So this whole Stephin Merritt racism thing has gotten silly. No, it was silly already, it's gotten flat-out absurd, with the addition of a Slate article discussing it. I'm involved in an ancillary way, only because SFJ recently posted a quote I'd sent him two years ago, and because Jessica Hopper is quoted in the Slate article citing my Merritt interview, and things that he said in it, as evidence of his racism.
So, just briefly: I don't think Stephin Merritt is racist, and I never did. I think, in fact I think it's very obvious that, he has a very very white aesthetic and that he draws little to no inspiration from black music, in a way that I find really notable and unusual in current popular musicians. That, to me, does not consitute racism, but I take it that, to some, it does. I had wanted to discuss that with him, but only got the rather unhelpful (and obviously intentionally inflammatory, or at least ornery) response that SFJ quotes.