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I realized I wasn’t that young anymore when my oldest niece innocently asked me, “Is Aaliyah that singer who died in a plane crash?” Immediately after I answered, I went into pop quiz mode. “Do you know who Brandy is, beautiful?” Frighteningly, she had absolutely no clue–until she released a single featuring Chris Brown.

More recently, I’ve gone on dates with men born in 1990 – you can drop your judgment off right here, thanks – and openly cried out to God over their lack of knowledge about one of the greatest women to ever body roll on this Earth, Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Some of these very men have referred to me as “old.”

This can’t be life.

As youthful as I feel, I was born in 1984 and I’m getting frequent reminders that I am entering a new stage of life. Many of the albums I grew up listening to have either hit their 20th anniversary mark or they’re right on the cusp of doing so. This includes janet, CrazySexyCool, My Life, Brown Sugar, and soon, Faith and Hardcore. The same way I looked at my mama about her Chi-Lites and Whispers, referring to the group members as “pop-pops” is what’s happening to me now when I bring up UGK in certain groups. Karma is a hateful heifer.

While many folks my age crack jokes about “aunties,” as one of my friends recently reminded me, we are now the aunties. Do you know who is now doing the Tom Joyner Cruise? Trina! Yes, “da baddest bitch” is out here on the cruise shop that the super grown folks are known for attending performing “Single Again.” One of my friends is so amped about one day joining the cruise. In his mind, he thought 40 would be the perfect age, but auntie life came calling a bit sooner.

I’ll also admit that if not for the youth in my life, I’d have no idea what in the hell so many of the folks on the Twitter talk about. Like, what is a fleek? And one question I’m constantly asking: Who in the hell is this rapper that sounds like English is his fourth language?

I am only 31-years-old and while I can still drop down and get my eagle on, my pop, lock, and drop ain’t what it used to be. There’s also yoga, but that’s not the core issue. I’m just getting older and in the HOV lane to a new stage in life. An era where linen pants will sooner than later overfly my closet. Where all white parties will fill my calendar. A place where, Crown Royal and Wild Turkey will be my drinks of choice – just like so many of my uncles. Hell, I’m already halfway there if you include Crown Apple. In my defense, that is delicious and best served with ice in a mason jar.

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The impact of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” is irrefutable. When the single cover was released, it instantly went viral and spawned a series of memes that quickly spread across the Internet—one of the better contemporary examples we have to measure how impactful something is. Similarly, at a time when the music video still has to fight off the rising stigma of obsolete, the visual for “Anaconda” racked nearly 20 million views in the process—at the time smashing a VEVO record. “Anaconda” was huge both sonically and visually—further cementing what proved to be a banner year for the rapper.

Suffice to say, it ought to be relatively easy to see why Minaj was a little pissed for not netting what she felt is the honor she deserved. Regardless of how anyone feels personally about “Anaconda,” its great success negates that sentiment (as it does in most cases such as these). It was a big deal in a climate where very few things are anymore. It deserved to be nominated for Video of the Year. Maybe it should have won, maybe it should not have, but at the very least, it deserved to be a part of the conversation.

The crux of Nicki Minaj’s argument is true: Black women are highly influential in pop culture and rarely are they ever rewarded for it. 

No, awards are not everything, but the series of thoughts Nicki Minaj expressed yesterday on Twitter about a black female artist—specifically, a black female rapper—being marginalized are a continuation of frustrations Minaj has expressed throughout her career.

All too often has she been damned if she do, damned if she don’t.

When the video for “Anaconda” came out, men felt compelled to slut-shame her. Hip-hop has long been hypersexual and demeaning to women, but suddenly these men developed a conscious. So much so that they felt compelled to condemn Minaj for her choosing to take the stereotypes forced upon women who look like her and make it something all her own. Likewise, much of Minaj’s The Pinkprint promotional time was spent rightfully chiding men about their fucked up views of women in hip-hop. 

As impressive as Minaj is as a rapper, what’s most admirable about her is that she has managed to thrive despite the successful female rapper in music being a relic. She single-handedly revived that portion of hip-hop, and no, she has not gotten the credit she deserves. Some of that is her fault—a solid debut, a not-so-solid follow-up, and the best culmination of her many facets on her third offering. Even so, there are artists—notably without much melanin and/or with a penis—who still manage to get widespread celebration and acknowledgment despite having less skill than acts like Minaj.

