Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Selected Comments From A Rebuttal Of Kat Blaque's Critique Of "Ru Paul's Drag Race" Being Anti-Black

Edited by Azizi Powell

It should be no secret to regular pancocojams visitors that I'm a fan of the American television series RuPaul's Drag Race. For those who aren't hip to this series, "RuPaul's Drag Race is an American reality competition television series produced by World of Wonder for Logo TV. The show documents RuPaul in his search for "America's next drag superstar."[3] RuPaul plays the roles of host, mentor, and source of inspiration for this series, as contestants are given different challenges each week. RuPaul's Drag Race employs a panel of judges, including RuPaul, Michelle Visage and a host of other guest judges, who critique contestants' progress throughout the competition. The title of the show is a play on drag queen and drag racing, and the title sequence and song "Drag Race" both have a drag-racing theme." Click the "Gay culture" tag below for previous pancocojams posts that refer to that television series.

This post documents selected comments from a current (March 28, 2016-March 29, 2016) Reddit discussion thread about RuPaul's Drag Race. That discussion thread was prompted by a recent Huffington Post article which indicated that that series was anti-Black.

I'm documenting and sharing selected comments from that Reddit discussion thread for their socio-cultural content.

Click Part II of this post. Part II provides excerpts of selected online commentary about White people who wear their hair in dreadlocks with special attention to comments about Thorgy Thor, a White contestant on Ru Paul's Drag Race, Season 8.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

Editor's note:
A number of comments in that Reddit discussion thread contain profanity. Pancocojams' policy prohibits the full spelling of most profanity. Therefore, I've added an asterisk to indicate when a partial spelling of a word is used although the full spelling is given in that original comment. All other comments are given as they are written in that discussion thread, including bold font and eclipses that are found in those comments.

These comments are numbed by me for referencing purposes only. However, these selected comments may not be given in consecutive order (since some comments aren't quoted). Brief explanatory comments have been added below a few of these comments.

The original article from Kat Blaque can be found at

In this article, Kat Blaque claims that Ru Paul's Drag Race is racist because Ru Paul, and other involved in that series, including the drag queen contestants, engage in "performative blackness."

Naomi_Daniels provides an item by item response to Kat Blaque's article. I recommend reading that article and Naomi_Daniel's point by point rebuttal of Kat Blaque's claim. Here are selected comments from that Reddit thread (March 28, 2016, March 29, 2016)
"An open letter to Kat Blaque regarding RuPaul's Drag Race criticisms of anti-blackness in your recent Huffington Post article self.rupaulsdragrace
Submitted March 28, 2016, by Naomi_Daniels
..."Since you blocked me, a fellow black trans woman, despite my politeness, on twitter, I think I'll sip some tea over here instead.

Time to fill this cup."....

1. KikiRarar
"Can I get an Amen?!

I find it particularly distasteful that she would refer to Ru as a 'white man in blackface' Ru IS black, there is no way he is physically capable of blackface. I assume she means 'blackface' as in amping up his 'blackness' by being sassier in drag. (failing to note that sass and quick wit are key parts of drag culture) If this is the case then suggesting that a black man is only truly 'black' when he displays these traits constantly, basically saying that to be black you have to behave a certain way and embody certain traits and if you don't embody these traits, regardless of skin colour, you are not black. This is stereotyping and last time I checked that was racist. Kat is effectively perpetuating stereotypes with this claim, which is ironic as she then criticises Ru and Faith Evans for supposedly doing the same.This article is full of shi"
The word "shi" is given as it was written in that post.

Faith Evans was a guest on that particular show whose role was to give pointers to the drag queen contestants who were tasked with performing a parody of the television series Empire,.

2. xtlou
"There is absolutely a belief black people can perform black face and for those who believe it, it's highly offensive to them: a current high profile example is Zoe Saldana's portrayal of Nina Simone. There are a lot of people, including Simone's family, upset regarding the skin darkening and prosthetics used in Saldana's performance.

