Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: systemic racism

Micro (and macro) aggressions and virtue signaling

A situation has arisen with Bon Appetit that makes me want to talk about it, systemic racism, the protests, and virtue signaling. I know that’s a lot to cram into one post, but that’s how I roll.

A confession before I start the post. I don’t like Bon Appetit’s videos. When they became all the rage during lockdown, I watched a few of the eight chefs at home videos and could barely get through them, and that was with heavy fast-forwarding. I liked Priya Krishna, but most of the other chefs left me cold. I’m naming one specifically because even while I was watching him, I was thinking that only a white dude (and probably het/cis*) could get away with acting like that. It’s Brad Leone, and I cannot watch him. I don’t doubt he’s a good chef, but his whole persona is the epitome of loud clueless white dude, it’s extremely off-putting. But, putting him aside, there are a few other of the white cast who set me on edge as well.

Back to the topic at hand. Five or six days ago, it emerged that the (ex) EIC of Bon Appetit, Adam Rapoport and his wife had dressed up in brownface for Halloween 16 years ago. His wife reposted a pic to Instagram in 2013. They were dressed as stereotypical Puerto Rican in ‘da hood’, and it’s very cringe-worthy. That was just the tip of the iceberg, however. After the photo was released (along with the story by a freelance writer that her piece on Puerto Rican rice fritters was rejected because it didn’t reflect “what was happening ‘right now’ in the food world”, Sohla El-Waylly described a long list of injustices she had to face at work as one of the few PoC working there. Here’s a summary of the story thus far.

Long story short, Adam Rapoport resigned with a lot of mealy-mouthed words about having to be a better person. Other staffers came out with mea culpas or yelping about how they had to do better. Do I sound cynical? It’s because I am. I’ll get to that in a minute, but let me confess something else.

I’ve always viewed Bon Appetit as a snobby faux-elite website. I’m not saying it was a wholly rational, but they always rubbed me the wrong way. They seemed so self-important and self-congratulatory, and I never payed much attention to them even though I like watching making food videos. The brouhaha over their astoundingly tone-deaf article on pho only cemented my feeling. I had forgotten about that until this shit sprang up, but going down the rabbit hole reminded me of it once again.


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Video games: the mundane and the profound

I had to go to the post office to mail something (have had a check stolen from my mailbox, so I don’t mail out from here), and it was really weird. In the past three months, I’ve gone to the pharmacy twice (once before lockdown started and twice since), and that’s it. The post office isn’t far, maybe a mile, but it might as well have been in Timbuktu. I had the windows rolled down, and I was singing along to the radio. In other words, it was like the before times, and it felt strange. There were people jogging with or without their dogs. The sun was shining. I had to remind myself that there was a pandemic raging on.

Side Note: Even before the protests, it was getting hard to hold onto the idea that there’s a pandemic. Intellectually, I know it’s true. Emotionally, it’s hard to accept that it’s still going on. I don’t know anyone close to me who has been affected by it. If I expand that circle, then, yes, I do. But it’s remote enough to not really kick me in the teeth with it. I keep up with the news, but I’m not checking daily. And, right now, it’s been pushed to the back burner, obviously, because of the protests and the awful behavior of the president.

Pivoting swiftly to video games, I’m still keeping it light. I haven’t played any more BL3, and I’ve stayed away from the Souls games as well. I will say I’m proud of myself for figuring out why I couldn’t get Good Pizza, Great Pizza to work (something about Microsoft redistributables being missing) and fixing it. I still don’t know how it went missing or what exactly I did to fix it, but it works now! It’s funny because it’s not a good game, but there’s something addictive about it. It started as a mobile game, and it shows. That doesn’t stop me from compulsively clicking, though.

Anyway, I picked up Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor–Martyr (what’s up with the name, by the way?) because it was on steep sale and because Ian had gotten it. I’m interested in the Warhammer universe to a degree, but more the fantasy lands than the space ones. Still. I was looking for a Diablo-esque hack-and-slash because sometimes, all you want is meaningless fun. Does this scratch that itch? Yes…and no.


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