Sports Illustrated’s ‘Racist’ Swimsuit Issue

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.

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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  • GarandFan

    People like Jesse gotta keep that race money coming in. Extortion in that regard is still legal.

  • jim_m

    Hey, they had more minorities in the photo shoot than the SPLC board, or the MSNBC anchor line up or obama’s cabinet or his campaign headquarters.

    Wait! I think I get it. Racism means not treating someone based on the color of their skin but actually treating them as an individual based on their character and capability. It used to mean the opposite, but that seems to be the context that the left uses it these days.

  • Vagabond661

    There were people in the background?

    • jim_m

      No there weren’t. The left does not recognize minorities as people otherwise they would treat them as individuals.

  • Brucehenry

    So none of you can see ANY validity in what Jezebel had to say about the coolie picture? You can’t see how some folks would see that photo as reminiscent of the Good Old days of Colonialism?

    • mikegiles

      So someone Chinese in traditional garb has to be a “coolie”? That says more about the race merchants than it does about SI.

      • Brucehenry

        No, someone paddling a white memsaab down the river while wearing that straw hat and traditional pyjama-type garments has to be a “coolie.”

        • MartinLandauCalrissian


          • Brucehenry

            And, nothing. I don’t care, myself, how and where and with whom SI poses its swimsuit models. I’m just asking if anyone here has read the commentary on the linked Jezebel article and if anyone here can see ANY sense in what they had to say about this picture. None? Not one little bit?

          • jim_m

            No it’s not racist. It is showing people in traditional or native garb. The point is to show something “exotic” and ethnic. It isn’t anything more than that.

            And no, it isn’t over the top to recognize that anyone who is so sensitive as to go screaming RAAAAACISM!!!!! when they see a picture of a person in a foreign country, dressed in something traditional. What I find increasingly appalling is how quickly you need to defend such BS.

            As I said before, it is the inability of the left to see beyond the externals that makes them racist. You are nothing but an apologist for race merchants.

          • Brucehenry

            The Jezebel article never mentions the words “race” or “racism.” The commentary on this photo is more about paternalistic, colonialistic imagery than racism per se. Did you read it? Nothing?

            I don’t know much about Jezebel (I’ve heard of it, but it’s not a site I see with any frequency), but I’m unaware of any reputation it might have for being a “race merchant.”

          • jim_m

            I’ll note that they had no problem with the Spaniards in traditional dress, only people of other races.

            The fact that it is OK to show SOME people of SOME races in traditional garb, but not other people of other races is inherently racist. They are pointing it out and claiming that there is a problem. What the problem is that they are alluding to is obvious.

            They see racism, paternalism and colonialism because they are bigots themselves. Screw you and them.

          • Brucehenry

            So you haven’t read the commentary, then.

          • jim_m

            Yes I have. I find it objectionable. I have pointed out several issues from it.

            I like the comment “people are not props” What the heck do they think the swimsuit issue is? It is all about objectifying people. The background people are probably the most respectfully treated people in the image.

            This is just more intolerant whining from the intolerant left.

          • jim_m

            ANd so their complaint is that it must be racist because they did not use people in all the photo shoots? So they used a black man in africa? Do they honestly think that in the Bahamas they would have not gotten another black person? (The Bahamas are 85% black) What do hey think that SI would have gotten in Chile?

            This is just an excuse to find racial grievance. Nothing more. It is beyond tiresome. If we are all going to be accused of racism why not actually start discriminating? I’m already being penalized for it so I might as well start calling every black person the N word.

            Then again its not racism when Joe Biden points out how unusual he thinks it is that obama is black and also “Clean and articulate”. Nope. No racism to see there. Move along.

            Fuck you Bruce. You and all your race merchant friends.

          • Vagabond661

            There were commentaries with the pictures?

          • Brucehenry

            Yes, and there are even commentaries in SI itself!

          • MartinLandauCalrissian

            No. I see not the slightest bit of sense to it.

