Published on October 8th, 2013


John McWhorter: Miley’s Twerking Wasn’t Racist

Many of the people clutching their pearls over Miley Cyrus’s gluteal gyrations at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday don’t want the America they claim to want.

Cyrus’s sin was to engage in the dance move known as twerking, in which a woman twirls her buttocks in a graphically suggestive fashion, often against her partner. It’s been around awhile, once associated with the strip scene but having long since jumped the rails into ordinary videos and the tersipchorean repertoire of ordinary people. It would seem, especially over the last year or so, to have become what is known as “a thing” in terms of mainstream awareness of its existence.

And a white girl twerking on television is merely a symptom of what Leon Wynter, in a sadly underacknowledged book a while ago, called the “browning” of American culture. It started with rap becoming white America’s music, but that was just an appetizer. Britney Spears would have looked oddly “Negroid” in her dance style to someone from as recently as 1980. Or, a TV version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Brandy as the star and nobody bats an eye? White guys calling each other “bro”?

Source: The New Republic. Read full article. (link)

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