Black Is In!

Not red. Not beige. Not yellow. Not white. Last night on his show, Larry King declared, "Black is in!"

He also shared how his eight year-old son wants to be black too.

Hmm. Is this black trendiness why I got hit on this afternoon by the lady with the bleached out orange hair? She said I was gorgeous. She said my nails are lovely, and she marveled over my typing skills. If Obama wasn't president, would she have given me the time of day?

Is it cool for folks to say that they wish they were black now? What do you think about that? Is it cool for someone who can enjoy all the power and privilege of not being the average black man to say they want to be black? Let's see how he feels after he can't catch a cab and he gets followed through a store.

I know Larry means well but blackness is not a fashion statement. It doesn't go in and out with the rise and fall of hemlines. Hmm... Maybe Larry should tell that, "Black is in!" mess to the family of Oscar Grant. I'm sure that'll make them feel much better.

It's been said already that Larry King having an eight-year old is possibly more weird than his "Black is in!" statement. But, if it gets decided that everybody is "in" if they're black, I should just throw that Irish dad in the closet. (Sorry, Dad!)


Anonymous said…
Ironically, he was very hostile about the idea of Barack Obama becoming president. It wasn't in the words he used, but whenever a reference was made to the possibility of Obama becoming the next president, he had a very hostile look on his face. Same with Wolf Blitzer. Same with some other CNN anchors/reporters. Yeah, he was really unhappy during the election, but after Obama won, he gets all excited and happy? I think the reason some people are behaving this way is to conform to what they think the rest of society is feeling. They want to appear politically correct and not be accused of being racist. I never saw this hostility when Bush was running for his second term. I'm sure there were angry people, but not the kind of animosity that you see in relation to Obama. I can understand if he was severely unqualified. But this is a person who is highly educated and has some political experience. And it's not like John McCain was such a great candidate. I would think Obama would be a logical choice in that contest.

Larry just doesn't get it. That's why he found it funny when Anna Nicole Smith said that she loved the Bahamas. He found it strange and funny because the Bahamas is predominantly black.

He had a hard time accepting the fact that a white woman was married to an Asian man. After seeing footage of her husband taking care of her, he got this hostile look on his face. There was also another story of a white-Asian couple when he interviewed the wife of James Kim. He just found it awkward to see pictures of an interracial relationship. Interestingly, he was not hostile when talking to Maury Povich about his family life.

He just does not get it. The reason some of these people are mad is because they think Barack Obama's election challenges the white power structure. "They're taking over and I don't like it."

Same with Terry Gross who laughed when a guest said that she was considered white in Africa. The guest was mixed race, black and white. And the laugh had a derisive feel to it like "How could a half-white person of black ancestry possibly be considered white?" Well, it's just the opposite side of the coin from America's view of race. She also asked with a sense of derision what a quarter black author considered herself after discovering that her father was part black. Like, "Haha, you must consider yourself black." She said it the same way some people do when they find pleasure in another's misfortune.

Larry wasn't too happy when he said that his son wanted to be black. It's hard to tell from the video, but I am just going on other interviews I've seen.
Sundry said…
It was a stupid, insensitive comment on Larry King's part, but then do we expect better from him?

Re: would the washed out redhead have given you the time of day? I suspect that amongst many white people who are aware of and adverse to racism, there's hope that today their sincere good intentions are more beleivable than they might have seemed on the day before election day.

I am not talking about the Larry Kings. I'm talking about people who really want to understand how to just honestly connect with each other, who have felt a barrier born of collective guilt or simple unfamiliarity, who are now reaching out awkwardly and who will inevitabley put their feet in their mouths from time to time.

I think there will be a lot of stumbling in the coming months and years, but I really believe that we will be stumbling _forward_ at least.

Thanks for keeping the converesation lively, Liz. You inspire me!
Anonymous said…
Well, you are gorgeous so it may have just been that. I've thought that since before I knew beng black was "in."

But, the whole concept strikes me as patently absurd. Acceptance of diversity being "in" I can get behind, as long as it doesn't have the lifespan of trends like day-glo clothing. But being one particular race shouldn't be hip. I don't see how that can possibly help our situation.
Anonymous said…
You noticed they both laughed at the fact his eight year old son wants to be black. Like oh aren't kids funny. Black's always in!! That's why the media uses hip hop songs and dance to sell products. It'll probably out now that Larry King said it's in!LOL
sippinwineman said…
Beware. Eventually there will be a flub, bad call, tough decision that will make some people wonder 'Would this have happened had I voted for. . .?'

I live in the land of protests (DC) and it'll be interesting to see those lines drawn.

On the funny side. . . .come October 31, will we see an eight y.o. son of Larry King in black-face? Sun burnt? Extra crispy with suspenders? lol hmm
Ian Lidster said…
Well, Liz, I've always thought you were fabulous looking, so I don't need a fatuous Larry King-inspired testament of trendiness to know that beauty in spirit must be color blind. I would hope we can move to the point where Mr. Obama's ethnicity is of no validity and it will be his skills as president that will have to pass the test regardless of his gene pool. That's what I long to see happen.
allison sara said…
I agree with citizen and Ian, you are beautiful. And you have a great blog!
Shiona said…
Yes it seems like it will take very little to turn comments the other way. But at least they are saying that for now.