What I personally find interesting is the author of the FluffPo article is upset of the characterizations of black people, the promotion of stereotypes regarding the black community.....on a show where men dress and perform, promoting stereotypes of women it sets standards for required femininity:
If you're not wearing nails, you're not doing drag Silhouettes (pad for the Gods so you can have that hourglass shape) I'm gonna tell you a story about flats. No. The debate of drag styles: fishy seen as the epitome over campy, for example The wearing of "pants" in drag & belief it's too masculine.

If anything, Rupaul is a black man in "blonde, white woman face" as she most frequently wears straightened blonde hair with makeup which minimizes her natural features. The illusion of being female is the art. Rupaul is an artist and performer when he becomes The Monster, it is the depiction of a character."
Pancocojams Editor:
Click for information about the controversy over Zoe Saldana's portraying Nina Simone in an upcoming movie.

3. Naomi_Daniels
"Thank you for bringing up Zoe.
However, she's not white, which is what Kat is claiming Ru is. The problem with Zoe is that she doesn't claim to be black but is perfectly fine with taking black roles. Also, yes, she has to wear makeup and sh&t * to make her look like Nina Simone. It's incredulous."

4. xtlou
"Sometimes Zoe doesn't want to identify as anything other than a member of the human race and says things like white is the color of paper. Other times, she claims to be black and has even claimed the black community as hers. Ultimately, she says she wasn't raised to think of ethnicity or race growing up and seems insulted when her work or identity is boiled down to such.

The Simone estate associates feels a black of African decent instead of Puerto Rican and Dominican decent should have been cast.

There are many people who feel people of color portraying with cosmetics the appearance of darker people of blackface. I can understand both sides of the debate and have no fully formed opinion of my own: I was just sharing other viewpoints.

The claim Ru is a white man? That's some ignorant, trolling rhetoric."

5. Naomi_Daniels
"I'm not disagreeing with you on Zoe. I thought it was odd for her to be dressed up as Nina Simone, period. But I wouldn't call it blackface, because it diminishes the black she does have. I was just extrapolating from what you already said. :) for me, there's little difference between saying Ru is a white man in blackface and saying Zoe puts on blackface. It's essentially saying that these two people aren't black. Which is absolutely absurd and unnecessarily divisive. Though it does exist for Zoe, I don't think its existence grants the argument any shred of merit."

6. mrsflowers
"YES. So much this, more than anything in that article I hate what she says about Ru. In addition to everything you wrote, I think Ru's persona is just very campy, which means being overly theatrical and aware of it, which honestly explains why Kat sees her as simply "performing" her blackness. But context is important--Ru is entrenched in the gay community and camp is a huge part of gay culture. Kat doesn't seem to realize that.

More importantly, Ru's campy persona makes her 'marketable' to a larger group of people. In the 90s Ru became popular not because America wanted to see a man in a skintight dress, but because her performance in that dress was able to unite people of all backgrounds. And that was a pretty big deal at that time. Gay, straight, black, white, man, woman, Ru made a lot of people smile with her light-hearted 'cartoon' persona. I see an end goal in Kat's criticism of Ru being stripped of that ability--of Ru adopting a persona that not only perpetuates stereotypes, but leaves the world with one less reason to put our differences aside and laugh together, and that bothers me most of all."

7. lilPoundcake
"performative gender is a valid theory but i don't see how a black man is performing blackness
you could argue that culture is performative, but that doesnt make it bad. people rarely consciously perform anything"

8. lutheranian
"I can see it meaning two things:
He doesn't 'act black'
He's wealthy, powerful, and built himself a successful empire and is therefore being likened to a white businessman.

Either way it's fu&&&d* up because she's doing exactly what you said, perpetuating stereotypes. It's either "he needs to act this way and talk like this and do this" or "he's greedy and selfish and looking out for himself. he doesn't care about the black community because he doesn't do this and this and that."

9. harleyquinn18
"She claimed that you can tell how a black queen is going to be when they were on the show. So would you say Milan, LeShawn, Latrice and Dida were all the same? No! Every single queen is sassy because they're f&&&ing* Drag Queens. RuPaul does a lot for the black community by breaking stereotypes of what it means to be black. He is showing that black men can be feminine and campy, without the whole "ghetto" or "sassy black woman" trope. This show has done so much for the LGBT community and Kat is a member of that community herself. So for her to critique the show for the praise of "being socially aware" is totally insulting."

