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Sports Illustrated’s ‘Racist’ Swimsuit Issue

Written By : Warner Todd Huston
February 16, 2013

Everything is racist these days. Even the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, apparently. At least that is the latest tempest in a teapot being stirred by our busy race merchants.

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The website Jezebel is the latest to stir the pot claiming that because SI used locations on all seven continents and featured people in native garb as a back drop for its swimsuit models, why the magazine must be racist.

The photos shot in Spain featured matadors. In China the model was photographed surrounded by young girls in traditional Chinese garb. In another shot in China an older man in a bamboo cooley hat made ready to pole-push a homemade raft as the model sat alluringly by. In Namibia a white model was shown next to a black man in traditional garb.

Was it highlighting beauty and celebrating diversity? Or was it just stereotyping? Whatever its intent, with its “diverse” photos, SI can’t seem to win.

The website claimed it was all about race, saying, “using people of color as background or extras is… very distasteful.”

The Namibia shoot was particularly galling, it appears.

“But even more upsetting are the shots taken in Namibia, in which a black man is a prop,” Jezebel complained.

Imagine, showing a black man in Namibia, Africa! Why the impertinence of Sports Illustrated.

What won’t the race merchants warp to suit their purposes?

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