What Is Hipster Racism?

Rock group 30 Seconds To Mars with headdresses

The website Dispatches From The Underclass states:

The term “hipster racism” was coined by Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious and refers to using racist language “ironically”.

STFU Hipster defines Hipster Racism in this way:

“Hipster racism involves making derogatory comments with a racial basis in an attempt to seem witty and above it all. Specifically, the idea is to sound ironic, as in ‘I’m allowed to say this because of course I’m not racist, so it’s funny.’

“It’s an aspect of a larger part of the hipster culture, which wants to seem jaded and urbane and oh-so-witty. Using language which is viewed as inflammatory or not appropriate is supposed to push the boundaries and make someone look edgy, but it only really comes across that way to people who buy into that system. To everyone else, it’s just racist.”

Wikipedia gives background to Hipster Racism:

“Van Kerckhove first attributed the term hipster racism in an article, ‘The 10 biggest race and pop culture trends of 2006’, particularly citing ‘Kill Whitie’ Parties and ‘Blackface Jesus’ as prominent examples of what she claimed to be the height of hipster racism.

“‘Kill Whitie’ parties, as described by the Washington Post, were parties held for hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by Jeremy Parker, a DJ that goes by the name of The Pumpsta, in an attempt to ‘kill the whiteness inside’.

“These were parties in which white hipsters attempted to discard their white privilege by mocking the black hip-hop industry, and essentially a part of black culture, for the sake of irony.

“Another occasion Van Kerckhove regarded as an instance of hipster racism was the use of blackface by white people and the normalization and acceptance of such use from other individuals. The use of blackface by individuals such as these was in an effort to satirize political correctness and racism.

“Other instances of alleged hipster racism include the appropriation of cultural artifacts by hipsters, which involves individuals adopting certain cultural artifacts of another culture without recognizing the significance of said article.  Examples include wearing native headdresses, or more specifically, Urban Outfitters selling clothes with Navajo and other Aboriginal and African tribal prints without giving tribute, acknowledgement, or compensation.”

So, the real question should be:  Is “hipster racism” just “racism?”  Are neo-Nazis and KKK hipster racism or just “racism?”  What about blackface?

What do you think?

For an example of Hipster Racism, go to this website:


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