When “New Blacks” Show Their Behind

I said it yesterday that I would probably have to respond to some foolishness and like clockwork I was not disappointed. So last week Univision TV host Rodner Figueroa said that Michelle Obama looked like someone from the Planet of the Apes. Thankfully he was fired with a swiftness. I’m not even going to respond to his foolishness because I am not surprised. Just look at the television stations that target the Latino population in the United States alone, there are hardly if any dark skinned Afro-Latinos who claim that identity. As anyone who studies race in Latin American countries knows the whole mestizaje rhetoric of them being a mixed people is used but at the same time the societies are very anti-black (just look through my older posts on the topic). So I am not concerned about Mr.. Figueroa and his half-hearted apology trying to shift blame on the make up artist he was referring to, I am writing this post because of Miss Raven Symone who took it upon herself to defend him. *Insert WHAT? along with other sounds of confusion* Now I guess I should not be surprised this is the same Raven Symone who said she was not African American but American. So many would think that she got her life together after Black Twitter came for her (We forget that Oprah warned her before hand). She did after all say she never said she wasn’t black (sounds like back peddling to me).

But once again Raven showed how she wants to be a part of the “New Black” School of thought where apparently we stop telling the truth about racism in America.  This is the same Raven who not only became famous for staring in the best black family show on TV but after her ridiculous comments it seemed like she was a politician doing damage control with her black voter base as she stared as Olivia on FOX’s Empire and is going to visit the wonderful sitcom black-ish. When I saw her in Empire and heard about her going to black-ish, I was not impressed and I’m glad to because she once again showed her behind and naivete when it comes to race in America. She cannot claim one minute to not be African American and then accept roles that require her to be. She was born in the United States and her heritage is African American end of story. When she said that to me it read as a form of self hatred that she would deny that part of her identity in order to more easily assimilate to the racial state of America  which STILL views her as African American/Black and less than human.

Her new statement is just plainly a denial of reality. She said she did not think Figueroa’s “joke” as racist because people say she looks like a bird (Oh lord. Not only is this a gross simplification but it makes me wonder what Raven thinks about our First Lady and other black people in general). This is why we need to teach black history in all our schools because apparently Miss Symone missed the point that apes and monkeys are racialized images used to describe black people. That is why we had the blacklash (not a typo) against the New York Post  cartoon comparing President Obama to the chimpanzee shot by police officers in 2009 in Connecticut.There are also the lovely Ferguson emails where the President Obama was again compared to a chimpanzee. Raven’s statement is also deadly  because someone will believe that they are not racist because a black person validated their beliefs concerning Figueroa’s “joke.” Said person can then have some interaction with a black man/woman that turns negative to the point where this person “feels threatened”, shoots and kills the black person, then explain away their actions as not being racist. This nameless person would then go on to live while the black person is demonized in the media. So no Raven it was racist. I am so glad and proud of Rosie Perez who put Raven in her place so quick. As a Latina, she could have easily gone with the status quo that exists in her community and denied that racism played a role in the comment but she spoke the truth and called out the ugliness of racism that still exists in the Latino community here in the United States and abroad in Latin America and the Caribbean. I believe that when more lighter skinned Latinos start speaking out against racism in their community, that is the beginning of positive change. So kudos to Rosie and side eye to Raven. Someone get Raven and educate her because obviously her life as a child star prevented her from learning about the realities of how racism, race, and blackness function. I won’t hold my breath and I’ll probably need several thermoses of tea to get through whatever she says next. So to Raven this is what I have to say to you.

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6 thoughts on “When “New Blacks” Show Their Behind

  1. Rodner Figueroa is a racist bigot and he knows it! I don’t care if he apologized or not. And Raven is a self-hating confused negro! He really needs to sit her ass down somewhere. She is a fool for defending that racist punk! She should be ashamed of herself! I’m through with her!

