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Is the Village Voice racist?


Oh no they didn't.  

We wondered how long it was gonna take before someone raised a stink about this year's Pazz and Jop cover, in which Dylan rolls over TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone with a Segway or some shit. There are certain types of caricatures that rub you the wrong way, and this was certainly one of them. The expected shitstorm has arrived in the form of the Voice's letters page, including one from Antibalas/TVOTR dude Martin Perna, who calls the illustration "racist, unfunny, mean-spirited, and inaccurate," and adds, "Intentionally or not, this cover sends the all-too-familiar message to people of color: Make something too unique, make something outside of your assigned place-role, and get run over by a white man."

That is not even the half of it. We're sitting here trying to pick which graf to excerpt, but you've really got to read the whole thing, because it's pretty genius, including this line: "I could complain about how you drew Kyp outfitted like the Nutty Professor rather than his true fly stylish self." Damn straight, what's up with that?

OK, here's the nut graf:

[Cover artist David] O'Keefe and his colleagues may not have meant to intentionally be racist. They probably meant to be funny, like the University of Texas law students, Clemson University undergrads, or white college students nationwide who plan and publicize their blackface or "ghetto parties," then act surprised that people find their actions offensive and unacceptable. That this picture could be drawn and not questioned or vetoed by any of the people who saw it prior to publication shows the level of ignorance and racism that persists in leftist institutions like the Voice that continue to posture as hip and progressive. It reveals that among decision-makers at the paper there is not one single person with any sort of racial consciousness or sensitivity who had the power or courage to send that picture back to the drawing board.

Jesus. As if Pazz and Jop didn't have enough problems this year. It sure would be easy, knowing the score, to let the Voice off the hook for this one. Because after all, just put yourself in the shoes of a Voice editor: you're trying to compete with a younger, hipper poll across town and the winner comes in as . . . fucking Bob Dylan. You'd probably feel as if Bob Dylan (and the 55-year-old-rockist base he rode in on) had just flattened you like, like . . . like a scary angry clay jew running over a defenseless clay African American musician! Well, actually, that's probably not how we would have phrased it, no. Nope, not even remotely. Sorry, Voice, can't back you up on this one.

This probably won't help, but Cami just reviewed Kyp's solo gig at Glasslands last night, perhaps to prove that there's no hard feelings? We don't know anyone else on that staff, but we can tell you definitively that Camille Dodero does not hate black people. And since she's too shy to run it, here's our blackmail photo of Cami throwing herself at Kyp (right, background) and professing her undying love of all things TVOTR during her first month in Brooklyn . . .

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