Fetishizing for Fun and Profit: Kayak.com Promotes Racist, Anti-immigrant Blogging

February 15, 2008



The screenshot above documents another example of how immigration “humor” gets used to sell things. The Kayak.com post promotes what it calls a “semi-illegal vacation” designed to “push travel boundaries just enough to cause a little commotion” by having travelers pose as undocumented immigrants.

Well, they appear to have succeeded. Not long after this post went up, groups like the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition (BAIRC), the Center for American Progress (CAP) and other groups and individuals gave Kayak several gigs and earfuls of complaints, forcing them to remove the post because of what representatives called “complaints”, according to folks at CAP.

This type of exoticism marks but another in the long line of insipid and goofy gimmicks that fetishize non-white Others for fun and profit, as mentioned here & here previously.

My advice to the racial thrillride seekers? Go ride the empty kayak of your suburban self.

Thanks to folks at BAIRC & CAP for bringing this to our attention.

3 Responses to “Fetishizing for Fun and Profit: Kayak.com Promotes Racist, Anti-immigrant Blogging”

  1. fash Says:

    This reminds me of the slavery themed “amusement” park that was recently opened on (I think?) Haiti. There’s a vague claim of it being educational (something that isn’t even visible on this one), but in the end what happens is that a group middle class yuppies go through these motions, maybe get a few skinned knees but on the most part do a lot of laughing, and then they come out and they look at the newspaper headlines displaying the rising body count of human beings who are dried up and scorched in the Arizona desert, and they shake their head and say, “It wasn’t THAT bad.”

  2. Anna Says:

    Can you say insensitive. How would you like it if I took, say, Katrina and made some sort of vacation joke out of that? Especially considering how the Hispanic population has grown and become a dynamic force in the U.S, it would be wise to be more cautious. Check out this clip: http://urlbrief.com/d289bc. It’s funny, and it makes a point.

  3. robvato Says:

    You say potatoe, I say potato; You say insensitive”, I say “racist.

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