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I am relatively immune to the irrationality and overly idiocies harbored by white racists. So, I was not at all surprised when some white people expressed anger at Beyoncé over the video for her latest single, “Formation.” It is a song that celebrates Black hair, big, Black noses, and invokes powerful imagery that directly challenges the racism that has spurred the unnecessary deaths of so many Black men, women, and children. It was a #PeakBlackness moment that captivated people of all races for good and bad reasons. All Beyoncé did was celebrate her community and command the respect we deserve. Of course, that would frustrate a racist who might not understand white supremacy and institutionalized racism, but is nonetheless conditioned to think anything that does not place whiteness as center is worthy of their indignation.

That is to be expected, but so is the failure of some Black men to see a Black woman revel in her autonomy.

Mere minutes after “Formation” debuted, some Black men expressed frustration under this false notion that Beyoncé is being championed for celebrating blackness in a way that the likes of Kendrick Lamar is not — particularly, Lamar’s latest album, To Pimp a Butterfly, and the track, “The Blacker The Berry.” Again, this does not surprise me either, but it stings more, because I hate to see Black men essentially repeat the mistakes of their oppressors.

Because these majorly straight Black men don’t see themselves and their point of view as center, they want to diminish its value.

First, to compare “The Blacker The Berry” to the “Formation” video is another glowing example of how in many cases, men can do the minimum and command maximum rewards — especially when they feel like a woman is getting the kudos they feel entitled to.

“The Blacker The Berry” is a celebration of a particular strain of blackness. Yes, Lamar references his dark skin, nappy hair, big nose, and big d–k and challenges white supremacy, but then he takes a pathological turn towards the end as he raps: “So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street, when gang banging make me kill a n—- blacker than me? Hypocrite!”

This is not hypocrisy. This is not Lamar’s man in the mirror moment. This is not a call to arms for the Black community. This is black pathology and a superficial statement pretending to be something substantive.

In an interview with, Billboard, when asked about recent high-profile incidents of race-motivated police brutality, Lamar said:

“I wish somebody would look in our neighborhood knowing that it’s already a situation, mentally, where it’s fucked up. What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting — it starts from within.”

I rarely agree with Azealia Banks, but I absolutely agreed with her when she tweeted: “HOW DARE YOU open ur face to a white publication and tell them that we don’t respect ourselves…. Speak for your fucking self.”

I also concur with: “‘When we don’t respect ourselves how can we expect them to respect us’ dumbest shit I’ve ever heard a black man say.”

All Lamar did was repeat an uninformed fable about black on black crime and conflate it with state sanctioned violence. Meanwhile, according to the US Department of Justice statistics, 84 percent of white people killed every year are killed by other whites. Moreover, in 2011 there were actually more cases of whites killing whites than blacks killing blacks. And as Kerry Codett noted at the Huffington Post, “Between 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang-related murders were committed by white people, with a majority of the homicide victims being white as well.”

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates once noted: “People tend to kill the people they live around. Black people are among the most hyper-segregated group in the country. The fact that black killers tend to kill other black people is not refutation of American racism, but the ultimate statement of American racism.”

Regardless of how one feels about Lamar’s statement, it is absolutely nothing like “Formation.” What Beyoncé did in that video was celebrate blackness in so many of its variances.

You heard the voice of the late Messy Mya; you heard Big Freedia; you saw Black southern people of varying classes; you saw Black women of various shapes and shades, all equally confident on camera.

This is Southern Black culture. This is Texas. This is Louisiana. This is Southern Black rap. This is a celebration of Black womanhood. This is the inclusion of Black queer culture. This is country ass Blacks folks being their amazing country Black selves.

That video presents a fuller package of Blackness than what Lamar offered, which is essentially references to his nose and d–k while asking, “What about black-on-black crime?” This is a celebration of non-Black straight men that you rarely see from hip-hop artists — including those like him.

Read the rest at VH1.

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The lesson for how to live your best life is buried in an SWV album deep cut.

On the track “Give It to Me” from the R&B trio’s first album, It’s About Time, Coko sings:

“I’m a type of girl with class But, you never know what you can get ‘Till you go and ask for it I was shy, but now I finally see All you have to do is (just ask) For anything you want (It’s yours) you get right to the point (If love) is what you really need, don’t be shy Just say, ‘Boy give it to me…right now’”

This song is essentially about requesting dick without fear, but the verse can apply to any other obstacle one might face. I listen to this song regularly. The same goes for the rest of SWV’s catalog.