  2. Raven Symone is not the smartest female out there… but we can’t deny that she has a bit of a point. she was right that some people do look like animals: but that does not mean that you can say this OUT LOUD on TELEVISION. as well seasoned as she is in this business, she should know by now that certain things are just not said, and how heavy backlashes can come from stupid comments.
    as for her “african american” comment earlier on, idk why this is still an issue. i have watched the video and as black american i get where she is coming from. i saw a quote once and it said “In this country, american is white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” but in reality, only black people have to hyphenate as “african american” even when they don’t identify with that culture. what about “jamaican americans” or “trinidadian americans” why must they take on the title “african american” when they have no ties to that culture besides the color of their skin. it like a while back when an activist, during the civil rights movement, suggested that black people should take pride in their “culture” and go back “home” to africa. yeah, and.. where exactly is “home”? Ethiopia? Nigeria? Gana? as much as people don’t want to admit it “america” has a culture of its own, and for a lot of people its the only culture they DO know. now because we have the same skin color you are going to tell me who i am and about my “culture”? which one? africa is a continent not a country. its not like the countries really even work together as a whole. oh wait, i get it. all africans are the same and their cultures are all the same also.
    i went off on a bit of a tangent there, but my point is: when did “black” become the bad word? people can say “its not a bad word!” and “black pride!” all they want, but we have to admit that the title of “african american” came from the hatred, and offence of the word “black”. By trying to be “politically correct” we have created new restrictions on ourselves on who can be and whose culture we claim.
    that is what i gathered from Raven’s comment. (before she “backtracked” according to the writer)
    i am not saying racism isn’t a thing anymore. there is too much proof that that is false. i am also not saying that there aren’t black people out there who hate themselves, or their culture. but not everything is a race issue. we have to be wise and look at things as they are. too many black people are ready to “search” for injustice, sometimes you find it, other times you don’t. we need to be man and woman enough to recognise when things are blown out of proportion, and when real issues need to be addressed. Raven Symone is not a real issue. she’s naive and lacks a lot of wisdom, but not an issue. sometimes people are not as eloquent as they need to be to get their thoughts across.

    1. We can definitely multi-task when it comes to issues pertaining to our community. Raven’s comments are problematic because someone will use what she said as an excuse to claim that they are not raacist when in fact they are. Also, you are right the term “African American” was created to be used instead of black but the term also does reflect a different historical significance. In my opinion when someone says they are African American they claim the heritage behind that word paying homage to their ancestors who were enslaved in the United States and faced racial discrimination within a US context. It can be argued that their is also a cultural component to African American identity. There are several books such as Jamees Sidbury’s Becoming African American that attempt to complicate this. One thing we do agree on is that Raven should not have said anything and because she did she opened herself up to this critique.

    2. I’m sorry sis,but Raven was wrong for that. You have to put things in the proper context. There is a history of whites calling black people apes,monkeys and gorillas. They have been calling us all types of animals for years. Raven should know better than that. And defending that racist comment was plain wrong. Black people are very confused about racism and how it works. I have noticed it a lot with blacks under the age of thirty. They believe the world is color-blind and “love has no color”. It’s all there to confuse you so you can’t fight the system of racism. Maybe everything isn’t a race issue. But it’s very hard to escape race in a country founded on slavery,murder,rape and colonization. Here’s a little breakdown for you.
      Why is it called “Racism/White Supremacy?”

      A: Because this describes exactly WHO is practicing racism. For one group to practice racism that group must have MORE POWER than another group. Since whites control ALL the major areas of human activity in America — housing, education, health, entertainment, economics, politics, law, and religion — it is accurate to define all “racism” as “white supremacy.” We must be accurate so the victims of racism do not become confused.

      Q: Isn’t all racism the same, regardless of who is practicing it?

      A: There is only ONE kind of racism: white supremacy. White people are the only group in America with the POWER to discriminate (deprive or punish other ethnic groups), and the systems and institutions to maintain the imbalance of power.

      For example, rich people are more powerful than poor people. Rich people have the POWER to discriminate against poor people by depriving them of income, promotions, jobs, housing, land, justice, and any other rights – if they choose to do so.

      In America, whites have the POWER to discriminate against blacks (and other non-whites) by depriving them of income, promotions, jobs, housing, land, justice, and any other rights – if they choose to do so. It doesn’t matter that some whites are poorer than some blacks.

      In all things and in all places in America, whites are collectively more powerful than blacks are collectively. This imbalance of (white) power creates the opportunity and the ability to practice racism against non-whites. Racism is not empty rhetoric (words) or mindless emotion. Racism is economic, political, institutional, and systematic POWER. Since whites control all the institutions and systems of power in America, only whites have the power to practice racism.

      Q: Why are people referred to as “groups” instead of “races?”

      A: Because there is ONLY ONE RACE: the white race. To prove this statement, let’s look at the TRUE meaning of “race.” In ancient civilizations tens of thousands of years ago (before Europeans inhabited the planet), the world’s people identified themselves by bloodline, birthplace, and culture – but NEVER by the artificial construct (concept) of “race.”

      What is the “black race” in real terms? It does NOT describe the place where black people were born because there is no such place as “black land,” (or red, yellow, brown, or white land). Race does not describe a person’s religion because there is no such thing as a black, red, brown, yellow, or white religion.

      Race does not describe a person’s culture (except in false, stereotypical terms), and it does NOT define biology, ethnicity, or nationality. Race does not describe skin color because the so-called “black race” includes people whose complexions range from the palest pink to the purest blue-black. Therefore, “race” is a false, man-made concept.

      Q: If “race” is a false concept, why was it created?

      A: Race was created for ONLY one purpose: to practice race-ism (racism). To practice “racism,” whites had to separate themselves from other groups of people by artificially creating different “races.”
      I hope this explains things a little better. We are all a bit confused in this racist system. Let’s help each other be a little less confused. Thanks.

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