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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Oh fuck this

Alicublog has this insane bullshit up from professional asshole James Lileks

NOT THAT HE'S APPROVING OF STEPIN FETCHIT -- WHY, THAT FELLOW WOULD MAKE AN AWFUL CLERK AT TARGET. Did you catch James Lileks' passionate defense of olde-style Negro servitude?

The Steward was one of those peculiar archetypes of American apartheid – along with the Porter and the Maid. Unlike the domestic servant, though, he contained no sass. Think Uncle Ben: big toothy smile, yassir. Domestic servants, however, were allowed a great deal of sass – listen to the old Great Gildersleeve shows, and you get a perfect picture of the popular idea of this idealized relationship. Gildy is henpecked and outdone by all his domestic associates, but the only person who comes across with any degree of pride or level-headedness is Birdie, the servant, and Gildy’s relationship to her is one of kindness and deference. You could say that’s easy: she didn’t count, so it was easy to be nice to her. But that’s wrong. There was a fundamental decency and mutual affection in their relationship. Yes, yes, idealized depiction of inherent inequalities, etc. As the argument no doubt goes, the shows perpetuated inequality by pretending they really didn’t exist. But it’s instructive to note what the popular culture held out as the ideal. Equality, not subjegation. Birdie was fully integrated into the family, and shared the same values. Nowadays I suspect a sitcom with a Black servant in a middle-class family would milk the clash of cultures, not the similarities. Wanda Sykes would star.

There's something missing here.... something... oh yeah -- the wounded, pre-emptive dismissal of accusations!

I am now bracing for the mail that accuses me of missing the days of Jim Crow. Whatever.

That's how the pro wingnuts do it, folks! Next up: why the passing from the scene of Joe Jitsu harmed our relations with China.

Hey Jim, what the fuck are you talking about? Some fantasy world created for TV? In the real world, black people could die for disrespecting their white patrons. Die.

All that smart backtalk you imagine happened was fiction. You forgot your place around white people, death could be the punishment.

Let's not forget when white bosses would compell sex their black maids, like Strom Thurmond. This image of happy servants is just bullshit, a sick fantasy.

Jesus these people suck.

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