is how to understand it, parse it, situate it, and learn from it ...not how to run to the nearest message board to hem and haw about his generalizations concerning race ...
Well done for not posting on a message board about it then.

And hey, given the historical context, so fucking what if non-whites want to make generalizations about white-dominated power structures? Seems to me that it is a fruitful conversation to have, and if people (e.g., Parrish) want to do it by making outrageous claims, then big deal,
The guy was basically trolling then you are saying? Fair enough, I can accept that, that's how I read it too.

it's a discussion that I would MUCH RATHER HAVE, AND LISTEN TO, than to erase by your quick, easy, dismissive "oh how dare he generalize about all whites! tsk tsk" responses.
If that's in response to me you are missing my point.

I think framing the discussion in such a way is counter-productive foot shooting and would like to suggest other ways to look at it.

You know, it's a historically situated conversation and the question of racism in America is finally maybe getting some airtime in a fairly serious way (or, well, perhaps we're inching closer), so if you want to shut it down with sanctimonious and tin-eared shrill whining about 'reverse racism' then by all means, do so.
Who's trying to do the shutting down here?

But my guess is that many folks have heard your complaints before and find them completely unhelpful.
How is it a 'complaint' that I wish to think about this in a different way? I'm not offended by the article, just by people insisting there's only only one approved way to talk about it.

Your comments about the white working class remind me, incidentally, of Hillary Clinton's last ditch re-invention of her candidacy as one for the 'working class,' which of course was a coded form of racism.
You really can't see how the apparent insistence, however rhetorical, that the predicament of 'black people' trumps all, might not, however unfortunately and incorrectly, rub some people who consider themselves 'non-black', up the wrong way?

I don't know what Clinton said, and I wouldn't necessarily be so surprised, but in what way is talking about class a coded form of racism? And yes I do note that your comment above is a not at all coded accusation of racism, nice one.

noel emits
17-07-2008, 10:04 AM
You know, it's a historically situated conversation and the question of racism in America is finally maybe getting some airtime in a fairly serious way.
Of course this is important.

And I think it's crucial to use the historical perspective to understand how the present situation came to be. I think the mistake is taking it further and ascribing too much reality to the forces and systems you think you detect which can end up adding momentum to the very thing you are trying to fight.

Worth recognising as well that some of the different comments on this thread stem partly from differences between the US and the UK with regards to 'race' issues.

Pestario
17-07-2008, 10:33 AM
Worth recognising as well that some of the different comments on this thread stem partly from differences between the US and the UK with regards to 'race' issues.

Seems like on the US side things are seen more in historical terms whilst on the UK side 'racism' is considered more in isolation and in the abstract.

stelfox
17-07-2008, 11:36 AM
well, that's another generalisation. i'm british. however, i think there's a point somewhere in there. people in the US have a much stronger tradition of thinking about things in that way, because that's the way that discourse around the subject been shaped.
i guess i'm just more engaged in and conversant with these issues than the majority of british people, given the amount of time i spend in north america, the people i know there, the work i do etc.
it's worth noting that matters of race and prejudice are actually quite different from society to society. what is true of/works in a US context doesn't automatically corellate with the UK experience and certainly doesn't in a post-colonial nation like jamaica.
parrish is an african american, therefore i think it's worth approaching his comments (however wrongheaded many of them were - this much is not in dispute) with that in mind and taking a bit of time to consider where his ideas are coming from.
it's well worth thinking about these issues and discourses before throwing around extremely loaded terms such as "racist" about african american people, no matter what they're saying.

crackerjack
17-07-2008, 02:22 PM
yes, well. I'll stick to my definition if it's all the same to you. not to be too redundant about it but the "the dictionary says..." argument is singularly uncompelling. in fact it's barely a step above supporting your arguments with quotations from the Bible.

Why, cos it's all just written by a bunch of white men? Christ on a bike.

stelfox
17-07-2008, 02:40 PM
no. because it's an extremely limited way of looking at the world.

Slothrop
17-07-2008, 02:53 PM
no. because it's an extremely limited way of looking at the world.
It's not a way of looking at the world, it's a way of talking about how you look at the world. And if for the purposes of this thread people can't be racist unless they've got social power on their side (or rather, people the same colour as them have social power on their side) then that's fine but that's not the way that the term is commonly used so it'd be polite to give a bit of warning and not use phrases like 'by definition'.

