Monday, February 25, 2013

To Be Young, Black and Female

Oh, awards season... you give me so much to talk about. For once,I am not talking about something that someone was wearing, but instead I am typing about the now infamous Tweet that made the interwebs scream with justifiable outrage last night. If you missed it (where have you been?!) a parody newspaper- that will remain unnamed because I am not giving them any free press on this blog- called a 9 year old, Black actress a cunt.

Now, I know what parody and satire are, I use these instruments in my every day life. I use them well... against people who deserve it. I also know what Freedom of Speech is. I often defend the right for people to say what is on their mind... and my right to make them pay for it through tears they will shed when I prove them wrong. Calling a 9 year old a cunt is not parody or satire. It wasn't a joke. It wasn't funny. Does this "newspaper" have the right to say it? Yes, but then we, as the public, have the right to make them regret the choice of posting it on social media. I gladly take part in making them regret that choice.

I am angry. I am angry because there are people who have actually typed "that is just how this 'newspaper' is." That does not excuse the behavior. There are people who deny the racial aspect of this tweet... and believe me, there IS a racial aspect to this tweet, namely that this "newspaper" has never used this vile description for a young white female who was nominated for an Oscar. There has been plenty of opportunity for that to happen, considering there have been scores of young, white women who have attended the Oscars and have been nominated for awards. So many more opportunities for this kind of thing to happen to Dakota Fanning, or her sister Elle, or anyone that looks like them.

Most of all, I am angry with Black people who seem to have no outrage for this behavior. I don't care who it is- no one, no publication, no politician, no RAPPER has the right to attack our children. Ever. That little girl got nominated for her work, got dressed up and went to an awards ceremony. That does not make her available for being called anything but her name (which I cannot pronounce). Going to get praised for work that you have done, especially as a child, SHOULD NOT open you up for name calling. I don't care if it was intended as a joke. There is not one thing that a 9 year old can do that would be a justification for calling her a cunt. Truthfully, there are a limited amount of things any woman could do that would warrant calling a GROWN woman a cunt. I am angry with Black people because about a year ago, everyone was so upset because of an unprovoked shooting of a Florida teen. Oh, there were marches and fantastic speeches and facebook petitions. Yet, here you can see the disgrace; you can see the beginning of the depravity. THIS is when there should be protests, letting people know that Black children cannot be abused in the "media". The protests cannot be saved for when they are shooting children down in the street because then it is TOO LATE. We should not be complacent about this "newspaper" calling this unsuspecting girl a cunt, a rapper calling women hoes and bitches (and our children constantly repeating these ideas), a man hitting a woman, a woman hitting a man, or ANYONE, under ANY circumstance, using whatever position they have to make others feel bad about themselves. This is NOT ok and what we put up with now is what will be used to destroy us later. You want to complain to me about how Black History Month is in the shortest month of the year, yet you don't want to defend a little girl who is being attacked by a media outlet? You want to tell me about the plight of Black men and how they are an endangered species in America and there should be outrage for you... yet, you are ok with this little girl getting lambasted and called out of her name? Where are the fathers? Where are the protectors? Where is the outrage for her? Can you NOT see that if we let this go, someone will do it again and think it is ok? That this could be the beginning of a downward spiral?

And just so everyone is clear: Freedom of Speech is real and I believe in it. I also believe in consequences and paying for what you have done. Those are not separate ideals. If you put something out there, be prepared to reap the anguish or the benefits. Hopefully this "media outlet" suffers some firings and reorganizations for this monumental mishap.



Jon Daniels said...

Totally in agreement with you.
That comment was disrespectful, out of line, and out of order. I believe in freedom of speech, but I also believe in boundaries; that newspaper had no right to say that about a child.
And, to tell the truth, black women just don't get much respect in the media (actually, black people in general, but since we're talking about black women specifically...). I don't see women of other races get called vulgar names with the frequency that black women are called such names (I won't repeat them).
Thanks for speaking about against this particular incident, exposing the bigger issue, and exposing more hypocrisy in the black community.

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