Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch: Essays on Race and Sexuality

By Dwight A. McBride | Go to book overview

5 Feel the Rage
A Personal Remembrance of the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising

(I have chosen here to preserve the perspective from which this essay was
originally written on May 3, 1992, just on the heels of the Los Angeles up-
rising, which began April 29, 1992. I was a resident of Los Angeles at that
time, attending graduate school at UCLA. The piece was published a few
weeks later in a small African American progressive Christian newsletter in
the San Francisco Bay Area.)

Even as I begin the process of putting pen to paper, something about this project feels hopelessly anachronistic, out of sync with time. As a people, African Americans are told almost daily by the government and the media of the “progress” we have made. We are reminded on a regular basis (as if someone were trying to convince us) of how much better off we are now than we were some thirty years ago. However, the events of the several days following the announcement of the verdict in the Rodney King case tell quite a different story. These events expose such assertions of “progress” as the same dangerous rhetoric being used at this historical moment to undergird the political right’s ridiculous claims of “reverse discrimination” and to dismantle important strategies for achieving equality like affirmative action.

Today (Sunday, May 3, 1992) I heard Congresswoman Maxine Waters deliver an invigorating speech at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church. In that speech, she outlined the complex of social and economic inequities leading up to the eruption of violence following the verdict. Her speech was so similar in tone, critique, and content to statements made by Dr. Martin

-143-

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Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch: Essays on Race and Sexuality
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Preface 1
  • Introduction- The New Black Studies, or beyond the Old "Race Man" 17
  • Part I- queer Black Thought 33
  • 1- Straight Black Studies 35
  • 2- Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch 59
  • 3- It’s a White Man’s World 88
  • Part II- Race and Sexuality on Occasion 133
  • 4- On Race, Gender, and Power 135
  • 5- Feel the Rage 143
  • 6- Ellen’s Coming out 149
  • 7- Affirmative Action and White Rage 154
  • Part III- Straight Black Talk 161
  • 8- Speaking the Unspeakable 163
  • 9- Cornel West and the Rhetoric - Of Race-Transcending 185
  • 10- Can the Queen Speak? 203
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 235
  • Index 241
  • About the Author 251
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