Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Racism and Classism Can Be Cool

Marlene says:

Someone sent me the link to this video recently.

To be clear, I live in Oakland. So does Debbie. One of the things I like about Oakland is that it isn’t (generally) populated by the kind of ignorant assholes that made this video.

Lake Merritt doesn’t smell like anything but a lake, unless you imagine that everything has to be nasty in a city (unlike San Francisco) where most of the poor people have not yet been displaced. A quick google search returned no results for a body ever found in the lake, but several occurrences of people assuming that it was something that happened all the time (mostly young middle class white Yelpers).

Oakland’s largest demographic group is African Americans. Aside from the overt racism in the section of the video about ghostriding, there is a general sense of Oakland’s “crappyness” in the video that has a racial undertone. This comes up for me in the segment on slow jaywalkers and the always hysterical “dead hooker” joke. I have lived close to the Bay Bridge Inn for ten years. I’m surprised that it wasn’t a “dead tranny hooker” joke.

I think it’s important to mention that the short piece of footage of two men dancing next to their car was stolen from a ghostriding video. Between that and the fact that the slow, stumbling jaywalker is portrayed by a white hipster actor it is clear that the makers of this film were likely afraid to actually get too close to any actual brown people.

It infuriates me that this is what young hip “liberal” San Franciscans think is funny these days. Stay on your side of the bridge. We don’t want you here.

8 Responses to “Racism and Classism Can Be Cool”

  1. Lori S. Says:

    It’s so handy that they included their names in the credits so I know who to avoid ever meeting somewhere.

  2. Laurie Says:

    Really!!

  3. JBigAdventure Says:

    Wow! That is incredibly offensive. How about making fun of black people followed by the police car shot for taste?
    I used to live in Oakland and I would move back in a heartbeat–I think it’s one of the best places to live in the country. This video was really ridiculous. Although, I’ll admit I like the part where they made fun of themselves, as “hipsters”. They obviously have no real connection to the community around them, which is pretty sad, since it’s so amazing.

  4. Meems Says:

    I’m embarrassed to be part of the demographic that made this film.

    And the male half of the couple? Not a hipster in anything but shitty attitude.

  5. O.C. Says:

    This reminds me of the discussions of hipster racism over on Racialicious. If you search the site for “hipster” they’ll pop up, particularly the thread about Amy Sedaris/Steven Colbert.

  6. Voll Says:

    I’ve never been to Oakland, but from the video, it looks like a nice little place. I think their attempt at derisive humor has backfired.

  7. Debbie Says:

    Wow! It took me a few days to get to this, since I was on vacation.

    I kind of wish it had taken me a few years.

    But I guess they left out the best thing about my city: they don’t live here.

  8. IN Says:

    I thought they were making fun of Hipster attitudes more than of Oakland.

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