As the group celebrates the release of its latest album, Still, I increasingly think about how SWV don’t get their just due. The term “underrated” has been abused to death, but there are certain things about SWV that do often go unrecognized—namely how sex positive their music has been through the years.

TLC has always been praised for being socially aware and frank about sex in music, particularly in Left Eye making the promotion of condoms a central part of her look at the start of their career. Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown have long been honored (and in some cases criticized) for their embracement of sexuality in their work. Even Adina Howard has a documentary that speaks to sexual liberation.

I salute them all, and you will never get me to speak ill of “T-Shirt and Panties,” but one of the best songs about oral sex, “Downtown,” came from SWV. This doesn’t even include its multiple remixes—the Wet Remix, the Jazzy Radio Mix, the Street Radio Mix—that each best the original. No one has ever been that convincing about the consumption of vagina in song. Give these women the respect they deserve.

So much of the songs from their debut album were tied to women being in control of their sexuality i.e. “Anything,” “It’s About Time,” and “Blak Pudd’n.” Already, I’m sure some would greet this claim with noting that most of these songs were penned by their main collaborator at the time, Brian Alexander Morgan. That hasn’t stopped other women from getting credit for work that might’ve been penned by men, though. This includes the aforementioned artists in addition to groups like Salt-N-Pepa, who didn’t pen a lot of their classic songs that are strong and urgent in their sexual agency.

Nevertheless, even after Morgan stopped working with the group, two of the members—Coko and Taj—started writing their own lyrics and the tone didn’t change. If anything, they were even more aggressive in their songs going forward.

Look no further than one of my favorite songs from the group, “You’re the One,” which is now 20 years old and one of the finest contributions to a sub genre of the R&B tradition: fucking your man music.

Read the rest at Complex.

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When it comes to Bill Cosby’s legacy—or in this case, preserving what’s left—it would be in his best interest to die.

The sooner, the better, for the legendary comedian whose formally pristine public image crumbled after more than 50 women accused him of sexual assault. Death wouldn’t heal the fatal wound to Cosby’s pioneering career, but it would stop the bleeding. It would force us to focus on what Cosby has already given us an entertainer, rather than speculate what lies in his future.

But Cosby is still alive, which means we must continue to grapple with how to view him, and eventually, remember him.

  1. Kelly—another controversial public figure who was accused of sexual offenses against minors—recently commented on this conflict between Cosby’s contributions to culture and his alleged misconduct.

The singer told GQ in an interview that when his kids were born, “I was Bill Cosby in the house. You know, the good one. You know, let’s be clear there: how we saw Bill Cosby when we were coming up.” Kelly was referring to Cosby as “America’s Dad” and, for many of a certain age, the standard for what fatherhood should look like.

Unsurprisingly, when asked about the allegations against Cosby, he argued:

Well, my opinion on that is, I don’t know what happened. I’m a fan of Bill Cosby’s from the Bill Cosby show, of course—who’s not?—and for me to give my opinion on something that I have no idea if it’s true or not, all I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there’s something strange about it. That’s my opinion. It’s just strange.

Kelly’s defense of Cosby and the fact that he cited him as a shining example of fatherhood attests to The Cosby Show‘s ongoing impact on generations of TV viewers, both black and white.

Whatever happens to Cosby, he will always be the first black actor to star in a TV drama, 1965’s I Spy. Many continue to watch 1972’s animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids​ with fondness. Likewise, 1984’s The Cosby Show was a pioneering sitcom that portrayed black people in ways the world had never seen before. Heathcliff Huxtable is a great dad, no matter who Bill Cosby may be in real life.

The same can be said for his standup concert film Bill Cosby: Himself, which I stumbled upon as a child, while rummaging through my parents’ VHS collection. Cosby will always be one of the greatest comedians of all time, and there’s a reason why so many other great comedians have spoken so highly of him in the past.

The millions of dollars that he’s given to charity and educational institutions over the decades have helped many black men and women pursue higher learning. The allegations against Cosby also shouldn’t take away from what he did to promote the importance of black art and artists.

Even before the accusations surfaced, I wrestled with what Cosby meant to me. As a black man from a lower-income background, I was angered by his “Conversation with Cosby” speeches of the early 2000s, in which he admonished African-Americans for not “holding up their end of the deal.” I knew then he was not what he claimed to be. Cosby only seemed to like black people of a certain stature; if you didn’t embody his idea of what a black person should be, he didn’t respect you. That’s not the kind of black pride to which I ascribe.

