black roots - white fruits

IdleRich

IdleRich
"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

Beast of Burden
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.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
"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

Techno Zen Master
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?
 

Martin Dust

Techno Zen Master
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.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
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

Techno Zen Master
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

Beast of Burden
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.
 
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Martin Dust

Techno Zen Master
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.
 

dHarry

Well-known member
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:

Miles said:
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.
Miles said:
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.
Miles said:
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.
Miles said:
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?
Miles said:
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 to - OMG! - white people. :D :cool:
 

Martin Dust

Techno Zen Master
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

Member
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

the abyss
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.
 
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bassnation

the abyss
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.
 
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Slothrop

Tight but Polite
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

the abyss
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.
 
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