Adventures in the Postracial*

I was on the road last week giving some talks on new media, pop culture and ideas of the "postracial," a term I only ever use in jest, i.e. "Asher Roth dissing Barack Obama = postracial" or "Tracy Morgan = postracial" or in any situation wherein longstanding ideas of racial identity collide with the ironic, the absurd, or the previously impossible. I'm still not totally clear what sort of future people are describing when they use this term seriously, but these stories from UCLA's football team (via Oliver) surely fit this half-serious definition. First, read this LA Times article about UCLA wide receiver Randall Carroll's twitter-diss of offensive coordinator Norm Chow. And then read this.

* * *

(This mini-controversy, sure to be irrelevant by next week, also dovetails with my previous post about obscenity/language in a digital age. Truly bizarre for the LAT to censor the offending term, since it probably resulted in a lot of people assuming that Carroll had used a different racial epithet.)


*whatever that means

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Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. More

Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Bookforum, Slate, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe Ideas section and The Wire (for whom he writes a bi-monthly column). He is on the editorial board for the New Literary History of America.

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