Tuesday, December 8, 2009

NYT Gift Guide Includes A Separate Section For "People Of Color." White NYT Readers, You May Skip To The Next Page!

We don't like to throw around words like "racist" in the same sentence as the NYT's name, but there's no other word we can think of to describe this page in the NYT's annual Holiday Gift Guide -- called "Of Color/Stylish Gifts" and aimed exclusively at the paper's non-white readers.

Or, as the NYT describes it, "gifts created for and by people of color."

Found in the "Style & Travel" section of the Gift Guide, it stands alongside sections called "Frugal Travel," "Chic and Cheerful," and "Cosmetic Enhancements."

But this page is the only one aimed squarely at readers whose skin isn't white in color -- and it's the first time we can remember a gift guide, anywhere, openly defining its offerings by their appeal to a specific racial group.

Can you imagine the NYT designating a section of its Holiday Gift Guide to presents made "for and by white people"? Or Jews? Or Chinese? Of course you can't.

We welcome NYTPicker readers of any color to click here and see the page for themselves.

The gift suggestions include:

-- "The Mocha Guide To Military Life," a book for black women whose husbands or boyfriends serve in the armed forces.

--"Hair Rules," a hair-care product for a hair-stylist "hero to Michelle Obama and Alicia Keys" that includes a travel kit for kinky hair.

"Ash Kumar's Bollywood Henna Kit," to "emulate your favorite Bollywood star."

-- "The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships," a book aimed exclusively at black couples.

--"Carol's Daugher: A Mgical Beauty Collection," described this way: "Tiana, Disney’s first animated African-American princess and the protagonist of “The Princess and the Frog,” which arrives in theaters in December, is the inspiration for Carol’s Daughter’s new bath and hair collection, the Magical Beauty Collection."

-- "
M2M damoreJon Nail Polish" which brags that buyers "don't have to go for broke to look like a million."

-- A "Wise Latina" t-shirt, presumably to be worn by wise Latinas.

--"Boxing Kitten Clothing," designed by Maya Lake, "draws her design influence from tastemakers like Josephine Baker and W.E.B. Du Bois." Huh? Last we checked, DuBois was a civil-rights activist. We're told these designs have been worn by Beyoncé and Erykah Badu.

We're a bit flabbergasted to see NYT's holiday gift ideas arranged according to the skin color of its readers. We're contacting the NYT to see if someone there can explain the paper's thinking -- or lack thereof.

UPDATE: Several commenters have mentioned Hanukah gift guides, articles on menorah buying, etc., as examples of the same thing. They're not. Hanukah is a holiday celebrated only by a single religious denomination. This gift guide takes a holiday season celebrated by both Caucasians and people of color, and sets apart a page for gifts meant "by and for" a group of people defined only by the color of their skin.

113 comments:

Soo said...

At first, I thought this was a joke. Sad. What's obvious is that white readers shouldn't skip to the next page - this gift guide is FOR white people...who love their "exotic" friends. It doesn't mean anything to me, a "Person of Color" (thanks for guessing at what I want, NYT - it was amusing!).

Nicholas said...

I'm a right handed near sighted Jew with a mustache in rural Connecticut. Where is my Times Section?

Anonymous said...

I see why it's worth discussing, but I think it's going a bit far to describe it as 'racist.'

Let's say the products are truly created by people of color primarily for other people of color. Is it racist for them to do so?

Let's say the Times doesn't think it is, so they report on it. Is that racist?

I'm white, and/but I don't have a problem with either, and I don't mind this feature.

If some people of color think these products are silly, then they won't buy them. But that doesn't mean the Times is racist for mentioning them.

Sorry if I'm missing something. -AM

Anonymous said...

This feels a lot like something the ad people would dream up.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem at all with this. There are all sorts of products targeted toward children, elderly people, men, women, teenage girls, teenage boys, etc. There are stores that sell Judaica and stores that sell Christmas items. Are all these discriminatory? Not at all.

Discrimination applies in the workplace, housing and other circumstances. It does not apply when gift-giving is the subject.

I have a lot less problem with a black doll targeted toward black little girls than I do with white dolls targeted toward all little girls.

I think this kind of gift guide is progressive as well as appropriate.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, the writer of the gift guide in question appears to be black:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/fashion/weddings/12bridges.html

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the NYT designating a section of its Holiday Gift Guide to presents made "for and by white people"? Or Jews?



A quick search of the NYT finds these articles:

* Jonathan Adler talks about buying a menorah: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/garden/03shop.html

* Random support of the capitalist system: http://partners.nytimes.com/library/tech/98/12/circuits/articles/10ssho.html


* Specialty Shops for Hanukkah Gifts

LYNNE AMES
December 17, 1978, Sunday
Section: Westchester Weekly, Page WC4, 1046 words
* And this is one auction I'm sorry I missed:
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/stop-the-world-i-have-a-menorah-to-auction-off/


There are probably more. The search results aren't well-organized and I've got some other things to do.

Having listed these, I admit that there's a general problem when a generalist paper like the NYT writes something that's ostensibly only for a small subset of the readers.

If you ask me, the bigger sin is suggesting that all people of color are also stylish. Lord knows that I'm not. The rules of being a person with correctness of politics certainly insist that one can only refer to people of color with reverence and awe. What about the black tax specialists? Where are the special pocket protectors designed by and for accountants of color? And shouldn't there be some discussion about which oversized gold chains are stylish this season by and for the old school, retro rappers of color?

OMG, I just poked fun at hip hop and accountancy. Is that okay?

Anonymous said...

this isn't the same as a gift guide for men, women, kids, etc. unless you believe that there are differences between whites and minorities then this gift guide is ok but if you believe that all people (not gender or age) are the same then this guide is not appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Ever hear of Hanukkah? You've never seen a page devoted to Hanukkah on the New York Times? Get over your petty resentments. Sheer stupidity.