10. gbinasia
"As I move into a stage in my life where I am more aware of things, I cannot look at even some of my favorite shows and feel like they are without criticism. That is part of the burden that comes with being socially aware.]

Closes tab, feels better."
This quote in italics is from Kat Blaque's article.

11. lilPoundcake
"well to be fair as a kid i loved the black mammy that was on early tom & jerry cartoons because i was completely oblivious to what they were parodying (i also thought she was the owner of the house...)
today i just cringe at those cartoons..."

12. sharpgold
"I remember Kat Blaque's original YouTube video where she called Ru a white man in blackface and I was pretty unimpressed by that.

I wanna stand up and just CLAP your real talk. Yesss."

13. lilPoundcake
"who is she to tell others how to be black or not black
last time i checked only requirement to be considered black is having black skin"

14. sharpgold
"I know right? There's also something really nasty about telling someone they're not 'black enough' - that's exactly the kind of toxic identity policing that I've had thrown at me before (I guess we all have) and it's alllll about getting you to shut up because your opinion isn't the 'right one'."

15. ryandignant
"Can someone who calls herself Kat Blaque really deride others' "performative blackness""

16. 18hourbruh
Latrice Royale was, in reality, a very large, very dark black man who went to jail. When was the last time such a man was given such a beautiful non-fiction television portrayal? I mean, seriously. She was funny, talented, wise, compassionate... She's probably the favorite queen of a LOT of fans if judged just on personality.

It's kind of funny that this is a current attitude toward the show. I remember how after the first three seasons people were worried a white queen could never win, because Ru was just looking for tall dark glamazons that reminded her of herself!
Latrice Royale was a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4.

17. qbertp
"I grew up in a country which constantly laughs at its own stereotypes, and is ... PROUD of them. Stereotypes are a form of folk culture, and represent the easiest way to spot your flaws and your strenghts... i can't really explain myself It's a tricky and philosophical matter .-. I shan't really talk without further reasoning I'm sorry, however kudos to Naomi Daniels
(Btw we have a great Donatella Versace impersonator here, she's crazy funny, i wish there was a subbed version of her sketch on youtube, it's like Donatella meets Deathbecomesher)"

18. MelvarkieTeam
"Agreed. As a Dutch person I just laugh when we get portrayed with a German accent, as farmers with wooden shoes or just as really rude people. People like Kat Blaque are just professionally butt hurt. They don't understand the difference between appropriation (like using sacred garments as fashion) and appreciation (A white girl getting cornrows or box braids, because she thought it looked cute) Especially when something is a parody you just amp up stereotypes to a 100. The best thing to deal is to laugh at it. I mean Najib Amhali a Dutch comedian constantly makes stereotypical jokes about Morrocan people and nobody is butthurt, because we all know they are jokes with a small truth that is amped up.."

19. lilPoundcake
"it's less funny when your people are just criminals, hookers and thugs"

20. qbertp
"well I'm italian, what should I think about "the godfather" and "the sopranos"?"

21. lilPoundcake
"there are other non criminal italians. serbs in media are literally just terrorists, war criminals and sex workers."

22. qbertp
"Of course, I agree that's an unfair depiction, that's why I believe the "you're not allowed to play black" issue is just a tiny part of the whole problem."

23. dsaitken
"I don't get this either. If Rupaul acts "white" then doesn't that mean Kat Blaque believes black/white people act fundamentally differently and the stereotypes she complains about her essential to being black?"

24. dsaitken
"Derrick Barry posted that the script described his character as black....
When Trixie/Sharon Needles/Jessica Wild impersonate Rupaul... they are playing a black character, right? Or I don't understand how they are not performing being black :/

I thought the whole joke was that they all had to act stereotypically black. Granted I had no idea there was a TV show called Empire until read this thread"
"Derrick Barry" is a White drag queen who is a contestant on Ru Paul's Drag Race, Season 8.

The skit that prompted Kat Blaque's critique of Ru Paul's Drag Race was a parody of the television series Empire.