Slothrop
17-07-2008, 02:57 PM
It'd be like me telling people off for calling a synth modular when it isn't, and on further questioning explaining that SL(2,Z) doesn't even have an action defined on it, so it certainly can't be invariant under that action and thus by defintion can't be modular.

Martin Dust
17-07-2008, 03:01 PM
I liked the bit about stealing (mostly white) but hey did you forget the Ugly Edits Theo ;)

The whole thing is ill thought out, full of holes and makes him look like a dick.

IdleRich
17-07-2008, 03:05 PM
"Why, cos it's all just written by a bunch of white men?"
I thought that the bible was mainly written by Arabs?


"no. because it's an extremely limited way of looking at the world."
I think that a dictionary is somewhat limited as it tends to give a general, common usage, layman's terms definition of any particular word - however this does tend to be a good place to start from when debating the meaning of something.
On the other hand, in many disciplines words that are in common usage take on a different, subject specific meaning; I think an error that has to be avoided is that of insisting that the specialised meaning which is used in your field ought to take precedence over the commonly accepted definition when you are not conversing with people in the same field.

stelfox
17-07-2008, 03:09 PM
I liked the bit about stealing (mostly white) but hey did you forget the Ugly Edits Theo ;)

The whole thing is ill thought out, full of holes and makes him look like a dick.

that's much more like it. i didn't want to get into an argument about racism at all.

say parrish looks like a bit of a tool, as martin has done: fine (and justified).

call him a racist: rather bad.

that's my position.

anyone who wants to say, "the dictionary states that X means Y" really cannot be argued with. it's such a preposterous starting point that it's really not worth entering into debate.

IdleRich
17-07-2008, 03:09 PM
"It'd be like me telling people off for calling a synth modular when it isn't, and on further questioning explaining that SL(2,Z) doesn't even have an action defined on it, so it certainly can't be invariant under that action and thus by defintion can't be modular."
Cross-posting but I think we're making the same point.

Martin Dust
17-07-2008, 03:11 PM
not especially cool to go around calling african americans racist, btw, whatever you might think of what he's saying. what he's saying is extremely ill-advised in lots of ways, but reverse racism or whatever you want to call it is pretty damned thorny ground to start treading, especially when the issue at hand is the idea of an endemic white-on-black racism at the heart of western society.

Are there different levels of racism? Do you get to pick and choose?

stelfox
17-07-2008, 03:12 PM
Are there different levels of racism? Do you get to pick and choose?

yes and yes. but it's much more involved than that, as i've explained.

Martin Dust
17-07-2008, 03:20 PM
yes and yes. but it's much more involved than that, as i've explained.

Do you believe that's how it happens in real life or just in books?

Martin Dust
17-07-2008, 03:23 PM
that's much more like it. i didn't want to get into an argument about racism at all.

say parrish looks like a bit of a tool, as martin has done: fine (and justified).

call him a racist: rather bad.

that's my position.

anyone who wants to say, "the dictionary states that X means Y" really cannot be argued with. it's such a preposterous starting point that it's really not worth entering into debate.

Thing is, this isn't the first time I've heard Theo being called a racist, I've heard it a few times now, mostly from other DJs and Promoters, I always figured they had an axe to grind but the thing is with racists is they don't make one comment, they usually make them over and over. Fuck knows but this don't help any, I wish they'd asked more questions because I don't think that reply has done Theo any favours.

baboon2004
17-07-2008, 03:29 PM
Surely everyone agrees on something like the following?:

The expression of group prejudices based on race/gender/sexuality etc has to be filtered through an understanding and acknowledgement of the historical and social circumstances in which this expression is made, in order to understand the force/true impact of the expression.

Apologies for clumsy formulation.

But also, the comment from Parrish that started all this was something along the lines of his talking about "parties where white people weren't welcome". Which rather suggests the non-semantic question of whether all cultural groups are entitled to their own spaces where others aren't 'allowed'....

Discuss.

Martin Dust
17-07-2008, 03:35 PM
But also, the comment from Parrish that started all this was something along the lines of his talking about "parties where white people weren't welcome". Which rather suggests the non-semantic question of whether all cultural groups are entitled to their own spaces where others aren't 'allowed'....

Discuss.

