Oh Gawker. Lindy West’s Jezebel post on Hipster Racism is blowing up certain parts of the Internet today. In it, West goes over four main points of “hipster racism”—where folks justify racism by poorly hiding behind irony (Sarah Silverman—we see you!). On Racialicious, Carmen Van Kerckhove dubbed hipster racism one of 2006’s top race and pop culture trends, which means that hipster or “ironic” racism has been a topic of conversation by writers of color and others in the social justice sphere for literally years. You won’t find any links or acknowledgments of these earlier discussions in West’s Jezebel post, but hey, at least a whole new audience of people will be that much closer to knowing how to talk about stuff like Lesley Arfin’s insensitive, “ironic” tweet last week.
One dude definitely didn’t read the post though (or maybe he did read it, and was oblivious). A. J. Daulerio of Gawker (remember, Jezebel is part of Gawker Media) posted a short but incredibly whiny post complaining about the backlash of Gawker’s strange new comments system. “Change is disruptive. Change makes old things go away. Boo, change. We’ll deal,” said Daulerio. He concluded, “I’m just trying to build sturdy branches for us to chat on. Let’s go be a fun family of talking birds on branches in the comments and have a meaningful Native American Chit-Chat. Come, come.” What? In case this appropriative and nonsensical metaphor didn’t call enough attention to itself, there was also a large graphic of three black birds with feather headbands. You can see the graphic below, followed by the sarcastic Twitter response of Adrienne at Native Appropriations: “Thanks for the insensitive graphic, Gawker. You guys are really on point with the hipster racism. So ironic and funny!”
This isn’t really much of a surprise though. Just a couple weeks ago Jezebel editor Jessica Coen trotted out some hipster ableism when she tweeted “The word ‘ableism’ is lame and crazy.” Stay tuned for a bestselling book by her, Daulerio, Arfin (and you too, Chloë Sevigny?!) called How to Be Offensive When You’re on the Defensive. You’ll know it because of the feathered headdresses on the cover.