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Episode 134 — Natural Hair


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#1 Earwolf Admin

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:00 PM

The very awesome Jen Wang (Co-creator/author of Disgrasian.com) joins Andrew Ti to talk about the everyone’s fascination with black people’s hair. Don’t fuck with people’s hair and call us at (323) 389-RACE to ask if anything is racist.

#2 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:44 PM

OK the people this caller is talking about are so obviously racist, I see no reason to even discuss it.

I have a very funny afro story that a teacher told me once. She was a black college student in the 70s, and as we know getting an afro was very popular. At the time she was cultivating a very big afro, and constantly getting shit from her mom about it. Her mom would of course say she looked silly, and of course she would accuse her mom of stifling black pride and enabling white standards of beauty by disparaging her natural African hair (even though she was actually styling it to make it bigger).

So at one point when she was about 19, she was riding in the car with her mom and once again her mom complained about her hair and how it was crowding her as they drove. Sullenly, she took the lighter from the dashboard and lit a cigarette. As she was driving, she smells hair burning and notices she has accidentally set her hair on fire with the cigarette. Her first instinct, she said, was actually an instinct to try and quickly put it out before her mom noticed because she didn't want to get even MORE shit about her hair. But trying to pat it out didn't work, and as she was starting to panic her mom also noticed, screamed, and stopped the car. They immediately smothered the hair, screaming, and when it was over her mom said "You are cutting that hair shorter." She didn't argue.

#3 Shariq Torres

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:03 AM

This topic was so good. Yes, there is this strange fascination and repulsion with black folks hair. Because on one hand white people look at the myriad ways that black people style their hair and are like, "whoa, that's cool!", but those same white people whole heartily buy into the myth of white supremacy so that means they obviously can't give credit where credit is due. They lash out and poke fun at our hairstyles. I mean, the mom from that reality show with 8 kids (Kate with Eight? I don't know the title) is basically rocking the T-Boz haircut that was popular when I was in high school. But once that hairstyle fades from the black culture, then it is safe for white people to pick it up and act like they created something new.

And yeah, that chick that is wearing the Afro wig, she's an ignorant P.O.S.

#4 Shariq Torres

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:25 AM

I lived in Houston for awhile, and the Asian population there cracked me up. So, an overwhelming majority of the Vietnamese descent kids identified with black culture. They were into breakdancing and tagging. This also meant I had to verbally slap some of them down because they felt it was ok to call me the n-word because they had listened to all of UGK's albums.

The kids of Korean and Chinese descent identified with the preppy, white guy culture. They felt it was ok to call me the n-word because they heard their white friends do it.

#5 Hyde Parker

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:20 AM

Viets are odd sorts. My (Italian) buddy hung with a crew of them in middle and high school and his stories range from brawls in front of the million dollar houses their restaurateur parents owned to walking around with guns (a full-sized replica katana, in one instance) shoved into their pants in case they beefed with kids in whatever shitty arcade they were hanging out in.

3.5+ GPA's were maintained throughout, of course.

On topic (the topic of this thread, I don't listen to the podcast): I don't know that white people typically know or care enough about black hair to "lash out," as you put it. I guess we sense something distinctly proletarian about "product" discourse when we're privy to it but we're only aware of it when: 1 ) a discussion among black people breaks into the broader media environment (see: Gabby Douglas debacle), or 2 ) that Chris Rock documentary plays on HBO at two in the morning.

Other than that I guess the Jheri curl is kind of silly?

#6 medamaude

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:19 PM

Looking forward to the podcasts in this coming week. Jen's already cracking me up.

Also, "techno Asians" is a thing? Finally, I know I'm not the only Asian who loves Depeche Mode. I think out of all the Asian stereotypes I could fall into, I'm gonna go for the "80s music and billiards" category.

#7 Shariq Torres

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 03:16 PM

View PostHyde Parker, on 22 April 2013 - 09:20 AM, said:

Viets are odd sorts. My (Italian) buddy hung with a crew of them in middle and high school and his stories range from brawls in front of the million dollar houses their restaurateur parents owned to walking around with guns (a full-sized replica katana, in one instance) shoved into their pants in case they beefed with kids in whatever shitty arcade they were hanging out in.

3.5+ GPA's were maintained throughout, of course.

On topic (the topic of this thread, I don't listen to the podcast): I don't know that white people typically know or care enough about black hair to "lash out," as you put it. I guess we sense something distinctly proletarian about "product" discourse when we're privy to it but we're only aware of it when: 1 ) a discussion among black people breaks into the broader media environment (see: Gabby Douglas debacle), or 2 ) that Chris Rock documentary plays on HBO at two in the morning.

Other than that I guess the Jheri curl is kind of silly?


You don't have to be an expert at something to demean it.

Lashing out is workplaces banning natural hairstyles. Smart people being denied promotions or even the chance to compete because of how their hair is styled. Lashing out is also seen when a racist person begins to describe "black" people as they know them -- their description will very soon dip into how "those people" wear their hair, how dirty it is, how ugly it is, etc.

#8 Hyde Parker

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:48 PM

In my twenty some-odd years of having private conversations with Boston-Irish racists of the old school I can't think of a single time where criticisms of "those people" dallied into hair-styling.

#9 imhatch

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:52 AM

it is pretty common among texan racists of the good ol' boy school tho

#10 Shariq Torres

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:10 AM

View PostHyde Parker, on 22 April 2013 - 04:48 PM, said:

In my twenty some-odd years of having private conversations with Boston-Irish racists of the old school I can't think of a single time where criticisms of "those people" dallied into hair-styling.


You need to branch out and meet more racists then; get a fuller view of their ignorance.