BobH said...

Racist? Get over yourselves. As a black friend of mine said when I asked about it, "It's about time. Everything else in newspapers has always been about white people."

And how chickenshit do you have to be to throw around such accusations anonymously? Grow up and sign your names.

Sincerely,
Bob Higgins

Anonymous said...

Bob, congratulations on having a black friend!

As a black woman, I don't actually disagree with what your friend said. The newspaper is definitely all about white people, most of the time, anyway.

But that's exactly why I hated this "here's a special page for you black folk" approach in the gift guide. It's the New York Times saying that we aren't going to diversify our coverage, so instead we're going to create special pages just for you, people of color.

As for the racist label? When you use race as a means to divide rather than unify, that's being racist. The idea that a book about Barack Obama is more appropriate to the "of color" section of the Gift Guide should be offensive to everyone, black and white.

Miss Marche said...

It's not that it's racist, it's that it's incredibly out of touch and a bit patronizing.

Baby Jamz? Really? Because if I'm black and I'm a mother, all I REALLY want my child to listen to is Hip-Hop, Sesame Street Style.

Meanwhile, some of the other choices coulf very well be included in ANY gift list. Nail polish? Come on, you can get nail polish for anyone. But I guess because this specific brand is made by a black woman -- and moreover, is inexpensive (read: cheap) -- then it's just perfect for your African American friends!

I'd like to see listings featuring black business owners included in the MAIN pages, not just pages for people of color. Clothing, accessories, books and beauty products aren't for people of color ONLY. Or do mainstream readers have no interests in merchandise created by people of color?

And the henna kit is just exotification at its finest... iCant.

I am not Star Jones said...

but if we are post-racial

shouldn't the times be promoting the idea that anyone would be interested in these products?

just do the gift
guide and trust your audience to pick and choose what they want.

so exhausting how simple the supposed brain trust of the country's leading paper actually is.

Emilie said...

The editorial decision to carve out a section for "of color" is definitely the topic here - not that these products actually exist out there.

Identity politics is hard. On one hand you had so many folks marginalized for so long, that there is an ownership/pride in carving out niches for your identity (whether it's color, religion/LGBT, whatever). But do these carving-out-of-niches actually work toward the end goal of unity, where people can be proud of who they are but not have to cling to big batches of identity?

LOL, the only thing the NYT Gift Section did here was beg tons of other social questions.

I'm going to come down on the side of this was definitely a lazy editorial approach if the editors are trying to "diversify" their audience.

Anonymous said...

i'm not very big on political correctness (but the new york times and the upper west side are). i hate to call things racist (because i figure if we keep using the term for every little thing, then in 50 years 'racist' will mean the exact opposite).

having said that, the new york times and this gift guide are, in fact, gay as f*ck.

Anonymous said...

The Times is a private business and ought to be able publish as it chooses. It is the double-standard that is so laughable, as the author points out; some sections of society have special privileges. As a WASP I may not use certain speech or risk a hate crime, nor may I suggest that "white is beautiful" (I have not desire to do such, BTW). To be white and accepted is to take responsibility for all of histories faults and apologize endlessly. Imagine the editorial attacks in a review of my recent book, Finding Normality and Joy in Hetersexuality: the Life and Times of a Breeder.

Anonymous said...

We live in a multicultural society. But diversity is not always represented in todays media (to the extent that it should be). By 2049 minorities will be the majority. I think it is great that a few editors are doing their part in highlighting products by "people of color".

Candace said...

I do applaud the NYT for allowing someone to have something that promotes ACTUAL products on the market that the majority of its readers are not aware of. You choose to feel it's racist just because it states "of color" Notice of color did include many races...but yes it may be geared to minorities. Is there something wrong with that? Is there something wrong with Hip Hop (a culture) being displayed through toys. Ignorance is bliss. Take the time to educated yourself about a culture you may not know about then you could learn to appreciate other cultures and not be offended by the sheer mention of them. If the product actually does exist why not give it the medium it needs and deserves. NYT needs to broaden its horizons...and yes it's about time they do. I see no problem as I have read The Times less and less due to the lack of information they may not be entertaining to me as a women of color. I'm not ashamed, offended or bothered by the addition of something "different". Open up your minds and WAKE UP it's a new day embrace what makes us different and educate yourself as well as others. Stop being so sensitive to things you do not understand. Kudos to The Times for taking a chance...funny that because it is "of color" the negative comments it is receiving. Sorry wake up we do not all live similar lifestyles and I would finally like to see and appreciate something else other than "general" information to entice me.

Sincerly,

Candace Hutson
An Educated "women of color" and NYT reader

Anonymous said...

I perused the list, and I agree with one of the other Anonymous readers in saying that I also think it is a 'bit too far to call it racist'. If anything I took it as promoting products made by people of color that would be great for the holidays. In addition, it may give great gift ideas if someone wanted to buy a gift related to a person's ethnicity.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the 'of color' gift guide isn't necessarily racist, but I can see to a certain extent that it is stereotypical. Many of the items that they have chosen, blatantly stereotype different races and cultures. I don't think this was thought through very well at all.

BobH said...

anonymous at 12:12 PM: And congratulations to you on being cowardly enough to remain anonymous.

evie said...

So magazines, newspapers, radio programs, etc. targeted to specific races are racist also?

Are hair products developed for AA hair racist? What about those developed for straight white hair? Should they be taken off the market.

Should we get rid of Black History Month?

Give me a break. Women does not equal Men and Black does not equal White which does not equal Hispanic. That's not racist or misogynist. It's a fact. Why can't we acknowledge and celebrate our differences without being accused of being racist?