25. bean1998
"I'd like to add a bit to this.

Minorities are minorities because the word means that there are fewer people of a certain ethnicity. Rupaul's Drag Race is shot in the United States and the contestants come from the United States and United States territories. Black Americans are 13% of the population, Hispanic and Latino are 17% of the population, and Asian Americans are 6% of the population, and mixed race are 2.3% of the population link. This Season of Rupaul's Drag Race has twelve contestants, so 25% of them are black (Bob, Dax, Chi Chi), 17% are Latino (Cynthia, Naysha), 8.3% are mixed race (Naomi Smalls), and 8.3% are Asian (Kim Chi). The under-represented race are white people with 42% (Thorgy Thor, Acid Betty, Robbie Turner, Derrick Barry, and Laila McQueen). . . though it's close, and given only 12 people to cast, it's really close.

Having said all that, I don't personally care. I want the fiercest drag queens that are available no matter what their skin color is and, while having a diverse cast, I want them to be able to pay tribute to a show as fun and ethnic as Empire without the depictions (that are definitely camping up the characters on this show) being portrayed as racist.

Finally, they are all LGBT, and we are a huge minority. Only about 3.4% of people in studies identify as being openly LGBT. This number is a bit off though as 8% of people responded that they have had sex with the same gender, and 11% are attracted to people of the same gender. So more than half of the LGBT people, even in today's increasingly open society, are closeted (especially among older generations). However, the point of all of this is that even if all 11% were openly and proudly LGBT, we would still be a minority. Shouldn't we focus on what we have in common?
The hyperlink that is given in comment is

26. Shady-Pines
"Rupaul isn't mainstream but is sort of a flagship for gay culture these days so it's bound to get a lot of scrutiny. I'd say drag race has always been pretty diverse with only season 7 being mostly white. And should queens really be blamed for performing these challenges as they're given. They're told by two black people to amp it up. The cha cha challenge was sorta awkward (albeit funny) but what could they do when ab soto wheeled in a cart of party city props for cinco de mayo? Tbh if a white queen crossed the line, then I'm sure someone like bob who is very vocal about blackface and black lives matter would talk to them
That said I think ru herself can get pretty... Tasteless (I guess we can't say problematic now without it being considered whining? Why?). But ru is black, it's his show, and I'd leave that discussion for gay poc
Like any situation it's a gray area. Ru and the show isn't without its faults, but it's definitely one of the most diverse shows on the planet"
"Cinco de Mayo" is a United States Mexican observation.

Ab Soto was a guest on that segment of the show.

"Bob the Drag Queen" is a Black contestant on Ru Paul's Drag Race Season 8.

27. FormerCokeWhore
"She's also an unapologetic antisemite, who downplayed the significance of the Holocaust, downplayed antisemitism and claims of antisemitism (the fact that most Western antisemitism has been coming from the left, makes it all the more telling), and appeared to once agree that The Holocaust was 'white on white crime', despite the fact that ethnic Jews aren't white. All of this effectively constitutes a form of Holocaust Denial, thus making her a pretty wretched person.

But don't worry: Social Justice Warriors, and others on the regressive left, are about to take a death kneel. That's why they've really being getting out of hand lately. They know their movement has peaked.
It's also real cute that she pretty much stated that Ru "acts White". I'm triggered by this."
"She" refers to Kat Blaque.

28. lilPoundcake
"a lot of ethnic Jews are white. we mixed a lot since the middle ages
looking at discrimination solely through skin color and ignoring ethnicity is short sighted and wrong. "white" is a nebulous concept anyway, it's only really applicable to America"

29. ]wakarehen
"Seriously, I can't stand how US-ers don't understand that racism works differently over here in Europe and that on top of colourist racism as it exists in the USA, ethnic heritage plays a lot in the way people get discriminated against. We'll all be whiteys mcwhites to Americans but Poles, Jews, Basques, or Romani people will be treated like sh&t* when people learn their names or the region they're from no matter how white they are and that's still racism (not ~just xenophobia~ like lots of murricans throw at us trying to make it seem less bad when we school them on the subject)"