That’s why it was frustrating watching Taylor Swift interject herself into Nicki’s moment. I don’t believe Nicki Minaj was taking any shots at Taylor Swift, but even if she felt the opposite way, the least Swift could have done is ask first before turning to lectures and victimhood. It might’ve also been a great idea for Swift to pause for a second and realize that even if she felt Nicki’s gun was aimed in her direction, she was shooting an overall disease as opposed to one of its many symptoms.

Taylor Swift essentially hit Nicki Minaj with the musical equivalent of “All Lives Matter.”

Read the rest at Complex.

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I’m glad Miguel has realized that when it comes to comparisons between he and Frank Ocean, there is “no need to compare apples to oranges.” Of course, this dawned on the singer-songwriter several hours after an excerpt of his interview with The Sunday Times where he did just that quickly floated across the Internet and subsequently sparked criticism. It is hard to imagine that Miguel didn’t know exactly what he was doing when he told his Sunday Times interviewer Paul Lester about Ocean, “I wouldn’t say we were friends. To be completely honest—and no disrespect to anyone—I genuinely believe that I make better music, all the way around.”

As Lester notes, Frank Ocean appears when he goes to greet Miguel in the bar of a central London hotel. Lester then goes on to essentially goad Miguel into commenting on Ocean. Like, say, when Lester asks Miguel what he makes of Ocean’s purported status as R&B’s “trouble man” to which he replies, “But that’s Frank. Frank is the tortured. That’s his thing. That’s not who I am. I may not be dark—as dark—and I may not be as poetic, but I’m living my real shit.”

There’s something to be said about being honest and confident, but there’s a fine line some artists may want to start towing if for no other reason than to not sound like a board of member of Petty, Inc.

Miguel’s comments read as pointed and personal, and for those of who remember his interview with Fader magazine in 2012 where he acknowledged that the two were “once close.” They are clearly not now, so in the future, maybe it’s in Miguel’s best interest to stop talking about Frank Ocean. The same way Miguel wouldn’t discuss his relationship with Frank Ocean on the record in that past interview is how Miguel should handle future inquiries.

This is not the first time Miguel has made a questionable comment about Frank. Around the same time as The Fader interview, Miguel did an interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club and when asked about the timing of Frank Ocean revealing his first love was a man, Miguel said, “It could have been a marketing ploy, who’s to say? At the end of the day, as a grown-ass man, I don’t really care what the sexuality of the next man is.”

Then there was the time Miguel lost Best Urban Contemporary Album at the Grammy Awards to Frank Ocean and noticeably remain seated (along with fellow category loser, Chris Brown) as the rest of the audience gave Ocean a standing ovation. Would I stand up to applaud someone who just beat me out for a Grammy? Doubtful, but I wouldn’t then later give an interview to TMZ about it, either.

As much as I enjoy Miguel’s talent, music, and drive, there is a part of his persona that feels like a needle dancing all over my last nerve. Maybe Frank Ocean is a terrible person, or if nothing else, was not a good friend to Miguel. Maybe they were roommates and he never returned Miguel’s security deposit. Perhaps they used to listen to each other’s songs and one was far more supportive than the other. Or Frank Ocean is just a jackass.

Read the rest at Complex.

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bey1I was frying bacon when Beyoncé revealed that her “big announcement” for Good Morning America was something she discussed months ago: that she used a vegan diet to shed pounds and would now like to sell you the meal plan she used with nutritionist and exercise physiologist Marco Borges. I ate my bacon as planned. I had a feeling that she had something to shill rather than reveal, so unlike other certain members of The Beyhive, I was not angrily lighting up Beyoncé’s Instagram page with pizza, hot dog, pig, and chicken in protest.

But there was something about the now infamous segment that made me wince a little bit, though.

If you notice, Beyoncé did not do an interview so much as essentially email GMA a video clip she quite possibly shot from her iPhone – which they gleefully ran anyway. It reminded me of a recent New York Times story on this same subject where Beyoncé provided quotes, but not directly. Writer Courtney Rubin noted that via email, “Beyoncé wrote ‘At first it’s the little things I noticed: I had more energy’ — though, sadly, not enough to deal with a reporter asking about it on the phone, as had been promised for more than a month.” A rep explained that Beyoncé “has not answered any direct questions for more than a year.”

So I’ve noticed. Why? How long will this last?

To be fair, there have been advantages to this strategy. In “Beyoncé Exercises Control in All (Instagram) Things — and the Result Is Flawless,” Jenna Worthman writes, “In a world where Black women are largely invisible, Beyoncé has managed to become not only one of the most famous women on the planet but also one of the most followed and celebrated on the Internet.”

