“The New Black doesn’t blame other races for our problems.”
These stupid words were spoken by the alien, androgynous looking, male, known as Pharrell on Oprah as his response to the current racial climate in America. His song, “Happy” has become the anthem of escapist white folks and Negropeans who seem to have been hypnotized by the lie of the Illusion of Inclusion. In the months following that song, the country was rocked with a string of tragedies and high profile cases of innocent Black people being killed by police. And Pharrell’s solution for all of this? “The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality, and it’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re going to be on,” Pharrell said.
What kind of bullshit is that?
These people really do believe that its their success and ability to market themselves, avoid confrontation with whites; their obsequious associations with the majority and arrogance of presumption in thinking that White Privilege is extended to them by simple proximity to White America. Folks were rightly upset with his stupidity in light of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Was he blaming white folks when he went to the store that fateful night that took racial profiling to another level?
Rightly so, the reaction he received from US was apropos. His response was immature, laughable, and insulting, in regards to all of the issues that we are and have been dealing with in this country, as well as acknowledging Black ambition and achievement in the wake of much cultural oppression; and the reality of institutionalized racism. Basically, Pharell’s attitude represents a current state of ignorance being perpetrated by many Black celebs that is calling for the Black community to just get over it.
To add to this, a couple of weeks later, rapper Common who won an Oscar for his theme song, Glory in the movie MLK biopic, Selma, appeared on the The Daily Show to promote his new film, Run All Night. He appeared alongside singer-songwriter, John Legend.
While discussing the legacy of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and the current tensions, Stewart expressed what he’s seen from white people who are resistant to discussing structural racism.
“I mean we know that that existed. I don’t even have to keep bringing that up. It’s like being in a relationship and continuing to bring up the person’s issues.”
“There’s a real vein of anger, like ‘Hey, man—I didn’t have slaves!’” Stewart stated. “But they’re not talking about that, they’re talking about a power structure.”
Common, while not countering Stewart’s statement, offered his perspective on the way to heal wounds that have existed on American soil for centuries.
“We all know there’s been some bad history in our country. We know that racism exists,” the star conceded, before adding, “I’m…extending a hand. And I think a lot of generations and different cultures are saying ‘Hey, we want to get past this. We’ve been bullied and we’ve been beat down, but we don’t want it anymore. We’re not extending a fist and saying, ‘Hey, you did us wrong.’ It’s more like ‘Hey, I’m extending my hand in love. Let’s forget about the past as much as we can, and let’s move from where we are now. How can we help each other? Can you try to help us because we’re going to help ourselves, too.’ That’s really where we are right now.”
“Me as a black man, I’m not sitting there like, ‘White people—y’all did us wrong,’” Common continued. “I mean we know that that existed. I don’t even have to keep bringing that up. It’s like being in a relationship and continuing to bring up the person’s issues.”
Well, I guess it took Kean University to wake Common’s ass up. They nixed him as their commencement speaker–just hours after making it. It was objected to by state police when lines from an old rap song praising Assatta Shakur (accused of killing a police officer) surfaced on the Dean’s desk one fateful morning. Uhm-huh. Yup, Common, just smile and BE HAPPY…right?
What bothered me and other Black people is his attitude was more like a couple having a bad romantic relationship. It sounds almost juvenile, but he basically wants all of us to just “love one another and get along…”
This is complete superficial bullshit. It tugs at the heartstrings but doesn’t force anyone to think deeper about serious issues of racial prejudice and hatred or specifics as relates to the conflict.
Around this same time, Raven Symone found herself under fire for her defending the racist remarks of Univision host Rodner Figueroa that he made against First Lady, Michelle Obama while appearing on The View. Even Co-host Rosie Perez, blasted Figueroa for his comments and went on to speak about racism in the Latino community.
“There is a secret in the Latin community—specifically the Caribbean, Central American Latin community—they are very racist,” said the Puerto Rican actress. “They never want to be in the same group as black people. And it’s sad. It’s very, very sad. And he did say that Michelle Obama looked like a cast member of Planet of the Apes.”
Symone objected, however.
“Was he saying it racist-like?” she asked. “He said he voted for her later, and I don’t think he was saying it racist.”
“This is a problem in the Latin community. We do not talk about that,” Perez stated, emphasizing her disgust that a racist joke would be made about the First Lady of the United States.
But Symone defended her position.
“Not Michelle Obama—Michelle, don’t fire me for this, but—some people look like animals. Is that rude?” she cracked. “I look like a bird… so can I be mad at somebody that calls me ‘Toucan Sam’?”
Raven Symone had already been under fire for her comments on Oprah, as we all remember. “I’m an American. I’m not African American.”
These people are in the limelight. Their comments travel around the world in seconds. What they say has an impact on us because for most of the world, many don’t interact at all with Black people and only know us by what they see on television.
Something interesting was noted in several articles about this New Black nonsense. “It’s the premise of the idea that black people’s reaction to racism—and not the racism itself—is what must be addressed as an effective distraction that decenters the struggle of black people. It centers the comfort of white people, absolving white supremacy and indicting black rage as “the problem.”
Their attitude is one of “I am Black. I achieved–you can too.” Sounds like a bit of romanticism, perhaps as a counter to the constant negativity that many Black people must endure in their pursuit of the American Dream. It’s like they told themselves that they achieved their success through personal drive and ambition that is unique to their experience. They achieved in spite of racism–not because it doesn’t exist.
Being exceptional is nothing new to Black people. We’ve always mastered opportunity and achievement in light of the oppression that many of us have had to face in this country. White Supremacy demands that we become excellent in order to sit at the table with white mediocrity. The audacity of that. But that’s the truth of this relationship with White America.
These celebrities are disconnected from the very community they pose as speaking for. They spend most of their time trying to imitate life through their associations with whites in the elite classes. Of course they don’t want to damage their relationships to money, power, and fame. Thus, their attitudes begin to reflect and empty and distorted view of the very people that made them who they are.
From Bill Cosby to the annoying Don Lemon, this act is old. We don’t need Black celebrities speaking for us when they aren’t involved with us.
Personally, I would appreciate it very much for The New Black celebrities to shut the F### up! You don’t speak for me and it is further ordered to discontinue speaking with condescending rhetoric and smug denials when confronted with the realities of race and racism.
Your act is old and tired.
Reference: The Daily Beast; article 3/05/2015