30. lilPoundcake
"there's a lot of ethnic minorities here. a lot
for example, in the old soviet union, a lot of minority ethnic groups (or even members of other nations like kazakhs, uzbeks or mongolians) were presented as russian and had their heritage erased. today they still continue to do so in russia. they'd ban minority languages and force them to learn russian and identify as russian. they were all white

russins, sorbs, valachians, gorans, sanjuks, szekelys, lusetian serbs are all WHITE minorities in eastern europe. today they have organisations aimed at preserving their languages, culture and heritage, but historically they were often discriminated against. they still recieve some discrimination for not being the majority (most often on their accents, unusual names or customs)

i bet in other countries and continents, there are many examples of minorities of the same race as the majority that are discriminated against. i just dont know many because i am young and uneducated
americans have lots of immigrants who are far removed from their heritage so it makes sense to just use "white" and "black", but it's very untrue for the rest of the world."

31. ]wakarehen
"I went with these examples because they're the most "famous" European groups for being discriminated against so the murricans don't feel too lost lol (and because I am part of one of them eh)
There definitely are minority ethnicities who see their cultures and languages close to getting wiped out by the majority group in lots of countries on all continents, I'm no historian or anthropologist so I don't know and can't talk about all or even half of them but learning about it is never not interesting. Also you may be young but you definitely seem educated about a part of them so props to you and all the time you have ahead to learn even more."

32. apparatus86
"When I tried to present similar arguments to an american SJW he basically said "Well it's white on white violence so it doesn't really count." And I just ugh"

33. poppy-picklesticks
"Yeah, I have noticed a lot of SJWs, for all their constant patting themselves on the back about how aware and socially conscious they are, are so painfully Murrica-centric it's comical. And not even all of Murrica, just the specific patch they reside in. They really think the entire world is an extension of their immediate surrounding area of mid 2010s Murrica and it's kinda hilarious."
Know Your Meme
"Feb 19, 2015 - Social Justice Warrior is a pejorative label applied to bloggers, activists and commentators who are prone to engage in lengthy and hostile debates against others on a range of issues concerning social injustice, identity politics and political correctness."

34. Azoolah
""Rupaul is a white man in black face" is far more racist than anything thats ever happened in the show. Your problem is that you dont like stereotypes of black people being perpetuated yet you are going to critique a nonstereotypical black person for not being black enough??? Thats ridiculous. She has some points that I think are worth discussing in that article but that is too much."

35. vrocotamy
"I normally don't get involved in these racially tinged Reddit disputes anymore, but I agree with alot of the points by /u/Naomi_Daniels. I'm not black, but saying Ru is "anti-black" or a "white man in blackface" is stooping pretty low, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It implies there's a correct way to be black that Ru misses, or, even worse, that Ru is a traitor to her race. It's not as if Ru enthusiastically propagates political views that have a negative effect on the majority of black people, e.g. Ben Carson or Tim Scott. Ru and Kat Blaque have very deeply held and sincere differences about how media stereotypes of black people should be dealt with, and probably have a different idea of what blackness means. That doesn't make Ru's black identity invalid. Ru is very much so a product of her experiences growing up as a lower middle-class, effeminate gay black man and aspiring drag queen in San Diego and Atlanta in the '60s and '70s. She's fairly ambivalent about aspects of any identity she fits into - black, gay, etc. And, in the '70s when Ru was growing up, black left institutional politics were not particularly friendly to LGBT people. Unfortunately, it's a feature of in-group politics in virtually any minority (LGBT, Jewish, Latino etc. etc.) that some will claim a member of "X" group is not "X" enough. I don't agree with everything Ru says - and I find a lot of the anti-KB circlejerk here vicarious and excessive - but it's offensive and disrespectful to call her a "white man in blackface" in any more than a joking way.

36. Gay_milhouse
"Great rebuttal but i feel like a lot of the comments here completely dismiss the original article as having any sort of point.

