The dominance of America’s racial narrative within society, media and social media in the last few years has been persistent, and 2016 is looking to be another racially motivated year for many black Americans and the white supremacist system in which they reside. Following Jada Pinkett-Smith’s criticism of the Oscars awards and her intention to boycott the awards due to lack of black nominees, a stream of responses from other famous people on the issue of racial inequality in the American film and music industry have been received from the likes of rapper Snoop Dogg, Janet Hubert (AKA dark-skinned aunt Viv from fresh prince) and most recently: Stacey Dash.
EXHIBIT A: The video that began it all.
Although many comments have been made from the various responses that I do not wholeheartedly agree with, I need to address this “let’s end black history month” foolishness that Dash was spewing in particular. I am certainly not the conspiracy theory type, however if there was ever a time to believe that there are planted agents of white supremacy in the black community, this would be the time to believe it ( although Stacey does not consider herself to be “black”, per se).
The purpose of the creation of black spaces and certain black events, including black history month is to honour the history that led black Americans to make the progress in the fight for the level of equality that they have in the present day. Awards such the BET awards (which is white owned, may I add) reserve recognition for artists that make music within the space of black culture, not only black artists (because white people win the BET awards too.)
Both America and Britain are western societies, they are white dominated. All of the space is already white space. I find it disgusting that Stacey is proposing that black Americans give up the little black social space that they have accrued, all in the pursuit of some pseudo equality, as though black people are the ones that are keeping racial discrimination alive by simply mentioning it. Black people are still being shot in the street like dogs and the perpetrators are walking free, it’s the 1960’s all over again.
Stacey Dash has obviously sold her soul and signed the contract of post-racialism and good for her, but many do not have, nor do they want this for themselves. If she wants to abscond from her blackness and join the “slavery was a long time ago, get over it” team, then that is her prerogative. However for her to suggest that the rest of the black US population should do the same, many of whom who are not sitting on the same fame, money and European features as she is, is abhorrent and she needs to go sit down somewhere.
EXHIBIT B: The foolishness.
To acknowledge and celebrate blackness in a white supremacist system is necessary, and to suggest that anything reserved for blacks needs to end, highlights another case of the unfaltering audacity of white supremacist thought that Stacey has obviously subscribed to. The oppressed always end up with the short straw and all of the blame in the end.
Personally, the most prominent issue I have with all of this is the fact that black people care so much about the acceptance of white society In the first place. I do agree with Stacey on one thing however: Black people either need to run toward segregation or run away from it, we cannot remain ‘frenemies’ with white society if we want to see real change. I i am not suggesting we separate ourselves physically from white society, I refer to political, economic and educational segregation. Black needs black in these fields of society as these are the areas in which real change is made, the fields of society that will better our lives.
Equality is not something we can ask for any longer, as it simply will not be given by those who will not benefit from giving it. Equality needs to be built and sustained, obtained through black education and financial literacy, and most of all through proper organisation and unity.
The journey to uplifting black society is not about knocking down the door and begging to be let in because it is raining outside; It is building a house of our own, even if it is not as glamorous as that white house.