But the History of House and Techno contradicts this statement, it was about all outsiders coming together under the beat, something that Theo has stated he believes is a loads of balls.

stelfox
17-07-2008, 03:39 PM
personally, i think he's talking crap about places where people should go and shouldn't. through a lot of personal experience i can quite confidently say that anyone can go anywhere and have a bloody good time without apologising to or making excuses for themselves. all over the states and further afield, i've ended up in tons of places where parrish would probably say i had no business being, but the general attitude is "what the fuck are you doing here, how do you know about this? cool that you came out, join in the fun." it's really a scene's participants who decide who is allowed in and in my experience, i've never received anything but interest and a welcome - well, apart from being totally ignored and left to just get on with my night (in more or less the way that people probably would be were they to come from america to, say, dubstep/grime nights). that doesn't really need saying, though. as soon as it's made available, culture of any kind is never the sole property of any one, predefined group of people. what parrish says is pretty myopic and plain dumb (which is a shame because i love his music). it even exhibits certain issues of intolerance toward other europeans.

however, for WHITE people to call a BLACK AMERICAN "a racist", is far more inadvisable. always. every time. and this idea approach to these issues does not only work in books. strangely enough, i'm not that big on reading about things like this. i far prefer to approach the world in real-life terms, especially when it comes to real-world issues like this.

Martin Dust
17-07-2008, 03:44 PM
personally, i think he's talking crap about places where people should go and shouldn't. through a lot of personal experience i can quite confidently say that anyone can go anywhere and have a bloody good time and that as soon as it's made available, culture of any kind is never the sole property of any one, predefined group of people. what parrish say is pretty distasteful, myopic and plain dumb (which is a shame because i love his music). it even exhibits certain issues of intolerance toward other europeans. however, for a WHITE people to call a BLACK AMERICAN "a racist", is far more inadvisable. always. every time. and this idea approach to these issues does not only work in books. strangely enough, i'm not that big on reading about things like this. i far prefer to approach the world in real-life terms, especially when it comes to real-world issues like this.

There's a point where it almost seem like he has utter contempt for his own (mostly white) audience, which I feel is a real shame.

The whole thing feels like one of those rant emails you should write but never send.

stelfox
17-07-2008, 03:49 PM
i'd agree with that, both points as it happens

dHarry
17-07-2008, 06:31 PM
Yes, there's the leading question issue ("tell us about how white people steal black people's music"), but also I think Parrish's "dodgy" opinions/feelings are formed not by his defective personality or faulty logic or whatever, but by racism itself i.e. his experience of living in a racist society, of being on the receiving end of it every day of his life, which will of course warp anyone's view of whites. I wasn't surprised at all by it; it reminded me of Miles Davis's autobiography - full of the same anger and confusion about how white people treat black people - and if your only response to that is "but not all white people are racist; how dare he" it's really missing the point. Miles worked with plenty of white musicians, his best friend was Gil Evans (white), but he'd still regularly go off about whites and their racism - because he experienced it constantly. I don't think it's reverse racism, just confusion, resentment, bitterness and hurt coming through:


After bebop became the rage, white music critics tried to act like they discovered it—and us—down on 52nd Street. That kind of dishonest shit makes me sick to my stomach. And when you speak out on it or don't go along with this racist bullshit, then you become a radical, a black troublemaker. Then they try to cut you out of everything.



I wasn't going to [laugh and grin for the audiences] just so that some non-playing, racist, white motherfucker could write some nice things about me. Naw, I wasn't going to sell out my principles for them. I wanted to be accepted as a good musician and that didn't call for no grinning, but just being able to play the horn good. And that's what I did then and now. Critics can take that or leave it.

So a lot of critics didn't like me back then—still don't today— because they saw me as an arrogant little nigger. Maybe I was, I don't know, but I do know that I wasn't going to have to write about what I played and if they couldn't or wouldn't do that, then fuck them.


Then there was the business side of the music industry, which is very tough and demanding and racist. I didn't like the way I was being treated by Columbia and by people who owned the jazz clubs. They treat you like a slave because they're giving you a little money, especially if you're black. They treated all their white stars like they were kings or queens, and I just hated that shit, especially since they were stealing all their shit from black music and trying to act black. Record companies were still pushing their white shit over all the black music and they knew that they had taken it from black people. But they didn't care. All the record companies were interested in at that time was making a lot of money and keeping their so-called black stars on the music plantation so that their white stars could just rip us off. All that just made me sicker than I was physically, made me sick spiritually, and so I just dropped out.