Should we not even look at the possibility that performative blackness exists on Drag Race? Do we just dismiss that when Derrick is told to have more soul, he immediately starts twerking and hollering "Derrick Booty Berry" and even bob starts to say, "They don't mean act bl..." and is cut off.
Sure, a lot of Kat's points may be tone deaf and lacking a greater sense of context, but just asking these questions doesn't mean you're all problematic for enjoying the show. I find it interesting to get as many cultural perspectives about something i enjoy, to just dismiss them gives us a disadvantage to further enrich a show we all love.

And all the comments just dismissing everything as "tumblr SJW" are so god damn tone deaf and annoying.

37. lilPoundcake
"recognizing something as existing doesn't mean it has to be attacked.
drag race is an interesting exercise in performative blackness, femininity, masculinity and there is a lot that can be said without slinging sh&t.* i do think rupaul can be "problematic" but it should be examined rationally and not just in RPDR=RACIST REEEEEEEE sort of way"

38. sarcastic
"Thank you for this. Yes, Kat may have been off base with this one, and I like a lot of things said in this rebuttal, but damn this sub likes to go off every time issues of racism are even touched upon. And the irony of people complaining about overuse of the word "problematic" while simultaneously falling over themselves to yell TUMBLR TUMBLR SJW every time race comes up... lord."

39. xxglossxx
"She's full of sh&t*. I hate her. She acts like only colored queens get hate."

40. PrankHan

41. simple_sammy
"I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she meant people of color (e.g. black, Asian, Latino, etc.) when she said colored..

Unless she didn't mean that, then drag huh."

42. rrea436
"the sub is filled with Internationals. (I'm european myself) but in many places the term "coloured" is still the prefered term.

I'd hope for ignorance over malicious."

43. MadamMadLove
"Okay, sorry for sounding ignorant, but it is offensive to say "colored"? I'm not from the U.S.."

44. Naomi_Daniels
“Colored” and “People of Color” aren’t the same thing. In the United States "Colored" is a long retired referent for African Americans. As such "Colored" may be considered to be pejorative. "People of Color" is a relatively recent (about 1990s or early 2000s) referent for anyone who isn't White. POC is preferred instead of the referent "minorities".

45. BequeefedUntoTheeHenny of the Hen Party
""You say that skit is anti-blackness personified and has people putting on blackness on as a mask but not once in your article did you question if the problem is Empire, with his wanton portrayal of a feuding family fighting for scraps over a music empire, and ITS portrayal of blackness. Because you DON'T. GET. DRAG. Practically all the sh&t* that happens on that skit happens on Empire."

But honieeee you snatched her by the roots
This was /u/Naomi_Daniels way of saying "Sit yo ass down and shut the hell up bi&&h!"*
Huge round of applause.
The beginning quote in this comment is part of Naomi_Daniel's rebuttal of the Kat Blaque article.

46. Geniepolice
"A takedown worthy of LEGEND!"

47. Shamenundotcom
"SO, I love Chad Sell. Love him, love his work. I was chagrined to read his blog last week in which he and a queen from Chicago (I believe) just savaged this show and the "Empire" challenge specifically for being nothing but tired racist stereotypes. Which would be fine, except: THAT WAS THE POINT OF THE F&&&ING* CHALLENGE. It was an exaggeration of a melodrama featuring mostly African-American characters who are -- if we are being very honest -- stereotypes in and of themselves. But both Chad and the Chicago queens had to pull out the soapbox and wring their hands about how this show -- which routinely features people of color in positive story arcs -- is still somehow a minstrel show. (I'm paraphrasing.) It was so tone deaf, and to make matters worse, a white man (per his profile photo) had the audacity to call out the rampant negativity in the article in the comments, and was immediately savaged. Other commenters immediately devalued his opinion because of his race, referred to him as ugly – f&&&ing* savage.

I was going to write a response to Sell, who again, I greatly respect. (Even if I think he'll just go along with whatever opinions the person he's interviewing has, which is some bullsh&t* in a case like this.) But I decided that there was no point in fighting negativity with more negativity. And I went on and enjoyed my life.

But I'm glad someone else called out this bullsh&t* narrative."

48. sdsailer
"Literally hyperliberals are the absolute WORST. Like sorry we can't all baby you for your personal affectation."

