<img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/thumbnails/wiselatina.jpg" align="right" border="0" height="190" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="190" />The New York Times <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/gift-guide/holiday-2009/categories.html">'09 Holiday Gift Guide</a> page has some intriguing suggestions.<br /><br />There's the "Holiday Books Guide," the "Personal Tech Holiday Gift Guide," the guide <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/gift-guide/holiday-2009/colorstyleguide/list.html... people of color</a>...<br /><br />Wait. A separate gift page for people of color? Yes. The NYT Picker blog <a href="http://www.nytpick.com/2009/12/unbelievable-nyt-gift-guide-includes.html... the Times</a> has a special gift section for non-whites:<br /><blockquote>We don't like to throw around words like "racist" in the same sentence as the NYT's name, but there's no other word we can think of to describe this page in the NYT's annual Holiday Gift Guide -- called "Of Color/Stylish Gifts" and aimed exclusively at the paper's non-white readers.<br /></blockquote><blockquote>Or, as the NYT describes it, "gifts created for and by people of color"....it's the first time we can remember a gift guide, anywhere, openly defining its offerings by their appeal to a specific racial group.<br /></blockquote><!--break--> The top of the page features an introduction by Simone Oliver, who seems to mostly produce "Trendspotting" videos for nytimes.com:<br /><blockquote>Somali fashion, do-it-yourself henna kits, children's books that draw inspiration from the lives of Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor: it's not hard to find gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season.<br /></blockquote>Among her suggestions: "Wise Latina" T-Shirts. Oliver explained: <br /><blockquote>Wise shoppers can commemorate the moment in history when Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the first Hispanic justice to the Supreme Court, not to mention when she uttered one of the most memorable quotes of 2009: "Wise Latina." Bonus: 15 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls.<br /></blockquote>That's not even journalistically accurate: Sotomayor's controversial "wise Latina" remark was made in 2001.<br /><br />Mediaite's Glynnis MacNicol <a href="http://www.mediaite.com/online/this-exists-nyt-holiday-gift-guide-for-pe... taken aback</a> by the separate gifts of color page as well, calling it "badly, terribly thought out, bordering on offensive....I am utterly amazed it made it past the editing process and am baffled why anyone felt the need to separate these gifts from the more generalized categories into which all these items fit, to one based on skin color."
Get Your Race-Based Holiday Shopping Done at NYTimes.com!
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.