Louis Armstrong had to start grinning like a motherfucker to finally get his. White people used to talk about how John Hammond discovered Bessie Smith. Shit, how did he discover her when she was there already? And if he had really "discovered" her and did what he was supposed to, what he did for other white singers, she wouldn't have died the way she did on that Mississippi back road. She had an accident and bled to death because no white hospital would take her in. It's like, how did Columbus discover America when the Indians were already here? What kind of shit is that, but white people's shit?


I had just finished doing an Armed Forces Day broadcast, you know, Voice of America and all that bullshit. I had just walked this pretty white girl named Judy out to get a cab. She got in the cab, and I'm standing there in front of Birdland wringing wet because it's a hot, steaming, muggy night in August. This white policeman comes up to me and tells me to move on. At the time I was doing a lot of boxing and so I thought to myself, I ought to hit this motherfucker because I knew what he was doing. But instead I said, "Move on, for what? I'm working downstairs. That's my name up there, Miles Davis," and I pointed to my name on the marquee all up in lights.

He said, "I don't care where you work, I said move on! If you don't move on I'm going to arrest you."

I just looked at his face real straight and hard, and I didn't move. Then he said, "You're under arrest!" He reached for his handcuffs, but he was stepping back. Now, boxers had told me that if a guy's going to hit you, if you walk toward him you can see what's happening. I saw by the way he was handling himself that the policeman was an ex-fighter. So I kind of leaned in closer because I wasn't going to give him no distance so he could hit me on the head. He stumbled, and all his stuff fell on the sidewalk, and I thought to myself. Oh, shit, they're going to think that I fucked with him or something. I'm waiting for him to put the handcuffs on, because all his stuff is on the ground and shit. Then I move closer so he won't be able to fuck me up. A crowd had gathered all of a sudden from out of nowhere, and this white detective runs in and BAM! hits me on the head. I never saw him coming. Blood was running down the khaki suit I had on. Then I remember Dorothy Kilgallen coming outside with this horri*ble look on her face—I had known Dorothy for years and I used to date her good friend, Jean Bock—and saying, "Miles, what happened?" I couldn't say nothing. Illinois Jacquet was there, too.

It was almost a race riot, so the police got scared and hurried up and got my ass out of there and took me to the 54th Precinct where they took pictures of me bleeding and shit. So, I'm sitting there, madder than a motherfucker, right? And they're saying to me in the station, "So you're the wiseguy, huh?" Then they'd bump up against me, you know, try to get me mad so they could probably knock me upside my head again. I'm just sitting there, taking it all in, watching every move they make.

I look up on the wall and see they were advertising voyages for officers to take to Germany, like a tour. And this is about fourteen years after the war. And they're going there to learn police shit. It's advertised in the brochure; they'll probably teach them how to be meaner and shit, do to niggers over here what the Nazis did to the Jews over there. I couldn't believe that shit in there and they're supposed to be protecting us. I ain't done nothing but help a woman friend of mine get a cab and she happened to be white and the white boy who was the policeman didn't like seeing a nigger doing that.

Anyhow, on a more positive note, here's Theo talking passionately and articulately about music (http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/DIARIES.18.0.html?act_aced=113&act_dpid=92) to - OMG! - white people. :D :cool:

Martin Dust
17-07-2008, 08:00 PM
Yes, there's the leading question issue ("tell us about how white people steal black people's music"), but also I think Parrish's "dodgy" opinions/feelings are formed not by his defective personality or faulty logic or whatever, but by racism itself i.e. his experience of living in a racist society, of being on the receiving end of it every day of his life, which will of course warp anyone's view of whites. I wasn't surprised at all by it; it reminded me of Miles Davis's autobiography - full of the same anger and confusion about how white people treat black people - and if your only response to that is "but not all white people are racist; how dare he" it's really missing the point. Miles worked with plenty of white musicians, his best friend was Gil Evans (white), but he'd still regularly go off about whites and their racism - because he experienced it constantly. I don't think it's reverse racism, just confusion, resentment, bitterness and hurt coming through:
:

That's a good post and a good way to rethink. It was a loaded question they asked and I believe it was designed to cause as much fuss as possible for the new blog, I still feel very dissapointed tho.

