NTBCW "Nègres blancs d'Amérique" - real FLQ alienation amidst an ocean of anglophone culture. A wigger is a whiteperson who adopts the trappings of what he/she imagines is the "style" of black Americans. Not new: jazzers, from Mezz Mezzrow to Steve Lacy to Joe Zawinul, as well as radio's Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden ("Amos and Andy") were/are "honorary African-Americans". They were legit; they lived blackness, to varying degrees, even, in some cases, suffering the same abuse and alienation that would have befallen someone born in a Harlem tenement. Wiggerdom tends to be a left-handed compliment: a dilettante's cryptoracism.

The 20th Century contains many mainstream borrowings from black culture. That won't change. But that's a different thing from adopting a persona based on some stereotype - even if that stereotype is reified by persons of your acquaintance.

I'm a cultural tourist; I can whip up a paragraph of old 70s/80s B-Boy slang to enliven a dull writeup. I can appropriate phrases from French and German. But I'd never IRL try to pretend streetness or Germanness. I'm me. Ethnicity without portfolio. A four-eyed United Colours of Benetton in jeans, bare feet, and hair down to my shoulders (pending a haircut). See No Colour. Or, to borrow an ancient Reebok line: U B U.

Don't be a cryptoracist.

Shortened slang term of 'white nigger'. Basically meaning that the subject, although white in skin, is black in personality.

This causes endless frustration across the social spectrum since the common belief of most people is that surface details rule all and heaven help anyone who attempts to live up to stereotypes other than their own.

In truth, it only leads to more hypocrisy. You can wince when you see black guys complaining about white guys rapping but some people remember the prejudice Living Color and Body Count faced when they tried stepping on 'white' musical territory and doing rock and stroke or metal.

Fighting fire with fire is probably the least effective way of dealing with racism.

I don't like these terms (wigger, chigger), because they are similar to the offensive nigger.

Now that I got that off my keyboard, I find it interesting now that many white people are adopting many of the fashions and aesthetics of African American culture. It doesn't take much time in a large city to find white people with cornrows, or white kids in cars playing loud rap music.

It's not the particular observation that I find interesting, but it's the complete change from the way things were 50 years ago that I find interesting. Back in the 50's, it was the African American trying to adopt the fashions and aesthetics of the White American culture, by relaxing their hair and dressing like regular white people. And right in between, about 25 years ago was when the Civil Rights Movement had legitimized African American culture. So it seems like you copy for 25 years, legitimize your own culture, then the other side copies your culture...

Except Asian American culture. Seems like we've been copying white American culture, and now some are copying African American culture. Maybe in 50 years, white and African Americans will copy Asian American aesthetics???

Wigger is the title of a wonderful 1974 children's book written by William Goldman, who also penned The Princess Bride and The Silent Gondoliers. It was illustrated by Errol Le Cain. The book's target age range is kids 7 to 10 years old. It's rather amazing that Disney or some other film company hasn't made a movie of this, though of course if anyone filmed it today, they'd have to change the now-unfortunate title.

In the book, Wigger is a little girl's beloved security blanket. Wigger was given to her by her parents, who died in a car crash. The little girl keeps getting sick, and her aunt and uncle take her to doctors, who can't figure out what's wrong with her. One night, she falls very ill, and they take her to the hospital. The doctors there realize what's wrong with her: she's drowning.

The little girl is literally drowning in tears; she hasn't cried at all since her parents died.

And then she loses Wigger, her last comfort.

As she lies close to death in the hospital, a Vietnam veteran learns of the little girl's plight, and sets out to find Wigger. He does, and when he brings the blanket back to the little girl, she is finally able to cry for her parents, thus saving her life.

Hmm, the above synopsis makes the book sound overly grim. It's not; it's a very sweet little book. It seems to be out of print, so if you come upon a copy in a used bookshop, you might want to take a second look at it.

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