View Full Version : Racism - USA style

14th Nov 2002, 15:55
The Times -Nov 14:

Craig David defies US 'racism' over white guitarist

THE British singer Craig David believes that “inverse racism” against a white member of his band is threatening his career in America.

David, the 21-year-old R&B songwriter and vocalist from Southampton, is one of the few British performers in recent years to have gained a foothold in the American pop market. But the son of a half- Jewish white mother and a father from Grenada angrily rejected calls in the US to replace his white guitarist with a black musician to maximise sales among black audiences.

The singer’s outspoken criticism of black music executives could lead to an industry backlash in the US, where he has sold 1.5 million copies of his debut album, Born To Do It.

The suggestion was made to David, whose music combines the American R&B style with UK Garage, when he made an American promotional tour last month to unveil his new album. When he visited “urban” radio stations, which are listened to by predominantly black audiences, he was repeatedly told by black executives that he should replace his white guitarist, Fraser T. Smith, with a black musician to take his career to the next level.

David often performs acoustic numbers with Smith on television and radio and he was told that this multiracial presentation could damage his credibility with black record-buyers. Commentators say that he could sell up to five million CDs and become one of the biggest stars in the US if he made further inroads with this audience.

The Grammy-nominated singer, who has sold seven million CDs worldwide since emerging as a 19-year-old prodigy, refused the advice. He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It was disappointing that there was still this slight sense of racism going on over there.” He had found the attitude particularly unacceptable because of his mixed-race background.

British acts are told by record companies to play by the rules of the US industry if they are to have any chance of breaking through in a country which has largely rejected them. But David said: “They can take their black guitarist and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. It shouldn’t matter what colour or creed you are. Fraser plays licks that half those urban guys can’t even fathom. They can lump it or leave it.”

The world of racially segregated radio and entertainment is rarely commented on in the American press. It is taken for granted that hundreds of urban radio stations specialising in black music are intended for black audiences only and will rarely, if ever, play the work of a white musician........

Send Clowns
14th Nov 2002, 18:06
Well I dislike his music, but hey, I now like Craig David himself. Good for him - the hypocrisy of racists like this is incredible.

14th Nov 2002, 19:23
Craig David was admirably restrained when he said “It was disappointing that there was still this slight sense of racism going on over there.”

Next time the teenage savages whine for a CD of his, I will with great pleasure fork out the money.

And Clowns, some of his luuuuurve songs are real nice! :)

14th Nov 2002, 19:32
His stand against such blatent racism gets my vote,
i have never bought his music but may just do so now

14th Nov 2002, 19:34
“inverse racism”

I have always found this term very irritating, as it implies that somehow racism itself is the prerogative of one particular racial group. But good on Craig for making a stand... so how do these "executives" cope with Eminem?

14th Nov 2002, 20:08
A hero. He should have a place in the PPRUNE hall of commonsense and fame.

Training Risky
15th Nov 2002, 09:40
Come to think of it, has anyone out there been the victim of positive discrimination when applying for an airline job or even with HM Forces flying jobs?

I think in this PC country we live in, major employers realise the cache that recruiting Visible Ethnic Minorities (VEMs) can bring.
It certainly make them look like they are making an effort to achieve "equality of opportunity" when being investigated by the CRE for alleged "institutionalised racism".

The police forces of this country are no stranger to this modern phenomenon!:eek:

15th Nov 2002, 15:24
Actually, I've always liked Craig David's music and now I like his common sense as well.
I don't actually think there is a lot of racism in music in Europe as there are many black singers and groups in the charts and many groups which have singers from many ethnic backgrounds are quite successful in Europe. The MTV Europe music awards last night were, after all, presented by P Diddy and featured many artists, both black and white, all of who received an enthusiastic welcome from the audience.

Training Risky
Don't quite know what you mean by someone being the victim of positive discrimination. I have a number of friends and aquaintances who are African, or of African origin, who are fixed wing and rotary wing pilots with very reputable airlines, tour operators and helicopter operators in the UK and they have all got their jobs on the basis of their qualifications and ability. In fact 2 of them are TRIs and one is an area manager for the world's largest helicopter operator. Hopefully that's a sign that in the UK flying market, at least, that professionalism and qualifications count more than the colour of one's skin.