        • jim_m

          Sorry Bruce, but you are actually the one being racially insensitive here. Are you really going to claim that Asians can no longer dress in the way they have done for centuries? People still wear those hats over there. What is revealing is that you find it racist. What it reveals is that you cannot look past superficial issues and see the people underneath. You define people by their exteriors. You’re a racist. It’s almost funny, if it weren’t so sad.

          • Brucehenry

            See my reply to Calrissian below. And don’t go all over-the-top so soon in the thread, Loonytunes. You’ll have nothing left later.

          • jim_m

            You say I have nothing left? There is a;ready nothing left once the left begins with a direct accusation of racism. They have already nuked the discussion. That is the intent of the accusation. The whole point of these accusations is to shame and silence opposition.

            There was nothing wrong with the photo layout. The objections are meant to silence people. If it were not the racism charge the charge would be exploitation of women. (not that the left gives a damn about women since the left also supports sex selective abortions)

          • LiberalNightmare

            Because the notion that the magazine article is racist isnt over the top to start with?

            You should learn to pick your battles better Bruce, this one starts out at stupid and rapidly loses ground.

      • jim_m

        Leftists are racists. Take for example left wing darling Alec Baldwin to whom all blacks are “Coons” and “Drug Dealers”. Of course the leftist media will never cover this like they would if it were a conservative(the NY Post covers it because he is assaulting their reporters). No, they want this racist POS to run for Mayor so he can put all those coons in their place.

        The left sees racism everywhere because it is in their black hearts.

    • jim_m

      I think the objection is made by a race merchant seeking bullshit to object to. If you didn’t look at everything in terms of racial grievance you wouldn’t see it.

      Whatever happened to the post racial America that the left promised us when we elected a clean and articulate black man? (hey it’s not my description, it was Biden)

      • Brucehenry

        That’s one “screw you” and one “fuck you” from Jim and we’re only 16 comments in. Relax, Crazypants. I’m doing the time-honored Just asking Questions thingie.

        PS: Oh, and also, too, one “you’re a racist.” What are you, Carl? Lol.

        • jim_m

          Sorry. I’m beyond tired with dealing with the bogus racism BS. It is indefensible. THis particular instance is essentially saying that any ethnic traditions are suspect and must be hidden from public view.

          Leftism requires the destruction of tradition and heritage. Forgive me if I think that there is little difference between people who object to this stuff and those who go around destroying 1000 year old religious shrines because they find them offensive.

          • Brucehenry

            LOL, yes, Jezebel = Taliban. Priceless.

            Hey, if I was like some commenters here, some of whom quoth stuff like “shan’t” and whatnot, I would DEMAND an apology and a retraction and say that you’re not a “man of honor” because you won’t apologize for calling me a racist and telling me to fuck myself.

            But I’m not like those guys. I don’t get my feefees all hurt while discussing an article on the internet. Unless someone calls me “pro-infanticide,” then I get pissed.

          • jim_m

            They are being intolerant. They have no problem with the same actions taken toward Europeans. That demonstrates that their complaint is either empty or it is itself racially biased. If the action is wrong then it is wrong for all races.

            One fallacy of the left is that you can never be racist toward whites or Europeans. This is again evidence of the racist views of the left. They are so biased that they cannot even see their own bias as they accuse others of the exact same thing they are already doing.

          • Brucehenry

            I think you’ll agree that reasonable people can sometimes take different views of an issue. What I am asking is if you can see ANY logic in their commentary regarding this particular picture, where the serene white princess is shown relaxing while the Exotic Other is shown plying his menial trade in her service.

            “This photo cements stereotypes, perpetuates an imbalance in the power dynamic, is reminiscent of centuries of colonialism (and indentured servitude) and serves as a good example of both creating a centrality of whiteness and and using ‘exotic’ people as fashion props.”

            Now, you obviously don’t agree with that statement, but you can’t admit that some people might see things that way, with some reason?

          • jim_m

            My point is hat they say that the same issues are OK with the Spanish photo. If it is wrong it is always wrong. But for them it is only wrong when the subject is someone who isn’t white.

            As I said it betrays their intolerance and racism.