Unfortunately for Cosby, he can no longer control the narrative in an age where social media plays a large part in shaping the news—including his own story, which was actually buried a decade ago. Those who continue to defend him despite gaping logical holes are a testament to troubling patterns in society—including the acceptance of rape culture and celebration of celebrity culture—but mostly, they speak to people’s strong attachment to Cosby and his storied career.

Read the rest at NTRSCTN.

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I was never shielded from anti-black racism, its overt ugliness, its subtle nastiness, its shared intention to make me feel small. Yet, I was cautioned to never allow someone else to define how I felt about myself. In essence, to the white people reading this, I was not raised to care all that much about what you thought of my black ass.

It is a lesson that has stayed with me for my entire life. It is a value instilled in me that has done wonders for my psyche as a black man living in a nation majorly shaped through the lens of white supremacy and governed largely in the practice of institutionalized racism. Knowing there is an ingrained prejudice in society does not make me feel inferior by default nor does it compel me to center whiteness. That is why when it comes to one lingering strain of critique related to “preference,” I find myself frustrated.
In recent months, I have read articles featuring black men complaining about white men on apps like Grindr and Tinder rejecting them. Articles of this nature have been in rotation for some time now. The same goes for white men who claim that their preference to not date black men does not make them racist by default. Moreover, like many minority gay men, I was told about the video in which gay men reacted to racist Grindr profiles.

I understand the frustration. I get that this is a longstanding issue. I know that people should make sure bigots know they cannot cower behind the false pretense of preference. I even accept that preference does not necessarily equate prejudice in some cases.

Nevertheless, I am so sick of reading and watching black men complain about white men not wanting them sexually.

When it comes to tackling the relationships between gay black men and gay white men, to only discuss in the context of sexual attraction is insulting to both and can often have damaging consequences in the narrative. Last fall, The Advocate published a piece titled “Is Gay Dating Racism Creating a Black HIV Crisis?” To his credit, author Daniel Reynolds did ultimately speak to someone from the CDC who denotes other factors play a larger role.

However, why even center the black male HIV crisis on the affections of white men? Especially when you factor in that in December 2013, the New York Times published a report, “Poor Black and Hispanic Men Are the Face of H.I.V.” which examined factors behind higher HIV rates among poorer Black and Latino men. In it, they detail how the failure of health organizations to reach both groups are largely responsible for our higher rates. We are less likely to take drugs before having sex and no more likely to engage in risky behavior, but we do have less access than our white counterparts.

Working within a smaller pool can be problematic, but the issue of racism and how it burdens black men ought to be more focused on institutional issues (poverty, mass incarceration, lack of access to education, health services, etc.) than these hollowed conversations flooding my social media feeds every couple of months. Why be so focused on the “preferences” of an idiot? Why continue to make whiteness the center of world and perpetuate this notion that we have to belong?

Read the rest at NewNowNext.

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NeNe Leakes returned to The Real Housewives of Atlanta exactly how I expected her to. With audaciousness: “Yes, bitches. I am back.” With bravado: “The Queen is back.” With contempt for the cast mates that she never truly meshed with: “I can see Kandi face now: face stuck.”

With additional disdain for whoever might else not fancy her: “Pick your faces off the floor. She’s back.” Still, one wonders why did she choose to return?

Last June, when she announced that she would not return for the show’s eighth season, she told People: “This was definitely a hard decision for me. Me and my husband have been going back and forth on it for weeks now. But my contract is up and I just think this is the right time. This is my opportunity to spread my wings and do different things.”

A month after that announcement, she was already rumored to remain on the show in some capacity. Four months after it, she was confirmed to be shooting with the ladies who round out the cast. All that thinking and eight weeks later, it’s, “Oh, well, never mind. I’m back.”

One assumes Leakes was offered a lot of money to go back, but it’s not like she didn’t have other things going on. She recently she ended her four-week run in the Broadway production of Chicago as Matron “Mama” Morton. This marked the second time she’s starred in a musical following her role in Cinderella. Leakes has also signed on to join the E! Network show Fashion Police.

Immediately after announcing that she would be leaving the reality franchise that made her a breakout star, it was reported that she would join Betty White andBlack-ish actor Anderson Anderson on a reboot of the 1960s game show To Tell The Truth.

