I’m sure Barbie was a beloved part of people’s daily news routine down there, and that’s fine, but there’s this thing that happens when white people get too comfortable around Black people: They start thinking they can say and do things they normally wouldn’t if they didn’t have that familiarity.
To be clear, “nizzle” is a euphemism for the n-word. Most of us know that, and I’m sure Barbie Bassett was well aware of that before she let it come out of her mouth. Using the euphemism instead of the real word when you are a white person is still egregious no matter how you try to defend it or spin it. You shouldn’t be trying to use that word in any way, shape or form, even if you try to say she was just emulating or paying homage to Snoop Dogg, it’s still wrong.
It’s just like the digital blackface conversation — there are no passes for this.
Bassett has not appeared on air since the incident happened, and according to multiple news reports, no reason has been given for her absence. While station vice president and general manager Ted Fortenberry said on social media, “WLBT is unable to comment on personnel matters,” there is no official word on whether she has actually been fired. Her bio is no longer on the station’s website, and she has reportedly removed any mention of WLBT from her Facebook page.A white lady news anchor said ‘fo shizzle my nizzle’ on air and got benched for her trouble
Pieces I’ve written for theGrio, where I am a featured op-ed columnist.
Let’s talk about digital blackfaceStandard
To be clear, Black people were not always equally represented in the GIF game. In fact, aside from some really creative people making their own, there was a decided dearth of Black reaction gifs for us to share. That changed in 2016 when Jasmyn Lawson became the culture editor at GIPHY and made it her mission to make “their library of GIFs an inclusive reflection of the world.”
She accomplished her goal. She added some of the funniest and most iconic moments with our favorite Black celebrities, athletes, and social media personalities to the mix and suddenly we had a way to express ourselves with each other on social media. It was like having a graphics version of AAVE to speak in.
Black folks speaking in memes and GIFs with each other on social media is a type of shorthand we all know and recognize. It’s a way we signify with and relate to each other.
Our use of these memes and GIFs comes with an inherent cultural understanding of where they came from and what they represent when we use them with each other.
That type of understanding and nuance is not present when non-Black people try to use them in the same way.There are levels to this ‘digital blackface’ discussion
There are only 4 episodes of ‘Snowfall’ leftStandard
Before I started writing this, I had no idea the actress who plays Franklin Saint’s mother is British-American.Continue reading
Y’all started itLink
Before I get started, let me be clear about one thing: All white people have white privilege.
Whenever white privilege comes up as a topic, there are always white people who want to claim they don’t have it because they are poor or uneducated or whatever excuse they come up with to try and distance themselves from the very thing that gives them a leg up no matter their class or circumstance.
White privilege is an inherent gift that all white people benefit from just by virtue of being white. You can put a poor white person in the same space as a poor Black person, and the white person is going to be viewed as somehow better no matter their station.
White privilege is about opportunity.
Being the smartest, most educated and experienced person applying doesn’t guarantee a Black person will get a job, but a mediocre white person can get a job over them because of white privilege.White people made everything about race
My latest for theGrio discusses the social construct of race, whiteness, white privilege and white supremacy.
Stop expecting Black women to perform “grace”Standard
The Oscars played in Angela Bassett’s face again, and in the wake of that disappointing moment, all white media can talk about is how she didn’t smile and clap for Jamie Lee Curtis, a Hollywood nepo baby, who won for what essentially amounted to a cameo in this year’s biggest winning movie.Continue reading
Byron Allen knows how to throw a partyStandard
Elgin Charles low key clowned my braids last night, and I ain’t even mad at him for it.Continue reading
Ben Stein, Stella Parton and Scott Adams walk into a barStandard
Ben Stein is racist.
Stella Parton is racist.
Scott Adams is racist.
Racism is a part of daily life in America, whether it is as overt as people marching around in Klan uniforms or as subtle as someone making passive-aggressive negative comments about Black people in our presence.
As much as we want to give most white people the benefit of the doubt, there usually comes a time when even our faves (or their siblings) disappoint us by saying something so outlandishly racist it’s hard to ignore.