          • Brucehenry

            Are the matadors in service to the model? Are they performing a menial task for her? Is the picture including the matadors in any way reminiscent of a white memsaab enjoying the fruit of their labors?

          • jim_m

            The complaint was about every non European person in the images apart form the models. The complaint was that they were in what the fascist race merchant claims is a racist stereotype and what the rest of society sees as something merely traditional and meant not to be demeaning but to show cultural diversity. I see where they are embittered that the other people were not shown as boring white collar workers.

            There is nothing you can say that will impress me with the validity of their complaint or that they are not intolerant leftists bent on suppressing real cultural traditions in order to soothe their fascist urges.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes I know there is never anything anyone can convince you that you are not 100% correct at all times or that anyone else has a point to make worth considering. Carry on.

          • herddog505


            Do you suppose these same people who are crying “RAAAAACISM!” and “COLONIALISM!” would have done so had SI used (for example) samurai or Zulu warriors as their backdrop? Or, heaven forbid, Viet Cong or Mau Mau?

    • herddog505

      I see your point; I get similarly angry when Hollywood invariably portrays us Southerners as backwards hayseeds living in cabins and wearing over-alls to the weekly bookburning held outside our one-room clapboard churches where the women-folk sit on one side of the chapel and the men on the other.*

      Asia has a few people living in it, and I think that they don’t all look alike, dress alike, or all paddle boats around on canals. Now, in SI’s defense, they took a tiny (!) sample of the continents where they did their shoots, and doubtless tried to chose backdrops etc. that would scream “ASIA!” or “AFRICA!” to their readers, who would likely confuse (for example) downtown Johannesburg with downtown Houston, or a street in Hong Kong with Chinatown in NYC or San Francisco.


      (*) An egregious example that stuck with me was some crime show I saw a few years ago. Did you know that, according to the writers of the show, there’s a HUGE, swampy river near Greensboro, surrounded by miles and miles of uninhabited forrest (well, except for the cabin where the crime took place)? And that the nearest hospital to Greensboro is 90 miles away?

      • jim_m

        I’ll note that they had no problem with the Spaniards in matador costumes. SO it is OK to demean in their eyes a European but it is not OK to do the same thing to people from other regions.

        This is exactly the bias and intolerance that we have seen from the left for several decades now. If the left will not tolerate our culture then there is no reason to tolerate leftists.

        • herddog505

          It’s the sort of reflexive playing of the race card that is common with many lefties:

          — Portraying a non-white in “traditional garb” = RAAAAACIST

          — A non-white person wearing “traditional garb” (whether it’s actually “traditional” for them or not) = celebrating diversity

          For example, if somebody posted a photo of Barry or Moochelle in “traditional” African garb (and, no, I don’t mean a grass skirt and bone through the nose, though I expect that such IS traditional in some parts of Africa), they’d be derided in no uncertain terms as RAAAAACIST. If, however, Barry or Moochelle decided to dress in African (or quasi-African) garb, they’d be celebrated for getting in touch with their native culture.

          Personally, given the variety of bloods that run through my veins, which include English, Scottish, Irish, German, and Cherokee, my “traditional” dress would be… interesting.

          • Brucehenry

            Now you’re complaining about stuff that hasn’t happened. Whatever.

          • jim_m

            Perhaps you should be asking why it is that everyone else seems to find that this fits in with a pattern of behavior from your side where everything is attacked as being racist.

            Again, I note to you that they had no problem with the same kind of photos using Europeans. The attempt at silencing others through false accusation and intimidation is very old, the left has done it too many times and the rest of society is going to stand up and tell you to shove it with increasing frequency and intensity.

          • Brucehenry

            Because this is a right wing site? Lol. And the persecution/inferiority complex is strong here? Maybe that’s why it is.

            Is a matador considered a menial position? How about a guy who paddles a boat for others while those others just relax? The photos with the matador are NOT “the same kind of photos using Europeans,” now is it?

            Now, believe it or not, I agree with Warner that Jezebel is pretty much brewing up a tempest in a teapot here. But my point is about trying to see another person’s POV and granting that it may have at least some legitimacy.

