For this month’s blog index Clutch features Racialicious, a site that examines the link between race and pop culture. We talked to Carmen Van Kerckhove, the woman behind the blog that reminds us not to blindly accept the images that popular media dishes out.
Q: What inspired you to create Racialicious?
Racialicious actually started as a blog called Mixed Media Watch, which tracked media representations of multiracial people and interracial couples and families. Eventually I realized that what people responded to the most was our analysis of how race is portrayed in pop culture. So I relaunched it as Racialicious.
Q: When did you official launch?
Mixed Media Watch was launched in April 2004, but it was relaunched as Racialicious in September 2006.
Q: Tell us about the connection between race and pop culture?
So many of our ideas about people of other races and ethnicities come from the media images we consume. Since pop culture is so powerful at disseminating these ideas not only in the U.S. but all over the world, it’s important for us to not just accept these images uncritically.
Q: Racialicious has touched on several racial issues that have occurred within the last year. Everything from comedian Michael Richard’s tantrum at Los Angeles’s Laugh Factory to actress Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of a Black woman in the film Mighty Heart. Since you started Racialicious, what has been the biggest racial shock to you?
This will sound horribly cynical, but the biggest shock to me has been that Obama is the front runner Democratic candidate. When this whole thing kicked off, I pretty much assumed that the white guy would eventually prevail. But I was wrong. :)
Q: In your opinion, where do the disconnections between races stem from?
We’re too wrapped up in our own oppression. I see it all the time folks get indignant about racist things that happen to people in their own community, but when the EXACT same thing happens in another community, they don’t give a crap. If we’re going to move the racial dialog forward, we need to be truly anti-racist – not just anti-things that offend our own community.
Q: Do you hope that Racialicious will be a means of identifying racial stereotypes and in turn educating different races about each other?
I hope so.
Q: What blog sites do you frequent?
So many. But some of my faves are Stereohyped, Angry Asian Man, Reappropriate, Jack and Jill Politics, Rachel’s Tavern, Too Sense, Guanabee, Harlow’s Monkey, Resist Racism, Zuky, VivirLatino, The Coup Magazine, Mi blog es tu blog, DISGRASIAN, and Media Assassin.
Q: In five words, describe “Racialicious.”
Analyzing race and pop culture…
Q: Why should someone add Racialicious to his or her daily blog reading list
Because it’s important (and fun) to dissect the pop culture images we consume.