MFs STILL don’t love us. The question now becomes will they ever? I know that with murders of black citizens seemingly occurring every day, the current crisis in Flint, Michigan, and just the general fuckery going on the answer is looking more and more like no. So if we have so many issues, why in the world is Jada Pinkett Smith talking about the Oscars? Does she not care about other issues? Is she trying to distract us from the real issues? (I don’t know about you, but I can talk about more than one thing. This blog is proof of that) Or is she really just mad that Will got snubbed? I have my feelings on each of these questions, but whatever the answer, what she said needs to be talked about, cuz apparently everyone didn't get it last time.
Jada said we have to create our own…I’m assuming she meant our own everything. Schools, Businesses, images, all that jazz. As you can see, however, we already have that. We've had the NAACP Image Awards, the Trumpet Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Awards, BET Honors, Black Girls Rock, Essence Women in Hollywood, etc. for YEARS, why does it take the "mainstream" denying us for us to remember them? We can't be like "Oh boo hoo the Grammys/Oscars/whatever snubbed me! Well I'm coming home Black people!". You gotta love yourself (first) or nobody else will. We have to support the Black-centered establishments ALL THE TIME, not just when we're mad at the mainstream ones. We see it happen all the time. When an artist gets big and they feel they don't have to play the "chitlin circuit" anymore until mainstream reminds them that they are not who they think they are. I'm not exactly saying that Jada and Will did that, but it is interesting how much we love ourselves ONLY when others hate us.
We also can't allow people to convince us that this is a "distraction". We HAVE to talk about representation and we HAVE to fight against oppression on all fronts. Everybody has a role to play; from the people on the streets to the people in the boardrooms. Look at it this way: do you know Doc McStuffins? If you do it's probably because of how popular it is and because it is everywhere from toys to commercials teaching little non-white girls (and boys) that they can be doctors. You know why that is? Because people (award shows, critics, reviewers) have deemed it good. They campaigned for it to get recognition and advertised it so that it would be popular. So what would happen if it wasn’t popular and well received? What happens if no one gets this show accolades (from white establishments or Black ones)? It is no longer popular and it goes off the air. Without it on the air little black girls (and boys) no longer have that representation of themselves, which could lead to less of them wanting to be doctors. Without Black doctors you have less doctors who know the Black community and are dedicated to the Black community, and who want to help the Black community. What happens then? Oh I don’t know, maybe then people like those in Flint don't have doctors willing to help people that the government doesn't care about. And if they don't love us, somebody has to. Besides, wouldn’t you rather build where you are wanted rather than be in a well established place that hates you?
Now I know what some of you are already arguing with me. “But Marcus, people toiled for years for us to get Oscars! People DIED for us to get into white schools and businesses! How dare we not want them!” But see there’s a difference there. These people gave of themselves for the OPPORTUNITY for us to do these things. Just because the opportunity is there doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. People died for you to vote, but voting for Donald Trump might not be the smartest idea. We have to realize that just because we can do certain things thanks to our Ancestors, doesn’t always mean we should. I’m pretty sure that many of them, if they saw how some of these people treat us when we get to their establishments, would either be like “Fuck this” or would force us to shake the table while we’re there. Now of course, you don’t have to shake the table (not everyone is an activist or even wants to be free), but by all means if you not gone do the work or help the cause SHUT UP ABOUT IT. I’m looking at you Stacey Dash and Anthony Mackie.
The bottom line is that regardless of what these two fools or even the fools who say this “isn’t a real issue” have to say; this IS a fight to be fought. We can support and build ourselves without the Oscars if we try. Think about this practically: if we watched, praised and attended Black-centered awards shows it wouldn't take long for them to be as prestigious as we think the Grammys and Oscars are. If we can build these establishments up it won't even matter when these others ignore us. If we get out of this "The white folks gotta LOVE me for me to REALLY make it!" mentality, it won't matter if the MFs love us or not. Sooner or later they're gonna be BEGGING for us because we no longer beg for them. It's like Taraji said: “We are ALWAYS enough.” and its high time we allowed ourselves to be enough.
How do YOU think we can allow ourselves to be enough? Is there some value to fighting for inclusion? Leave your questions, comments, and concerns below and don't forget to like, share, and subscribe!