She’s not Bethenny Frankel, who went back to The Real Housewives of New York after her talk show tanked. Leakes made it all too clear that she didn’t necessarily need The Real Housewives of Atlanta anymore. Everything she’s done since leaving the show proved that point. For someone who made a big deal about leaving the show, and for quite some time, expressed exasperation with the show that made her popular, it’s interesting to see her back already. She didn’t give much time for us to miss her.

That said, while I’m not so sure Leakes needed to be back on the show this soon, the show definitely needs her. When NeNe Leakes decided she was ready to leave, my immediate reaction was, “Bye, girl.” Now I’m finding myself saying “Thank God.”

I’ve always felt with these kind of shows, most folks are replaceable. However, while this season of RHOA hasn’t been a complete dud, there are some obvious problems here. One, the addition of Kim Fields has not done wonders. Yes, she offers balance to the ridiculousness of the other women, but she only talks about her children and her husband to the point that she bursts into tears at the sight of her cast mates having fun at a day party. Social anxiety is not that entertaining.

Then there is the matter of Kenya Moore, who I used to think was doing performance art and paying tribute to Valerie Cherish from HBO’s The Comeback. Unfortunately, Kenya is just being a pity week after week as she recycles past women’s storylines. Don’t believe me? Let’s run it down: a song, a fitness video, and now, a new home. I’m surprised she didn’t go out and buy new TV just to compete with NeNe.

Read the rest at VH1.

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I nearly choked to death at the Game’s grand display of hypocrisy on Instagram.

The rapper-turned-reality-star and virtual dick tease posted a graphic of an exceptionally large black man placing a crown on the mane of a rather demure-looking black woman. The image reminded me of one of those pictures I see for sale on 125th Street alongside images of the Obamas having dinner with Jesus, Malcolm X, and Tupac Shakur. The gender politics in that JJ Evans School of Art piece are astoundingly stupid.

The Game’s caption reminded me of typical dumb shit I read from men on social media, making it even worse.

He wrote: “In a world full of insta-famous, 1/2 clothed, airbrush your skin app using, duck lip doing, poke my but out, find the right angle, selfie taking for attention, club hosting for scraps, 500k followers with no morals having women, you’re lucky if you find her…. & if you do, crown her… for she is YOUR QUEEN. One time for the working class women, the single mothers grinding that 9-5 as well as the future, doctors, lawyers, teachers etc… who value their self worth & just finished finals & are glad to finally be on Christmas break cause they worked so hard this semester to get closer to achieving their dreams….. This ones for you”

Then there was the exceptionally long hashtag that took shots at women who sell waist trainers, “detox” tea, and teeth whiteners.

This is hilarious for numerous reasons. One, he upholds a certain type of woman over another in this post, but in his music, it’s very clear his misogyny reduces women majorly to sexual objects. Two, when he talks about women who shill products like waist trainers, he’s talking about a very specific segment of the population: reality stars, or if you’re the Game, co-workers. Three, and most important, this man has been showing his dick print via Instagram i.e. the male equivalent of the poke-my-butt-out girls he’s trying to condemn on Instagram.

He did this for the same reason other people put up suggestive pictures: attention. Such is everyone’s right, but the problem is no one who puts their erect dick on the Internet has room to talk about anyone else doing the same thing. It’s why black women who saw the Game’s clear intent leveled the same sort of regal-theme criticism at him after the first picture surfaced.

Unfortunately, the Game is not the only famous man who has engaged in similar antics. Equally regrettable is each of those men also escaped the sort of criticism their female counterparts are met with upon any display of sexuality.

There was B.o.B, who this time last year began the “#EggplantFriday” craze. Not long after did Cash Out follow suit. And Chris Brown. And Trey Songz, though he’s been on that wave for quite some time. And more recently, Usher.

Read the rest at Complex.

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In an interview with The Advocate, Tina Fey was asked about what is arguably the brightest spot of Netflix’s very funny show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Titus Andromedon, played by Tituss Burgess. It was noted that some have criticized the Titus character as a “gay stereotype” and Fey was questioned as to whether or not an effeminate gay male character can ever exist on television without controversy. In response, Fey argued, “I know people like Titus. If a person exists, it’s fair game.”

Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. My first memory of gay black men on television was the “Men on Film” segment on In Living Color. While many chuckled at the overly effeminate Blaine Edwards (played by Damon Wayans) and Antoine Merriweather (played by David Allen Grier), I was horrified. As a child who knew he liked boys in the way most of the other boys felt about girls, their caricature-like depictions made for a bad introduction into what gay life meant.