I too agree with Cyndee's comment. Black has always been in to a certain degree as far as advertising goes. Hopefully black will stay in for other reasons :)
Jameil said…
lol. your poor daddy. you know what? i'll take black being in for once. and i'll take it for what it is coming from who it did. like everything out of all pundit mouths, rain of salt.
Anonymous said…
Los Angelista,
Is this why my kids call me (affectionately, lol) “Dorky Dad”?

Maybe it’s like this …
Liz Dwyer said…
So glad you shared all that. I don't watch him too often and don't watch CNN too frequently so I didn't have all that context. Sigh. Maybe it is political correctness to say you're an Obama fan... although can't Fox News get some of that if it is! :)

I don't think we can expect more from Larry King but I wish we could! He gets paid a lot for a guy who puts his foot in his mouth so much! I do think you are absolutely right about people who want to honestly connect with each other. There's more of that than even 10 years ago. I hope people can truly become friends on a deeper level than even what we see now.

Yeah, the whole trend thing bothers me. I saw an article today about how advertisers are scrambling to find Sasha and Malia look-alikes because they don't have enough black models on their rosters. Crazy!

Yeah, they were totally laughing like, "WOW, our kids are NUTSO for wanting to be that!" Too true... white kids are the ones buying hip hop and all that so maybe black IS always in... except for the kids with the pale makeup, dark liner and black clothes. I don't think they're going to the tanning booth anytime soon.

Oh goodness, I can see it now... there's a bunch of folks who are gonna dress their child up as Obama. I'm scared. Very scared.

Why thank you, Ian -- and take THAT Larry King! :) As for Obama, I long to see his skills as president be the forefront of what folks say about him too. I have high hopes for him being great and effective, not just black.

You are very VERY kind to say so. Hugs!

I feel like some in the media are already trying to create drama! If you didn't get in to the inauguration, blame Obama! Him not talking to that Politico reporter today was just the END of the world!

All I can say is that if black is in, can we get some black models in Vogue on the regular? Or on the cover of some other magazines... someone other than Beyonce!

Well, as for my dad, I'm rocking my green shirt with shamrocks on it today... couldn't abandon the Irish pride for too long. :) I hear you on taking it but it is SOOO annoying! If I'm "in" am I gonna be out again? Like how Latino's were in a couple years ago and now... Sigh.

LOL!!! Too funny! And no, your kids call you that because you're awesome, I'm sure!
Mes Deux Cents said…
Hi Liz,

Black is as it has always been in this country. Someone over at the Huffington post is already calling Sasha Obama "sassy".

Hopefully Black people aren't too caught-up in the moment to realize that nothing has really changed.

P.S. A security guard followed me around the grocery market yesterday. Somethings never change.
Lisa Johnson said…
Well black was in before, then it wasn't. Now it may be again, but regardless of what the trend is, Larry King doesn't get that we remain black when people like him decide that we're no longer fashionable.
I would like people to see beyond Barack Obama's skin color because, like all of us, he is much more than that alone.

And yes, the idea of Larry King having children is most unsettling.

Please don't closet your dad, Liz. Some white folks are pretty decent people, too, as you know.
Ugh how annoying. I just had some woman call me gurlfriend when she said goodbye. I don't even know this woman and yet she feels it's appropriate to address me is such a colloquial manner. I swear if she had called me the N word I wouldn't have felt as offended. It just came out of nowhere and my speaking style is actually quite formal: read newscaster-ish. So how did I get reduced to an 'around the way' gurl just because I am Black?! Ugh!!!
Liz Dwyer said…
Sassy? Oh okay. I'd rather she be sassy than drunk and with a fake ID like the LAST President's daughters.

I hear you on getting followed. I took a can of food to a food drive I knew was going on at my local grocery store, but the collectors were gone when I got there. I went into the store with the food can, since I needed to get some other stuff, and next thing you know, security was rolling up on me. AAGH! I sure hope that type of mess changes because I am SICK of it!

Exactly... fashionable or not, my skin color is not changing any time soon, and that's alright with me.

He is much more than that for sure... I did not cheer when I found out that Marion Barry got back in office, that's for sure.

You know my dad is never ever closeted for me. :) He has my total admiration... plus, being a white man, he has the ability to have very frank conversations about race and racism with other white people that I don't know if I or another black person could have as easily.

What in the world? Gurlfriend? See... let me go get my bottle of Tylenol right now because that's just ridiculous. I wouldn't say that to someone unless I knew them and they really WERE my girl! Sigh.
Larry King should shut the heck up.

What does he know about black folks? Nada.

I'n not trend. Idiot.

p.s. you are gorgeous so don't be surprised when washed out red-heads give you compliments. :)

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