Rapper, actor, and black man in America, Ice Cube faced public censure this past week for his contribution to making the black agenda more than an afterthought in the current election. Ice Cube’s plan seeks to implement changes specific to the non-migrant African in America a group that though wielding incomparable voting and consumer power (or capital), remains a footnote in civil rights and liberties in this country. His plan highlights how terms like “person of color” and “minority” function to bury the non-migrant black beneath all those who benefit from their collective struggle.
Despite these truths, which are seemingly self-evident, the white media framed Cube’s contribution as an alliance or “joining of forces” with the infamous Donald Trump, a phrasing that resulted in Cube’s feet being dangled over the flames of cancel culture. A culture, I might add, vested in the white imaginary. Specifically, this (sub) culture cancels in accordance to white supremacy, which mean it cancels everything BUT white supremacy. Cube fell to prey to a culture fixated on “policing” white supremacy by publicly reprimanding those who attain proximity to surface level manifestations of its wrath. In this instance, this “surface level manifestation” is Donald Trump’s administration. This culture conveniently regards racism as circumstantial not a societal default, and problematically posits blacks as racists. I say this to say that cancel culture casts Ice Cube, emblematic of the non-migrant black man in America, as the problem. Should Trump win, or Biden lose, depending on how (if at all) you choose access the situation, the black man, not systemic hegemony, will be the cause, and once again, we as a collective chew the white man’s apple to fill their bellies despite using our mouths.
Now, I agree with the late Malcolm X and the plethora of other black thinkers that censure the racist white media for appointing black celebrities to leadership positions better occupied by actual leaders such as grassroots organizers or (some) scholars who have dedicated their lives to studying a culture celebrities neuter for white consumption. Despite their career espousal to re-presenting or entertaining a constituency to which they are seldom apart, the white media falsely regards the black celebrity as a leader.
The black celebrity as leader, however, has not made its way into the larger criticisms. Instead, the criticism is for a black man who added his voice to a plan for black people. A criticism that incites a misguided query. The question is not why is Ice Cube added his voice to a contentious chorus, but why aren’t we all looking past predilection and sentiment to harbor a much needed change for us as a people? How long will we allow the racist white media to cause us to turn our backs to those pursuing change and overlook the actions taken against us in a country that basks in our collective defeat?
There was something demeaning about watching Cube talk to Chris Cuomo and seeing a white man question a black man about his proximity to a racist as if every white person is not born into this very proximity. Their exchange also highlighted how approachable these conversations become when between entertainers and not experts. Nevertheless, Cancel culture cancels white accountability; therefore, it is crucial to our trajectory as Africans in a global racial pandemic to find ourselves on the right side of all the strategic wrongs of a racist world.