Friday, December 14, 2012

At Least Kind Of Racist

A few days ago, Caroline Wozniacki -- former women's tennis #1 in the world famous for a) never being able to win anything and b) being half of the most insufferable sports couple with Rory McIlroy -- stuffed things into her clothing to look like Serena Williams. Tennis players are fond of ribbing each other in a good-natured way at charity tournaments. But because Serena Williams is black, some PC JEWSTREAM MEDIA FEMINAZIS have accused Wozniacki of being racist. So, was Wozniacki racist? The answer is what it always is in sports: yes, absolutely, this is kind of racist.

Obviously, Serena Williams has a distinct shape. Serena Williams's body is also very stereotypical for an African American woman. Serena Williams is an African American woman. Is making fun of her shape the same as making fun of African American women? Ehh, kind of, yeah, not totally, but yeah, pretty much.

If you're outraged by Caroline Wozniacki's display, you're about halfway justified. She's poking fun at Serena Williams's shape, which is stereotypically black. Serena Williams is the highest-profile black player (along with her sister Venus) in an historically and very much predominantly white European sport. Making fun of a black tennis player because she looks stereotypically black is, yeah, kind of racist.

If you're outraged by the people who are outraged by Caroline Wozniacki's display, then you're about 10% justified. At the core of this is a simple truth: Serena Williams has a one-in-a-million distinct body shape, especially for a tennis player. It's very unusual, very distinctive, and can easily be made fun of. I understand that, if you're going to poke fun at Serena Williams, this would be an effective way of doing it, because successfully poking fun at someone involves poking fun at their most unique and distinct features. You make fun of Fran Drescher's voice, not her shoes. But you have to acknowledge that this whole thing has serious racial undertones.

Is Caroline Wozniacki racist? I don't know, yeah, probably a little. Most people are. Was she trying to be racist by doing this? Hopefully not, but maybe she was, I don't know.*

I guess the point is that this is absolutely 100% kind of racist in that we're just supposed to avoid this kind of stuff. I hate that way of evaluating racism, but that's why people are getting mad, and with some justification. I mean, what if it were well-known that Serena Williams eats watermelon before every match, and then Caroline Wozniacki ate watermelon to make fun of Serena Williams? Yeah, you're making fun of Serena Williams specifically, but you're making fun of her for something that is stereotypically racial. So yeah, it's kind of racist. It's always at least kind of racist.

Except Andre Agassi in black face. Now that's just good old-fashioned historically meaningful American racism. And if you're outraged by the people who are outraged by THAT, you're an idiot.

*I know that she and Serena are friends, but come on. They're in an elite club of top-of-the-world tennis players who interact constantly. The fact that they're friends is the least surprising thing in the world. Imagine if they weren't friends. THAT would be something to talk about.


  1. I disagree. Was Serena upset? Did Serena say that Caroline was disrespecting her in a racist manner?
    If Serena did not, then we should not.
    You are muckraking. Knock it off.

    1. Wow! Thanks for the comment! We don't get too many of those around here. I guess I'd respond to that by saying that you're right about Serena not voicing the fact that she felt disrespected. But I believe Serena would have run the risk of being labeled a race-baiter or worse by voicing her frustration, especially since this is a relatively borderline case of straight-up racism. That's why it's up to "muckraking" blogs like this one to point it out!

      Also, what's so bad about muckraking? The muckrakers were great agents of positive change in the American Progressive Era! Thanks again for the comment.