Last night and this morning, social media outlets reeked with the stench of white validation. Last night, the artist formerly known Childish Gambino, won an Emmy, or what this article will reference as a “white supremmy,” for best actor in a comedy series. This article will implement the term “white supremmy” to illustrate the Emmy for what it is— a token of white supremacy.
Writer, Actor, Comedian and now whitesupremmy recipient Donald Glover, plays the lead role on FX’s Atlanta, a series that tackles the grim reality of adulting while young and black.
The series succeeds in shedding glamour to capture the grittiness of those born without a silver spoon between their full lips. Atlanta’s episode “Juneteenth” is easily the standout of the premier season, because while funny, it confronted elitism as poison to an already fragmented collective. It also illustrated that money solves no black issue. Rather, money creates issues within the black collective. The episode, while illustrating the incompetence to which whites pursue black studies in a Jim Crow poem performed by a white “scholar” of Africana studies, illustrates that blacks who have no allegiance to their collective may earn their way into white circles but will not earn the respect of their oppressors. This sentiment seemingly preached to the choir, as many of those seeking acceptance into white circles were most likely too consumed by white series like Game of Thrones or This is Us to view this series—until now.
As a Whitesupremmy recipient, Atlanta’s upcoming season will debut to a wider and “whiter” audience, seeking to indulge the series as vouyerism if not an anthropologic exploration of the “other.” In just one night, Atlanta went from an underground black-authored production to a token of white liberalism implemented by those seeking to maximize their profits by masking Trump-esque beliefs with belittling small talk of a black series.
What made Atlanta different from other series starring black people was that it was not over-promoted or force-fed to the masses. It did not air on a major network or streaming platform, nor did it feature faces the public had grown to love in movies or series. It seemingly attracted those seeking to see a new portrayal of blackness. Those intrigued by a grassroots production that challenged stereotypes. Those seeking to enjoy a show without white validation.
Perhaps my perception was too optimistic. It seems many viewers needed “permission” to enjoy the series in the same way that many blacks needed permission and validation to enjoy black spaces. Now many traditionally black spaces from Bed Stuy to Oakland are inundated with whites culminating the contemporary context with same ambitions that colonized our ancestors.
This whitesupremmy earned by Glover solidifies America’s comfort with the “funny” negro. So despite the streams of consciousness displaced in the series, the brilliantly authored series proves victorious for its comedic relief. This truth reveals the subtle insult that awaits black greatness—and that tokens of white supremacy signal the same white gaze that transformed Harlem, a Mecca of black history, excellence, and culture, into Harlem “village.”
Yet, some will deem Atlanta‘s debut on a white network as foreshadow for a stride towards white acceptance. To this I agree. Atlanta the series, like black community, were externally black until deemed an apt vehicle for white supremacists to consummate their journey to the top of a global capitalistic hierarchy.
It is also does not offer clarity to the current celebration surrounding Glover’s pseudo victory by saying “we should have known better.” As demonstrated in the tweets from black millennials that feel seen and saved by Glover’s whitesupremmy, we as a collective do not know better. A paramount step in knowing better is acknowledging that white acceptance should not foment black celebration, but incite caution from the black collective. This caution should prompt the black collective to consider the metropolis to which the series is named, and anticipate that what is now a bustling pot of blackness may be an eventual victim of the poisonous touch of white supremist sorcery that “magically” makes blacks disappear.
To Mr. Glover, you were golden before the globe, and excellent before the Emmy.
Black Power ❤