[JPL] Re: Black vs. White

Music at AndreaWolper.com Music at AndreaWolper.com
Wed Nov 8 20:50:00 EST 2006


I'm a little sad that the subject line is "Black vs. White."  I happen to
think it's a good thing when we talk about race and racism, and that talking
about these things doesn't automatically mean there's a "vs." in the
equation.

As we all know, there are as many ways of interpreting something as there
are people.  We add meaning to everything.  The original question, according
to Dr. Jazz, was whether a particular record label "...EVER record[s] any
non-white artists."  The question may or may not have been emotionally
charged--we don't know just from reading the post--but it's a pretty
straightforward question (and one that's answerable, as long as said record
company has kept track of its output).   My own interpretation is that the
question does not contain the suggestions that labels should make decisions
based on race, that programmers and deejays should only play music from
labels that meet quotas, or that musical criteria should take a back seat to
racial criteria.

If, as Dr. Jazz says, the label in question has released work by non-white
artists, then you might say the question was an unfair one.  That doesn't
necessarily make it a bad question.   If we have any hope of evolving beyond
where we are now and where we've come from, we need to see what we're not
seeing; sometimes that means asking uncomfortable, even unfair or seemingly
outrageous, questions.  Then, if we engage in the dialogue, we
all--including the original questioner--get the opportunity to re-examine
our assumptions about how things are.

Andrea


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