Lots of Cooks Prepared the Compton Cookout Racial Insult Stew

by on February 26, 2010 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Education, San Diego

urban dictionaryby Earl Ofari Hutchinson/ Huffington Post / February 23, 2010

University of California, San Diego chancellor Marye Anne Fox, the president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, UCSD student leaders, and a bevy of civil rights leaders, and black and minority California lawmakers leaped over each other to lambaste the now infamous Compton Cookout at UCSD as racially insulting, insensitive, and demeaning. On February 24, days after the furor broke, UCSD officials held a campus racial sensitivity teach-in to quell racial tensions on the campus.

The Compton cookout, of course, was the boneheaded stunt by a handful of white and non-white students at an off campus to mock, poke fun at, and revel in what’s presumed to be the sway and swagger of ghetto life. There’s a problem, actually, two problems with this. The air head students couldn’t conjure this up from whole cloth. They aren’t that imaginative. They lifted the wording for the invitation for the cookout from the online Urban Dictionary web site. The site has parlayed an online commercial empire out of irreverent lampooning of slang words and phrases, and then hustling some slang laced products at a pretty penny. There are nine Compton cookout mugs, banners, tee shirts and mouse pads scrawled with inscriptions and jive talk on the items, some with a hefty price tag. There’s also evidence that the UCSD racial spoofery is not isolated, that students at other campuses have had their own versions of Compton Cookouts.

“Naw, `hoe’ is short for honey.” (Dr. Dre, “Housewife”)

That’s the minor problem. The bigger problem is that Urban Dictionary, as the UCSD students, couldn’t conjure up the Compton Cookout inanity from whole cloth either. They’ve had overgenerous help from the endless parade of gangster rappers, some black filmmakers, and comedians continue to routinely reduce young black women to “stuff,” “bitches” and “hoes.” Their contempt reinforces the slut image of black women and sends the message that violence, mistreatment and verbal abuse of black women are socially acceptable. Despite lawsuits, protests and boycotts by women’s groups, gangster-themed films and rap music still top the popularity charts. Hollywood and music companies rake in small fortunes off them, and so do a few rappers.

“Bitch choose with me” (50 Cent, “P.I.M.P”)

The verbal demeaning of black women and the pile on of stereotypes of young black males as gang bangers, drive by shooters and dope dealers has made them the scapegoats for many of the crisis social problems in American society.

Some blacks cite a litany of excuses, such as poverty, broken homes and abuse, to excuse the sexual abuse and violence (both physical and rhetorical) by top black male artists. These explanations for the misdeeds of rappers and singers are phony and self-serving. The ones who have landed hard on a court docket are anything but hard-core, dysfunctional, poverty types. The daunting puzzle, then, remains why so many blacks storm the barricades in fury against a handful of harebrained students at a college, but are stone silent, or utter only the feeblest of protests, when blacks bash and trash. Or even worse, tacitly condone their verbal abuse. There are two reasons for that.

“Watch Your Bitches” (Beanie Sigel “The Reason”)

Blacks have been the ancient target of racial stereotypes, negative typecasting, and mockery. This has made them hypersensitive to any real or perceived racial slight from whites. That’s totally understandable, and civil-rights leaders are right to criticize the Don Imus’s, the Rush Limbaughs, and the legion of celebrities, politicians and public figures for their racial gaffes, slips or broadsides.

But many also fear that to publicly criticize other blacks for their racial attitudes, such disagreements will be gleefully twisted, mangled and distorted into a fresh round of black-bashing by whites. This is a lame reason for not speaking out, and speaking out loudly, against blacks who either out of ignorance or for profit, or both, routinely commercialize racial and gender trash talk.

Such failure fuels the suspicion that blacks, and especially black leaders, are more than willing to play the race card, and call white people bigots, when it serves their interests, but will circle the wagons and defend any black who comes under fire for bigotry–or anything else, for that matter.

“Can U Control Yo Hoe” ( Snoop Dogg, “R&G: Rhythm and Gangsta: The Masterpiece”)

The same standard of racial accountability must apply whether the racial and gender offender is a Snoop Dog or UCSD students. When it doesn’t, that’s a double standard, and that always translates into hypocrisy. The UCSD officials, lawmakers, and civil rights leaders were right to condemn the students for their blatant racial insult. However, be mindful that urbandictionary and the offending UCSD students aren’t the only cooks who prepared the Compton cookout racial insult stew.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is, How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge (Middle Passage Press).

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ernie McCray February 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Right on, right on, right on… It has to stop in all areas. I’m at the point, in some ways, that it bothers me more when my people use the “N” word than when others do. Why perpetrate such a symbolic hateful term and then splice it with B’s & H’s, negating the struggle – and then get super pissed when some white person does it, when they spend the most in the Hip Hop world?


lane tobias February 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

bump ^


fstued February 26, 2010 at 9:39 pm

thanks Ernie, Great comment


Montana March 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

(1) UCSD: A group of dumb white frat guys hold an event called a “Compton Cookout.” This pisses people off as it used Black History Month as a reason to mock black people with racist stereotypes. Also involved is some idiot who tries to use this opportunity for shameless self-promotion, who also happens to be black. To say the least, the guy is basically a wannabe Flavor Flav.

(2) UCSD: Another dumb white frat guy gets mad that blacks are offended of being relegated to a bigoted stereotype. He tries to hold another racist event.

(3) UCSD: Meanwhile, a terrible student media publication (which, after viewing their website consists of all white staff, nudity, staff wrestling each other, and well, not much else), pushes their limits calling black students “ungrateful n——” – not just that word, but also that apparently the black students owed them something. They have a reputation of being trashy, and at this point, administration and faculty rush to condemn racism by students of the campus and various protests begin. Funding is also cut from all student media at UCSD, creating an extra bitter controversy.

(4) UCSD: On Friday of that week, a noose is found in the library. Everything gets worked in a frenzy and – something I’ll address later – a large amount of white commenter’s on the internet begin claiming that is was probably a black student who planted it in order to gain more sympathy. In addition, there are rumors of a threatening note sent to the Guardian and a second noose, there was no second noose, and the threat seems to be just a rumor.

(5) UCSD: Protests basically happen at all schools in support of the students. There are various sit-ins, and teach-ins, and what have you. School administrators become pushed to be more active in fixing what’s going on.

I have not seen this noose person, but most of you blame her and conveniently forget wear this all originated.

Instead of an apology there has been steady escalation and now the noose. So, what exactly will the excuses be for this cowardly act that brings up memories of the confederate KKK of the South in their attempts to keep slavery and the non-whites in fear? Is it that are uneducated, is it that their parents planted these seeds of hate, is it that they are live in fear because our President in the white house is not 100% white. In my opinion this is what the small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. These kids are good at “Follow the Leader” of their dullard leaders, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards, they are young and dumb. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although most republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe they have a long way to go.


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