Anonymous said...

THANK GOD for the NYT !

I had long suspected (insert sarcasm here) that my black friends could in no way appreciate the same gifts I give my white friends. Why, electronics? Why would THEY want any of those? They would much rather prefer a book on relationships for people of color!

If I was a person of color, I would be insulted at the inference that my people could not appreciate the same gifts as everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This may be just a coincidence, but I stumbled upon this discussion after reading stuffwhitepeoplelike.com. I wonder if the NYT was being sarcastic too? Nah.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that this gift guide is ridiculous and racist, the problem is that far too many blacks think such guides are appropriate. "A gift guide just for me!" they think. They also look at BET and think, "My very own television station, with all the stuff I love!"

Anonymous said...

Several commenters have mentioned Hanukah gift guides, articles on menorah buying, etc., as examples of the same thing. They're not. Hanukah is a holiday celebrated only by a single religious denomination. This gift guide takes a holiday season celebrated by both Caucasians and people of color, and sets apart a page for gifts meant "by and for" a group of people defined only by the color of their skin.



You were the ones who were hyperventilating about CAN YOU IMAGINE A SPECIAL PAGE FOR JEWS!!!!! OR CHINESE!!!!!! so yes, it is the same thing. You are showing off your petty racial resentments, either that or pushing too hard at trying to indict the New York Times with this silliness. The stench of racial resentment is there, but maybe you are just way off base like O'Reilly and his "War on Christmas" grasping for every little imagined violation as proof of conspiracy. Maybe you should rethink this. I'm not a fan of "separate section for people 'of color'" but your (gasp)CAN YOU IMAGINE????? is way more offensive than that. It's a tactic that is widely used by the racist rightwingers who are nursing their resentment and wallowing in their victimhood. Is that what you are doing here?

BumperCrop said...

Put it this way, if I saw a gift guide that was 'for white people by white people' I would be offended. I would find it exclusionary and presumptuous.
Having the same skin colour does not mean people have the same interests, needs, attitudes, beliefs or behaviours. I see this as stereotyping (a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment), not racism (a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race). Both are unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

As a white customer I guess none of these "for and buy" stores want my money. I'll spend it elsewhere.

Jak said...

"I do applaud the NYT for allowing someone to have something that promotes ACTUAL products on the market that the majority of its readers are not aware of."

This is the most haughty response I could have ever imagined. How dare you imply that the majority of the readers (white people) are somehow ignorant of anything not specifically marketed to them?

Good grief. If that is what passes for an "educated" attitude then obviously education is failing all too many.

Divisive NYT choice, divisive blog response.

xoliquoricexo said...

we weighed in as a blog that focuses mostly on Africa's budding fashion industry...so we're all too aware of the need to focus on certain niches, but certainly not like this. you may read our thoughts here:

http://shopliquorice.blogspot.com/2009/12/discuss-nyts-people-of-color-holiday.html

xo

Anonymous said...

+1 for what BumperCrop said. Nicely put.

I am actually not offended at all by the idea of "collection of gifts BY people of color" -- the idea being to support minority-owned businesses, etc.

They lose me with "all black people want nail polish".

Miss Marche said...

@ Candace...

Nothing is wrong with featuring hip-hop in toys. What's annoying is specifically marketing that to me simply because of my color. It's the ASSUMPTION that gets me - I'm black, so I MUST like hip-hop. It's like someone handed me a basket of stuff and said, "Oh, you're black, you'll LOVE this!" Err?

But it goes beyond personal preferences. Hip-hop is a global phenomenon that doesn't ONLY appeal to people of color. Additionally, I'm pretty sure the designers on this list don't ONLY want to sell to people of color... they want to sell to people. The Sotomayor story is important for Latinas, but it's also important for little girls (and boys) in general. And I would think, being that it's tied to what's going to be one of the biggest movies of the season, that the Carol's Daughter Princess Tiana line would be featured in a main "gifts for kids" section. I'm just saying... Harry Potter toys wouldn't be relegated to a "For People of Sorcery" page.

I'd like to think that if the paper put more thought into diversifying its pages, it would actually diversify its pages -- i.e., be *inclusive* in its main pages -- instead of just dumping stuff for minorities into a corner.

THAT's the rub.

JCH said...

I doubt it was created with any harmful intent ... I think there's bigger things in the world to worry about.

Dana said...

This is quite upsetting... Is it really THAT awful that these products are targeted, promoted, and recommended for black women?
Most main stream publications are tailored to “main stream American” aka white readers ….and now that someone has taken the time to show appreciation for "women of color" its an issue?? .. I don’t get it.
To call this racist is far fetched and out-right…. stupid. This is a simple Gift Giving write-up about products that are made for a specific group of people. Most of the cosmetics advertised in the US are for white women, (but that goes without saying)..so I think it’s only right to give us “ women of color” some attention!
As a black woman , I find it quite refreshing that a publication as large as the NYT would support a section dedicated to gift ideas for someone like me. ..I am tired of having to go buy an Essence Magazine just to get this type of information ... Lets face it…This country is becoming more and more of a mixing pot- and we need to facilitate these changes in our news and media. We have an African American First Lady for goodness sakes! Black women and/or other “women of color” are here and we are not going anywhere!! So yes, its time that mainstream publications start supporting things tailored for “us”. Kudos to everyone that had a part in this! I think you should continue with these types of projects .. – Dana O. Washington, DC

Rob in Windham County said...

Have a FUBU Chrismus, y'all!

