This is the season of the Pharell Williams defense. A Black man get's called on nonsense and then immediately claims that he has no idea why Black women are offended.
I appeared on a Huffpo Live segment hosted by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill in response to a segment last week where he waived the flag of caution over Lupita developing a potentially large white fan base. ( She's in the business of selling tickets to fans *eyeroll*) In the context of his concern trolling he used the very loaded word of "fetish."
When confronted with is own words, Dr.Hill took the Scarlett O’Hara “I don’t know nuthin bout slandering Black women” defense. Also known as throwing a rock and hiding your hand. He also pulled out the old “But, but, but I have a Black daughter!” defense. *Typical* As if rapists, batterers and serial killers don’t have daughters too. He claims he had “no idea” that his guest Kamua Bell who he was kee keeing it up with while labeling Lupita a fetish has an entire comedy routine based on attacking Black women.
His fans have labeled me as an “Angry” “Hostile” Black woman for not indulging in his amnesiac - Reindeer Games. All of a sudden when confronted with his offense, the highly educated Black professor plays the “I’m confused card. ” Whatevs!
So let me be clear- I am proud to be a Black woman who has the ability to feel anger. Harriet Tubman felt anger, Rosa Parks felt anger, Martin Luther King felt anger, Jesus Christ turned over tables in the Temple and routinely told his disciples that they were wrong. He probably was perceived as angry. The question isn’t whether or not I’m angry, the question is why aren’t you.
And let’s be precise with our labels - I wasn’t “angry,” I was resolute. I was asked to be a GUEST on a show and while I had no expectation that I would get to speak at length, I certainly expected the other women on the panel to get to have their say and the bulk of the time was taken up with Marc talking about himself and playing dumb. At one point I asked if we were going to get to talk - not so I could talk but so the other two women could get in a word. None of us really needed to be there this morning, he could have just done a monologue.
Marc Lamont Hill used the loaded word of fetish to scare off young Black women and make them wary of “mainstream” success. Maybe he lacks self awareness and doesn’t understand the words that are coming out of his own mouth. But based on who and what he supports (Lil Boosie and Genarlow Wilson to name two), he really isn't entitled to the benefit of the doubt on issues related to Black women and girls.
I'm not a fan of 12 Years a Slave. I feel confident saying I'll never see the movie. I also haven't seen Beloved the movie - didn't need to since I read the book. I wasn't invested in any way in whether Lupita won an OSCAR. The only reason I went on that show was to say that Lupita Nyong’o received the attention she received because she and her team ran one of the most masterful OSCAR campaigns I have seen in my lifetime. Irrespective of the outcome of that campaign, she is a classic example of what happens when preparation meets opportunity and any inference that s only reason non-Black people like her is because she is an inanimate object is offensive.
To little Black girls watching the public vivisection of Lupita by people like Marc Lamont Hill and his ilk, keep preparing to meet your opportunity. To Black women who are in my generation, we have a moral obligation to create opportunities for these young women to collide with in the future.
That means middle aged Black women need to be cranking out our own Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight, and Marvel Comics so that the next Lupita or Viola, or Octavia, or Jennifer or Whoopi or Angela, or Gabourey, Quevenzhane or Hattie that gets nominated for an OSCAR can leverage OSCAR season to move on to starring in a “4 tent pole” summer blockbuster if she chooses.