You can argue that we live in a postracial society now, which means that we’re free to revive retrograde ideas about race and play around with them for fun, because with racism out of the picture they aren’t dangerous or ugly anymore. And that is even more obviously bullshit. The only people who actually believe that America—a country whose third most populous city is still racially segregated at an Eisenhower-era level—suddenly became “postracial” after Obama was elected are Fox Nation true believers and privileged young hipsters, and both groups seem to use this belief primarily as a get-out-of-jail-free card when they indulge in heinous race talk. Because if racism is dead (the theory goes), then saying racist shit isn’t racist, right?
You could say that Nally and company are simply reviving the character of the racially curious white hipster lothario that Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, and pretty much every arena-rock star played at a certain point during the 70s—obviously that pose, or something very much like it, is what Foxy Shazam are shooting for here. But while it’s possible to write off Jagger et al’s icky race numbers (I mean, seriously) to time and place (and to chemically impaired judgment, and to egos inflated to superhuman proportions by otherworldly levels of fame), there’s no good excuse for bringing that sort of thing back now. Leave that shit in the 70s where it belongs. Maybe if America ever truly becomes postracial, a white male will be able to sing the praises of big black asses without either deliberately or inadvertently invoking centuries of institutionalized sexual exploitation, but until then it would be best to consider it off the table.
|—||Miles Raymer, “Foxy Shazam and the Accidentally Racist Single” (Chicago Reader)|