NY Times goes full color-coded

Posted: December 11, 2009 in Books
NY Times has a Christmas season article on gifts for People of Color (insidiously renamed On Color): “Somali fashion, do-it-yourself henna kits, children’s books that draw inspiration from the lives of Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor: it’s not hard to find gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season. Here are some possibilities…” It’s amazing how the Times plays into racial sterotypes:  Like Baby Jamz, containing a” Mix Master Music Chair that allows children to be their own D.J.’s, a Move ’n Groove dance mat, a Jammin’ Microphone and other items. There is also a singalong DVD series, featuring the voices of the Knowles sisters singing remixed versions of your favorite nursery rhymes…”; A gospel music cruise; books with titles like A Mocha Guide to the Military (yes, for those mocha colored individuals) and  The Conversation, about the “nuanced complexities of African-American relationships” (I guess this book excludes that really nuanced Tiger Woods marriage). Probably the weirdest gift idea they recommend is something called Ash Kumar’s Bollywood Henna Kit, which in essence is a “black face” product where “You can emulate your favorite Bollywood star or come up with your own ideas with this henna kit for body and hair. It’s a perfect do-it-yourself gift for those wanting to satisfy a creative itch and is certain to add a glam touch at holiday parties.”(Relax, of course there’s no mention of the hugely popular skin-whitening products that many African-Americans and Asian women use).

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