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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/24/10

Lots of Cooks Prepared the Compton Cookout Racial Insult Stew

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University of California, San Diego chancellor Marye Anne Fox, the president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, UCSD student leaders, and a bevy of civil rights leaders, and black and minority California lawmakers leaped over each other to lambaste the now infamous Compton Cookout at UCSD as racially insulting, insensitive, and demeaning. On February 24, days after the furor broke, UCSD officials held a campus racial sensitivity teach-in to quell racial tensions on the campus.

The Compton cookout, of course, was the bone headed stunt by a handful of white and non white students at an off campus to mock, poke fun at, and revel in what's presumed to be the sway and swagger of ghetto life. There's a problem, actually, two problems with this. The air head students couldn't conjure this up from whole cloth. They aren't that imaginative. They lifted the wording for the invitation for the cookout from the online urbandictionary web site. The site has parlayed an online commercial empire out of irreverent lampooning of slang words and phrases, and then hustling some slang laced products at a pretty penny. There are nine Compton cookout mugs, banners, tee shirts and mouse pads scrawled with inscriptions and jive talk on the items, some with a hefty price tag. There's also evidence that the UCSD racial spoofery is not isolated, that students at other campuses have had their own versions of Compton Cookouts.

"Naw, 'hoe' is short for honey." (Dr. Dre, "Housewife")

That's the minor problem. The bigger problem is that urbandictionary, as the UCSD students, couldn't conjure up the Compton Cookout inanity from whole cloth either. They've had overgenerous help from the endless parade of gangster rappers, some black filmmakers, and comedians continue to routinely reduce young black women to "stuff," "bitches" and "hoes." Their contempt reinforces the slut image of black women and sends the message that violence, mistreatment and verbal abuse of black women are socially acceptable. Despite lawsuits, protests and boycotts by women's groups, gangster-themed films and rap music still top the popularity charts. Hollywood and music companies rake in small fortunes off them, and so do a few rappers.

"b*tch choose with me" (50 Cent, "P.I.M.P")

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 
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