Thursday, May 15, 2008

In search of Misidentified Black People

To maintain this blog’s longest-running gimmick – a catalog of Misidentified Black People in the media – I occasionally do the tedious work of searching through newspapers’ online corrections pages (via Regret the Error).

I should be happy when I don’t find any MBPs. Instead, I get a little bit frustrated. (I know they’re out there somewhere!)

For the past week or so, the Los Angeles Times has been misidentifying everybody except black folks.

On Monday, the Times ran a photo of novelist Michael Tolkin but mislabeled it as filmmaker Henry Bean.

The Times last week misidentified a photo of L.A. Laker Sasha Vujacic as Vladimir Radmanovic.

And the Times misidentified a photo of Taiwanese official James Huang as Chiou I-jen (a different Taiwanese official).

The L.A. Times even misidentified a photo of a Kentucky Derby horse. But no MBPs.

If this keeps up, they’re gonna ruin my premise.

6 comments:

Phelps said...

One of my favorite sayings is "never assume malice when incompetence will suffice." The press and the government never let me down. I would have no problem amending it to "never assume racism when incompetence will suffice."

It reminds me of one of the few things about race to shock me. I remember a story from a few years ago, on MLK day, when James Earl Jones was getting an award. The award plaque came addressed, "Thank You James Earl Ray."

That wasn't what shocked me. What shocked me was the James Earl Jones shrugged the whole thing off -- he knew it wasn't intentional because it happens to him all the time. It boggled my mind that he could be confused with MLKs assassin so much that he is used to it.

(BTW, if I hadn't previewed this comment, I would have made the exact same mistake I was pointing out in my last paragraph. Ugh.)

GenevaGirl said...

In honor of APIA month, People magazine misidentified Korean Speed Racer actor Karl Yune as Korean pop star Rain:

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2008/05/people-magazine-thinks-all-asians-look-the-same.php

Perhaps, UBM, it's because of yor efforts that fearful editors have decided to pick on someone else.

Bklyn6 said...

The award plaque came addressed, "Thank You James Earl Ray."

I vaguely remember this! But, I can be so skeptic sometimes. Something like this seems quite intential to me. Like confusing Obama and Osama. Yeah, right.

In honor of APIA month, People magazine misidentified Korean Speed Racer actor Karl Yune as Korean pop star Rain:

This is f'd up. Period.

Undercover Black Man said...

Perhaps, UBM, it's because of yor efforts that fearful editors have decided to pick on someone else.

Hee-hee... yes. Yes, that's it... it's a victory!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't find this online, but in an April 30 USA Today sports brief about Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo's alleged run-in with transvestite prostitutes, the nation's newspaper ran a photo of Portuguese soccer star CRISTIANO Ronaldo.
They don't look much alike.
Which is interesting on lots of levels.

Lola Gets said...

Well, at least we can take comfort in the fact that mis-identification isnt just specific to Blacks, lol.

L