We are not entitled to the details of Beyoncé’s life, but Beyoncé has managed to give the public just enough to satisfy our collective insatiable need for all things celebrity. She does so on her own terms, and for a Black female celebrity to yield that level of control, it is impressive as it is admirable. Nonetheless, while that works for social media, does that level of control and choreography work as well in plain media? Especially when you are trying to enter a lane – lifestyle – that you are not known for?

Would people have been as upset with that overhyped GMA tease had it included an actual interview with Beyoncé where she could have discussed the diet while dually breezing by whatever other inane questions presented before her?

Body image, dieting, and lifestyle change are supremely personal matters. A video segment by a hugely popular celebrity can command wide attention, but when you think about celebrities who sell fitness and food products, it’s more than just that. For all those loud Jennifer Hudson commercials hawking Weight Watchers, there were several interviews to go with them. As in actual dialogue— not copying, pasting, and having the writers and producers do the grunt work.

A part of me realizes that Black celebrities – particularly those who have reached that level of stardom – can quickly be chopped down by mass media. If you find Michael Jackson too controversial an example, you can see what happened to Janet Jackson following the 2004 Super Bowl. Only now is there widespread excitement about her comeback, but for the decade that followed “Nipplegate,” it was her core fans keeping her afloat – and Tyler Perry film roles.

But, but, but: If President Obama can do YouTube and Reddit interviews, can Beyoncé return to charming talk show hosts and stans posing as journalists for a few minutes of conversation?

Read the rest at VH1.

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Michael Arceneaux, EBONY.com contributor and Master of Shade, calls out five of his biggest gripes from the past week. Rejoice and be read. Follow Michael @youngsinick.

1. These Gordons Ain’t Loyal: In “Have you no shame?” news, it wasn’t totally surprising to find out that members of Bobby Brown’s family were trying to shoot a reality show that included footage of them at the hospital where Bobbi Kristina Brown lies in a vegetative state. After all, Bobby probably hasn’t so much as sent them a free bottle of his BBQ sauce and chicken fryer mix. However, when it comes to her play brother and fake husband, Nick Gordon, you would hope more for him and his respect for Bobbi Kristina. Unfortunately, word has gotten out that Nick is set to appear on Dr. Phil and will be discussing his battles with his bae’s dad and her kinfolk. If this man had any respect for Bobbi Kristina, he’d be somewhere lighting a candle for her instead of contributing to the very kind of nonsense that made her live so problematic to begin with.

2. You Cannot Beat The Gay, Beloved: Andrew Caldwell, aka the man who says he was “DELIVERT” from homosexuality, is tip toeing back on his infamous declaration that went viral like a shot of Kim Kardashian’s ass cheek. In a new interview, Caldwell shares, “I feel that, if I was delivered, God should deliver me more. But I know it takes a process. But I think it is going a little bit slow. I want God to work on my mannerisms. I want God to stop the switching…talking like a woman.”

My immediate reaction to this is “Girl, bye,” but we have to acknowledge that men – Black men particularly – are often pressed by the larger community (this includes you, whites) to maintain a certain level of hypermasculinity. To not embody that is to be less than, or what misogynists call, feminine. Nonetheless, we are who we are and there’s nothing about femininity that is less than. It takes a secure man to realize this, so here’s hoping the Lord blesses him with a clue to he can go back to twerking to Beyoncé’s “Check On It” in peace.

Meanwhile, Caldwell added that he truly wants to be “delivered,” explaining, “Continue to pray for me because I am going through a lot each and every day.” I’m praying this time next year he’s at the gay club getting his life and realizing his life will be lived better when do so honestly. God bless, saint.

3. That Girl Raps Better Than You All The Time, Bro: For all his talent, Kanye West irritates the living hell out of me. Case in point, a guest lecture he delivered at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. He said many stupid things – including this idea that classism is new and that is supersedes racism – but I also want to focus on his sexist backhanded compliment to Nicki Minaj.

Reflecting on “Monster,” Kanye said: “One of the most memorable things about MBDTF was Nicki Minaj, and the fact that she kicked my ass, on my own song, on one of the best albums…the best album – I’m just saying what the critics said – of the last 25 years. The best album of the past 25 years that I spent a year and a half making, out there. I was exiled from my country, it was a personal exile, but exile. To come back and deliver my magnum opus of a work, and to be outshined…to be beat by a girl, basically.”

