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Of Color | Stylish Gifts - The New York Times (20091210)-thumb
Gawker has issued the following interesting piece of news: Word is, The New York Times has decided to offer a very special “Of Color” gift guide for gift givers of the European extraction.

NYT’s guide to “gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season,” include a “Wise Latina” tee-shirt and The Mocha Manual to Military Life: A Savvy Guide for Wives, Girlfriends and Female Service Members.

NYTPicker says the guide is racist. Mediate pussyfoots with “bordering on offensive.” What “border” didn’t this cross? It’s a celebration of the racist assumption that “people of color” are defined by their colors—but white people get to self-define with their interests, hobbies, and desire for “Home and Decorating Gifts for $25 and Under.”

The NYTPicker has a point as the guide appears to encourage gift choices determined by racially based assumptions rather than individual preferences. Gifts include an essential makeup guide for Asian women, Hair Rules, a serum for “problem hair” and Hill Harper’s new book created to help [couples] discuss the “nuanced complexities of African-American relationships.”

Gawker states this guide is rife with backstabbing messages, for instance, the subtext of the Hill Harper relationship guide is: Your relationship is terrible, and you are so dense, I think you need a book to explain how to fix it. The racist subtext states: Someone once told me black people come from broken homes and beat their wives. You are black, therefore yours is probably a broken home, and your husband is probably beating you. Here, let me save you with this book, is was written by a black celebrity.

If you’re curious about their interpretation of the Asian makeup guide, you may want to check this out:

Subtext: Your makeup skills need improving. Your foundation never matches your skin tone, your complexion is blotchy, and you are not nearly pretty enough to go without. Cover it up, already.
Racist Subtext: Your Asian eyes are freaking me out. Can’t you use some kind of shadow trick to make it look like you have eyelids?

Clutchettes and Gents, we must ask, is this author lost in cynicism, or addressing the cold hard truth of the majority mind set? In addition, how would you feel if your fellow co-worker purchased you a holiday gift based on a guide made specifically for colored folks of color (a.k.a non regular white folks)?

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  • Kadi

    I love how people are reading this and then picking out two non-offensive or racially biased items and saying, “I don’t mind if a white person got this for me…” How dense can you be? The point that, as the author of this post pointed out, POC are being judge as different and are being boxed by their race is the problem. Essentially, these should be gifts that anyone should be able to receive (obviously not the wise Latina shirt or the couples book). The list is stupid and ignorant.

  • Lisalis

    I think the “Of Color” guide was a great list with most items made by people of color. Did you check the Black Voices gift list? I saw maybe one gift supporting manufacturers/artists of color. Come on Black Voices…who’s racist now?