matt2
17-07-2008, 08:57 PM
Don't really have a lot to add to everything that has been said. It is certainly a difficult topic that Theo clearly feels very strongly about. I will say that I am a huge fan of Theo's music. And having met and spoken to him (albeit very briefly), I can say that he was nothing but kind, respectful, and gracious.

bassnation
17-07-2008, 10:04 PM
What, even when they're being just that? I can't really see the problems of racism and racial inequality getting much better any time soon when you've got people, of any skin colour, promoting segregation the way he seems to be (at clubs/parties, where people are supposed to relax, have fun and forget about their hang-ups, right?). He also trots out some tired Afrocentrist rubbish about how "all music music is originated on black experience".

He's got some good points, but he's got some badly over-simplified and misdirected ones too.

Edit: he also thinks RATM were an "all-white band", bless.

i can see what dave is saying here. its kind of like arguing against positive discrimination, cos it is discrimination in some form or another.

however, everyone can be racist and i think its abhorrent. here in south london i've heard west indian people saying appalling things about poles, the usual shit they'd have got when they arrived. i remember ice cube with that song about koreans, which was highly offensive. racism is a human condition. sure you can understand peoples anger for the past, but its difficult to move on if we don't call it how it is, and i know theres a lot of black people who feel the same way. remember rikos blog where he talked about how angry he was towards people giving his white girlfriend shit? my welsh mate is in a relationship with a JA girl and they regularly get shit from both black and white people. its either all wrong or none of it is. it screws up everyones life.

bassnation
17-07-2008, 10:07 PM
Being brought up in northern irish means i understand how anger at how another group has treated you can colour your opinions but i think talking about white folk not having any business being at certain parties is cut and dried racism. Calling white people thieves for using the same samples (pieces of a record hes nicked himself!) is down right insulting. white people dont have a sense of musical community?

well me too, being welsh. but i had to let it go in the end, cos what was it acheiving for me, feeling bitter about the past? and i know how human beings are, if we'd been on top no doubt we'd have dished out shit. for fucks sake, we were the powerhouse, the military of the empire. its important for me to understand my history as its part of who i am, but if i took the attitude some of my fellow countrymen do, i'd have missed out on some great friendships and many loves.

caveat: the historical oppression i refer to with wales has long gone (apart from the totemic sheep thing which i couldn't give a fuck about anyway). whereas i don't think the same could be said for racism towards black people.

at the end of the day we are all in this together.

bassnation
17-07-2008, 10:17 PM
I don't think it's reverse racism, just confusion, resentment, bitterness and hurt coming through

ok, thats such a great summary. do you think he'd see things differently if he was a producer in london?

Slothrop
17-07-2008, 10:21 PM
parrish is an african american, therefore i think it's worth approaching his comments (however wrongheaded many of them were - this much is not in dispute) with that in mind and taking a bit of time to consider where his ideas are coming from.
it's well worth thinking about these issues and discourses before throwing around extremely loaded terms such as "racist" about african american people, no matter what they're saying.
To be honest, I'd try to think about where people's ideas are coming from whether they're young black americans or Daily Mail reading Werthers Original Imperialists or whatever. Otherwise we're heading back into the territory where middle class white male heterosexuals have free will and moral culpability and responsibility for their actions whereas working class black lesbians are unthinking products of their environment.

Back on topic, the Miles Davis analogy is one that had occurred to me too. It seems like part of the frustration is the consciousness of being a black musician making a style of music that was essentially created by black americans which is now connecting mainly with white middle class audiences...

bassnation
17-07-2008, 10:41 PM
That's a good post and a good way to rethink. It was a loaded question they asked and I believe it was designed to cause as much fuss as possible for the new blog, I still feel very dissapointed tho.

you know, moodyman has said very similar things. on that planet e comp the first track has him muttering about white people and how they should listen to heavy metal. i loved it so much though, i didn't care.

thing is, its well documented about the interchange of ideas between europe and the states as far as techno goes. maybe its cos i can't get my head round how different things are in terms of house and techno culturally.

