1.Shithole Countries and other controversies: Im beginning to think we’re getting used to this. While the cable media shows are in an uproar over the president’s comments about receiving immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations, my personal phone line has been dead dry. There was a time where a statement like this would have set my group chats to bubbling and my phone to ringing off. It’s been a few days since Trump decried accepting immigrants from “Shithole” countries, and in my personal circle the response has been quiet outrage not worth spilling onto others because how many times can we have the same conversation?
I have written previously about the myth of America vs the reality of America, and this is just another example of that dichotomy. This latest occurrence of Trump racism doesn’t shed any new light on who the man is, and I’m surprised so many are still shocked by his lack of tact and his willingness to say what we all know shouldn’t be said in pleasant company. As a community of color, our determination to cut our own path and establish our own economic engines should only be reinforced by statements like these. How can we look to any government to support our communities and our people ahead of what we can accomplish ourselves?
2.Black Panther Mania: couple weeks out from the premier of Black Panther. Pre-sale tickets for the blockbuster went began this week and promptly outsold every other Marvel movie pre-sale ever. When it comes to pop culture and social media, black culture is one of the primary drivers of what’s popping and what’s flopping. At this point the Black Panther movie is becoming more than just a movie. It’s a cultural touchstone.
A majority Black cast in a mainstream, tent pole, blockbuster, action film at a time when Black creative expression is on an upward swing virtually guarantees the film a massive presence on Black Twitter and Black Social. When paired with the mainstream appeal of super hero flicks, the movie is going to be huge. This is an unashamedly Black movie that cant be dismissed as just another Black movie. As much as the current political situation seems to divide us and ostracize people of color, we bout to be real heavy on the big, little, and every other type of screen in 2018.
3.The Transphobic: Ginuwine was assailed by some in the Trans community this week for saying he wouldn’t date a trans woman and refusing a kiss from one. I saw somewhere on Twitter where people were making comparisons between not dating trans women and saying you wouldn’t date a black woman.
It low key bothers me when the African American struggle for equality and equity gets co-opted in this way. It’s a totally different thing to say I don’t want to date a woman that used to be a man than to say I don’t want to date a woman of color Or whatever other distinction. I mean come on…
4.The Oprah Question: If I had to choose between Oprah and Trump, I’m picking O all day. However, it’s a bit troubling that we’re talking about Oprah as our last Great hope to stem the tide of Trump’s retro racism. Where are our younger, progressive, ear to the ground, thumb on the pulse leaders? The first name that probably came to your mind after reading that was Corey Booker. One time for Corey, but it is an abject failure on our part, people of color, that we have not yet been able to stand up compelling candidates that are politically savvy and culturally interesting beyond young Book.
Oprah would probably do a great job. She’s smart, ambitious, and common sense minded, but what about after O? Are we just going to look for a series of lovable public figures to lead us? Yo check out my man Andrew Gillum running for governor here in Florida, no easy task in this beet red peninsula. If he could pull off a state wide victory here, he might be on his way to national prominence.
5.A brief reminder that the Black experience in America doesn’t always translate: We all saw the fallout from the H&M ad with the young king in his cutest monkey hoodie. I saw where his mother, a Brit I believe, basically said it was much ado about nothing, she was at the shoot, and didn’t see anything wrong with the hoodie her son was photographed in. The monkey insult has been used against Black people for literally centuries.
Here in the states we are exceptionally vigilant when it comes to these type of slights. Yet, that’s not always the case for people of color born and raised in other cultures. I can see how H&M would miss this. They not thinking about us as consumers or as African Americans with a unique cultural experience in the second largest consumer market in the world. That hoodie just as likely could have ended up on any kid. My understanding of the mother’s point is a little more strained. I get that it might not have wrinkled her brow and made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up the way it did when we saw it, but I mean nothing about it made her feel a way? Like nothing? Then she puts out this statement that makes the rest of us seem like oversensitive cry babies? Even within the diaspora things can get lost in translation.
Enjoy Your Weekend! Celebrate MLK! Be the dopest!