Black history month began with a number of events that hardly complimented the black collective.Notably, black female journalist Tamron Hall departed from MSNBC after the network’s cancellation of her show “Today’s Talk.” Her removal from the 9am slot, occurred to allot for Megyn Kelly’s upcoming show. Hall’s departure seems eerily harmonious with the “cleaning out” process seen in various modes within western culture, where black bodies are cast aside to make way for white replacements.
To be honest, I only recently became privy to Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall— black, beautiful and bold was a breath of fresh air in journalism. In watching her interviews, Hall embodied firmness, assertion and professionalism. I admired how she always maintained control over her interviews, never allowing her purpose to become lost in deflection or propaganda. Hall demonstrated skill, but perhaps most impressively she was always a lady. Her presence on television afforded the black collective a representative of whom we could be proud. The only criticism I have, is that Hall is not a black journalist because she reported mainstream news. I would personally love to see her poise and professionalism directed towards black issues, as her poise and perspective would surely prove advantageous.
While a media powerhouse, Hall’s relationship with an elderly white male demonstrates her assimilatory attempts as not just professional but personal. Thus, her departure proves that you can be a face of their networks, marry their men and still be subject to inferior treatment due to the color of your skin. Her romantic choice and her dedication to extracting white truth in her journalism demonstrates that while a black female, Hall is a journalist who happens to be black. For a black journalist would have a hard time gaining visibility even on a black network. Thus, NBC’s replacement, Megan Kelly potentially encompasses what Tamron Hall aimed to be all along- a woman’s presence in a male dominated field. To which the western world silently snubbed replacing Hall with an individual who encompasses what the western world conceptualizes as “woman.”
Megyn Kelly’s rise in what would have been Hall’s demotion embodies the most severe blow of Hall’s departure. Kelly made headlines countless times last year for her very public feud with then-Republican candidate Donald Trump. Kelly moderated a debate in which she confronted Trump with degrading comments he made towards women, to which Trump grew indignant. In the nine months that followed, Kelly would be the subject of countless insults from Donald Trump and his supporters. The feud resolved when the two sat down late last year for an intimate discussion that resolved past issues and showed the world a “softer side” of Donald Trump. While the trajectory appears feasible, I can’t help but feel that this entire “feud” was a scripted means to make Trump appeal to white female voters and afford Kelly the necessary exposure to foment a promotion. Their feud appeared fabricated because both she and Trump commonly regard racism with a cavalier disregard. As history has shown us, whether “conservative” or “liberal,” whites tend to bond over how they indulge in their racism. Kelly went on the record in 2015, to render Sandra Bland’s murder her own fault, putting her on the right side of the conversation to warrant advancement under the Trump administration.
Hall on the other hand, unveils Kelly as provincial in simply appearing alongside her. Thus Hall’s elimination proved essential to not only ensuring Kelly’s shine, but to maintain white female superiority. Despite her esteemed resume, Kelly’s appeal remains questionable. She is not particularly articulate, brave or insightful. Kelly is however blonde, thin and amendable to western beliefs. She functions to make America great again, by epitomizing what white America means by the word “woman.” Tamron Hall, however does not.
I commend Hall for refusing the generous salary MSNBC offered in exchange for her to play second fiddle to Kelly. This dynamic reflects the western world’s demand that the black woman be a proxy to white women. However, any attempts at inclusion warrant such second-class treatment. Yet, Halls refusal depicts her as without a television show but as bearing something much more important—her integrity. I’m personally happy that this beautiful and intelligent black woman no longer answers to white superiors. Although with a white husband, Hall as Dr. Bobby Wright once said “experiences racism in bed at night.”
May Hall’s departure be a lesson for the black collective. Specifically, may Hall’s departure remind the black collective of the irreplaceability the western world affords their bodies.
Honestly, the black collective should have seen this coming. While the western world has a history of dishonesty towards the black in America, the western world remains consistent with regard to the low regard in which they hold black bodies. This consistency demonstrates time and time again that anything even fractionally positive will go away whereas anything negative is here to stay.
For this reason, I deem Hall’s departure an emancipation, as any separation from white male dynamics is a victory not a defeat.