At the beginning of February, I wrote a blog about Black history month that got featured on The View. Most people took it for what it was and had a good laugh. Other people took it as an opportunity to post some of the most racist comments I've ever read. A few days ago the episode aired again and SURE ENOUGH I got more racist comments on the blog. This time I just deleted them, I didn't have time for that shit. Spongebob was on.
Clearly, I'm no stranger to online racism. My songs play in tv shows, commercials, and videogames and I use social media to talk to people who like my music, I literally spend 50% of my life on the internet. Surprisingly, so do bigots. That is why I sympathized when I read the blog that Awkward Black Girl creator Issa Rae wrote on xojane.com entitled People on the internet can be hella racist.
In a very polite and objective way, Issa explained that she recently "beat out 783 other web series to win the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show." What happened next was beyond player-hating. As expected, the racist remarks began hurling through the Twittersphere, because...ya know...whenever someone online wants to piss you off they say something racist, as if they think that YOU THINK that belonging to your race is a bad thing.
The part that amazed me the most was summarized in this sentence: "Because, really, it takes sour grape-sized balls to start a trending topic (#ThingsBetterThanAwkwardBlackGirl) about a show you haven't seen." Wasn't it already bad enough that she got assaulted with a barrage of insults from people she didn't know?
A screen grab of Tweets sent to Issa Rae, see the rest here.
If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know that I HAD TO do some digging before I formed an opinion about this. I mean, yes, I can relate to Issa Rae's plight as a black girl in the entertainment industry, it isn't an easy road. Still, I had to see for myself it it was actually as bad as she claimed. As it turns out, Issa was actually understating the severity of the situation. Wanna know the funniest part about all of this? The most vocal person in this assault against Awkward Black Girl was a guy who lost the competition to Issa Rae. Can you say "bitchassed??????"
This is the way I envision it went down:
And this is just a sample of what came next....
As a young lady who aspires to have a bright future in broadcast television and film, Issa Rae understands that she has to behave in a calm and rational manner and remain positive in the face of all of this blatant racism and disrespect.
But I'm a recording artist. I don't have to behave.
So...that's the way you guys wanna play it, huh? When a black person pisses you off then it's "Trayvon, Trayvon, Trayvon, Trayvon, Trayvon!" or "Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama!"
Right. Got it. When a racist gets mad at one person of a particular race, that means they are angry at ALL people of that race. That's equally as stupid as the black people who are angry about the Trayvon Martin murder that go posting anti-whitey status updates when REALLY it's supposed to be "Zimmerman, Zimmerman, Zimmerman, Zimmerman, Zimmerman!" Let's evaluate how dumb that is... I'll keep it nice and simple so Trayvon Martin bashing racists can understand.
It seems to me that over the past few years people have become extremely vocal about their racist beliefs. Can any of us say that we don't see examples of racism all around us? When I read news blogs that are discussing Obama, I see an equal number of jabs at his race as I see objective jabs at his politics. And who could turn a blind eye to the on-going smear campaign against Trayvon Martin, as if airing a 17 year old boy's "dirty laundry" would somehow make his death less unjust? Even Hollywood blockbusters are unsafe, what with the ongoing racist tweets about The Hunger Games that have become so disgusting that even the media couldn't sweep it under the rug.
A screen grab of one of the Tweets posted about The Hunger Games, see the rest here.
But let's be serious... what is the cyber hate really accomplishing? Did eHaters stop Issa Rae from winning her first Shorty Award? Did eHaters stop The Hunger Games from setting records in the box office? Did eHaters stop the FBI, and the US Department of Justice from intervening to investigate Trayvon's death? People from every race, sexual orientation, and nationality have to deal with hate online every now and then, not just black people. Bigots aren't special or unique. The worst thing that cyber racists can do is hurt your feelings. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will get your ass cussed out and then blocked if you come to me with that trash. I don't do hurt feelings, I fight ignorance with funnier, better ignorance.
As for the guy who kicked off the #ThingsBetterThanAwkwardBlackGirl trending topic, if you really think it's funny to joke about an unarmed mudered teenager in an effort to get a bit of attention, then coooool. Vent away, big homey. But there are some harsh realities that you need to accept. By this time next week, your racially charged rant will be long forgotten. Awkward Black Girl will still be the winner of the award and reaping the benefits of it, and you will still be the loser. Here is an example of what you SHOULD HAVE SAID instead of being a bitchassed mouthy hater:
The views and opinions about the shittiness of this dudes show are those of me, Nikki Lynette, and do not reflect the views and opinions of other people who've seen his ripped-off shock-jock shit and also think it's shitty.
In closing, I'd like to just say that I don't hate cyber racists because they aren't the ones who can hurt me, who can set back my advancement just because of the color of my skin. The quiet racists are the ones who can, and do, affect me. Remember, several of George Zimmerman's neighbors who were interviewed after Trayvon's death all said that Zimmerman was a nice guy whom they never would have considered racist. Those are the dangerous people, not losers on Twitter. As a socially awkward black girl myself, I am pleased to know that even in a time as racially charged as this, Issa Rae was still able to win a highly coveted Shorty Award, Trayvon Martin's case was still able to get national attention, and The Hunger Games, as diverse as it is, is still a smash hit. Since Issa and the black members of The Hunger Games cast are being the bigger person and refusing to be belligerent, I would like to come forward and say on behalf of everyone who's witnessed cyber racists... Hey, seriously. Shut the fuck up.