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Study in Stereotypes Gets a Bad Rap

June 15, 2002

Re "Ebony and Ivory Come Together in Eminem," Commentary, June 7: Crispin Sartwell wrote a column rife with contradictions that smash the stereotypes he himself draws from to make his point.

Sartwell claims that rapper Eminem is some sort of embodiment of real white culture. Perhaps it's just the generation I belong to, but it is apparent that there is no white culture and there is no black culture--at least not anymore. How else could white Eminem be considered a commanding pioneer in a "black" art?

It is time to move beyond the shallow defining of men by their skin color or old-world roots. This is America--post-civil rights movement.

Besides, it should be an insult to anyone who could remotely be considered "black" to have Eminem's immoral, childish and crass brand of rap attributed to black culture. Has Sartwell unconsciously subscribed to the trashy stereotypes that have been assigned to black people in this country? He must have, if his definition of "black" has anything to do with Eminem and his exploitative music. This black-versus-white obsession is really getting old.

Justin Daniel Williams

Los Angeles

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