When one uses “beat by a girl,” the connotation is that it is the worst thing ever because women are less than men. In reality, though, for all his wit, vision, and talent as a producer, as a rapper, he leaves a lot to be desired – starting with him failing to rap on many of the various beats he crafted. So I’m not sure why he’s surprised that Nicki Minaj bested him given she’s a superior emcee to most of her contemporaries – men and women alike and him included.

Read more at EBONY.

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Two years ago Azealia Banks had a point about gay media and its portrayal of her as homophobic in light of her use of the word “f–got.” Though I did not agree with her, she was right in noting that some celebrities—i.e., the white ones who either are a part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community or consider themselves allies—were given de facto passes to use it, while she was categorized as hateful. Although I defended her then from those charges, at this point there is no denying what the Harlem-bred emcee has made all too clear: She very much has a problem with gay men.

In a recent tweet she claimed, “Gay media has to stop using homophobia as a means to try and victimize itself and scar the names of its opponents.” And in an exchange with Vice writer Mitchell Sunderland (which she initiated, by the way), Banks not only berated Sunderland for being far less well off than she but further insulted him because she had an “extra hole” and he did not.

Banks went on to argue that gay men have no claims to their culture because it’s all derived from femininity and women. I’ve heard this argument before; it sounds stupider each time. Yes, a very long time ago, men who went on to become drag queens and those who started ball culture might have pulled initial inspiration from the women who clearly influenced them; however, these were marginalized folks who pulled from the dominant culture and subsequently created and developed their own thing.

When Banks samples Dorian Corey’s commentary in the iconic documentary Paris Is Burning on her mixtapes, among other influences from gay black culture in other aspects of her art, she should be very much clear that she didn’t build that. After all, if gay black culture is a direct bite from black women, why not go to them instead of the queens?

This is like saying that black colloquialisms are not black because they stem from the English. Actually, before Banks started crying about black culture being appropriated by white people for greater fortune on Hot 97, she made this point in a since-deleted tweet last year: “Like black American culture is ESSENTIALLY some adapted version of British culture, Because American culture is bastardized English culture.”

I think it’s cute that someone has since lent her the syllabus for an intro-level African-American-history course, which is why her tweets have become noticeably more black since then, but she is not as thoughtful as she thinks she is or as some have pegged her to be.

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Based on optics alone, it’s pretty clear that the only breakfast club Nicki Minaj will ever deal with in the future will be purchased en route to her mama’s house in Queens.

There had already been bad blood between she and the hosts of “The Breakfast Club”  – Charlamagne anyway – but booking Scaff Beezy to talk about their fallen relationship just did wonders for “Ebro In The Morning.” Even so, while Scaff did do an interview on a program she seems to be permanently distanced from, he wasn’t disrespectful. He’s boy Karreuche Tran and whether or not you think it was fair for him to speak out “all of a sudden” depends on how you feel about the whole famous for fucking someone else famous trend.

For the most part, he just seems fed up and exhausted by the entire situation, namely having his name soiled by a scorned ex. Now, he completely sidestepped that situation in Texas that TMZ reported on years ago, so I’m not completely sure if he was not abusive at any point in their relationship.

Whatever the case, this interview made me sad. Like, turn on some Sade for him sad. That aside, I do wish some Black mama nearby had hit the studio to tell him what Black mamas tell similar guilty parties: “BOY, STOP SMACKING!”

I’d also like to know if he got his fur coat from the set of the “Hate Me Now” video? I dare one of y’all to tell me that it doesn’t look like he stole that from the set of a P. Diddy-related video. Inquiring minds would like to know if you pulled that from the closets of 1999, sir.

And so we’re clear, I can see Nicki being bitchy to him towards the end. I love Nicki and I fear Team Minaj, but she’s not exactly the sweetest person. If she feels comfortable bitching out an interviewer at any given second, imagine how she gets with you when she’s most comfortable.

That said, the only part I don’t like about this interview are the gendered questions Charlamagne and DJ Envy aimed at Scaff about his role in helping Nicki make her material.

It is not uncommon for people in the studio – producers, songwriters, your cousin with rap dreams, good ideas, but no flow – to throw in a line or three while a rapper is recording. Scaff himself said “everyone gets help.” Still, they belabored the point and asked leading questions like whether or not the real reason Nicki didn’t want Scaff to write was due to concerns audiences would hear both and wonder why they sound similar.

That plays into a common theme about women in rap – men, behind the scenes, pulling the strings and writing their lines – and I’m glad the one woman in the room, Angela Yee, at least tried to diffuse it. Scaff didn’t do enough to do so and that makes him look petty and perhaps somewhat deserving of the public displays of contempt.