And while gay white men have since enjoyed more nuanced depictions of what it means to be a gay man, it’s still fairly new terrain for gay black men. There are more facets to gay black characters like Jamal Lyons on Empire or Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Captain Ray Holt, but these are very recent additions to the landscape. That said, to Fey’s point, what makes Titus’ character different than Blaine, Antoine, and all of the stereotypically gay black characters of yore is that a gay black man is actually behind the character, thus able to add nuance and depth.

Yes, if a person exists, theoretically “it’s fair game.” But the game would be much fairer if the person you know truly exists gets to be as multi-dimensional as the white woman who created him on paper. Fey and Burgess have done well, but I’m not at a point where I can trust scripted television to correctly portray an effeminate gay male character—and to a degree, any gay black character—particularly if the person penning the character is writing an experience they don’t know anything about.

Thankfully, there have been other depictions of gay black men on television upending the status quo in a veritable way.

Consider the now-cancelled Bravo series Fashion Queens. Initially, many compared the show’s gay black male co-hosts, Derek J and Miss Lawrence, to Blaine and Antoine. All parties involved challenged such association.

When asked about gay stereotypes, co-host Bevy Smith said: “Here’s the thing about the gay stereotype conversation: I understand what people are saying and they have a right to the way they feel, but my thing is that if the boys all of a sudden ‘butched up’ or changed direction in who they are comfortable being, then that would be much more horrible than people being uncomfortable, because the boys are fashion flexible and have a bit of androgyny about themselves.”

Smith went on to note that the two “have a right to dress the way they want to, speak the way they want to.”

At the time, I was one of the people who questioned the co-hosts, but Smith’s remarks challenged me and pushed me to evolve my stance. They were simply being themselves on the show. Who was I to condemn them, just because I don’t see enough of who I believe I am on television?

As Miss Lawrence told Out, “The fact that, just me living in my authentic truth and being who I am, even if one person tells me that because of you I was able to find my inner being and adapt to who I was placed here to be, that does a whole lot for me. So, that within itself is the pro for me.”

And since that show there have been others.

I know of gay black men who heard of Oxygen’s The Prancing Elites Project and quickly dismissed it. They missed out. The show, which will soon premiere its second season, focuses on five gender-bending black men who simply want to do their style of dancing, J-Setting, without ridicule in their native Mobile, Alabama. What I appreciate about the show is that it allows them to simply be who they are. They’re not on a mission to uplift any particular image of gay black men; they’re just themselves, which, in its own way, is revolutionary enough.

Read the rest at Fusion.

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I refuse to relinquish my dedication to the text message.

In recent months, I’ve come across relatives, friends and men I have dated who seem to have issues with texting – or more pointedly, returning a message I sent. “I don’t like to text,” they tell me, or, “You write too much.” Heaven forbid I don’t stop at “WYD. HRU.” For those who actually enjoy typing words out in full, this would be, “What are you doing?” and “How are you?”. Both of these abbreviations are disgusting, for the record.

If you’re kin I barely speak to outside of holidays or old classmates who I sometimes forget are still alive (listen, adulthood is stressful), by all means ping me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever other social media service I am ignoring but likely signed up for. I like that social media brings many people who otherwise would never connect together.

But I increasingly loathe that it gives people a false sense of intimacy. As in, just because you see whatever I choose to share on social media doesn’t mean you know me. Likewise, you responding to something I put on the internet is not anything close to hitting me back on words said directly to you – it’s ignoring me. No one wants to feel ignored and the fact that I now can visibly see what you are doing on social media in real time as you ignore me is infuriating.

So if you’re a close friend or, even more importantly, a person I am dating, I will not bend on this. Respond to my text. I repeat: respond to my text.

I don’t understand why this task is difficult for people. After all, you’re on your phone either way. The way you can scroll through every social media app you’ve downloaded is the same way you can look to “messages” on your phone, read said messages and you know, respond to them. Why is this a challenge? Spoiler: it’s not.

Read the rest at The Guardian.

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In terms of music, most speak of the ’90s, ’80s, and the ’70s with great reverence. That is not the case for the 2000’s thus far as many describe the decade as “some ole bulls–t” or some variation of the sentiment. It was a decade of great disruption – hello, illegal downloading – but it was not a total loss. There were some good moments here and there. Hello, Beyoncé’s solo career. Even so, it feels like decade full of one L after another. Here are my grievances. Feel free to add on.

Ciara and Ludacris should have made an album together.