15th Nov 2002, 15:53
This has happened before...

One of the factors that caused Louise Nurding/McManaman to leave Eternal was the fact that, as the only white member of the four-member group, she was stopping them getting airplay on the US black radio stations that would be instrumental in them 'breaking into' the US market.

The result? Louise went on to have even more success as a solo artist in her home country (although she's quieter in married life now), but Eternal had just one hit, joint with soemone else, and then sunk from view.

Good one Craig David for standing up to this crap. Racism is racism whether it's black on white or white on black.

Jet II
15th Nov 2002, 17:20
foghorn old boy,

I think that you are showing your age - the lovely Louise is married to Jamie Redknapp, not Steve McManaman

Keep taking the tablets

:D :D

15th Nov 2002, 18:26
There is an interesting book called "The 10 things you can't say in America" by a black commentator called Larry Elder. He says the things many people think but are too afraid to say, namely that race is an "industry" and that blacks are more racist than whites (in fact that was the title of one of the chapters).

He takes issues such as the one Craig David confronted and asks the question why is this allowed in "black" media when it would be denounced if the same thing happened in the "white" media? You can't get his book in the UK, but you will find it on Amazon.com in the US. On a "black" talk radio station the presenter asked him if he took the line he did because he had "a white woman waiting for him in his home in the white hills?" He didn't dignify the interviewer by answering the question, but made the point in his book that where he lives isn't an issue and that he didn't live in (Beverley) Hills, and isn't and hasn't been married, let alone to a white woman.

Craig David, apart from being fearsomely talented, has always struck me as a very down to earth individual and I hope he goes very far in the music industry on the basis of his talent alone. I wonder if I am alone in thinking that if he teamed up with Alicia Keys the record would absolutely kick butt?

15th Nov 2002, 19:57
Jet II :o

Duh!!!! Brain fart!!! I knew it was the one with the manager father but I still put the wrong person down.

Still, I wrote Jason McAteer the first time I posted!!!!!!

SET 18
16th Nov 2002, 14:52
When is a musician going to refuse to accept a MOBO (Music of Black Origin) award on the grounds that it is only applicable to people of one colour?

Surely any non-racist person would instsantly identify this and want nothing to do with it? Instead, we, as a society, have honoured the woman behind these awards with an MBE.

I am offended by that, but as a white, middle-class Briton I don't suppose that counts for very much.

16th Nov 2002, 17:43
About time someone had the guts to say that Set 18; good on you.

I fully agree - in my rather extensive travels of the globe, i have often found those of a darker skin tone to be overtly racist against whites.

Try that the other way around, and you get tagged, rather strangely, a "nazi"

When you live in a country where you t.v. license fee goes to fund a radio 1 black music channel, and now an asian one, what hope have you though.

Am i a horrid racist? no, i simply yearn for equallity.

Training Risky
16th Nov 2002, 17:54
What I meant by pos discrimination is: 2 guys up for a job, 1 caucasian, 1 ethnic, both equally qualified for the job, and company policy is that the ethnic candidate MUST be employed.

It doesn't matter that your friends got their jobs due to their qualifications. What matters is the fact that employers feel that they must automatically favour 1 group over another. That is racism: Positive Discrimination.

16th Nov 2002, 18:36

Exactly my sentiments.

After nearly 30 years of living and working in various parts of the globe (Living in 8th country at present) I have found that 'racism' (or sexism, ageism, etc, etc) is accepted as the norm in most places.

Here in Abu Dhabi it is normal for job advertisements to state nationality (eg UAE Nationals or UK,US,SA). It is also equally common to see TCNs advertising for accommodation shares for persons of either a particular religeous persuasion (eg Muslim family required....) or from a particular area (eg Kerelite bachelor to share...).

Try ads lik that in the dear old UK !

Though come to think of it I believe there is an organisation called the Society of Black Lawyers (or something similar). Would a 'Society of White Lawyers' be allowed?

Proves the point about 'inverse discrimination' I think.

