September 20, 2011

White Triumphalism in Gentrifying D.C.

Ethnic change in Washington D.C. has gone so far that white hipsters are getting cocky about rubbing the noses of poor blacks in the new white dominance. The Washington Post reports:
While I sat for the better part of an hour — okay, perhaps longer than that — outside H Street Country Club on Saturday enjoying a few libations as the Northeast corridor’s fabulous festival unfolded around me, I watched club owner and impresario extraordinaire Joe Englert [a white guy] and his compatriots do a rather brisk business in a repurposed piece of D.C. political memorabilia. 
His navy-blue T-shirts bearing the legend “Mayor Barry: Making a great city even greater” were going gangbusters. 
That would be the official logo of Marion Barry’s 1986 re-election campaign. An original sign, incidentally, hangs above the stairs down into the basement of Englert’s Capitol Lounge on Pennsylvania Avenue SE. 
Most of the folks I watched buy the tees were, shall we say, not in Barry’s base demographic. 
While Englert acknowledged the shirts’ appeal to master ironists, he insisted he printed up the shirts out of appreciation for Barry, not to mock him. 
”I think people, even newcomers, sort have a fond view of him,” he said. “He’s a folk hero. He’s as close to Johnny Appleseed as you’re going to get here.”

This doesn't strike me as polite or prudent. Considering what happened to Matthew Yglesias in May just for being a white man walking down the street in D.C. at night, being a white man walking down the street wearing an intentionally racially insulting T-shirt, apparently thinking that poor blacks are too stupid to realize you are mocking their demographic defeat, sounds like a really bad idea.

On the second thought, a lot of these hipsters might not even get that they are racially gloating over the upcoming economic cleansing to Baltimore of the remainder of D.C.'s poor blacks. They possess elaborate conceptual vocabularies for thinking well of themselves, so they might even believe that they believe that "folk hero" nonsense.

By the way, in 25 years, will the next generation of white hipsters ironically wear vintage 2008 "Obama: Hope and Change" t-shirts? They might not be worth much right now, but you should stock up on them because they could be an ironic gold mine someday.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're right. Extremely stupid.

But, the white hipsters are probably generally smart enough not to wear Marion Barry t-shirts in the wrong parts of town.

~Risto

Anonymous said...

A. What Risto said.

B. 25 years? I doubt very much that fingerquote irony unfingerquote is going to be a hot item in this country in 25 years. But t-shirts are cheap, so I plan to take your advice and hedge that assumption.

Anonymous said...

By the way, this is pretty far off-topic, but after hurricane Irene, FEMA had a frustratingly difficult time finding helpless wards of the state in Vermont:

http://www.denpubs.com/news/2011/sep/18/fema-recovery-center-opens-where-are-afflicted/

Those darn white people just picked up hammers and started rebuilding! Of all the nerve!

Anonymous said...

Blacks who get the joke will be the smarter one who aren't violent. Dumber blacks will NOT get the joke. And if they wanna attack a white person, they'll do so for the hell of it, not over any t-shirt unless it's the wrong gang color.

Harry Baldwin said...

OT, but of interest to Steve: the search for Latino celebrities to be an HBO special:

http://news.yahoo.com/hbo-documentary-shines-light-latino-stars-094418423.html

Henry Canaday said...

Steve, this is DC, not LA. Few people in Washington, white or black, are clever enough to be ironic. We are stupid, but sincere.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Anonymous said...

It goes to show: money talks, bs walks. It doesn't matter what white liberals believe. They got the money, so they got the power, and they got the bragging rights. Liberals talk 'inclusion' but play the best white power/privilege game(for themselves at least).

Anonymous said...

You know... I'm beginning to think that the King statue is really of Marion Barry. But shhhhh, it's supposed to be a secret joke.
No wonder King looks like a punk.

Baloo said...

Or, you could buy one of my 165 beautiful Obama designs on many wonderful products at my store HERE. (You really set me up for this one, Steve!)

Alicia said...

"being a white man walking down the street wearing an intentionally racially insulting T-shirt, apparently thinking that poor blacks are too stupid to realize you are mocking their demographic defeat, sounds like a really bad idea"

Trust me, the more violent blacks are a) generally very stupid, b) younger and probably not sure who Barry is, even though he is still on the Council. So the smarter, more civil ones will get it. I could see that going two ways: 1. they're generally embarrassed and annoyed by ghetto blacks just as whites are so they'll understand, or 2. they'll think it's racist. It'll probably be a combination of both, actually.

Frankly whites (and others) need to stand up to the violent/loud/obnoxious ghetto thugs, especially on the Metro. Generally if they aren't in large packs they'll back down if there is a united front against them. I've seen it happen. They're really pretty cowardly.