It’s one thing to take issue with Nicki taking issue with you; it’s another to try and discredit her or try to expose her as some kind of hypocrite. To be on morning radio is to be a shitstarter, but some shit you can keep to yourself

I’m not just saying that because Nicki Minaj lyrics often serve as my morning meditation either. This all lends credence to all of the musings Nicki has had about sexism in recent interviews. The same goes for the question “Did Nicki dehumanize you?” You mean, exactly how male rappers often treat their girlfriends? Where are the men to ask their girlfriends if their rapping boyfriend is dehumanizing them by keeping their relationship a secret?

Overall, I appreciated Scaff being comfortable enough with himself to openly admit how fucked up and emotionally daunting a breakup can be. He sounded like a Carl Thomas album and I can appreciate that. The rest, not so much. Men can be so terrible, y’all.

I’m sorry.

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I tried to watch Sorority Sisters, but I couldn’t finish the episode. If it were a singer, it would be Cassie, the first time she performed on 106 & Park. If it were a shoe, it’d be a knockoff Jordan that instantly melts as soon as the temperature hit 90 degrees. If it were food, it’d be spoiled Spam out of a dented can. It is terrible in every single away, but I do find the controversy surrounding it somewhat amusing.

On one level, between this show and Bye Felicia, it is now harder than ever to argue against the notion that VH1 is in the business of playing to the lowest common denominator, especially when it comes to its presentations of Black people. However, there’s something awfully annoying about some Black people now finding reason to rally against a show because it’s offering a less than pristine image of Black people who enjoy a certain amount of privilege by way of class, education, and the affiliations both can generate.

So while I don’t often agree with the idea of protesting a show —this includes Shawty Lo’s multiple baby mama themed escapades that was shut down and what’s presently happening to Sorority Sisters now (chopping off its corporate sponsorship, one company at a time) — I respect it. I do, however, wonder about the consistency of those complaining.

I watch VH1 programming without shame or guilt, opting to ignore anything that I find dreadful or too embarrassing, but I do agree with the sentiment that BET could never get away with airing many of the shows presently airing on VH1. For years, BET was slammed for late night, adult-orientated programming like Uncut and characters like the animated VJ Cita, who has since proven herself to be Tamar Braxton as a cartoon. BET changed its programming as a result, but very little public applause was given.

The same can be said of ratings for the shows that chronicled the lives of Black people in more “respectable” positions. This includes Black fire fighters in Compton (First In), Black male models (Model City), and the Black woman who owned her own magazine in Houston (Keeping Up With The Joneses). Some were ratings hits— Tiny & ToyaToya: A Family Affair —but those were largely criticized, too, because the shows had too much twang and too little pedigree.

I prefer to see Black people the way I see everyone else on TV: brilliant, funny, and yes, a mess at times. We don’t have to agree on that, but only some of us are being honest about both our viewing habits and our complaints.

To those presently up in arms about a few members of organizations within the National Pan-Hellenic Council parading around as fools on VH1 primetime, ask yourselves a few things. Is your contempt of these sort of shows consistent?

If so, fair enough. If not, why is it a problem now? Can only your poorer, southern-based brethren play the fool?

Read the rest at The Urban Daily.

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I like Anthony Hamilton, but who told him it was okay to cover Jodeci’s “Freek ‘N You?” When I turned to my friend, Devon, for answers, she said, “Not the streets.” Great answer.

There is something about this that makes me unnecessarily angry. I played this a few times to see if I’m being unreasonable. I probably am, but it doesn’t matter. Still quietly raging about this.

It’s not that Anthony Hamilton cannot sing. I love his voice and his first album will forever be that knock. Unfortunately, I’m just too used to Anthony Hamilton singing about songs that center on fish grease and broken hearts to take anything that deviates from that seriously.

Well, “Float” is kind of sexy in like a I’m 53, still got it and I’m about to smash a 34-year-old who can pass for 28 and a half sort of way. But he’s not like Jodeci sexy. Yes, it’s K-Ci Hailey singing most of the time but I always envision Mr. Dalvin – peak bae – when I turn them on. This makes perfect sense. Do not question me.

Please don’t do this anymore, Anthony Hamilton. Maybe cover D’Angelo since you sang background for him. Or, if you’re that pressed to cover Jodeci, do “Love U 4 Life.” That’s your lane. Speed through it, sir.

