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White and black bloggers entertain UNC crowd

The minds behind “Stuff White People Like” and “This Week in Blackness,” entertained a packed Great Hall with their comedic ways, including a full-length rap on brunch and readings on the social value of scarves and being friends with black people.

The speakers of the self-proclaimed “Post-Racial Comedy Tour,” Christian Lander and Elon James White combined their disparaging humor with a serious emphasis on the state of race in America.

White, a comedian from Brooklyn whose blog “This Week in Blackness” explores the perceptions of blacks by society, opened the event.

White compared the level of fantasy in gangster rap to Harry Potter novels while pointing out serious flaws with the attitudes that are prevalent in a country that claims to be post-racial due to the election of a black president.

He debunked a popular claim of those trying to be politically correct —“I don’t see color” — by stating the issue is not with seeing the color.

“The problem is not that you see color, but the thought you get after you see it,” White said.

He asserted that “racism cannot be overcome in a moment,” in reference to the election of Barack Obama, despite contrary claims by the media post-election.

Lander spoke less about race and more on the process of becoming a published writer. He turned his blog into a New York Times bestselling book.

He detailed his own meteoric rise from obscurity to Internet fame in the span of two months. He said his blog’s first views were people searching for “organic fair-trade coffee.” “Stuff White People Like” soon evolved into a blog with more than 60 million views, which led to the book deal.

He credited his rise to his honest writing and a simple, relatable concept.

While his emphasis was on his own rise to fame, he still found time to address race. He said that many of the traits that he documented in his blog were the result of “white privilege.”

He said many people are free to pursue their trendy lifestyles because they are free from having to provide for themselves.

Both writers addressed the volume of criticism they receive for their supposed racism, which both wrote off as ignorance and a failure to understand their intentions.

The speakers closed with the epistle to “confront race head-on and to simply discuss it.”

The pair were crowd-pleasers.

“Awesome, because you attack serious issues through humor and you can say things that you wouldn’t normally say,” said Katelyn DeBerardinis, a sociology and women’s studies major, of the event.


Contact the Arts Editor at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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