Now enjoy this Kwanzaa radio special by Shaniqua McCullough and her McCullough Commentary.

http://reasonradionetwork.com/?p=803

Aaron said...

yeah, from my pov we should be moving toward a less colorblind society, not a more color-aware one. and i love the assumption that people of color have a certain politics. for instance, they don't recommend Clarence Thomas paraphenilia, but they do recommend sotomayor material. indeed, a shirt, "wise latina" that seems to approve of an actually racist statement that even Soto herself was forced to throw under the bus. And while, yes, something like 99% of black people voted for obama, i don't think the 1% who didn't would be appreciative if you lump them in with the rest; and besides i would suspect that his approval among african americnas is no longer 99%.

I'm not saying that race is never a factor. For instance, i have given several people copies of "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King" on CD (a beautiful, grammy winning CD, btw). Its a great fallback gift when you don't know what they would like, because literally everyone who listens to it loves it. Am i slightly more likely to use that as a fallback when i know the person belongs to a historically picked on group? you bet. but i would term that more awareness of discrimination, than awareness of race and indeed, I interpret that term "historically picked on" to include more than just racial discrimination.

MTowne said...

Elite conservatives frequently subscribe to the myth of "color-blindness." The idea is that if we pretend that race doesn't exist, that there is no such thing as black culture, if we don't acknowledge it, it will go away.

Have you talked to any people of color about how they feel about this gift guide? One? Two? If you do a little field testing, I think you will find many more white people than blacks objecting to the existence of a black gift guide. If you did happen to find a black person who didn't like the idea - congrats on finding your token.

YJ Lee said...

This gift guide was condescending and yes, racist. The fact that it included items by and for "people of color" but didn't include white people under that rubric is itself a racist assumption. It suggests that 'white' is somehow non-racial. And that suggests that while you can buy gifts for white people based on their interests or personalities (every other gift guide on that website), giving non-whites things that 'fit' their race or ethnicity is enough. It's still operating at a surface level, which is ignorant. And the fact that it was written by a black man doesn't make it any less racist. Ever heard of internalization? Not to mention the fact that ethnic minorities are often chosen to write pieces that editors think will be of interest to other ethnic minorities. It's a form of CYA as well as a kind of ghettoization of ethnic minority writers..."Oh, the Asian girl can cover that fire in Chinatown" or "Let's get the black reporter to write a story about hip-hop."

I would say the same thing about male- or female-oriented gift guides. These also tend to be written based on sexist assumptions, i.e. men are only interested in electronics, sports and gadgets, whereas women are only interested in fashion, beauty, domestic activities and children.

Mark said...

In my opinion, the most racist term in common usage is "People of Color". It means "everybody except white people". ...and it sounds stupid too. NY Times, I am going to continue to not buy your paper.

Anonymous said...

How in the world is this racist if the content is accurate and the writer of the article herself is black? I honestly think people search for the opportunity to call something racist. Grow up already.

Edwards said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lawrence A. said...

Plenty of white people can use these products to improve themselves and their families. There's nothing racially objectionable about having a bio of Sonia Sotomayor next to Adams, Jefferson, Mozart, or Henry Ford. BTW, in the UPDATE your exclusion of Hanukkah is an empty rationalization.

Anonymous said...

I think the gift guide was interesting and I had never heard of some of those products. Not racist at all and I think you do not know the meaning of the word racist.

William said...

I think that it is funny that you find that you have to call this racist. Sadly, it is a list of real items for real people. No need to find something to complain about like this. It is not like they started making jokes about anything.

Anonymous said...

Tempest in a teapot. The Times has worse problems. Have we already forgotten Jayson Blair?

Anonymous said...

okay so the idea of having a gift guide for 'people of color' is not wrong, I mean everyone can buy the stuff, but may not. Some stuff in this country is universal to everyone, some stuff is unique to a specific culture. But why name it, everyone knows Carols Daughter is primarly used by Black women, so why do you have to even say that. Everyone is not the same. That would be boring, OKAY what I have a problem with is, first of all, why because I am black do I need to listen to beyonces sister, secondly my hair is not kinky and to group everyone into this catagory is EXTREMELY racist and just stupid. Not all black people think alike or even look alike. They should do some more research, but if the Times is for ALL people why not just say 'african american gifts' I mean i'll know you are talking to me, without excluding anybody white or asian or etc. Maybe white people have black relative or friends, being "exclusive" is not the way to go. EVERY body reads the NYT's so you can highlight a culture without Excluding anybody else. Essence is a magazine for BLACK women, but anybody can read it. Would it interest them, maybe not. Okay so it's not a probably until you start putting people into categories. Or just leave it out and have a black history section, since everybody else in the US has their own country.

al said...

I think the problem is "by people of color FOR people of color" ANYBODY can listen to HIP HOP use products for black hair(if they want to) and read any book they want to about black people or otherwise. Why does it have to exclude anybody. If somebody has a problem with Carols' Daughter being included with a "HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE(no matter what color you are) then that's their problem.Why is it only for Black people. Everybody knows everybody aint the same. Why can white people look at something in the news not "SPECIFICALLY geared toward them" I mean all the rest of the paper is.( welcome to the world of a minority)But I don't appreciate a SEPARATE(coloured) section in the paper. It should be included like everything else. Besides princess Tiana should speak to all girls not just blacks. Or so you're going tell your child don't see the movie cuz it stars a black princess and she's white. HELLO? people get a grip. you can learn something from ALL people. Peace

Erick said...

Pumpkin you need to get over yourself.

If there was a section devoted to gays and lesbians I doubt you'd be wringing your hands in outrage.

What about those constant ads we see featuring products exclusively for men? Oh no, it's sexism! Let's bring out the P.C. Police!!!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that in Africa the Gift Guide doesn't have to say "for colored people BY colored people" In fact everybody on the paper is black. It probably says Gift guide for PEOPLE. And those that don't have kinky hair, problem say well, I guess I'm not going to buy that for my daughter. Same way I don't listen to Solange and I'm Black. Earth shattering! And i can't dance, I don't eat Chitterlings either. Slap yo mama!