Eric
18-07-2008, 01:06 AM
its either all wrong or none of it is. it screws up everyones life.

there we go.

at last ...

is the whole argument above just nitpicking about the meaning of the term `racist'? maybe so.

padraig (u.s.)
18-07-2008, 02:42 AM
however, for WHITE people to call a BLACK AMERICAN "a racist", is far more inadvisable. always. every time. and this idea approach to these issues does not only work in books. strangely enough, i'm not that big on reading about things like this. i far prefer to approach the world in real-life terms, especially when it comes to real-world issues like this.

yes & yes. I'd agree that a lot of the differences (possibly misunderstandings) in this thread about racism come from the disssimilar U.S. & British contexts. I'm American & as Stelfox mentioned the view of racism here, at least when people are dissecting/theorizing about it, tends to be much more along the lines of power & institutions. there's a bunch of reasons for that, a few of them having to do w/the dreaded long hand of history, but I feel like everyone's all argued-out so I'll refrain from delving further into my take on it.

also co-sign whole-heartedly that real-life terms are always preferrable. I have very negative connotations around white people calling out blacks for racism or "reverse-racism", probably b/c so many white Americans are absolutely fucking clueless when it comes to race. anyway, in this particular situation I think we all agree Theo Parrish comes off like a prick, even if one can understand the motivations behind some of his feelings, and I'm happy to leave it at that.

IdleRich
18-07-2008, 09:36 AM
"I wasn't surprised at all by it; it reminded me of Miles Davis's autobiography - full of the same anger and confusion about how white people treat black people - and if your only response to that is "but not all white people are racist; how dare he" it's really missing the point."
There is nothing in the quotes you took from MD that is comparable to the stuff in Theo Parrish's interview saying "whites shouldn't be there". I think that statement crosses over a line from paranoid/righteous (delete as appropriate) anger into racism.


"Stelfox just wants to shut everybody up, because he is RIGHT"
In fairness I think at least one of those comments was a joke.

fokse vektaire xeven
18-07-2008, 10:08 AM
I'm going to put my foot through my Theo Parrish 12"s- and send him the bill

Jaie Miller
18-07-2008, 10:50 AM
ah dont see, what theo parrish has sayed here, that has anything to do with black people, in general - let me finish - what i get from this is a strong sense of, the views here expressed are dot dot dot. and nothing else. one mans words.

this to me, hasn't even begun to be a debate about race. not yet. not slightly.

something to do with what to and what not to call african americans, african british, african asian, african african, african other, i take it theres a pamphlet coming soon, for who? white tourists or white people who may be offended at certain stages of a conversation...or something man. holla.

some guy brings up all this stuff early on as some kind of clairvoyance and then it all kicks off. HA!

tell Theo....there are more polite ways of being racist. from Jaie.

should have been on some quiet as it's kept stuff....ooops.

and you know what..."what?" im not sure if i got this right so im just gonna say it to get some clarity ok.......

i get this feeling of, racism and power-racism and power.....like, dont say nothing if you've got power...money or whatever, Theos got money, what's he talking about, Theo cant say shit, you sweet nigga what you talking about, look at all this stuff you got, what you talking about, you got NHS over here you cant say shit, you know, you're lucky to be here, you better keep hush boy....

now if you're young and you are black and you're hat is real low and you look like a mid reader...i dont want to believe a word of that....none of it...no matter how it's articulated...pffffft.

if you are in a position of power USE YOUR VOICE...use your voice to speak out about the injustice and the imbalance that you see around you everyday, no matter if it directly affects you......in fact the more power you have...the louder you have to speak.


what happened to being a voice for the voiceless???

the feeling i get from this is, don't say shit unless you are going through it...well guess what?! "what?!" the people who are going through it cant speak....maybe even can't read...word up. so it's up to people like Parrish to speak and upset a few heads, if thats what its gonna take for people to wakey wakey and look and see , shit aint all good even today....

black people are still the most violently oppressed people in the world today...but look "what" i dont say that shit to win an argument ok...black people with sense, dont bring that stuff up to win an argument, we dont just go around throwing up colonialism or slavery to make white folk feel bad...boo hoo.... recognize

black people are still the most violently oppressed people in the world today....Dalits perhaps. The black untouchables of india....so you know what.....Theo should have just spoken about that for the time as far as im concerned...since the guy is so keen to know.

but look im a moron, ok, a fool, racist even!* so just remember that when you are breaking all this up into efficient quotes that you can use to display your profound wisdom and such.


if you think im out here complaining about the past or complaining about this country or where im at, you're wrong, "black people think this, black people think that, black people over here can say this, black people over here can say that....well i think that the power structure today is....." uh huh, ok, what's up.....:rolleyes:

IdleRich
18-07-2008, 11:43 AM
"Don't be a knob, i was joking."
Yeah, I know, that's why I pointed it out to the guy that didn't.

stelfox
18-07-2008, 11:55 AM
fine. i think there are bigger things to worry about here. like, for instance, a really disturbing, almost daily mail-style outrage to racial discourse and identity politics that i really would have hoped not to have encountered here. and please don't tell me what my motivations are. if i say i'm joking, i'm joking. if i want to tell people where to get off, i'm pretty well capable of doing that in a open and honest way, too.

sorry rich, that initial post wasn't directed at you.