I had a recent experience on Facebook with a former co-worker who I always thought was just a nice older white lady. She showed up in the comments of one of my posts and completely showed her ass, and she doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on her ignorance even when she was called out by her fellow white people.Here is a list of white people I was extremely disappointed to find out were (undercover) racists
Stop giving Chris Brown a platform, Black women!Link
Since the 2009 incident in which he assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna — an incident to which he pleaded guilty and received a felony conviction — Brown has remained an unapologetic jerk on all fronts. Last month, People magazine published a timeline of all his legal troubles since the 2009 conviction, and the list is long and full of examples of Brown being unable to control his temper and keep his hands to himself.
The 33-year-old is obviously very troubled and would likely benefit from long-term professional help, but what is not helping is all the people enabling him — most especially Black women.Chris Brown is problematic, and it’s time for Black women to stop uplifting him
Professionalism standards and dress code policiesStandard
How is Pearson wearing a dashiki disrespecting anyone? Is it not disrespectful for Hawk to be offended by it? Would he have the same attitude if an East Indian woman wore a sari or a Japanese woman wore a kimono? Would he be offended by a Sikh wearing his turban?
Just where do we draw the line? Why is it acceptable for people of other cultures to acknowledge said cultures by wearing their traditional dress, but when a Black person does it, it’s suddenly “unprofessional”?How professionalism standards and dress code policies support white supremacy
For theGrio, I wrote about how professionalism standards and dress codes help to uphold white supremacy. Both are almost always targeted specifically at Black people.
Happy birthday to Megan Thee StallionStandard
Today is Megan Thee Stallion’s 28th birthday.
She should be out celebrating and driving the boat, doing hoodrat shit with her ratchet friends, but instead she has been on a self-imposed hiatus, disappearing from the public eye immediately after Tory Lanez was convicted in December for the July 2020 incident in which he shot her in her feet.
Megan deserves so much better.
For theGrio, I wrote an open letter to her.
I hope wherever she is right now, she is surrounded by love, finding peace, feeling protected, and healing herself mentally and emotionally so she can come back stronger than ever. We miss her.
Erykah Badu and her daughter Puma broke the internetStandard
For theGrio, I wrote about y’all being entirely too goofy over the pictures of Erykah Badu and her oldest daughter, Puma.
I noticed two very specific types of reactions to these photos. First there were the “Oh my god! I would never” people, and to them I say, “Well, don’t then, bitch.”
Then I noticed all the grown men making nasty comments and posting rapey memes with captions expressing what they would like to do to an 18-year-old. Y’all need to be on a registry somewhere.
It’s OK for us to celebrate Erykah and Puma being empowered to show off their bodies. I want all Black women to feel this free.
What’s NOT OK is making sexual comments about an 18-year-old just because “she’s legal.” Go sit your overgrown ass in a corner somewhere and figure out why you are sexualizing someone that young.
Because to be clear, neither Erykah nor her daughter sexualized themselves in those pictures. Y’ALL sexualized them with your responses to them.
Anyway, read “Age of consent doesn’t give you permission to be a creep.”
I love when Black Twitter watches a show as a familyStandard
My favorite nights on Twitter are the nights when some movie or program is on television and Black Twitter watches it as a family, providing commentary all the way through.
We have done this with Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, and a lot of other television shows and made-for-tv movies.
We did it again this Tuesday when the Golden Globe Awards aired on NBC for the first time in two years.Continue reading
I don’t like Skip BaylessStandard
I have made no secret of how much I detest Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and Jeff Van Gundy.
When Jeff Van Gundy is one of the announcers during a basketball game, I remind everyone of how much I don’t like him.Continue reading
Goals are better than resolutions, in my opinionStandard
In a former iteration of my life, I was one of those people who made new year’s resolutions that never made it past January.
The problem, I discovered, was that while the resolutions may have been worthwhile, without specifically defining them and giving them deadlines, they simply became things I wished I could do or dreamed of doing. I needed a better plan.
Read “Why I started setting goals instead of making resolutions every new year.”