Younger liberal whites in DC are often not subtle about their dislike of black ghetto types and of blacks screaming racism at everything. I guess it's because they come into more contact with them than people in, say, Seattle, so they have to deal with reality a bit more.

Anonymous said...

Of corollary of the t-shirts in DC is the retro Buddy Holly/Betty Page look of the hip, ironic whites in the Bay Area and Silver Lake.

The unstated message is a celebration of and longing for when the country was 90% white and gender roles were easier to understand. But of course they vote for Obama, and drink Manhattans in bars where the cliental is virtually all white.

TGGP said...

Does anyone wear Carter shirts?

If anyone sells Fulgencio Batista shirts, I might wear them around the Che groupies.
On investigation it appears there actually is a site called DictatorShop. The internet thinks of everything.

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to obtuse Steve but how do you know that Yglesias was attacked for being White?

You don't know who the attackers were.

You guessed they were black thugs, a good guess but... you are quite dogmatic about something that u are only speculating about

Let's! said...

Are these shirts "polite" or "prudent"? (They say Air Rhodesia. I have no affiliation nor acquaintance with the seller.)

http://www.cafepress.com/dd/11351964

Remember Flights 825 and 827.

Steve Sailer said...

Yglesias is well aware of my surmises. He has had plenty of time to deny them if they aren't true.

Anonymous said...

@Frankly whites (and others) need to stand up to the violent/loud/obnoxious ghetto thugs, especially on the Metro. Generally if they aren't in large packs they'll back down if there is a united front against them. I've seen it happen. They're really pretty cowardly.

That's pretty risky advice. A few years ago I saw a guy get stabbed by a 'youth' for telling him not to litter. He lived, thankfully.

I'd say avoid confrontation and eye contact if possible.

Anonymous said...

Marion Barry Obama.

G Joubert said...

If we are ever going to have a color-blind society, particularly vis-a-vis whites and blacks, there'll have to come a time when stupid people of whatever race are not protected and enabled when they make dreadfully stupid choices. They need to have their noses rubbed in it like a miscreant puppy dog or they'll never learn.

eh said...

By the way, in 25 years, will the next generation of white hipsters ironically wear vintage 2008 "Obama: Hope and Change" t-shirts?

I don't know.

But the way things are going, they may be a 'minority' population by then. So they may decide not to just so they don't get the shit kicked out of them.

ATBOTL said...

"This doesn't strike me as polite or prudent."

You want to send the message to black thugs that you are NOT scared of them.

josh said...

Steve,

I don't remember if posted anything on the initiative to bring more hipster friendly retail to H-Street. There will be loan subsidies for "small and unique" reatil stores. There are some restrictions (are you ready?) "hair salons, barber shops, cell phone shops, or liquor stores" are not eligible." Talk about triumphalism.

http://frozentropics.blogspot.com/2011/08/dcentric-retail-boost-for-h-street.html

Svigor said...

Yglesias is well aware of my surmises. He has had plenty of time to deny them if they aren't true.

Steve, all these years and you still don't get it. Leftoids demand absolute rigor from us; only they get to play fast and loose.

Roger Chaillet said...

Hysterical.

And to think that my late Uncle Jack, a retired D.C. homicide detective, saved Marion Barry's life during the Hanafi Muslim siege.

P.S.: Barry now lives two doors down from the house my Dad was raised in on Raleigh Street SE. Wonder when Anacostia will finish gentrifying? http://www.racialicious.com/2010/03/09/the-gentrification-shuffle-redux-rebranding-anacostia/

Drawbacks said...

"The Puce Panther"? For the love of God...

stari_momak said...

"Yglesias is well aware of my surmises. "

Yes, figuring out the 'race' of a criminal perp is like figuring the existence of Pluto, not by direct observation, but by its influence on the orbit of other planets, or like finding a black hole by its bending of light of other objects, or being like Sherlock Holmes and noticing the dog that *didn't* bark or like ...

David said...

Lovely to see. A friend just moved to D.C. Hope she's okay.

The real solution is not tees, though; it's (iSteve theme alert) a crackdown on crime. Fines for jaywalking, fines for broken windows. Many, many more people in prison. This is essential to an effective clean-up of a bad area.

josh said...

A)Maybe those who attacked Yglesias had some quibbles with his blog?B)The T-shirt,and supposed ignorance about Marion Barry among the young("Bitch set me UP!" will always be a great line) reminds me of a story about the LA/Rodney King rioots,when a white reporter asked a black "young person" why he was rioting,the kid replied,"For Martin Luther King!" Was HE being ironic?? Me,I wouldnt wear the shirt!!

