âFacts or knowledge do not blunt racist intent. This is a truth daily and ancestrally familiar to Black people.â â- As quoted from a recent post on Harry Allenâs âMedia Assassinâ blog about the stupid-ass LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen Vogue cover for the magazineâs current âShapeâ issue.
Hereâs the thing of it, people -- is the cover a âless than subtle piece of racist indoctrinationâ? Duh. Of course it is. Thatâs not really the question. The question is: Isnât it enough that there is doubt surrounding whether or not this cover is racist? Did absolutely no one at Vogue think for five seconds that this might be viewed as offensive? Are there NO black people or culturally aware white people at Vogue? Do they not ever run images or ideas by people who might have a different perspective, say, a broader scope -- people who might, I dunno, live in the real world? If thatâs the case (no black or culturally-conscious folks on staff, no outside perspectives allowed in), then I feel slightly more forgiving, because how could they know otherwise?
How could they know that the image of a big, hulking black man forcefully clutching the fragile waist of a white woman evokes the image of the black (slave) buck and the white mistress; the black athlete and the coveted, trophy white woman; the black pimp and the coveted, trophy white woman; the black thug and the innocent white woman; the scape-goated black rapist and the unsuspecting white housewifeâ¦oh, and the black man as ape, sure. Over 150 years of this image just about everywhere: How could they know this might be offensive or appear racist?