When Racism Claims Go Berserk; Adele

Now surely people there wouldn’t be a bunch of people calling a R&B singer racist, right? After all, this same singer hasn’t done anything racist. This same singer hasn’t lynched anyone. This same singer hasn’t made a poop swastika as alleged by Johnathan Butler. What could a singer like Adele have possibly done to upset the perpetually offended? Well, she is just Adele.

No, that’s right. Even thought she has only sang songs apparently because some people say she sounds black, because some other singers who have a different skin color aren’t as successful and she is involved in a genre that is dominated by those with African descent she is appropriating “black” music. Now those of you who are reading this and getting a serious migraine it is more than understandable if you wish to take some over the counter medication. At first glance this sounds absolutely ridiculous and it is almost as if to suggest that a white woman cannot make a successful product unless of course she bows to the social justice warriors who decry her as a racist and deems her material as appropriating black culture.

This isn’t a made up article. There are people out there actually saying this.

From “That Grape Juice“:

“Fueled by her sophomore LP ‘21‘ and heightened by the momentum of its own sales, the project has turned the star into one of the highest selling acts in more time, literally selling more copies per week than many of her chart rivals could shift in a year.

However, with this success has come an undying criticism related to Adele’s look- more specifically, her race.

Like Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone before her, Adkins’ success-albeit warranted- has led many to ask the uncomfortable question:

But what if she was black, would she be as successful?”

From “The Complex (No Adele Is Not Appropriating Black Music)“:

“However, Adele is not the best example of how a white face can sell more with a black sound.

Adele is not like Iggy Azalea, or Macklemore, or any other white person borrowing from black cultural traditions. I’m perplexed that people even consider what Adele does to be soul or anything reminiscent of black music. In 2012, Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt accused Adele fans of being racist. Speaking with LA Weekly, Merritt explained, “She really has a lovely voice, but I only get suspicious when people get excited about British people who sound like American black people.”

Merritt went on to add, “Basically she sounds like Anita Baker. And people are not, you know, wild and crazy about Anita Baker.” “

From “SF Weekly“:

“Despite the colorblind responses he has evoked from blogs — From Evil Beet Gossip: “Adele is popular because she’s an amazing singer with a charming personality who happened to write a beautiful album. That’s why people are so excited about her, not because they’re a bunch of racists who finally get to hear a nice white lady sing with some soul.” — people tend to forget how we racialize certain types of vocal stylings, even in passing.

Perhaps the labels of “sounding white” and “sounding black” are not as prominently used today (at least in polite company), but the supposedly blanket term “soulful” and it’s troubling cousin “blue-eyed soul” are still racially coded. After all, soul music is imbued with racial politics, stemming from black music during times of slavery and Jim Crow, the institutionalized racism of the music industry that allowed for white artists to profit from covers of black artists who were limited to black-only venues and audiences, and the privileged ease of appropriating certain cultural forms in the present day.”

From “Inquisitr“:

“Adele has experienced success over the past two months that appears to go beyond anything seen in pop music over the past decade or two. However, there are some people who think Adele’s success is unearned.

A relatively new petition at Change.org, which pictures Adele in front of a Confederate flag, claims she needs to publicly recognize her white privilege.

“Adele sold over 3.38 million copies of her album ’25’ and the media is praising her as if Adele’s success has everything to do with talent. Rather, it’s her white privilege that has put her on top,” the petition claims.

The petition goes on to note that Adele has sold more than recent albums by Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Janet Jackson, while also stating the albums by the aforementioned artists are supposedly “better.” The mission statement of the petition says that the fawning over Adele by fans and the press continues to show how minorities are repressed in the music business.”

Take a good read at that last portion. Yes, Adele who worked her butt off to get to where she is has to apologize for her supposed “white privilege.” Where are the social ideologies to defend her when she needs them? This is a woman, and if we are to believe that men supposedly dominate everything, who beat the odds and went straight to the top. No wage gap for her. Discrimination wouldn’t matter when you are that rich and so many people love you more than people hate you.

You see that above? Those links and the source material? Yes, this is a sign that the social justice warrior camp and the perpetually offended at everything crowd has officially lost every damn marble in the bag. The lights are on but nobody is home.



That Grape Juice

SF Weekly


The Complex



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