Rapper claims planking is racist

Gawker's Adrian Chen covers the new 'controversy' over planking, the cartoon-mimicking "lying-down game" out of Britain and Australia: rapper Xzibit insists that it is mocking slaves who were transported from Africa to America in superficially similar fashion. Adds Chen: "If smearing planking as racist is what finally makes it stop, we're not going to complain."


    1. LOL – winning!

      See – when people make calls of racism like this, it numbs one to other, perhaps more legit calls of racism.

      For something to be racist, there MUST be some intention for it to be racist or discriminatory. Otherwise it might be at best bad taste.

      But when it comes to something like this, CLEARLY *NO ONE* is planking in order to make a racist statement or to draw a parallel to slaves on ships.

      1. As right as you are about planking being a dumb media stunt and not racism

        “For something to be racist, there MUST be some intention for it to be racist or discriminatory. Otherwise it might be at best bad taste.”

        Is absolute bullshit. Something can absolutely be a racist statement when someone has “no intentions” because people don’t understand what is racist and what is not racist. “Bad taste” and “I’m not PC” are pretty lame excuses for a lot of peoples’ behavior.

        1. “Something can absolutely be a racist statement when someone has “no intentions” because people don’t understand what is racist and what is not racist.”

          Excuse me… but wtf are you trying to say there?

          So, we shouldn’t even be having this discussion, because “people don’t understand what is racist”?

        2. I would disagree. Webster says:

          noun \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\
          Definition of RACISM
          1: 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
          2: racial prejudice or discrimination

          Examples of RACISM

          – the racism that was the basis of apartheid
          – Hitler’s declaration of his belief in a “master race” was an indication of the inherent racism of the Nazi movement.
          – The recording career of the Henderson band was brief … due partly to the racism of booking agencies that didn’t take on black acts until the mid-’30s, when Henderson’s career was on the downswing. —Greg Tate, Vibe, April 1995


          So for something to be racist at the most base level, it would have to put down (or elevate) one race, and be prejudice and/or discriminatory towards that race. I think that clearly requires some context and a level of intention for something said or an action to be labeled as racsist.

          The biggest supporter of my argument is that for many things, one can not get a consensus on what is or is not racist. Now things may still be offensive – or as I said, “in bad taste” – with out meaning to be so. That doesn’t necessarily make it racist. I think there are some clear things, such as separate bathrooms, or separated restaurant seating, but notice those required intent. Other things people might find racist in some contexts, and not in others.

          You can take the “n word” for an example. Clearly used by some people, it is a racial slur. For others, its a greeting. If a 2 year old white kid says it after hearing one to many rap songs – is that racism? I would say no. There was no harm meant. Does every white kid have to bleep himself while jamming to their favorite Dr. Dre album in private or else they too are racist?

          You can take the swastika, for another example. While one of the oldest and widely used symbols in the world, it is largely taboo in Western society. Still, in other places, like Asia, it is more commonly used. Sometimes as the traditional Buddhist symbol, and some times as the Nazi symbol – though not out of racism, as it doesn’t hold the same meaning to them. (Sort of how you might see a kid here wear a Che shirt or a CCCP with a hammer and sickle.)

          I have a friend who worked on an indie film “C.S.A: The Confederate States of America”. It is a mockumentary about US history as told in an alternate future where the South won the war and slavery still existed today. It was overall well received, and was even invited to Sundance, but there were others who found the whole thing racist. And it could well have been, if the story was told from a “White Power” slant, showing how great everything was and how inferior blacks were. But it wasn’t told from that angle. Racism was never the intent – stoking conversation about a taboo topic was.

          And finally, the other big supporter of my argument is comedians. If you took the words at face value of a comedy bit, and threw them into a different context, they could often be considered racist and offensive. But most of the time their intent is benign, but still uses words and scenarios that some might find offensive.

  1. “Silence Xzibit! Memes are not allowed opinions of their own!”*

    * although see also Memetic Mutation.

  2. Sure, and bondage is racist, because slaves were tied up or in chains.

    Really, is there anything more tedious than insisting that something’s racist when there’s been absolutely no indication that race in any way factors into it?

    It’s not like planking is something only white kids do, either.

    Of course, the most ridiculous people are those who insist that the black people who are doing it are being used or duped by the white man. There was at least one comment to this effect on thisis50, which seems especially absurd.

    Perhaps not all that ironically, blowing up about innocent things actually makes real racism harder to eradicate.

  3. Sexual intercourse is stereotypically done while prone, like planking. Asking a woman to have sexual intercourse is sexist because it means you are sexualizing women (cf Rebecca Watson’s elevator encounter analysis).
    Therefore sexual intercourse is sexist. Therefore planking is sexist.


    1. Prepare to be Pharyngulated by pearl clutchers.

      When I was a was a youngun in Ireland being planked was to be very very drunk, this often coincided with being face down on the ground. So this is racialist on so many levels.

      1. Okay, I laughed at that one.

        Maybe I should’ve said *Fry squint* or *DiCaprio squint*.

  4. Phew! That puts me in the clear, since my planking tends to mock the transportation of Gaul slaves to Rome and, on occasion, the transportation of Helot slaves to Lacedaemonia.

    Xzibit will be so relieved!

  5. “…is what finally makes it stop…” What the bleep is this guy’s problem? What in the world is so wrong in his head that he gets so incensed over such a ridiculous and utterly harmless way of amusing one’s self that he is willing to go utterly overboard and misuse a serious concern as a weapon against somebody else’s silly prank? Did this guy go to some special school that taught him how to find ways to get excessively wound up over nonsense? Why are there so many people in the world today who are so expert in finding things to be offended about? If this “Xzbit” character really is up in arms over planking, then obviously he is a delicate little hothouse plant who really should not be allowed outside his own little perfect world. Somebody PLEASE buy that guy a clue.

  6. Were the slaves posting their pics online, or were the slavers? If that latter, TOTALLY RACIST!!!

  7. Planking is fun; planking is racism. Ergo, racism is fun.

    Hey, if Mr. Xzibit can use faulty logic, so can I.

  8. Extreme ironing is sexist. Performing this traditional act of domestic servitude outside their kitchen confines is just rubbing it in women’s faces.

  9. Yeah, feeding the trolls… but in this case it is sort of funny.

    I think X is just a plankist because he can’t figure out how to get some attention from it, make a rap video out of it or cram it into a seriously hideous automobile with so many distractions one has to wonder how in the hell it’s even street legal.

    Or plainly, man what a dumbass. *facepalm*

  10. Seeing as so many slaves were put to work on plantations, I expect that any and all gardening is now racist.

  11. This ridiculosity demands massive, world-wide plank mobs!

    I vote for tomorrow at 1230 EST. Location: Nearest Dennys.

    Do it, take photos, upload and tag as #plankism or #plankist!

  12. Wait, is this the same Xzibit I just watched in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans playing a stereotypical murderous drug dealer? Would it be ok if the plankers were getting paid for it then?

  13. I know what happened. Xzibit read a July 1 post on ByronCrawford.com in which Crawford posted a photo of a bunch of black dudes planking with the caption “Black people are especially good at planking, because of the middle passage,” and did not understand it was humor.
    I guarantee this is exactly what happened.

  14. Xzibit, put down the mantle of respectability and get back to pimpin’ rides already.

  15. *I’m* against planking because I’m pretty sure it’s about pirate justice. Who would trust a pirate to administer justice?

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