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
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
My comments section is going wild right nowStandard
White people really don’t like it when you call out blatant racism and racist acts.Continue reading
Today is the St. Ides of MarchStandard
OK, so the shit is called “The Ides of March, but I am Black as fuck, and I am going to keep calling it the St Ides of March, and y’all will just deal with 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
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.
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
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.
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
Conversations about racism should not be getting stuck on ‘not all white people’Link
Anyway, the other subset of people were white people who generally agreed with what I said about Bodega Bro, but they were given pause because in my headline I said “Bodega Bro is the epitome of everything white people do wrong on a daily basis.” They all got stuck on the “white people” part, and they all wanted to lecture me about how I shouldn’t lump everyone together in one category.Selective offense and ‘not all white people’: We shouldn’t have to keep coddling y’all
Dear white people: Please don’t be like Bodega BroStandard
Obviously, white privilege and entitlement have made Green completely unaware that there is a such thing as food deserts, and the Bronx is clearly one of them. People in that neighborhood rely on bodegas, as eccentric as they may be because there are no other options.Bodega Bro is the epitome of everything white people do wrong on a daily basis
Michael Harriot always nails itLink
If what Whitlock believes is true, then my eyes have been opened. If fact-based criticism is offensive enough to make cops abrogate their professional duties and the very foundation of why they exist, then I finally understand why America is like this. According to Whitlock, it is crazy to expect police officers to live up to their pledge to protect and serve and be held responsible by the people who pay them. Next, you’ll be telling me that Black people want this country to live up to its pledge that “all men are created equal” and treat them equally, too!What Jason Whitlock can teach us about white people, cops and America
America doesn’t care about Black womenLink
“About a third of our population is African American; African Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality. So, if you correct our population for race, we’re not as much of an outlier as it’d otherwise appear. Now, I say that not to minimize the issue but to focus the issue as to where it would be. For whatever reason, people of color have a higher incidence of maternal mortality.”Sen. Bill Cassidy proves America doesn’t care about Black women
Chris Long’s thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s protestsLink
“But I’ll make it pretty clear,” Long said. “I support my peers in exercising their right to protest. This is a wonderful country, and I think everyone agrees on that, but there are things in our country that can improve.”Chris Long of the New England Patriots Shares His Thoughts on Colin Kaepernick
Lil Wayne has never experienced racismLink
“And I don’t know if it’s because of my blessings, I don’t know, but it is my reality,” Wayne said. “So I’d have to say that not only had I thought it was over, I believe it’s over, but obviously it isn’t.”Lil Wayne Says That Because of His Blessings, He Has Never Experienced Racism