Before I go on, do me a solid and stop booing and hissing at me. Hear me out, why don’t you? Recently, I was at the gym dancing inappropriately to Ciara’s “High Price” featuring Ludacris when it hit me that these two have amazing chemistry. See also “Ride” and “Oh.” Ludacris is out here looking like LL Cool J Jr. with Lionel Richie’s face. Meanwhile, Ciara is the Black Kardashian, and no, that’s not a compliment. These two have past their peaks in music, but I do wish they would worked together and become the sweet tea and chicken biscuits version of Ashanti and Ja Rule.

We would have protected Britney Spears better.

I get emotional when I think about this, but it’s a shame that no one made sure Britney Spears was safe and stretched on the set of the “Outrageous” video with Snoop Dogg. This is when she hurt her knee, which was when her rhythm went missing; when she linked with K-Fed; when the brilliance of Blackout was overshadowed by her seemingly disconnection from planet Earth. God, it hurts just to write about it. I LOVE YOU, BRITNEY.

The girl group would not have died.

With all due respect to Fifth Harmony, not enough people care, though that’s not their fault. Of course, the early 2000’s had a wave of girl groups – well, majorly Destiny’s Child, but you get it – but after that, the girl group became a bit of a relic. As someone who obsessed over SWV, Xscape, En Vogue, Kut Klose, The Spice Girls, and knew of those who worshipped at the altar of TLC and other girl bands, it’s a shame that we collectively let the girl group enter “throwback Thursday” terrain.

I speak for many when I say the world – and Capitol Records specifically – owes Cherish a huge apology.

Read the rest at VH1.

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There are two quotes I cling to when it comes to responding to questionable commentary from members of my community. Of course, there is Zora Neale Hurston’s notorious declaration, “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.” There is also my favorite auntie—and, more than likely, yours, too—who always throws out a “This n–ga here” when stupidity greets her. No matter your preferred phrasing, both sentiments perfectly encapsulate the wave of famous black people saying absolutely stupid things about race and racism.

The most recent examples include the likes of Raven-Symoné, Anthony Mackie, Don Lemon and Stacey Dash. There is also Jill Scott, circa the initial defense of Bill Cosby. Cosby himself, around the time he was telling black boys to pull up their pants and arguing that stolen packaged-dessert treats from the corner store warrant certain death. Or even LL Cool J, if you recall the god-awful “Accidental Racist.”

There have always been some famous fools, but the Internet has made many of us all too aware of that fact—day after day, if not hour after hour. That makes it more infuriating, more painful and more depressing. There are, however, levels of grievance and whether the comments justifies the offender’s banishment to the Island of Wayward Negroes.

I’m here to help you deal with the stages of grief. Consider it self-care. Besides, we all know there will only be more. You’re welcome.

1. Don’t panic.

Yes, your favorite fame-having Negro might have said something that made your black skin flinch like it just got hit with hot pork-chop grease, but settle down. Ask yourself, is it a one-time offense? Like when Phylicia Rashad gave an interview about the then-smaller pool of women accusing Cosby of rape and dismissed them by saying, “Forget these women.”

Yes, it was bad. It was an insensitive and arguably callous retort to Cosby’s accusers, and you would expect a nice girl from Houston who matriculated at Howard to know better. But everyone makes mistakes. It doesn’t excuse the error, but with more than 50 women now accusing Cosby, I highly doubt that the artist formerly known as Mrs. Huxtable would frame her sentiments in such fashion again. So it’s OK to forgive, but never forget. Now, if she continued to talk that talk, then we would have to move on to step 2.

2. Accept the truth that’s two-stepping in front of you.

Sometimes in life we have to come to grips with the reality that a black public figure is prone to damn-fool syndrome—say, a Dash, a Raven-Symoné, a Lemon. These types will either truly believe their uninformed, poorly thought out and nuance-lacking statements or will merely just continue making contrarian statements, if for no other reason than to garner attention.

The same way you know that one of your cousins can never come to your house because that sumbitch steals is the same way you have to learn to minimize your expectations that this sect of black folks might say anything that doesn’t make you want to throw a black power Afro pick at them. And trust me, I’ve been there. It takes time, but the sooner you make peace, the better off you’ll be.

3. Figure out your limits.

As in, after discovering how Dash feels about gender and race, ask yourself, “Do I want to spend money on whatever movie she’s doing that’s heading to Redbox?” For me the answer is an emphatic “Hell no.” The same applies to watching Lemon’s CNN telecasts on purpose. At this point, you know what you’re getting with these people; thus you have to adjust accordingly.

Read the rest at The Root.

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