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May 2013

The Predictable Cycle of White Liberal “Humor” At Black Women’s Expense

The Onion and other “liberal” White comedians (see @scATX's comment on "The Bill Maher syndrome") love to engage in “isms” in their humor and expect not to be called out on it because they are, well “liberals.” They want feminists and other progressives to ONLY focus on Conservatives as “racists.” At this point, I am tired of the cycle below, which seems to be a recurring cycle.

White men with White male privilege + platform/money/power insult Black woman → the world laughs Black women, womanist/feminist or not and true allies pushback anyone who doesn’t like the “joke” is called stupid, obtuse, and/or has their tone policed → prominent White feminists defend insults → Black women, womanist/feminist or not and true allies pushback White feminists engage in White Tearsa handful of Black people defend the attacks as well so that they can feel “powerful” and identify with the aggressor or because of internalized racism plus misogynoir→ a handful of Black men somehow blame Black women for the insult because we aren’t “submissive” enough or team up with White feminists against Black women division among those who identify as feminist or not continues

The fact that White women are scrambling to defend The Onion, again, for their disgusting recent attack on Rihanna, after so many did the same for the attack on Quvenzhané is BORING, PREDICTABLE and ANNOYING. A few White feminists are not doing that, including @Shakestweetz who has a great post: The Onion Can Go To Hell.

It’s troubling to see the hypocrisy involved because when Donald Trump rationalized rape of women (read: White women, despite the fact that 30%+ of women in the armed forces are Black women) in the military, many White feminists were outraged on Twitter. Why is it wrong for Trump to rationalize rape but okay for The Onion to mock Rihanna as a victim of domestic violence just to make some “point” about Chris Brown? (Some White women are very invested in painting Chris Brown as the only example of domestic violence.) Further, how is it that White male celebrities who engage in similar behavior or their White female victims are not used as satire points by The Onion? White supremacy and casual racism to justify it; White privilege to pretend it is not happening.

I do not applaud ANY man who engages in violence or violence apologism; it’s not “extra” bad if the man is Black, as that would be internalized racism on my part if I thought so.

When you represent a position of power (White, male, money, platform, media) and you use that power to facilitate the disenfranchisement of people already disenfranchised (and let’s be clear, even with beauty, light skin, cis, heterosexual and class privilege, NONE of that protects Rihanna from patriarchal masculinity, sexism, misogynoir or racism) then you aren’t funny, you aren’t progressive, you aren’t creative. You are simply a part of the machine—the propaganda, systems, structures and institutions that facilitate oppression in this society.

The Onion should check with Black Twitter on how to do satire. #whitehistoryclasses and #blackprivilege are a start.

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