Amidst the Democratic National Convention and scathing retaliatory videos from Donald Trump, is yet another wave of accusations against black men. This time the accusations fall on is R & B crooner Trey Songz and rapper Tory Lanez.
Before I continue, allow me to state that I know that we as people are imperfect. I know that there are melanated people within our collective that mimic their “master’s” disdain for their race. These men, while melanated, do not meet the standards for blackness and should not be confused with, or acknowledged as, black men. Moreover, I also know that we as a people remain under attack. It is no coincidence that the contemporary wave of white supremacy employs the media to demonize black men as the black collective continues to face systemic racism which enables us to be legally murdered for sport.
I say this to say that Meg Thee Stallion is Tatianna Jefferson because they both experienced systemic oppression, but it is dangerous and to the detriment of our collective psyche to juxtapose intra-culture conflict with white hegemony as a systemic force. While Megan, like Tatiana Jefferson, endured ambush in what should have been a space and place for comfort, Meg was not murdered by an agent of white supremacy systemically enabled to take her life without consequence. While it is imperative that we, as a collective, acknowledge and examine the attacks that befall the black woman, is also imperative that we do not gift celebrity culture and the media the certainty it demands.
Just two weeks ago, the white media, with the help of Meg thee Stallion, debuted WAP, an audio and visual assault that conflated auction block culture with sexual liberation. Any media or culture that would warrant the visual and audio suitable for mass consumption does not care about the well-being of black culture. Any media or culture that would air this footage is not to be trusted, and any melanated woman who cosigns a cultural appropiator and sells her degradation for views is to be regarded as an agent of anti-blackness.
Similarly, this week, the defense for the pending George Floyd case asserted that they will refute murder charges and argue that George Floyd killed himself. In a country where video footage captures a murder but the legal systems present suicide as a viable option, everything must be questioned. These accusations mirror what lies beneath the accusations that surround the black male misconduct. Specifically, the media displaces black men as the black female’s biggest threat to distract the black woman, basically suggesting that it is not those of the majority that pose the biggest threat to black women. It is not Darren Wilson, George Zimmerman, Derrick Chauvin, or the countless white men who prematurely ended black lives, that threaten black safety in America: it is the black man. This logic alleviates the white collective from any accountability and suggest that black collective socially engenders their peril. This same logic asserts Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Kendrick Johnson, and George Floyd as assailants and suggests that, to quote the late Bill Withers’ famous song, the black man is better off dead.
For the black woman, America could never be better without the black man. For the black woman, there is no safety or protection in the absence of the black man. Though the contemporary world seeks to reinscribe plantation politics by presenting the white man as the black female savior, these unions, like the ideology that black women must exist autonomously from black men to achieve peace, afford additional power to agents of anti-blackness. Thus, to play into an anti-black society’s psuedo attempt to “see” the black woman, is to add fuel to a fire designed to collectively burn us.
Thus, these accusations also pander to melanated female desire for centrality at any cost. Particularly, those seeking validation in a white world, desire attention even at the expense of the collective. To the bamboozled, the racist media appears to “see” black women at the expense of demonizing their male counterpart. Those who do not understand racism or those who simply do not understand the ways of white supremacy, seek to adopt a similar stance to the white women who overtly appear to oppose their men. This is not a position that the black woman must take, because our men do not hold the reigns to hegemonic evil. Rather, black women must hold hand hands with black men to cross the threshold of anti-blackness whole and not fractured by the racist practices implemented to divide us. To hold hands with one another, we cannot hold hands with celebrity re-presentations of what the white world needs the black collective to believe.
Thus, rather than cancel one another, let us cancel celebrity culture and annilate its influence over our continued injustice.