49. lancealittle91
You say that skit is anti-blackness personified and has people putting on blackness as a mask but not once in your article did you question if the problem is Empire, with its wanton portrayal of a feuding family fighting for scraps over a music empire, and ITS portrayal of blackness. Because you DON'T. GET. DRAG. Practically all the sh&t* that happens on that skit happens on Empire.

This is the most germane point for her argument; well said and absolutely the discussion needed to be had instead.

Claim 2: "[RuPaul's] is effectively part of the mainstream and is bound to be problematic." Rebuttal: There is nothing mainstream about Drag Race. It has been nominated for an Emmy..."

And nominated 3 times by Critics' Choice and once by the TCA awards. I think "mainstream" can be a misleading, catch-all term that people throw around to criticize something for being "bad because it's popular." It's hard to say what's really mainstream, but I would say Drag Race is popular. It seems to be pulling in an average rating and viewership for a show on a network like Logo. Season 5's premiere apparently had 1.3 million total viewers which appears to be fairly consistent for newer seasons (especially thanks to the Logo TV app and website).

Honestly, I think Drag Race is popular. Yes it critiques pop culture, but I don't think that automatically makes it anymore counterculture than stand up comedians are. Drag in general and historically as a movement, I certainly think so, but we should remember RuPaul's Drag Race is a commercial enterprise on a television network. Just food for thought.”

50. demivo
"Such eloquent posts like this are the reason I come to Reddit. If I had gold, it would be yours. Thank you so very much for the well-reasoned, passionate, interesting contribution."

UPDATE - March 30, 2016
51. crowsight
"What shes saying is that Ru plays off the stereotypes or misconceptions about black people. Ru is always playing on the quote, "Why it gotta be black." As if we actually care about the simple context that he refers to. Then he and judges are always wanting black queens to be more "ghetto" "edgy" "gum-poppin-divas" just to get by. As a black man he should know that is not how all black queens operate or even ARE. white gays are guilty of this because they get so much life and love for it, seeing the ghetto over dramatic sides of these queens. (I could relate this to how gay culture is pretty much stolen from black women but...) This is what sge means when refers Ru to a white man in blackface. He is playing the role of being black, but playing it for the sole entertainment of white people and at the expense of black culture, stereotypes, and misconceptions."

"And this is really the crux of the issue that people don't seem to get. There are very limited templates of what an acceptable black woman should be like in the media, and she's more often than not an arrogant, sassy, christian, aggressive, uneducated "bird" type of woman. But people are acting like it's irreverent and counter-cultural when in fact it's an age old stereotype used to dehumanise black women in to walking caricatures."

53. crowsight
"It is a crux I agree, which is why its a problem when the queens try not to be that way but are pushed into that direction. It really makes you cringe when you hear the judges say "be more urban" "get ghetto" "why it gotta be black" and so many other ... im litterally shaking my head right now because its so ridiculous. Black people offer so much, but the only side people want to see is that ghetto sassy hood side. Because that gets people ratings, thats what Ru plays off of, which is wrong. With such a platform that is changing American culture, he could be breaking down those norms but he isnt, he plays off them.
(I can't help but rememeber the jail bit that they had season 3 with latrice. She was playing some role pretty cute or whatever, yet they didnt like that and wanted her to be more ghetto or sassy. Like seriously...)"

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  1. Regarding lilPoundcake's comment [given as #13 in this post)
    "who is she to tell others how to be black or not black
    last time i checked only requirement to be considered black is having black skin", actually there are Black people in the United States (and elsewhere) who don't have dark skin. Some of those Black people can "pass for White" because they also have non-Black ancestry.

    In the United States people self-report their race/ethnicity. But it also seems to me that most people in the United States, still use visual clues to determine who is Black, and those clues include skin color, facial features, and hair texture. Also, it seems to me that most people in the United States still follow the unofficial "one drop of Black blood" rule that indicates that a person is Black if he or she has any known Black ancestry, no matter how long ago that was.

    That said, in the last five years or so, I have read a few online comments from people who indicate that are White while they also indicate that they have some Black ancestry. So that means that the (actually rather racist) one drop of "Black blood" rule" is weakening.

    1. I wrote another version of the comment given above but mistakenly deleted it.