Since we’re on Jodeci, I wasn’t disappointed with the Jodeci reunion at the 2014 Soul Train Awards as some were, mostly because I kept my expectations low. For one, all of the members of Jodeci are alive, which is no easy feat given most of their post-The Show, the After-Party, the Hotel lives. Each member actually was able to stand on his own two feet throughout the duration of the performance. The last time I saw Devante, he was drunk and under a table at a Subway in Burbank as outed by TMZ. Life hit that man the hardest given he is basically Timbaland Sr. with Frankie Lymon’s money troubles.

No, they didn’t sing live, opting instead to sing to vocals recorded over 20 years ago. To be fair, we probably didn’t want to hear those rusty ass pipes. Not to mention, lip syncing on Soul Train is a time honored tradition. Maybe they felt like being purists the night this show as filmed.

One issue, though, was that the group did not include “Feenin'” in their roundup of hits. Someone else brought this to my attention. I mean, I like “Feenin’,” but if it up to me, I would have had them perform “Let’s Go Through The Motions.” Who remembers them performing that in Who’s The Man? Stop lying. You remember that movie!

I would’ve also added “My Heart Belongs To You,” “Time & Place,” and then “You Got It” — only because Wendy Williams is at the beginning of the intro. Whew, look at far mama has gone.

Yeah, like why not “Feenin'” or anything I mentioned? B.o.B. may be the bae, but no one wants to hear a new Jodeci track with him on it. If there was any disappointing portion of the performance, it was that. The rest we just have show a little compassion for. We could’ve ended up with like JoJo, Mr. Dalvin without a leg, and Chris Brown and Trey Songz’s kid brother as stand-ins.

Celebrate what you can sometimes, beloveds.

 

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My initial reaction to TV Land’s decision to cut The Cosby Show from its lineup was mostly tied to the notion that Bill Cosby is not being afforded the same luxury as his white counterparts like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, who continue to see their films aired and celebrated even when we’re given detailed reminders of their sexual allegations. However, when it comes to Bill Cosby, it’s a bit more complicated than my knee-jerk reaction to the cable network’s decision suggests.

If you go on social media, you will see tweets like, “Remember..at one time Bill Cosby was about to buy the NBC network..a Black man with any kind of real POWER is not cool in America!!!!” Likewise, “They can’t never let a Black man be successful & respected by all at the same time….don’t try & dirty Bill Cosby’s name bruh.”

Then there outlets posing leading questions such as “We see Bill Cosby, a Black man, being accused by multiple white women of rape. Is he automatically guilty because of the racial layer?” Even some misguided white people have entered the fray, arguing that Cosby is being mistreated while white women like Lena Dunham are being let off the hook.

Some refuse to believe the ever-increasing number of women who have accused Bill Cosby of raping them due to the idea that this is nothing more than a concerted effort to bring an iconic Black man down. An iconic Black man who presented an image of a Black family that means so much to so many – exactly why the Black-focused networks like the BET-owned Centric and Magic Johnson-founded Aspirehave decided to keep airing episodes of The Cosby Show.

No one can deny the reality that Black people – even famous, wealthy ones – are often treated more harshly than white people. Nonetheless, these Bill Cosby apologists conveniently leave out the part that Bill Cosby has long been accused of raping women over the years and he’s only now really facing public backlash for it. So if this was truly about the media “just trying to assassinate another Black man character” as some have suggested, why did it take so long?

What’s happening to Bill Cosby now is not an affront on the Black man. This is a testament to how one powerful man can no longer flex his muscle to shut people up in an age where new media and social media drive the conversation in ways a 77-year-old celebrity is not used to. Sure, TV Land’s decision is harsh, but it will likely be reversed the same way networks have returned to airing episodes of 7thHeaven despite its show’s patriarch, played by actor Stephen Collins, confessing to child molestation.

This isn’t about racism so much as it is a lingering lassiez faire attitude many have about sexual assault. There is not enough sympathy in the world for victims of rape and there’s even less when the accused rapist is an entertainer. People will put their entertainment value ahead of a person’s humanity. It is why Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, and yes, Bill Cosby, have managed to amass fortunes for their art with only small blemishes to their legacies.

It is why R. Kelly continues to have a career despite the charges leveled against him. This is a man who has been accused of raping children for several years and has responded by being just as sexually explicit in his creative works than ever before. If we go by the logic that Bill Cosby’s current media narrative can be attributed to racial politics, than why is R. Kelly still relevant? As much as many of us love 12 Play, his contributions to culture are far less important that Bill Cosby and he doesn’t possess a fraction of the prestige Cosby has.

Read the rest at theGrio.

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