IdleRich
18-07-2008, 11:58 AM
No problem.

stelfox
18-07-2008, 12:53 PM
i didn't dare to leave it?
who is this guy, seriously?
i thought better of it, especially as it could have been misinterpreted by someone who it wasn't directed at.
also i'd rather not let an (albeit somewhat diappointing) thread about interesting stuff get into a pathetic personal slanging match, something you seem determined to kick off. goodbye.

Mr. Tea
18-07-2008, 05:34 PM
i can see what dave is saying here. its kind of like arguing against positive discrimination, cos it is discrimination in some form or another.

As it happens I don't think positive discrimination is necessarily a bad idea, at least as far as education is concerned, because there is still a big gap and anything that can be done to close it is at least worth looking at. The good news is black kids' GCSE results are improving faster than the average, so (in the UK at least) the gap is narrowing.
(Also, who's Dave?)


however, everyone can be racist and i think its abhorrent. here in south london i've heard west indian people saying appalling things about poles, the usual shit they'd have got when they arrived.
Yeah, it's funny that, isn't it? You kind of assume anyone who's militantly anti-immigration is going to be some xenophobic Little Englander, but immigration gets a lot of vociferous opposition from people who are themselves immigrants, or the children of immigrants. I guess they're more likely to be at the lower end of things economically, and will naturally resent a new flux of people who are going to compete with them for housing and so on and maybe cause wage deflation.

bassnation
19-07-2008, 04:39 PM
As it happens I don't think positive discrimination is necessarily a bad idea, at least as far as education is concerned, because there is still a big gap and anything that can be done to close it is at least worth looking at. The good news is black kids' GCSE results are improving faster than the average, so (in the UK at least) the gap is narrowing.
(Also, who's Dave?)

dave = dave stelfox. stelfox isn't his first name, you know that don't you? :)

yeah, agree - wasn't arguing against positive discrimination, but drawing a parallel between calling african americans racists. jesus, these things get so complicated don't they?


Yeah, it's funny that, isn't it? You kind of assume anyone who's militantly anti-immigration is going to be some xenophobic Little Englander, but immigration gets a lot of vociferous opposition from people who are themselves immigrants, or the children of immigrants. I guess they're more likely to be at the lower end of things economically, and will naturally resent a new flux of people who are going to compete with them for housing and so on and maybe cause wage deflation.

when people get in through the door they resent others who also want to come later. which goes pretty much all the way back to the first dwellers here. no human is indigenous to europe remember, we are all immigrants if you go back far enough.

i'd even go so far as to argue that the most vulnerable people in the uk today are not black british people, although i'm not doubting theres still huge issues with racism from individuals and institutions (plus a load of other problems that are tangental or indirectly related). the most vulnerable today will be asylum seekers, from a plethora of different places, who can't work, who are imprisoned, treated like fucking cattle. the eastern europeans in particular have been through equivalent shit to anyone from JA or africa. you don't have to be black to suffer and be angry.

everyone has a reason to be wounded, and to pass that on to future generations as their identity and legacy. but like i said, carrying that on risks demonising and hurting other people who weren't responsible decades or even hundreds of years later. is it really justifiable when those people are discriminated against by black people (and others, obviously) - to just say, oh well its dodgy talking about racism cos of history and the balance of power, or do we bite the bullet and just say its fucking wrong whoever says it? i know where i stand.

however, one last caveat to that: its a pity that the history that i talked about isn't taught to everyone, not just the people who went through it. i know i learnt things in wales which had happened to my ancestors which i assumed was common knowledge - when i moved to england people here just thought the welsh / scots / irish are being uppitity, divisive etc. the winners get taught one thing, thats for sure. maybe it would help with understanding each other better.