Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past

By David R. Roediger | Go to book overview
Save to active project

“Hertz, Don't It?”

Remove the appearance of sharp racial differences from Othello and the difference in the play is so striking that it makes you wonder how many other stories have been distorted in our imaginations by our historical obsession with race…. [A] fter three hours one still leaves this performance thinking mostly about how clear the plot is and how swift its development if all the baggage of race we tend to bring to it is left at the door.

New York Times reviewer D. J. Bruckner, mis
understanding and praising a 2000 performance
of what he calls a “colorblind” Othello by the
National Asian American Theatre Company

A quarter-century ago, O. J. Simpson told of his strategy for responding to racial taunts. It consisted of a sharp jab to the offender's chest, accompanied by a literal punch line: “Hertz, don't it?” The humor rested on the bitter contrast of Simpson's tremendous success as an athlete who crossed over to become a beloved corporate icon, advertising rental cars among much else, with his continued facing of racial hurts and desiring to strike back against them. (The same Hertz/hurts punning was repeated endlessly on “O. J. jokes” websites during Simpson's later trials.) Simpson surely knew that he briefly stepped out of character in telling the joke. He followed the remark with laughing reassurances that such jabbing was of course unnecessary. Referring to himself in the disturbing third-person manner common to toddlers and Republican presidential hopefuls, he pointed out that “The Juice” so transcended


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 323

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?