The treatment of Megan Thee Stallion since the night of her shooting is disgustingStandard
Megan Thee Stallion has been treated like the villain ever since news broke that she was shot by Canadian rapper Tory Lanez. She has been the victim of targeted harassment, weaponized misinformation and general misogyny and misognynoir.
I discuss this in my latest for theGrio, “Before, during and after the trial of Tory Lanez, Megan Thee Stallion was treated as more of a villain than he was. Let’s talk about it.”
Pete was subjected to a targeted campaign of weaponized misinformation and had her name dragged through the mud day after day. In her testimony during the trial, she tearfully related how this entire situation has impacted her life and made things harder for her, saying at one point, “Because I was shot, I’ve been turned into some kind of villain, and he’s the victim. This has messed up my whole life.
“I wish he would have just shot and killed me (rather than) have to go through this torture,” she said.
Black women are unprotected, and in the hip-hop community, many will rush to defend a man for his actions before they will protect the woman his abusive actions harm. It’s sickening.
Read the article, and let me know what you think.
Our children are not safeStandard
Why don’t Black children get the same benefit of the doubt that white children receive? Why are Black children adultified while white children are infantilized? Why are people so quick to take action when the offender is a Black child, but less likely to move to action when the harm is being caused by a white child?
These are just some of the questions I am looking for answers to in my latest piece for theGrio, Black children are not safe in a world ruled by white supremacy.
In this piece, I discuss the examples of Bobbi Wilson, the 9-year-old girl who had the police called on her by a neighbor who knew her because she was spraying a homemade concoction on trees to stop the infestation of an insect that is harmful to the trees.Continue reading
Twitter is dying a slow death under Elon MuskStandard
To be clear, Twitter was already on life support, but Captain Apartheid swooped in and started unplugging all the machinery, and now the site is wheezing for help and pushing the nurse call button, but no one is responding.What we lost in the fire: Elon Musk is slowly killing the things that made Twitter a force for good
Stephen A Smith, Jerry Jones, and defending racismStandard
“I’m pretty pissed off,” Smith said. “I’m pissed off but not for reasons people think. I am very, very fond of Jerry Jones, and I’m not hiding that from anybody. Is his record perfect? No, but I’m pissed off because he doesn’t deserve what just happened. He doesn’t deserve it. One report, our report, said he was 14 years old. Another report said he was 15 years old. At minimum that’s 65 years ago.”Stephen A. Smith defending Jerry Jones is egregious, and here’s why
The Washington Post published an article about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last week. The article included a photo taken in September 1957 when six Black teens attempted to integrate the racially-segregated North Little Rock High School. They were met by an angry white mob at the front door of the school.
Jerry Jones, who was 14 at the time, is pictured in the photo standing in the crowd. When the photo came out, he rightfully received public backlash
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith put on his Jason Whitlock costume and rushed to the defense of Jones, who he says is the victim of an attempt at “cancel culture” for something he did when he was a kid.
If only Stephen A understood that it’s a lot more nuanced than that.
My latest for theGrio.
Karen Bass is the new mayor of Los AngelesStandard
The job ahead of her is not an easy one, but I am fully confident that she will be able to handle it because let’s face it, if you want something done, you really just have to get a Black woman to do it.Congratulations, Karen Bass. You Deserve.
Rick Caruso thought he was going to be able to buy his way into becoming the Mayor of Los Angeles, but it did not work out the way he thought. After spending more than $100 million of his own money and outspending Karen bass 11 to 1, he lost, and Los Angeles has it’s first woman, first Black woman, and only the second Black person in history to be mayor.
She deserves. My latest at theGrio.
Drake is a sassy bitchStandard
Listen, I get it. You are a white woman of color who was born and raised in Canada. You are an actor who got your start on the Canadian show “Degrassi,” and you are now in the midst of playing your biggest role, that of a rapper named Drake.Dear Drake, please leave Megan Thee Stallion and every other Black woman out of your mouth
For theGrio, I addressed Drake and his messy bitch behavior. In case you are unaware, on his recent release with 21 Savage, he decided to go after Megan Thee Stallion unprovoked, and I don’t like that.
