Colorism in the age of Trump

The Trump administration has ushered in such chaos in our country, it’s hard to know what to bash first. Trump has pretty much confirmed that he is incompetent, as well as cold-blooded. I’m still tripping off the fact he said “good luck” literally with his thumbs up, regarding the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey. He has also used it as an opportunity to peddle his wares.

So, talking about colorism can seem out-of-place, even insignificant. However,  it actually connects to the bigger issue facing our nation. The resurgence of white supremacy rhetoric, a hostility that Trump has not tried to squash. It highlights the importance of tackling the problem of colorism. Black folks need to get hardcore about calling out folks who engage in this behavior. Their antics contribute to the overall oppression of the Black community.

Those who espouse colorstruck comments are no different from white supremacists. Hell, they are white supremacists. When you position lighter-skinned folks as better, more beautiful, more worthy…essentially you are upholding anti-blackness.

Colorism generally tends to be aimed at darker-skinned Black women. Probably, because women’s status in an imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy, is based on attractiveness. Black women, in particular are valued more if their looks align closer to white standards of beauty. This summer quite a few folks have shown who they are. Folks like Gilbert Arenas, Kodak Black, and Amber Rose have made it clear that they are white supremacists.

Arenas’s colorist attitude has been especially disturbing. He’s fixated on actress, Lupita Nyong’o He has attacked her several times in the media. Arenas’s public degradation of Nyong’o skin tone speaks to an alarming display of misogynoir.

Gilbert Arenas says Lupita Nyong’o ‘ain’t cute’ in tirade about dark-skinned women

Arenas married and divorced a light-skinned woman of color. He has treated her like crap via social media. That is what I find interesting about men like Arenas. They trash darker-skinned Black women, but mistreat their trophy light women. There is obviously something lacking within themselves. They have a hatred for all women, but they zero in on darker-skinned Black women. Probably because folks recognize dark Black women are the least protected in our society. They know they can humiliate us with little recourse.

I didn’t even know what a Kodak Black was, until he made headlines for disparaging darker-skinned Black women. The rapper has been able to elicit some sympathy from folks. Besides, emphasizing his disgust for dark Black women he shared about disliking his skin tone. Folks have argued that explains his contempt for darker-skinned Black women. Meh. If Black felt such pain about what he has gone through as a darker person, why would he then turn around and inflict that same pain on people he doesn’t even know. These people insist on making HUGE public announcements about why they loathe dark-skinned Black women. We’re out here minding our business, when these fools come with the nonsense. Getting loud, telling us how much they dislike us. Okay, well f*ck you too.

Amber Rose expressed sadness for Black, but it wasn’t long before she was making her own insulting comments about dark-skinned Black women. Albeit, she was a bit subtler about it.

Amber Rose Makes Questionable Comments About South Philly Women

Continue reading “Colorism in the age of Trump”

Black Children Matter

The world is a big and scary place. Once you have a little one, it becomes even bigger and scarier. You realize with alarm there is really only so much you can do to protect them.  It’s even more nerve-racking when one is a Black parent. In a society built on anti-blackness/hatred of black folks, you know your children are more vulnerable to violence/oppression by the dominate culture.

By now, folks have heard about the black teen girl who was brutalized by a white police officer in the classroom.

When I first saw the video clip, I immediately thought it would be on and popping if that had been my kid. Or maybe not. I most likely would just get arrested myself. Any excuse to lock us all up. As is the case of the victim’s classmate who was brave enough to record the attack and verbally let her anger be known about the incident. She is being charged with…who knows what. I guess daring to stand up to a white male authority figure? This is what folks mean when people talk about the school-to-prison pipeline.

Freddie Gray’s Mom

A few days ago it was reported that Freddie Gray’s mom may have attempted suicide. Gray was killed by police when they failed to give him proper medical attention and contributed to his death by shattering his spinal cord. While scrolling the Internet, I came across a person who asked why Gray’s mom would do such a thing. Well, probably because her son was basically tortured/murdered, she was under enormous pressure by the Baltimore police/politicians to contain the rightful protests over the incident, and there tends to be a lack of support for black parents whose children are victims of police brutality.

I believe the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice reached out to her, but it may have all been too much.

The world is not kind to a black mother’s pain.

Recently, a friend shared a conversation she had with a white woman. The woman declared that black folks don’t cry as much as white folks. Wait…what? Rewind. Yes, she sincerely believes black folks don’t cry.

Initially, I wanted to laugh at the absurdity of her comment, but the woman’s sentiments support a study done a year or so ago that white people tend not to recognize black people’s pain. It’s even worse for black women as we have to contend with strong black woman rhetoric. It makes me wonder about some white folks sometimes. It truly does.