16th Nov 2002, 19:31
Set 18 - Don't get me wrong, I agree with your sentiment but with regard to the MOBOs I'd like to point out that as far as I'm aware they're NOT awards for exclusively black artists. "Music of black origin" is a generic coverall for the musical style eg. rap, UK garage, etc., which have originated from predominately black communities. A white artist like Eminem operating within these circles could win a MOBO, I believe, and hence it's not technically racist, although the name itself is a little misleading. Anyone knows any different, feel free to correct me.

17th Nov 2002, 00:43
Then "technically", stand corrected SpinSpinSugar.

Has Eminem, the most recognisable rapper on the planet, and arguably the best and most inventive, won a MOBO for his contribution to that genre of music?

Not to my knowledge.

As for Halle Berry's Oscars speech....."all the women of colour"; well, thank god Denzel Washington had the dignity not to plow that lowest of furrows when he won.

"Yo' ma Nigga' " and all that?

Yes quite.

17th Nov 2002, 09:21
Well done Craig D.

What everyone seems to have forgotten is that only white people can be racist and only men can be sexist. It's in the PC dictionary!:(

18th Nov 2002, 10:45
Nail tapped squarely on the head My Wooley and Set18

This kind of rubbish has been going on for decades and is typified by BBC2's "Black Britain", whose legality I have argued with coloured colleagues for years. What I still find surprising is that they are so caught up in the "being a victim" element of PC that they just can't see the obvious double standards and contradiction.

There have been numerous revelatory articles over the years from black authors who have, quite literally overnight, turned white due to medical problems and have suffered far more racism than they did previously. Add to this the obvious racism prevalent in asian societies between, for example, Indians and Pakistani's - oh, but we're not allowed to talk about that, are we?

In much the same way as the women's movement is - by definition - sexist (in that it promotes one sex and decries the other) we have allowed the lunacy that is political correctness to propel us far beyond the realms of common sense and rationality.

The real problem is that we are still moving in the wrong direction, and it is driving us closer to the Orwellian nightmare than most are aware.:confused:

18th Nov 2002, 13:00
It's easy to forget, in present-day UK, that institulionalised racism was most definitely a part of society 40 years ago. This took the form of overt racism such as the signs in the windows of boarding houses saying 'no Blacks'; and covert racism, such as a well qualified black person being turned down for a job in favour of a less well qualified white person on the grounds that they were 'not suitable'. Laws were brought in to change this and in the 21st century Britain racism is considerably less than it was even 20 years ago and much of this is due to the changes in the law. If it is now time for the laws to be changed or modified then people should write to their MPs or take it up with their constituency parties.
It's interesting that in the USA where reverse discrimination laws are much more universally applied than here, there is far more racism than in this country, where the percentage of inter-racial marriages is much higher. Maybe it's time to bring in new laws and let nature take its course!

18th Nov 2002, 18:09
"If it is now time for the laws to be changed or modified then people should write to their MPs or take it up with their constituency parties."
I'm afraid most people, myself included, are extremely cautious about openly expressing their views on this and related issues issues because it follows as night follows day that someone will accuse them of being racist when they are nothing of the sort.

"It's interesting that in the USA where reverse discrimination laws are much more universally applied than here, there is far more racism than in this country"
Could that in part be due to bad feeling caused by reverse discrimination?

"Maybe it's time to bring in new laws and let nature take its course!"
Which? Bring in new laws? Or let nature take it's course?

18th Nov 2002, 23:24
Eminem win a Mobo? Highly unlikely I feel, though that ginger git from Simply Red might have a chance. Nice one Craig, still think yer music is naff but nice one.

How far can you take such things though? Theres a program on right now about discrimination towards tall and short people. Racism, tallism, the world wide league of playground antigingermingers etc, surely all part and parcel of the same thing. Is it really possible to say that one form of descrimination is better or worse than another? If you have legislation for one form then you actively descriminate against another form and if you have legislation for everything then it becomes pointless and is ignored.

Asking what colour your eyes are could hardly be considered a political question today, 60 years ago in Germany it was quite the opposite.....