A column white people will like?

By Sujay Kumar

Before you read any further, I think we should address the elephant in the room. I’m not white. Yeah, I’m just another Indian guy. I’ve been dancing around the issue of race for a while now, so I thought it was best to get it out of the way once and for all.

“Stuff White People Like” is the hottest blog on the Internet. Created by Christian Lander, the not so politically correct blog takes a closer look at the interests of “white people.” Twenty-nine-year-old Lander, who himself is white, writes on the Web site that “This is a scientific approach to highlight and explain stuff white people like. They are pretty predictable.”

Only three months after its debut in January, the satirical blog has skyrocketed in popularity. The Web site has had more than 20 million hits and led to a book deal. But along with fame and fortune, “Stuff White People Like” has started its share of controversy, mainly accusations of racism.

Your gut reaction may be to laugh at the thought of racism against white people. But it’s not too far-fetched at all. I mean, the blog is “Stuff White People Like.”

That doesn’t translate to white people like this blog’s stuff. If it were titled “Stuff Black People Like” or “Stuff Hispanic People Like”, something tells me we wouldn’t be discussing whether it was racist or not, but how racist it was.

So is “Stuff White People Like” racist? Let’s take a look at some of the stuff that made the cut.

#18 Awareness

While many people also take action to stop world crises, there are many out there who would rather act like they really care about human rights travesties. These are often the people that will wear a T-shirt about saving Darfur or shove a poster in your face and ask you why you don’t care about the kids in Rwanda. The blog suggests these are often white people.

#20 Being an expert on YOUR culture

Apparently this is a reaction white people have to their confusion about their own culture. I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that I have been lectured about India many times. This usually happens after someone watches a Travel Channel special or a Bollywood film or eats at a restaurant that serves curry.

#71 Being the only white person around.

This is one of my favorite entries. There have been social situations where the lone white guy next to me will turn to me with a look of both sheer wonder and horror and say, “Suj, I’m the ONLY white guy here.”

After reading through the blog, it’s more funny than racist. It’s well-written humor based on race. And the comments section under articles allows readers to discuss something freely that is usually hushed in society.

No one wants to say something and come off as a racist. That’s why jokes about race that you consider taboo are usually told only to your close friends. Of course you don’t mean any harm by them, you’re not a racist. But when those same jokes appear on a blog for everyone to see, suddenly we hear shouts of racism.

The white people I know who have read the blog can’t help but laugh at how spot on it is. People of other races agree that it’s hilarious because white people are “just like that.” But take a closer look at what’s on the list, including those I mentioned before: “Juno,” the idea of soccer, expensive sandwiches, diversity.

Publishers Lunch says that the book spin-off of the blog will satirically expose “a culture that prides itself on individuality and diversity, yet manages to express these beliefs in exactly the same way.” But I don’t think the stuff on the blog is limited to white people. A more fitting title for the blog would be “Stuff Middle to Upper Middle Class People of All Races Like.”

Sujay is a junior in biochemistry. He thinks most people believe that “you’re only racist if people see you being racist.” Mind explosion!