            It’s amazing to me that you cannot admit that anyone would find this picture reminiscent of a painful colonialist past. I pity you for your pigheadedness. And I’m done. I’ve made my point.

          • jim_m

            I see the bitter, self loathing, anti-Western/Anti-American, far left hate that drives your viewpoint. I reject it utterly.

            I fully admit that close minded, hypersensitive, intolerant, racially obsessed imbeciles will find this reminiscent of a colonial past that they imagine to have happened. One that only tangentially resembles the one that really occurred.

          • Brucehenry

            I’m sure the one that did occur was paradise, which is why so many chose to remain in the respective empires of their betters, right?

          • jim_m

            Everyone desires self determination. What separates today’s left from everyone else is that today’s left demands both self determination and autocratic rule over everyone else.

          • And that’s about as accurate a description of today’s left that you’ll ever see.

          • Bird666

            Think about seeing a therapist, Bruce. Good God

          • Brucehenry

            Think about seeing a barber, if that’s your picture.

          • herddog505

            This [photo of Barry as an African witch doctor, complete with a bone in his nose] was not widely reported in the “MSM,” but last month the delightful Michelle Malkin ran a very important “Obamacare poster contest” on her blog, which soars o’er the muck of the internet like a million eagles screeching into the sunset.


            So this picture of Obama in Somali (or Kenyan) garb has everyone in a tizzy right now. Me, I think it’s kind of cool to see Obama in tribal clothing. Then again, I’m a sucker for ethnic garb, whether it’s African, Latin American, Asian, Native American, Indian, Irish, Scottish, or whatever. I know, I know, respecting other cultures is soooo out of style in this country right now, but nevertheless, I think it’s pretty cool.


      • Brucehenry

        LOl, I know what you mean. as a lifelong Southerner, that pisses me off, too. That’s why when a movie comes along that portrays the South in a more nuanced light, I like it.

        Like Sling Blade. The accents were perfect, the characters were multi-dimensional, and the story was touching. My favorite movie of all time.

        • herddog505

          I confess that I haven’t seen that, but I’d say that, if one wants to see Hollywood portray Southerners at our best, “In the Heat of the Night”* bears the palm away.


          (*) The superb 1967 film, not the wretched TV series.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes, seen it, good one. And Carroll O’Connor is no Rod Steiger and what’s-his-name is no Sidney Poitier, you’re right.

            But dude, rent Sling Blade. Fantastic movie.

          • herddog505

            Thanks for the tip. Will do.

          • jim_m

            I seem to recall your previously snarking at my comments that “In the Heat of the Night” accurately reflected life in the South. How nice to see that you have come around.

          • Brucehenry

            Well, however good a movie it was, it WAS a movie. But I confess I don’t recall the conversation to which you refer. If I’m inconsistent about it, ummm, whatever…

          • jim_m

            Ever the problem with lefties…. Short memories.


        • Bird666

          Every main character’s last word is “Karl”–just a trivial note to a great movie.

          • Brucehenry

            Hey, we agree on something! Reckon I’ll have me some of them french fried potatas….

      • JWH

        I see your point; I get similarly angry when Hollywood invariably portrays us Southerners as backwards hayseeds living in cabins and wearing over-alls to the weekly bookburning held outside our one-room clapboard churches where the women-folk sit on one side of the chapel and the men on the other.

        You mean you aren’t? I kid, I kid. And I do so as somebody who went to college in the South, and who had a roommate with a Confederate flag up on the wall. Truth to be told, I wasn’t too keen on the flag, but I figured it was on my roommate’s side of the room, so it was his territory, not mine.

        But in seriousness, your second paragraph bears repeating:

        Asia has a few people living in it, and I think that they don’t all look alike, dress alike, or all paddle boats around on canals. Now, in SI’s defense, they took a tiny (!) sample of the continents where they did their shoots, and doubtless tried to chose backdrops etc. that would scream “ASIA!” or “AFRICA!” to their readers, who would likely confuse (for example) downtown Johannesburg with downtown Houston, or a street in Hong Kong with Chinatown in NYC or San Francisco.