Anonymous said...

this is for the people who just don't get it. it's not about the gifts it's about categorizing people. if it was focused on the taste it wouldn't be a problem, because you can be white and enjoy a henna kit. thank you NYT for making it clear to the world that if you are a person of color you are obviously DIFFERENT from White people. please note that just because it's written by a person of color doesn't make it right. i pity the author who lack the judgment to write this piece.

Anonymous said...

I wear Black Radiance nail color, use a hair pick and intensive-moisture hair products, prefer my kaftans in bright colors, wear chunky-funky jewelry, love Aretha and detest hip-hop.

I am a woman of color, though I can easily (but choose not to) "pass." I am not black. When did people of "color" become so narrow a category that most assume it means black?

Anonymous said...

I'm a person of color and most of this wasn't offensive. Personally, I see nothng wrong with a makeup kit for ladies with darker skin tones: it's just practical. It's not that this individual portion of the guid is stupid or racist, the whole thing looks stupid to me as do most holiday guides. For example, the guide suggests getting your child a book about how Sonia Sotomayor came from humble roots to become a justice. This opposed to a video game. That kids might like and actually use.

Anonymous said...

Much ado about nothing. This guide was published in November and no one complained. Seems more like this blogger is wanting to make a name for him/herself by trying to make a controversy where there is none. I've seen gift guides for men and gift guides for women. Are these sexist?

Anonymous said...

www.dealwithwhites.com

John Condon said...

Hard to call the NYT's view on race relevant.

John Condon said...

hard to think of the NYT as relevant anymore.

bsmith said...

uh i it put together by a "person of color" whatever that iss so at least one "person of color" didnt have a problem with it. dont blame it all on whitey.

Anonymous said...

The PC wording of all this should make everybody laugh! I'm waiting for the Women of a certain age who might need cap sleeves and a slighty longer skirt section! Wonder how they will phrase that.

Anonymous said...

I am black and I don't have a problem with this. Maybe you all do because it was done by a black person. For me it is good to find things that are made just for us. For instance, makeup. Our color range from light brown to dark and makeup for white women just won't work for us. I think it's a good thing. Those that are against this have serious problems.

Anonymous said...

the list isn't racist, but its definitely in poor taste. why couldn't the items simply be part of a general holiday gift guide? why did they lump all the "people of color" into one group? that i find racist.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me that - yes people can be that stupid, shortsighted, narrow-minded and unenlightened,sheltered and self absorbed as to think this gift list is anything other than pandering to the stuck on stupid dynamic that pervades current society.

The best gift anyone can give another person without regard to race, creed, color, gender, ability, orientation, or size is respect, courtesy and dignity. A fitting place to start would be requiring the idiotic stuck on stupid author of this list and the even more clueless publisher to be required to obtain a permit to reproduce - thereby limiting or reducing their contribution to the thinking impaired gene pool.

Speaking IMHO said...

Whats next, claiming that BET is racist?

Seriously, they are not saying that people "of color" can only buy these things, they are just marketing.

Just because something has a target audience does not indicate racism. Some people (all races) are way too sensitive.

We will never get past the racial barriers, until people stop seeing racism where is is not.

Thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...

I thought we were all supposed to be united by now? I went to this site and saw how people of different cultures liked the same kind of art. www.orvillebulman.com I guess the New York Times would be against that as well.

Amy said...

This blog post has inspired me! Time to protest sexism by calling for a boycott on "JUST FOR MEN" hair coloring.

Anonymous said...

Hey guess what? A great majority of black and white people are different in ways: PERIOD. Not all of them but in alot of cases the two races have their own identities..so what?? The word rascist is thrown around so much these days its ridiculous. Let's just say you were an alien from another planet and you were visiting our planet for the first time. Do you actually think they would look at both races as being the same besides the color of their skin? No. And would that make them rascist?? No. We are different and there's nothing wrong with that. Everyone tries to be so damn PC this day and age it makes me sick.

Sincerely, James Langeford

Anonymous said...

WTF is a person of color? You mean white is no longer a color?

Gabistan said...

i didnt think it was racist and im pretty sensitive to that stuff.

Maestro said...

Grow Up.

T. Wong said...

To call this 'racist' is ignorant and irresponsible. But I guess it got you lots of traffic to your blog, which is probably the real reason for posting it. (We all have agendas, huh?) Hope your traffic falls to zippo after all the fuss is over.

Do you want us to be ignorant of the 'color' of our skin? More important, do you want us to be ignorant and forgetful of our roots and heritage? That would be terribly sad!

And whether this guide was written by someone who was black, brown, white or purple is irrelevant. Did they truly understand the culture and try to provide valuable insights and suggestions? To me, that's all that matters.

By the way, I'm am not white or black but foremost American (third generation), who understands the importance of valuing our cultural differences as well as our similarities.

M said...

I understand that the person who put this article together is African American. I understand that throughout the page there were multiple ethnic origins featured. I think that's wonderful and about time.

What I don't understand is how someone could set us back 50 plus years by separating African American/Asian/Hispanic/Indian from the Caucasian readers. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that exactly what we've been fighting so hard against?

Shouldn't "people of color" included ALL colors? Yes, shocking I know, white is a color too. It's a mistake the NYT's could have easily corrected.

I've read people talking about how it isn't a big deal. I beg to differ. When articles like this come out there is a seed planted that we are separate.

Our nation is made up of all skin tones; why should this separate any of us. Rather then having a "People of Color" section NYT, don't you think those adds and articles should have been, and continue to be, weaved into your paper on an everyday basis?

