I haven’t really written in this thing in ages. Not like I used to, back in the day. I just had so much to say and I felt it was never said. Back then, it wasn’t. I remember I played a show at this racist White hipster venue in Williamsburg (that really narrows it down, doesn’t it. lol) I was on stage and someone yelled out something in between songs. I jokingly called them a racist and the audience literally gasped. Like audible, White, pearl clutching gasps of horror. This was maybe…2008? And you just didn’t talk about racism, then. Not in art, not in music, not anywhere. White people were not having it. I would have people give me “advice” all the time to not talk about race in my art because “you’re talented, why hold yourself back.” It literally made me want to spit in their faces. So you know racism is real and horrific and you know that despite my immense musical talent, if I challenge White people, they will be spiteful enough to block me from “success”, so you feel I should keep my mouth shut like a good little n***** and for what? Like, I’m not supposed to fight it? I’m not weak and I don’t take shit. That’s why White people have all the power in this world. No one challenges them. Most people who are not White would rather collude with a system that was designed to exploit them until death and destroy them if they refuse to comply, than just stand up and say, “No.”
The point I’m getting at is that all the people who gave me that “advice” in 2008 and beyond are now these “Woke Baes” on social media. People who were defending their family or friends who use the N word in 2014 are now dropping buzz terms like White Privilege in every post to get “Woke” points. Even the term woke… another thing that has been appropriated from Black people and run into the ground. EVERYONE uses it. Constantly. It has become the 2019 equivalent of “RAISING THE ROOF”. It’s all performative. I mean, I just saw an interview where ZAC EFRON spoke about white privilege. Like, do you think Zac Efron cares about White Privilege? I don’t think Zac Efron cares about White Privilege.
I feel some typa way about it because when you are really ’bout that life, you are shut out of these mainstream spaces. Like, you’re a Black celebrity who talks about White racism, but if you really stood up against it, you literally would not be on NBC or HBO or in that fashion magazine. The very fact that you are given a mouthpiece in this White mainstream space is evidence that the racist White people who control this space don’t view you as a threat. If you are pro-Black within an anti-Black system like Hollywood or major label record companies, YOU ARE A THREAT TO THAT WHITE SUPREMACIST SYSTEM. So my question is, how are you there? Either the system isn’t really racist, or you are not really challenging that system, because the people who run that system view you as safe. And as an African woman artist, I’ve learned that is what the majority of people need from you. They will not come near a Black woman if they do not feel like they can control you and exploit your talents for their own gain. I mean, didn’t it come out that “slavery is a choice” Kanye literally CAN’T RETIRE because of the shit record contract he signed. Like, if White media is pushing you, it is because THEY are gaining something. Not you. They not tryna amplify some “Let my people go” shit, lol.
I was reading something that said Chadwick Boseman was cast on a soap opera back in the day. He was to play a stereotypical “ganbanger Black youth” and he was displeased, so brought it up with producers and offered ways to improve the character and make it less racist. Do you know they fired his ass and hired Michael B Jordan, then used some of Boseman’s suggestions in reshaping the character for this new actor? That’s how petty most White people are towards Black people who challenge them. You think they are less petty now? Every Black person reading this knows they are not.
I like that people are currently challenging White Supremacy and misogyny openly- that’s what I want. That is why I started this band. But I hate the commodification of the trauma of people who are not White males fighting to be seen as Human Beings. It’s not a trend. It’s the lives of billions of people. And to see Michael B Jordan in a Black Panther themed photo shoot for GQ magazine… I- like WHAT? We’re selling Black liberation now? It is now branded and fashionable? When the actual Black Panthers are all murdered or imprisoned by their own government and still seen as “villains” on par with the KKK to the very White editors and consumers who will thumb through those magazine pages and go “Hm, cool beret.” and then keep it moving? And he agreed to that shit with his whole damn chesS? What’s next, a Freedom Riders themed photo shoot for ELLE? A 4 Little Girls themed photo shoot for Vogue, replete with burning Black children? THIS IS TOXIC AND ANTI-BLACK BEHAVIOUR.
I don’t know what the answer is, but since we know the American media is a tool of White Supremacist Patriarchy, I think we should investigate and deeply evaluate ANY supposedly “Woke” voice being presented to us by the same people who control and operate said tool. YOUR OPPRESSORS WILL NOT BE YOUR LIBERATORS. And if you are working freely and being rewarded within a White supremacist system, it is because you are not an obstruction within that system. You are somehow aiding its operation.
If you are a Black person and you say or do anything that threatens White Supremacist and patriarchal ideals, you will be attacked and people will try to silence you. Unless you are simultaneously making White people a shit-ton of money, or they are gaining something else from you. I’ve had White males join my anti- racist band because they thought they’d get a chance to sleep with me. In the minds of most people on Earth, Black women exist solely to be used and exploited. And when they are done, you’re done. So don’t talk to me about White Privilege on twitter when you don’t cast dark skinned Black women in lead roles and you yell at and harass women on set. If any of this were real, we’d see changes. But underneath the me too and hashtags and rhetoric, nothing has changed. The system is still rigged and is running full speed ahead. I think people should be more impressed when these personalities’ actions match their words. I mean, Jordan Peele is mixed and has a White wife, but fully Black male directors were not casting Lupita Nyong’o in lead roles. They were all casting light and mixed women and sending out racist casting calls like the one for Straight Outta Compton. So who is challenging a system and who is perpetuating it?
I was just watching this gangster movie this weekend and the main guy was always getting betrayed. I’m paraphrasing but he said that he learned to not believe people’s words, but to believe the situation. It’s good advice. If you wish to enter a structure, but the doorway is too narrow for you to enter, existing within that structure requires 2 things: either you modify the structure to accommodate you, or you alter or contort yourself in order to fit into the structure. So if these systems are still racist, but you are somehow chillin’ on the inside, you have obviously altered yourself from who you were when you were on the outside in order to fit. And lord only knows what that entails.
Y’all stay “woke” now…