In any case, sending love to Freddie Gray’s mom.

Yes, black folks cry too. Photo from:
Yes, black folks cry too.

Raven-Symoné and Anti-Blackness

The That’s So Raven star pissed everyone off with her interview on Oprah’s “Where Are They Now?” show.  Symoné passionately rejected the term ‘African-American.’

“I’m tired of being labeled,” Symoné said. “I’m an American. I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.” Symoné told Oprah she wasn’t sure “what country in Africa” she was from but that she did know her family’s roots are in “Louisiana.” “What I really mean by that is I’m an American,” Symoné said. “That’s what I really mean. I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with Black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.” http://thegrio.com/2014/10/06/raven-symone-not-african-american/

Eh…Symoné told on herself.

To a certain extent, I get what Symoné was trying to say. She just wants to be her.  However, her comments lacked a deeper consciousness about the ways white supremacy and anti-blackness operate in American culture. I mean. I guess she missed the whole Ferguson thing this summer?

We tend to think because celebrities are amazingly talented at singing/dancing/acting that they must be brilliant in other aspects of their lives. 9 times out of 10 (when you take them off stage) you realize they actually tend to be pretty clueless about the world around them.  I guess the fame monster does that to you. Particularity, black celebrities who now have the protection of wealth. It gives them the false illusion racism doesn’t matter anymore. I find it interesting even those who grew up in extreme poverty/oppression and who have sung/rapped/talked about it, still tend to sell out pretty quickly/become apologists for white racism/are now “colorblind.”

The new blacks are going to be the death of us yet.

In any case, Symoné basically believes her light skin and “good hair” exclude her from being a “plain old African-American.” Okay, well she’s going to start turning down African-American roles, right?

 

Anti-Black Racism/Anti-Blackness Part. 3

When I heard that Spike Lee was planing to do a sequel to “School Daze,” I cringed. I hate when directors essentially remake classic films. Leave it be! However, after hearing his reasons why he wanted to update the film, it might not be such a bad idea. Obviously, our culture has changed so much since the original film came out in the late 80’s. Not to mention the many changes at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Anti-blackness has grown worse since that time,  even at HBCUs. Lee touched on this issue in the first film.  It will be interesting  to see how he handles the subject matter/expand on it. There are so many places to go with it now

Anti-Black Racism/Anti-Blackness Part.1

Wow, I can’t believe this month is almost over. The new year is going by fast! Soon it will be summer. Yesss! I hate the cold 🙂 Since this is the last week of Black History Month, I want to discuss anti-black racism/anti-blackness. Ironically,  there have been several anti-black incidents that have happened this month. One of the more offensive ones was rapper Nicki Minaj  degrading the image of Malcolm X to promote a new song:

Nicki-Minaj-Lookin-Ass-Nigga-Downloa-MP3

 

Of course, an insincere apology was later issued by Minaj and the cover art removed. But Black folks should never forget. The usage of X’s image with the word “Nigga” next to his face, is the continuation of anti-blackness that has been running rampant in the music industry. Besides Black women celebrities being pressured to bleach their skin, wear blonde weaves, straighten their noses, etc., black celebrities are being rewarded if they degraded/insult the black community or our icons.

There has been some rumblings that Minaj is being unfairly picked on because she is a woman. Maybe. I do think that black women are more harshly criticized when they do something wrong. However, rapper Lil Wayne was clowned (and rightfully so) when he also insulted another beloved son in the black community, Emmett TillI think a lot of the outrage is because many black folks are simply fed up with the disrespect and offensive behavior of many black celebrities today.

Also, it’s shameful when you think about the tragedies that have befallen the X family. The shocking death of Mrs.  Betty Shabazz. The grandson, Malcolm Shabazz (named after his grandfather), who later went on to repent for the accidental fire that contributed to the death of his grandmother, was trying to get his life together. Last year, he was found dead in Mexico under suspicious circumstances.

While there are a few black celebrities I enjoy,  I am always waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.  The majority of black celebrities today are so obsessed with fame/money and white acceptance (because to them that means they have arrived) they will do anything to keep it. Even if it means throwing other black folks under the bus. Minaj isn’t the first black celebrity to degrade a black image, and won’t be the last.

Engaging in anti-blackness seems to be the way many black celebrities will keep themselves afloat these days. It’s important we don’t support these actions by not buying their products/resisting their agenda.

I guess when you are young, you don’t think much about it. But I wonder how these folks are going to feel when they are in their 50’s/60’s and reflect back on their lives.  I’d imagine it’s not going to be a restful sleep for many of  them.

Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965…