There are African American, Asian, Hispanic, and Caucasian members to my family. We're one family. When will others get that it's not just "one nation" behind closed doors and what we say effects rationalities and realizations of those around us.

Stop separating us!

And please start thinking before things get published!

Joseph said...

Wow, you people have way, way, WAY too much time on your hands.

If you're flipping through a catalog looking for Christmas gifts and you stumble upon a section that's of no significance to anyone you're buying gifts for, what do you do? You keep flipping the pages. For example, if you don't know anyone that likes the outdoors or is an avid fisherman/hunter/etc and you come to that section in the catalog, would you keep flipping the pages? Of course you would.

Face it folks, you're going to be offended by things no matter where you go, what you do, who you listen to, or what you talk about. That's life. But you know what? Maybe those things aren't intended for you (and yes, I'm talking to you "right handed near sighted Jew with a mustache in rural CT"). If they're not intended for you, flip the pages. Change the channel. Turn it off. Don't read it. Hang up the phone. No one says you have to read it/listen to it and like it. If the Times is gonna put out a catalog with a section pertaining to everyone, it's gonna be a billion pages long because - God forbid - they actually leave someone out that gets offended.

And on that note - MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Beyond The Political Spectrum said...

My God, we have become a nation of whiners. Our society has become in which you cannot say anything because it may offend anyone at anytime...regardless of the intent. I'm African-American, and all I see is the NYT making an effort to appeal to the diversity of its readership.


"A Nation of Whiners"

http://beyond-the-political-spectrum.blogspot.com/search/label/Political%20Correctness

Anonymous said...

What is the point? So, are you saying I shouldn't have the opportunity to buy something that allows me to celebrate my heritage? I am a proud Hungarian American. When does the hate stop? When everyone is conformed to the "WHITE" way of doing things? Come on.

Celebrate the differences. You get to by writing this article and I get to by commenting on it.

Anonymous said...

Growing up my sister and I always got white dolls with blond hair. I wish my mom had a list and knew where to buy "African American" dolls or that the stores in the area carried them. The list of items is only information that you can either use or not use. Just because its of color and for color does not mean a white person can't or shouldn't read or purchase from the list. WHATEVER!!!!!

Oh yeah, do even try to say you (little white girl) had black dolls. So why should little black girls only have white dolls available. I am so glad this has made a turn around.

Guillermo Perez said...

Who really writes this sad joke of a blog, everytime anyone uses the word color it's because racism,
I can't really understand anyone reading the New York Times Looking for a something the blogger can call racism

the only racist here is the pathetic excuse for a blogger who wrote it

Anonymous said...

I happy to read most of the posts on here. I encourages me to see so many people think this blog is wreckless and irresponsible. But, in all honesty, it was quite thought provoking and causes people to recognize that we aren't done yet. There is a ways to go before we ease the racial tension in this country.

My question to those of you who have read this is...

What will you do in response to the need for acceptance both by ourselves and others?

Will you embrace someone you normally wouldn't?

OR

Will you continue to kick against the goads when it comes to other cultures and embracing differences?

Bil Kerrigan said...

I just don't get why this is offensive. If the only argument you can make to declare it is racist is to suggest that it would be if they created a "gift guide for whites"--well, that is not enough to make your case. Many of the products--makeup, haircare--are designed to recognize the fact that people of different racial/ethnic backgrounds have different skin tones and hair textures. Is this a shocking surprise? In what way has the creation of this gift guide made white persons feel inferior or excluded? I'm a male. Should I be offended by gift guides for women? Are those sexist?

Anonymous said...

People act like African Americans are wrong or racist for creating "their own", whether it is toys, books, clothing, TV shows, movies, colleges, etc. These things were created out of necessity. Granted there are several shows that I totally love to watch on network TV(ABC, NBC,CBS) that have all white casts and maybe a lone black or latina. There have been VERY few all black shows on network TV not to mention the huge number of "white casted shows that come and go every year. So now you get BET, at least this may allow black casted shows to have a shot on the air. I know some of you are saying "what about Martin? What about the Cosby Show? The fact that you can list them all in a sentence is the problem.

Is Morehouse or Spellman racist because they are historically black colleges. Nope, they're there becuase if not for them thousands of black people wouldn't gotten an college education because they were not ALLOWED to attend white colleges.

Stop throwing the racial and segregation issue around as if its the African American communities fault, a lot of this stuff is due to the racism experienced through generations of African Americans. And not so long ago as many people like to think (I'm 34 and my mom personally experieced it). You have to do for yourself what you need and not wait for someone else to do it for you. So if there is an outlet out there that endorses products by people of color that also happen to be for people of color then so what.

Wendy Weinbaum said...

As a Jewess in the US, I ask the New York Slimes: Where is your gift guide for WHITE people? Or Jews? For SHAME.

Evrol said...

I find it very extreme to call the gift guide Racist. I found it informative and felt that the Times did a good job putting this out there. It's amusing that the public would take something as innocent as this guide and turn it into "Race" agenda but I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think because of this guide NYT opened its doors to a brand new audience, I hope it continues to diversify and be innovative in it's upcoming sections. To the creator of this guide GOOD JOB.

albert said...

the person who set this up did a wonderful job.read the controvesary,lol,advertising....really tho, to look for a gift for a black person that they would appreciate that was different leads us to just to sometimes look for something only a black person would appreciate...dammm grow up...still trying to keep us separated..please

Anonymous said...

