OK, OK, call me picky, but I could not help take notice of this little snippy comment by Liz Smith:
Ben Affleck thinks there is something besides the combined stellar light of himself and Jennifer Lopez that makes us all sit up and take so much notice. Ben tells Vanity Fair for March: "I think it has to do with race and class, the fact that I'm white and she's Puerto Rican. That's what's underneath, although nobody says it, because it's not politically correct."
Hmmm . . . I can only speak for myself, but the racial mix between Ben and Jen had never occurred to me. ... I've never heard one word, or even a veiled allusion to race when it comes to these two. For that matter, I never heard a racial remark one way or the other when Jennifer was dating Sean Combs. (Maybe I run with an elevated crowd.)
Now, I can see taking exception to Ben's attempt to claim an ethnic angle to the celebrity buzz about him and J-Lo. Affleck, a major disciple of Howard Zinn, seems to be trying to play some liberal racial martyr trip here.
But to say that the ethnic difference between the whitebread Affleck and Jenny From the Block "never occurred to me"? That no one ever said "one word" about the ex-Fly Girl getting jiggy with WASP-y Ben?
And then the real kick-in-the-head: "Maybe I run with an elevated crowd."
J-Lo is Puerto Rican. Ben Affleck is white. Puff Daddy is black. These are observable facts. The sequential liaisons of Ms. Lopez with Combs and Affleck are equally observable facts. Why does Ms. Smith think it is "elevated" not to notice facts which are plainly obvious? Would there be such an "elevated" insistence about not noticing ethnicity in a romance between, say, an Italian and an Englishman? A Brazilian and an Irish lass? Does the "elevated crowd" ever hestitate to notice that certain fashion models are Russian?
Affleck is right to say that it is not "politically correct" to make mention of ethnicity -- but this is only true in certain cases, i.e., when the ethnicity involved falls within the "protected" categories. If Affleck were dating a Lithuanian or French girl, people might mention it. But because J-Lo is Puerto Rican -- a person of color, member of a designated victim group -- "elevated" people aren't supposed to notice.
Ah, well. No one I know gives the Affleck-Lopez romance more than nine months. Not because of the inter-ethnic nature of the romance, mind you, but because, in the words of one friend, "J-Lo is a ho." Rather unchivalrous, that. But she sure does have great glutes.