Revolutionary psychiatrist and pan- Africanist Frantz Fanon, in his famous book Black Skin, White Masks, asked this profound question: "What does the black man want?" It is useful to have this seemingly simple question in mind when we consider the substance of the popular blog Stuff White People Like. We can, it appears, never ask the question "What do white people want?" That question was answered a long, long time ago: White people want lots of stuff. Indeed, we do not need to even ask the question "What kind of stuff do white people like?" The answer to that question has long, long been established. In our day, all that is left is to show or see the stuff that white people like.
If there were a blog called Stuff Black People Like, what would be on the blog? Nothing. Why? Black people do not like stuff; they want stuff. They want a house, a car that works, neighbors who do not smoke crack, police officers who do not stop them for no reason ("I'm not robbing this house; this is my house"), supermarkets instead of corner stores that sell baggy T-shirts with images of Scarface and other mythical criminals. The blog for black folks would have to be called Stuff Black People Want.
The difference between the word "want" and "like" is this: The former word has in it the hole of hunger; the latter has no such hole. The latter is about what happens after fulfillment, what happens after there is no distance between desire and the object of desire. When you are no longer oppressed by want, only then can you like this stuff and dislike that stuff.
It is often pointed out that the blog Stuff White People Like is really about a type and class of white people, and not really about all white people. The class of white people that is represented by the blog is urban, educated, and liberal. So, for the purpose of accuracy, should the blogger Christian Lander change his blog's name to Stuff Liberal and Educated White People in the Big Cities Like? No, he should not. Here is why: All white people want to become urban, educated, and liberal. Even if they do not know it, and even if they resist it, they must eventually become this type/class of whiteness. This type/class represents the terminal point for the varieties of whites in the lower depths. To become urban, educated, and liberal is the goal for someone who is, say, rural, uneducated, and generally stupid. And because most white Americans are rural, uneducated, and generally stupid does not mean being white is being like them. Being white is, instead, being the opposite of them. Why? Because the movement, socially speaking, is not from urban, educated, and liberal down to rural, uneducated, and generally stupid. The movement is the other way around—a white person goes up, rises to the condition of someone who recycles, shops at farmers markets, drinks good coffee, listens to Mos Def, and so on and so forth. Stuff White People Like is about what all white people, no matter where they are in the lower depths, will eventually become: urban, educated, and liberal.
Six months after starting the blog Stuff White People Like, Lander published a book called Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. The book, like the blog, was a huge success. It became a best seller. Thousands upon thousands of people bought the book version of a blog that receives thousands upon thousands of hits (Wikipedia claims the blog had 40 million hits within nine months of its inauguration). Because black people do not read this blog or care for the book, we can assume that it is white people who are reading about white people liking this and that particular thing or practice. So the ultimate is reached: What is one of the things white people like? Stuff White People Like.