This is the dumbest article that I ever read in my life. Are you kidding me? Do you get paid to write garbage like this? Who cares about that page? What makes you think that that page is racist? What is offensive to you? That there are pictures of Asians, Blacks, and Indians on that page, is that the offense? If I go to an Italian restaurant, I am not offended that the man who owns the restaurant is Italian or that he has pictures of Frank Sinatra, because he is Italian. I would not be offended if the same article was for Irish people and it had what ever things are specific to Irish people. It wouldn't even cross my mind that they were trying to be exclusive or belittling to Irish people. Who cares? I am African American and I don't hold every white person responsible for slavery. I don't care that every actor on Friends was white. It doesn't bother me that not all white people are in love with Obama. Who cares? It is what it is. I thought this article was going to be about something significant. That page was just a cute little filler, of no real significance, and you made it something monumental. You can take inclusion to where it is lunacy. This is the Christmas season. Let's let go of the acrimony. Where is good common sense? Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Kwanzaa and everything else. Does that offend you too.

Anonymous said...

Can we say RACIST!!??? WTF?? oh I forgot that liberals CANNOT be RACIST. sorry. my bad.

Roman said...

"Anti racist" is code for anti white.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Roman. Racist is only applied to white people, and thus the use of it as a verbal weapon is always against whites.

The Asian people reject being made to felt guilty for who they are, hence they embrace the "racist" epithet much in the way homosexuals embraced the words like "queer."

Here's just one good example, Mahathir Mohamed, Prime Minister of Malaysia, proudly proclaims he is a "racist."

http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asian%2BOpinions/Story/A1Story20091211-185298.html

Anonymous said...

"Anti racist" is code for anti white.

No anti-white gentile

Anonymous said...

To me. If the people of color have there own Music Awards then why be mad for someone giving them there own Holiday guide? If the people of color can have a celibration of ALL Black people and not include any other race. Why be attacking something just for them. Seem they want to stay isolated for EVERYONE ELSE. Just my thought on this issue.

You<3Dru said...

Man this blog is weak. Hide behind the anonymous, indistinctive rabblerousing. As a "Whiteboy" that grew up in inner city Houston, you quickly become aware and immersed in many other cultures: Mexican, Hispanic, Salvadorian, Cuban, Puerto Rican... just to name a few local autonomous cultures of Spanish decent, without yet considering other National/Continental ethnicities. If you break down the social barriers it is easy to see the difference between blogs that want to exploit an ageing cultural xenophobia and an honest attempt at holiday goodwill. "Minorities are Criminals" vs. " I want to get a thoughtful and appropriate quincinera gift, what do you suggest?" One of these is Racist, one is an attempt to build cultural bridges, you decide.

Anonymous said...

This isn't racist. I am hispanic (well half). If there was a gift guide for hispanic people by hispanic people I wouldn't think its racist.
I AM surprised though that the NYT would print this because they had to have seen the criticism that this would create from blogs and critics which have taken PCness to an insane level.

Virginia said...

I think it shows how out of touch the New York Times is with every single ethnic minority in the city

Anchorage Activist said...

As a White man, I find it racist because the term "people of color" generally is not applied to the White community, and is designed to encourage non-Whites to think and act collectively against Whites. So it has the potential of promoting race hatred against Whites.

BTW, "white" is a color; just look inside a Crayola box.

Anonymous said...

Why not just allow all the 'racist' white people in the U.S.A. to SEPARATE, and then there will be no more 'racism' EVER?

Or is that too easy?

Apparently it's much better to keep FORCING hundreds of millions of white people to accept tens of millions of third world 'enrichers' in their own countries. Did we ever vote for this? Were we ever asked?
Do you believe in democracy or tyranny?

So white people who simply want non-involvement with other races - i.e. to simply live with their own kind, are "racists"? That's like calling a woman who refuses a man's sexual advances a "sexist".

Anonymous said...

Just to elaborate: third worlders don't want to separate from whites, because third worlders GAIN by living among whites, because whites create the best societies to live in. Otherwise, why the hell are all these 'wonderful' people invading our countries?
But MOST white people can't stand living around third worlders, and spend our entire lives MOVING HOUSE to get away from you. Can you take a hint? Of course not - you're here for to improve YOUR lives, not to improve OURS.
Everybody knows that if whites were allowed to separate from non-whites, at least 95% of us would go, and the remaining idiotic whites would all be dead within a year. And the non-white societies which remained would IMMEDIATELY descend into third world hell.

Third world people = third world country.

A. Moore said...

^lulolul^, if anyone hates (fears? blames?) minorities as much as few of the coward anonymous posters here, please do the rest of the modern world a favor: kill yourself and and ascend to "Whiteheaven". Poor things, I'm very sure you could escape all these "poor third worlders" who are ignorantly trying to make their lives better instead of focusing on you and your racist family values.

Vera H. said...

Quoting @Miss Marsh...

I'd like to think that if the paper put more thought into diversifying its pages, it would actually diversify its pages -- i.e., be *inclusive* in its main pages -- instead of just dumping stuff for minorities into a corner.

That's the crux of the problem. I wouldn't call the People of Color gift section racist, but high handed and playing into stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

How is people of color racist? Asians are people of color. Africans are people of color. Native Americans are people of color. What's racist is your obliviousness to the fact that whites do this all of the time. I can't tell you how many hair care guides don't include hair care for Asian or Black women. When Dr. Oz goes on tv and claims "such and such" creates a "reddish" rash or that osteoporosis is a threat to women over 60, or that a health baby has a "pinkish" glow, they may not say they exclusively mean whites but osteoporosis doesn't affect black women and no person of color fits those descriptions. You can't have it both ways.

jenny said...

When I go to the store to buy pantyhose, I know "nude" means nude for whites only. Unfortunately while whites rarely label their offerings as "for whites only" they describe things in ways that often ignore non-white people.

Anonymous said...

as a southern white man, living in south carolina, if this was printed in The State paper, the naacp would forget the flag.

Anonymous said...

It's just another way to keep us seperate, divided and different then whites. Why couldn't it be just a guide for people? Many people with dark skin do not want to fit in catagories decided by the New York Times or any body else for that matter. Racism is no doubt alive and well in America.

