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
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.
White fragility *is* white violenceLink
“I consider my writing to be a form of activism. It is my way of using my voice, my natural writing ability, and my words to speak up for myself and other Black people.
It is a form of protest, in my opinion, and baby, protest is not supposed to make you feel comfortable.
If you, as a white person, feel personally attacked by the things I say and write, that requires a level of self analysis that I can’t help you with. It’s not up to me to smooth it over for you and make it easier for you to digest.”The frustrations of a Black woman who writes about race
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
recognizing when you are not the problemLink
I don’t think this person truly knows why they do what they do nor why they chose to act this way to me. I certainly can’t explain it, nor do I feel the need to.
What I do know is that they are not a good person, no matter how much they try to pretend they are. There is no integrity to be had when your intentions come from a selfish and self-serving place.
I was open. I was honest. I did more than post platitudes on social media and act as if they were a reflection of my lived experience.
I am my lived experience each and every day, and I always own it — the good, the bad, and the ugly.it’s not you; it’s them
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
When Monday is a holidayStandard
It’s supposed to be the beginning of a new work week, but today is President’s Day, and I don’t really feel much like working. I’m going to get stuff done anyway because that’s what I do (and if I don’t write, I don’t eat), but this day felt off from the moment I woke up. Whatever. Let’s get it.
I’ve said before that playing GTA is like playing violent Barbies for me. I have an unlimited supply of outfits to change her into.
Today, I found one of my favorite old school cars for her, and I changed her hair color so the style and color match me in real life.
My GTA character is vain just like me.
Today was uneventful. The end.
I’m back on my bullshitLink
I had a fabulous Valentine’s Day.
There are days when I know I look fucking good, and this was one of those days. Thighs out, ass-length braids, fishnet stockings, over-the-knee boots—baby, I was serving.
I saw a show with the burlesque troupe Sweet Spot Nation. They put on an adult variety show, and I was thoroughly entertained. There was a singing guitarist, erotic spoken word, some sensuous sex play (with clothing on, of course)0, and girls shaking titties and ass. There were also two comedy performances, and those were funny too.
If you ever get the opportunity to see them live, I highly recommend it.Continue reading
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.
Return of the MackStandard
As I have shared in my writing as of late, I have not been in a good place mentally over the last few weeks.
Depression is a monster, and when it takes over, even the smallest of tasks can feel insurmountable. The inability to focus long enough to get anything done is a productivity killer, and for someone like me who works primarily as a freelancer or contract worker, that means it’s an income killer as well.Continue reading
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.”
Was this pussy pap ready? Yes. It was.*Standard
There’s a new issue of my newsletter, off the record, out.
This is a follow up to last week’s piece, “I’m ready to be a ‘Soft Black Girl.'” I talk about the process I’m going through right now, dealing with both my depressive episode and the thing that triggered it.
This is where I tell you that if you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, you should ASAP.
But there’s more…Continue reading
Are you suffering from dickslexia?Standard
Do you know what dickslexia is?
Do you know what it means to be dickmatized?
Are you a dickologist?
I am, and I break down various words and phrases related to the dick in the latest issue of my newsletter, off the record.
Today’s issue is called “dickology,” obviously.
Jerrod Carmichael was the perfect host for the Golden GlobesStandard
Let’s keep it real: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is still under the same microscope it has been under for the last two years as it continues to fight its way out of the negative press it received for not having any Black members.
NBC decided not to air the Golden Globe Awards ceremony in 2022 because of the fact HFPA was embroiled in so much scandal. It was a mess.
As most organizations do when they get called for blatant racism or a lack of diversity, HFPA has been bending over backwards to try and make amends, including adding six new Black members to their ranks and ensuring that more Black actors and projects were nominated for this year’s awards.
They didn’t stop there, though.Continue reading
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
Habits and systems versus goalsStandard
I’m reading a book right now that is totally changing my perspective on the way I set goals and how I go about achieving them.
The book is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I have gotten so much useful information from it, I decided to share some of what I have been learning in the latest issue of my newsletter, off the record.
Read the latest issue, “in medias res” and let me know what you think.
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.”
Do you have a personal (we)blog?Standard
I wrote my very first piece for The Verge, and I am super excited because it’s about something near and dear to my heart: personal blogging.
I have had a blog or online journal in some form since the late 90s. I started on Geocities, migrated to Blogger, taught myself to configure Greymatter, Movable Type, and WordPress, and I used all the other sites like Typepad, livejournal, tumblr, Vox (before it became the site it is now, it was a blogging platform similar to what tumblr is now)) and everything in between.
The point is, I’m not new to this; I’m true to this.Continue reading
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.
haiku #5: you are the prizeStandard
explore your options leave nothing on the table make them work for it
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
haiku #4: show meStandard
tell me you love me without using the word "love" actions speak louder
it’s like a text version of OnlyFansStandard
Hello, friends, non friends, and people I don’t fuck with!
If you are here, it’s because you are already a longtime fan of my writing, or you read something I wrote, or you follow me on social media, or you are some weirdo who read something I wrote that upset you, and now you are here to try and put me in my place in the comment section (alas, trolls: i moderate comments like a mutha fucka).
Whichever category you fall into, it’s obvious you cannot get enough of me, so I wanted to offer you the opportunity to sign up for free content on my newsletter, “off the record.”
“off the record” is part memoir, part cultural commentary, part news and information—honestly, think of it as a longer version of my Twitter timeline. I talk about everything. This will be the same.
Go ahead and subscribe for the free content. I dare you.
haiku #3: adjectivesStandard
kind. sweet. observant. attentive. considerate. gentleman. scholar.