        If there’s racism and colonialism in the SI photos, it’s the same racism and colonialism that infests the rest of Western culture. As you note, SI’s photo shoots went for some very broad stereotypes … stereotypes that are quite familiar to American readers.

        Where it gets troublesome is when you take the SI photoshoot into consideration along with a lot of other media depictions of the rest of the world (the class “children starving in Africa won’t you please donate” commercials come to mind), you end up with Americans who believe that much of the world outside North America and Europe (and maybe the Middle East) exists in some sort of primitive tribal state where everyone is poor and starving.

        The SI shoot perpetuates that.

        It’s not a matter of shooting in “traditional garb.” It’s the fact that a photo with a spear-hunting African bushman displaces a bustling metropolis like Cairo or Pretoria. It doesn’t build any understanding of the greater world.

        As far as the Spaniards in matador costumes …. yeah, there might even be an issue there. There’s a bit more to Spain than bullfights.

        • jim_m

          it’s the same racism and colonialism that infests the rest of Western culture all cultures.

          FIFY. The issue is that the world is big and information is not efficiently distributed so people do not have complete understanding of every culture and the history of every nationality and ethnicity. That being the case every culture has stereotypes of every other culture. This is not necessarily wrong, it is just that people have mental impressions of what other places are like based on the small amounts of information available to them.

          What pisses me off is that the left finds it reprehensible to have stereotypes of the far east or of rural Africa yet they think nothing about maintaining and promoting seriously bigoted and prejudiced stereotypes of Southerners and Christians. The left defends these ugly and pernicious stereotypes and they promote them while simultaneously denouncing the innocent by comparison stereotypes we see in the SI issue.

          It isn’t that the left has a problem with stereotypes. It is that the left hates the idea that anyone should have different stereotypes than they do. the left hates independent thinking and they want as much as possible to control the thoughts of others. This is part of that desire.

        • herddog505

          If there’s racism and colonialism in the SI photos, it’s the same racism and colonialism that infests the rest of Western culture.


          My only demurrer is that it’s not exactly racism and colonialism as much as simple stereotypes of the sort that everybody uses to navigate the world. While I intellectually realize, for example, that Africa is a sizable place with some tremendous variations in climate, topography, ethnic groups, flora, fauna, etc., if somebody showed me a picture of downtown Jo-burg and a picture of lions in the Serengeti and asked, “Which one is a picture of Africa?” I would almost certain go for the lions first every time.

          On a somewhat related note, I was reading about a Chinese girl who went to college here in the United States: she was astonished that there weren’t gunfights and high-speed police chases on every street, just as I’m sure that many Americans would be astonished to see that many Chinese live in huge metropolises and not in mudhuts surrounded by rice paddies.*



    • retired.military

      Bruce the fact is that “some folks” will find anything offensive about anything. You cant please everyone.What if I said “I am offended that some folks were offended by the shoot” Who gets priority on having their feelings assauged?

      That is what is wrong with political correctness. You automatically choose one person’s feelings over another’s.

      • Brucehenry

        Sure, I get that. But Jezebel has a right to their opinions just as Wizbang has a right to theirs. What I was asking was if anyone here could see ANY reason why some folks might be deservedly miffed at the photo of the “coolie” paddling the white lady down the river.

        • jim_m

          There is a difference between the right to have an opinion and the idea that every opinion is justified. Not every point of view is valid, that is the fallacy of relativism.

          • Brucehenry

            No, you’re right, only your point of view is valid. You’re a True American, Jim.

          • jim_m

            My point is that there are points of view that can be in conflict and still be valid. However, in this case I maintain that reflexive accusations of racism are not a valid viewpoint. That isn’t to say that racism does not exist but that the left has so discredited themselves by the constant accusation of everyone else that any claims of racism are to be universally discounted and ignored and the accuser held up to ridicule and public shame.