Jacob Roberson said...

Steve: First white flight (to Ballamer Cowny), then all the black people who can (black flight?), now all the poor black people are going to DC? Ballamer Ciddy's losin' everybody. :( Soon we'll just have the nice houses in Rolan' Park, every other house will have plywood on the front of it.

Alicia said...
Barry ... is still on the Council.

You HAVE to be kidding me... *clickityclickityinternetclickity* ...what is wrong with DC?

(Reading further, he's a really brainy guy. I couldn't see his smarts through all the crack smoke swirling around him. Still, black people it's time to accept it: Just because he's black and smart doesn't mean he isn't stupid. Doesn't mean he's "your guy." He's a moronic crackhead FFS.)

Dutch Boy said...

It's a White thing - you wouldn't understand.

Anonymous said...

"Yglesias is well aware of my surmises. He has had plenty of time to deny them if they aren't true."

Aww, are someone's mash notes being returned to sender?

Anonymous said...

That's pretty risky advice. A few years ago I saw a guy get stabbed by a 'youth' for telling him not to litter. He lived, thankfully.

My brother [who is also a reader here at iSteve] knows a guy whose own brother was accosted by a "vibrant" ute, in a very posh California coastal town, and who stood down the "vibrant" ute with some high school wrestling maneuvers [and maybe a little jujitsu].

The "vibrant" ute then went back to his, ah, "vibrant-mobile", grabbed a knife, returned to the scene, and thrust the knife in the poor dude's neck.

So now my brother knows someone whose own brother was murdered - right there on the streets of a very posh California coastal town.

Moral of the story: RKBA, RKBA, RKBA...

Conatus said...

Yeah I lived a couple blocks from H street in the 70s and 80s and it is real different now. Back then I would go to the plumbing supply store on H and all the natives would shield their eyes from the glare of my face.
The Post would have resurgence and renewal articles every five years or so but nothing really took, it stayed the same old burned out hulk of a forgotten black shopping district. Things are different now, the riots were in '68 and only now has H Street come around. About two months ago I was driving out H about midnight one Friday night and I was amazed to see the East end of the street crowded and hopping with whites. You would think redevelopment would come in from the west, where the SEC building is but no, all the white bars are on the East end.

As far as the t-shirt is concerned, I think street blacks are all about body language and tone of voice. The angle of your swagger, a level tone of voice mean far more than some shit on a shirt. Semiotic facetiousness is for white pussies.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Irony requires a sense of humor.

Humor requires intelligence
Folks with low intelligence tend to see everything literally- hence "politically correct" apologies are constantly demanded for offending some moron who imply doesn't get the joke

* See the Tracy Morgan and Katt Williams controversies for the latest examples of this phenomenon

Grumpy Old Man said...

When I lived in DC, young whites got pretty realistic pretty fast. Even at the height of the "anti-racist" riots at Columbia in 1968, you didn't see many sophomores strolling down the cliff, in Harlem.

It just takes a friend of a friend getting mugged or worse to create realism.

Unfortunately, the realism doesn't extend to politics. So there are plenty of white liberals in DC who wouldn't think of strolling in Anacostia, who still think "diversity" is hunky-dory. Without the black vote for Obama, they'd be working in Wal-Mart in Dubuque.

Marc B said...

Ironic distance has been their speciality since the early 1990's (before that they at least were focused at being on the cutting edge of art, music, film, fashion, etc), and it's one of the many reasons I've never been partial to them. They come across as a bunch of phonies unfit for the real world.

Despite playing in several bands at clubs they frequent and having similar tastes in general, I've generally disliked them enough not bother deciphering if they are being sincere. Most things are usually just a self-referential wink wink for them. They'll find out how well those shirts play in the hood when they go for some fried fish at Horace and Dickey's.

Roger Chaillet said...

Too bad no one noticed the other joke about Baltimore.

It's called Charm City by the locals. http://www.examiner.com/religion-culture-in-baltimore/atonement

Kylie said...

My experience with black people of average intelligence (that is, average intelligence for blacks) is that they are mostly irony-immune.

As for blacks attacking whites, the provocation is the white skin more than the clothing on it.

Anonymous said...

We rub our noses in retaking D.C. by wearing Marion Barry shirts, they rub our noses in overrunning the country by electing Barack Obama.

Someone's got the better end of the deal, but I'm not sure who (/sarcasm).

Strikes me that if we ever do retake the country, the (minimal) courage it takes to wear these shirts will not be optional. Nevertheless, I plan to be packing underneath.