Anonymous said...

This is so funny, you will never stop people from what they believe to be true, make all the rules you want but I ask you, would'nt you rather know the truth about what someone feels instead of them acting like they think you want them to? The fact is, most people are racists to some degree or another and those of you who make believe you are not are also fonnys and liars. PS the most racist people I ever met are Black ! Oh I am sorry african americans ! What the hell is an african american?

Angel said...

It is not racist. Everything in the DAMN world in terms of media is for white people! ALL Day Everyday. We can't take too steps without seeing white faces dominating all facets of the marketing world and it gets old and tired very quickly. You don't want to see or celebrate anything that doesn't look like your lily white faces. The fact that some white folks are calling this racist, shows how ignorant and racist they actually are. You don't know the first thing about diversity or respecting other people's culture and putting your own selfish BS aside. You really need to educate yourselves and stop proving your ignorance on a daily basis. Your attitude about this amazing issue is taking back to 1950's Selma, Alabama. Good job folks. Keep it classy. Not.

Anonymous said...

Ok.. I've read about 10 of these and I'm perplexed. To all of you that are going on saying "I don't have a problem with this.. What's wrong with people of color making products or targeting products for other people of color"... Don't you get it? The term "People Of Color" is what's racist you freakin morons.

Jade said...

In response to the term "people of color" being racist - wow! That's not racist, it's a statement of fact. If you are White, and I identify you as such, does that make me a racist. Because I am Black, and if you call me such, I won't think YOU'RE racist. And for the record, color blindness not something to which we should aspire. Failing to see obvious differences between people is not the point; it's acknowledging, accepting, and celebrating those differences and not letting them negatively affect the way we treat each other.

Eric's SoulFunkPunk Experience said...

opYou people really need to stop inhaling the conservative pipe, I read the Holiday Gift Guide and thought it was great, every day I am bombarded with “mainstream white” politcal, social, and media thought and cultural crap now the NYT gift guide in my opinion does not have enough great gifts for POC but it’s a start. You and Micheal Myers are like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck the biggest complainers about African- American cultural wrongdoings but when African- Americans and other POC actually do something that is positive and self affriming it’s either racist or self segregating.

You Conservatives get on my last nerve

Elizabeth Ely said...

I agree with the "Anonymous" who said the New York Times should diversify its coverage instead of creating little ghettos within it for "People of Color."

I wonder what kind of Christmas gifts the Times' black-Santa has in mind for these kids, reported as NOT drug company casualties:

http://liamscheff.com/daily/2009/01/27/new-york-times-children-die-in-aids-drug-trials-but-the-drugs-are-fine-fine-fine/

See also: www.askdeblasiowhy.com

Anonymous said...

Stop seeing color and everyone is equally stupid, moronic and ignorant.

Anyone ever seen the "Black Pages" phone book? How about the NAACP? How about Hate crimes? How about race based hiring or promotion? Preferential treatment in college admissions? Unless you're a "person of color" everything done that involves race is suspect as racist. Come on people! Admit it! Everything listed above is racist. The only way you will profit from any of the above is if you are a "person of color".

The ad section was meant to draw "people of color" into stores specializing in articles for "people of color". Get over yourselves and start acting like Americans and not victims.

Rob in Windham County said...

I saw a great movie called A Conversation about Race. It's at
http://www.aconversationaboutrace.com/

It was very enlightening. I used to worry about being called a "racist," but Craig Bodeker really does a great job deconstructing the term, and showing how broad brush it's applied. see the trailers at the site, they are very good!

Anonymous said...

It is so very obvious how inappropriate this ad actually is. It is also just as obvious how pathetically ignorant our country has become based on many of the comments in this blog. Face it folks (of intelligence and patriotism) our country is falling apart before our eyes. I have thought for a while now that the only solution would be revolution - but I think we have reached the point of no return and I have little confidence that is even a viable option now.

Anonymous said...

It is not so obvious why some find this stylish guide utterly pathetic, whereas others defend it as if it were a sole source of revenue. Even if the obvious weren't so elusive, pointing it out might so offend the homogeneous collective mindset of NYT's management, that they'd either tune out the information or throw a hissyfit typical of pc white guilt. It's more effective to keep'em pacified so at least they listen.

What is obvious, is the absense of mentorship for black girls who don't want to be disneyfied into teeny princesses, or latinas who don't want to wear their wisdom on their boobs, or individuals with faces and bodies who are labelled as exotic, thus reduced to an object of desire (by superiors in the workplace)-a cachet that unfortunately betrays one's desire to be recognized and credited for the substance of his or her contribution.

Anonymous said...

Someone said "I think this kind of gift guide is progressive as well as appropriate.". I'm sure Al Sharpton wouldn't agree with you had it been the all white guide giving section. Let's use our brains. Racial equality doesn't exist when you have double standards.

Anonymous said...

For all of you who disagree that this is "racist", let me make a point. The article itself may have not been racial bias, however, in the spirit of EQUALITY, what would have occurred had the Times had two pages only for White buyers? This would have been deemed as racist! However, it is NOT equal. Until BOTH sides can loose the color labels, racism will never die.

Lawrence said...

This note is to the anonymous responder who said the gift section was evidence that "racism will never die". What's really racist here are many of the published comments. The advertised products are merely "packaged" to make them appealing to African-Americans willing to spend money on holiday gifts. It's just target marketing. I think what might be closer to the truth a racialized America will never die.

Anonymous said...

Target marketting, incidentally not exactly journalism, is more than pitching to the right demographic.
It's about selling life styles and ideologies. So of course the frontline hire would be the poster girl for gullible at the tradeshow for the colored salivating over the free handouts.