colorblue

In this specific example, while making its comparison of India as a magical negro, the post fails to both note and appreciate the following bits of context:

That both the main white actress and the main desi actor in the film are British, with Dev Patel adopting an Indian accent and playing the part of a “native”. That all the featured Indian characters are coded as middle/upper class (the dress, able to speak fluent English, etc) and light skinned. That in many ways this is how India is actively marketed by its tourism sector (and also its government. Did a project once which involved collecting promo material from the Indian consul — I think in Chicago? — and it was quite hilariously illuminating), because they’ve judged that this type of pandering will bring in the tourist dollars.

And this exotification of India in the West has been happening since before the time of Columbus, and reducing said things to a “phenomenon in which a white character in a tv show or movie finds enlightenment…” seems rather glib. (Just because it appears in tvtropes does not mean TV created it!) And that’s not even getting into how most isms seem to inevitably become just like the racism that blacks (had) face(d) in the US.

I also thought it was telling how none of the links elaborating on the ‘magical negro’ trope went to one of the many black writers who’ve done the major work of deconstructing and dissecting it, much less linking to desi writers talking about colonialism and othering.

So what my disagreement boils down to, I think, is this: that this is a discussion about the Othering/exotification of India in mainstream Western culture that succeeds in further marginalizing/disenfranchising desis and other minorities. It doesn’t consider that we might be among the audience for this post (much less making room in the conversation for us, much less acknowledging all the times we’ve already discussed this), and in the way it takes something that rose out of certain contexts, misidentifies said contexts while applying it to different ones with no mention of the consequences of the differences, makes it, again, similar to what it’s aiming to critique.

And it brings home the point that, for all its social justice aims, this is a blog for a specific group of white people, by a specific group of white people, with all the marginalizations that entails.

—  Colorblue breaks it on down as to why Sociological Images’ analysis of “India As Magical Negro” fails on several levels at the R today.
A message to my ex

I spotted that multiple pageloads of my index get logged from Bristol every day. One of them could be you.

I thought I’d let you know that you’re just a shitty old hashtag to me now. I hope you know that I laugh every day about you throwing your hotdog down that hallway. It must be like opening a window and fucking the night.

You could’ve had a smart (top-99th-percentile-seven-points-off-genius), independent, honest, loyal woman who loved you, with a career and a smoking body. Instead, you picked a two-a-penny blonde who needed extra lessons until she was in high school because she could barely spell her own name; and with a reputation to rival Paris Hilton. I have seen her reputation drawn on a map, and it spans a good 30+ miles and 6 towns. Good luck with that!

I’ve also been shown multiple photos of her, and of the two of you. You definitely downgraded. (Can I also say that the Justin Bieber haircut makes you look like an idiot? Are you having an early mid-life crisis?)

Keep visiting my blog. It’s cool. I’ll keep driving past your girlfriend’s house twice a day on my way to work. Maybe I’ll pass you on your bike one day and make eye contact, and watch the look on your face as your balls retract up into your body cavity with fear.

Have a nice life sleeping with females who aren’t even half the woman I am!

This song goes out to you.