On Kyrie Irving, Jeff Bezos, Amazon and antisemitismStandard
Kyrie Irving definitely should have apologized for posting the link, but it should have ended there. If you are not going to hold the hosts of the material accountable, how are you going to find multiple ways to punish the consumer for taking it in?Kyrie Irving has gotten all the smoke, but why aren’t Jeff Bezos and Amazon being held accountable?
For theGrio, I share my thoughts on the sanctions the Nets have put on Kyrie Irving and question why Jeff Bezos isn’t receiving the same amount of scrutiny for hosting the infamous antisemitic video that Irving has received for posting it to his Twitter account.
White women always choose race and class over their best interestsStandard
Most people who have watched the show have expressed their disgust and horror at what is depicted. They have often said how horrible it would be if something like this happened in real life. You can tell the people who said that weren’t Black, because Black people know (or should know, anyway) that the exact things being depicted in “The Handmaid’s Tale” actually happened to enslaved Black women in this country.Serena Joy of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is the epitome of white people who don’t care until it happens to them
For theGrio, I wrote about how Serena Joy Wateford on The Handmaid’s Tale is very much like white women (and white people in general) in this country who only care about an issue when it directly impacts them.
One day I woke up and realized I am the prizeLink
Once my focus was taken off turning myself into “wife material,” I was able to devote that energy to improving and evolving me for me. Regular talks with my therapist, a lot of self-critique-turned-into-active improvements and consistently listening to myself helped me to improve my relationship with myself as well as others around me.My life changed for the better once I decentered romance
For theGrio, I discuss how my life changed once I de-centered romance.
White people: Please don’t do thisLink
The one part of Halloween that I don’t enjoy, however, is the predictable parade of white people doing inappropriate things and wearing inappropriate costumes. It seems like no matter how much we call them out for it and explain why it is inappropriate, they keep doing it anyway, year after year.A list of 5 things I am begging white people not to do this Halloween season
What we not gon do is let Sarah Silverman attack Holly Robinson PeeteLink
The other issue is the way Silverman came at Peete. Nowhere in Silverman’s timeline is there a tweet showing her directly addressing anyone else about their presumed silence on the issue of Kanye’s anti-semitic statements. Yet she felt totally emboldened to go after a Black woman.Sarah Silverman went after Holly Robinson Peete on Twitter, and it’s not OK
Black Twitter really is the shitLink
Let me just pause right here to say that Black people bring the spice everywhere we go. We add that little bit of razzle dazzle that is needed to level up any type of event or gathering.Black Twitter makes everything better
What’s wrong with taking Black Girl Magic everywhere we go?Link
The Cardinal Divas are a majorette dance squad similar in nature to those mostly seen on the campuses of our nation’s HBCUs. Part spirit squad, part dance troupe, and always killing the game, these dance squads do something known as “j-setting,” a style of dance popularized by the squad at Jackson State University. Unlike white majorettes, Black majorettes do away with the traditional batons in favor of high kicks and mind-blowing choreography that can be done sitting in the stands as well as on the field.Why are so many Black people bothered by the new Black majorette squad at USC?
‘Woke,’ ‘quiet quitting,’ and other word games the right playsLink
You see, those on the right have been engaged in a game of wordplay that has them redefining words and phrases to fit their various propaganda campaigns. Three very loud examples that come to mind are the word “woke” and the phrases “critical race theory” and “quiet quitting.” Stick with me and I’ll explain to you what I mean.Word games and propaganda campaigns: The right is weaponizing language against us
When white institutions uphold white supremacyLink
As a Black woman, Anya was supposed to keep her thoughts to herself. This is how white supremacy works. You are supposed to endure the abuse and keep silent about it. Even raising the issue makes you a bigger problem than the issue itself. Remember selective offense?Carnegie Mellon’s response to Professor Uju Anya’s tweet is an example of how institutions uphold white supremacy
Why are Black characters in fantasy stories such a controversial thing for white people?Link
It really bothers (some) white people that Black people get cast in their favorite make-believe stories. Maybe we are infringing on their ability to make believe that we don’t exist. Whatever the case may be, it’s seriously time to get over it, like Whoopi said.When you can imagine dragons but not imagine Black people in fantasy stories, your racism is showing