            On the extraordinary occasions where they really do identify racism they can be still treated as the pointless idiots that they are and the issue dealt with on a rational basis. Even when they are right they are only rent seeking parasites and deserve no credit.

          • Brucehenry

            Us pinkoes just cain’t win fer losin’.

          • jim_m

            Actually, socialism is a valid viewpoint, if poorly informed in my opinion. However, your attempts at false accusation are beyond their sell by date and it is time to stand up and call it out for the totalitarian tactic that it is.

        • it’s the ‘deservedly’ part that fails.

          Did the guy get paid for his inclusion in the photo shoot? I would imagine he did – likely at a scale that made him go “You want me to put on this shit and pretend I’m paddling her down the river? Hell, yeah! I’m available for the whole week!” (Or the Chinese equivalent.)

          It’s the folks who are perpetually prepared to be outraged for someone else that tend to go over the top, in my opinion.

          • herddog505

            JLawsonIt’s the folks who are perpetually prepared to be outraged for someone else that tend to go over the top, in my opinion.


  • jim_m

    I’m sure that if SI had done a photo shot in front of a group of Young Pioneers then these people would have had no complaints what so ever about using people as props.

  • If the photo shoots took place on all 7 continents as Jezebel says, then I am wondering how SI performed a photo shoot on the continent of Antarctica? What natives were used in the background? Penguins?

    By the way, I wonder if the website Jezebel is like the biblical Jezebel.

    • jim_m

      Penguins are just about the only natives in Antarctica. There are no native peoples

    • Brucehenry

      Jezebel actually snarked about penguins. And Kate Upton, it looked to me, was photoshopped into Antarctic scenes.

      • Brings a whole new level to the phrase “Icy beauty”, doesn’t it?

  • What background?

    • UOG

      From your comment it seems possible you’ve never been in either of the polar regions. If so, take my word for it, there’s a lot of “background.” And I’ve never seen or experienced a non-polar region that can compete with it for beauty or severity.

  • Anything for unique page views …

  • Paul Hooson

    Shame on these race baiters! They take something sacred that I’ve looked forward to since my teenage years, like SI Swimsuit issue, and run it through the mud. Have they no respect for the masturbation materials that many young guys look up to! Those evil bastards!

    • It’s like looking a picture of an old forest… and instead of seeing the beauty in it, all they can think about are the termites and other insects that recycle the fallen branches and leaves…

      • Paul Hooson

        Good take here, JLawson. Far more serious and appealing than my rough bit of satire making fun of those who find fault with the SI swimsuit issue each year by shouting “sexism” or now “racism”.

        • If you feel the hold that you maintain on cultural control slipping, you’re going to do what you can to maintain it – even if it’s to scream “Racism!” at every perceived slight.

          That it’ll erode the effectiveness of such a control mechanism doesn’t seem to figure into the problem.

          • Paul Hooson

            That’s also an excellent perception. There’s an organization, Morality In Media, which always uses some of the most outrageous falsehoods to attack what they view as sexy or pornographic materials in supermarket displays. Each year, these folks nearly have a cardiac when the SI Swimsuit issue hits the newsstands. However, the bad economy ruining the publishing business has done more to censor sexy or even pornographic newsstand and supermarket displays than this pressure group could ever hope to achieve. My favorite recent story of this group is one of their leaders all upset because some guy appeared to be accessing something on his computer on a plane trip, and this Morality In Media member got all upset, while other passengers told her just to shut up and mind her own business.

          • Got no sympathy for THAT nosy person.

            If I’m not hurting anyone with what I’m looking at, and I’m at least being somewhat discreet about it (I’d be polite and turn the screen so people wouldn’t be able to clearly see things…) then I think it’s nobody’s business what I’m watching.

            So a hearty “Mind your own business!” is all something like that deserves. You’re offended? Don’t look.

            (That said – on a plane? Dude, can’t you wait till you get to your destination? I mean, really… get a grip on yourself! Hmm. Maybe that was what she was complaining about?)

          • herddog505

            Paul Hoosonjust to shut up and mind her own business.

            If only we’d all learn to do that on a more regular basis!

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