On his first day at his new job*, Jeff Goldstein plays the race card:
TODAY, HOWEVER, we recognize that there is no such thing as â€œblack bloodâ€ or â€œwhite blood,â€ and so in order to account for our perceivable differencesâ€”in order, that is, to continue the project of racial identificationâ€”race theorists have sought to turn the essentialist project of racial identification into the anti-essentialist project of racial construction. In short, the â€œracialâ€ has become the â€œcultural,â€ and the â€œculturalâ€ has become the supposedly anti-essentialist foundation for group identity.
THE QUESTION, then, is this: if â€œraceâ€ is now â€œculture,â€ and â€œcultureâ€ is an anti-essentialistic social construct, how can we account for our â€œdifferencesâ€? Clearly, pigmentation is not full proof; after all, many of those who think of themselves as black donâ€™t â€œlook black,â€ just as many of those who think of themselves as white may not â€œlook whiteâ€ (historically, this failure of perception to secure racial identity manifests itself in this country in the 19th and early-20th-century phenomenon of â€œpassing”). Which would suggest that the answer, if it is the aim to continue the project of racial identity, must rest elsewhereâ€”with the constructionistâ€™s notion of culture.
Yeah, that’s great. But we actually stock the Lou Rawls CD’s in ‘easy listening’ because he’s, y’know, ‘easy listening’. Look, why don’t you go price tag the new Nelly Furtado, okay?
*(Okay. Jeff didn’t really get a job. But sometimes I like to leave the reality-based community and take a walk on the wild side.)