Cyprian Korzeniowski said...

Did you know: there is actually such a thing as hipster racism. A comment on my Facebook feed informed me of it but yesterday. It is doubtless the invention of Diversity, Inc., who engineered it in order to scare and control gutless, anti-racist SWPL's. Since the only reason anyone would want to mock the wild and wacky antics of Marion Barry is because of a deep seated, subconscious hatred of blacks.

jody said...

the greatest mystery of our time: why the pittsburgh pirates baseball hat remains popular.

is this not akin to wearing a detroit lions shirt?

Defensive in Motown said...

is this not akin to wearing a detroit lions shirt?

The Lions have the best young talent in the NFL. Besides football players wear jerseys, not shirts.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Jody the answer is that the Pittsburgh Pirates are linked to the high water mark of American Culture that is simultaneously revered and loathed by the hipster.

Kent Tekulve with that wonderful,funky leg kick wind up, Willie Stargell with the "We Are Family" theme (after the death of disco) represents a country bereft of irony

Hence the irony

Look at the hat in all it's context and behold the glory of hipster OCD:

http://tinyurl.com/3m3a3nr

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Just when I congratulated myself on an original analysis I came across somebody who arrived at (more or less) the same conclusion in 2007

http://passionweiss.com/2007/10/24/we-arent-family-the-hipster-willie-stargell/

ricpic said...

No matter how dominant or triumphant whites may become in DC (and frankly at present that's pure fiction which barely stands a chance of becoming the case in future) no black will ever walk the streets there in fear for his life simply by virtue of being black. The reverse will never be the case even should whites "triumph." That's the urban world we live in now. All else is fantasy.

mr_evergreen said...

"No matter how dominant or triumphant whites may become in DC (and frankly at present that's pure fiction which barely stands a chance of becoming the case in future) no black will ever walk the streets there in fear for his life simply by virtue of being black. The reverse will never be the case even should whites "triumph." That's the urban world we live in now. All else is fantasy."

Maybe not in DC. Where I lived, I was scared of walking around certain places for fear of being attacked for being Black, because I had actually faced racial intimidation and harassment. It happened in rural Georgia. In many cities, it was often the case that if you were Black in a certain part of town, you could get attacked or murdered.

Mark said...

As a gay man who lived in DC around the turn of the century and was somewhat active in this gentrifying along with my homo friends, I would just like to say to any white hipsters living in D.C. and currently reading this blog... YOU'RE WELCOME.

(We tried to do the same in Baltimore but it was too far gone.)

ogunsiron said...

Marc B said...
Ironic distance has been their speciality ...
...bunch of phonies unfit for the real world.

Despite playing in several bands at clubs they frequent and having similar tastes in general, I've generally disliked them ...
---
Interesting comment. I'm quite the right winger but my taste in music and arts in general implies that I sort of hang out with those folks.
Sometimes I wonder just what has the typical "snarky,cynical,ironic" genderqueer hipster been thru in life to justify that outlook.
Have they been hugely disappointed after committing fully to some cause ? Most likely not. Posers...

Anonymous said...

Of corollary of the t-shirts in DC is the retro Buddy Holly/Betty Page look of the hip, ironic whites in the Bay Area and Silver Lake.

The unstated message is a celebration of and longing for when the country was 90% white and gender roles were easier to understand. But of course they vote for Obama, and drink Manhattans in bars where the cliental is virtually all white.


1990 called, it wants its observation back.

Simon in London said...

"apparently thinking that poor blacks are too stupid to realize you are mocking their demographic defeat"

Hmm, how many 16 year old black youths are going to make the association between this T-shirt and a figure from an era before they were born, and make the conceptual leap to "He's mocking us! Get him!"?

I think the hipsters may have the right of it here, Steve. If they are attacked it'll be for walking-while-white (did I just invent that?), not for the T-shirts.

Simon in London said...

Mark:
"As a gay man who lived in DC around the turn of the century and was somewhat active in this gentrifying along with my homo friends, I would just like to say to any white hipsters living in D.C. and currently reading this blog... YOU'RE WELCOME."

LOL. :) You win the thread!

Anonymous said...

Every man in that photo looks like a slob.

Roissy had fun with the People of Walmart site, but this DC crowd looks nearly as lame. Looks like the yuppies are stuffing their faces with big macs and donuts too.

Whatever happened to posture and collars on shirts. Auster site recently presented photographic proof that the bums in 1940 were better dressed than many professionals are today.

And nice pallor! Not really even white anymore with a lot of these people. It's the green blue gray yellowish skin tone of the truly sunlight deficient lefty hipster.

But that's not how you can tell it's not California.