Monday
Jul062015

Luvvie Ajayi’s Attack on Black Beauty Bloggers: Been There. Done That. Got the T-shirt

Nearly a decade ago, marauding gangs of Internet Ike Turners attempted to terrorize Black women bloggers by demanding that they issue loyalty oaths on their blogs. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. We've already fought the Black Woman Blog Autonomy Wars ( Several times actually). Must we re-fight them all over again?

Its one thing to criticize a blogger for what they put out into the marketplace of ideas. Its another thing demand that they produce the content of your choice.

Last week Blogger, @Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie attacked/critiqued/encouraged Black beauty bloggers in general for failing to use the #Charleston hashtag.

You can read Luvvie’s full “critique”/attack on Black Beauty Bloggers on the Storify she created to memorialize her attack/critique/encouragement.

In summary, she calls all Black beauty bloggers (except her friends) cheap brand whores obsessed with frivolous things like lipstick, shoes and an outfit-of-the day. Again, read the critique/attack/encouragement for yourself - do NOT take my word for it.

The issue has been framed as being about  “silence in the face of tragedies.” But that analysis is based on a number of assumptions about Black beauty bloggers all of which view Black beauty bloggers' motivations in the least charitable light - in other words, there's a whole lot of projection being directed at an entire group of bloggers that to my knowledge haven't done anything to anybody other than be run by Black women and exist.

An alternative view of her critique/attack/encouragement is that this is about the extreme entitlement to the resources of Black women - entitlements rarely extended to Black men and their resources. 

This is about attempting to dictate how Black women must grieve in public. Not even our sorrow belongs to us.

I've struggled to put my feelings about Charleston into words. I've relied on posting a YouTube video and photographs.  And I've actually been writing about horrific crimes of violence for almost a decade. Some people say that a hashtag is not too much to ask.

I don't assume that these women are unwilling to say something - there is also a possibility that they don't know what to say or how. Sorry for your loss? You're in my thoughts and prayers? What do you say in the face of such massive loss?

Heck the nation doesn't even know what it wants to say. We've moved on from the slaughter of six women and three men in a house of worship to fixating on a flag and monuments - anything to avoid the details of what happened in that church when a group of dedicated Black folk welcomed their assassin into their presence and prayed for him before he slaughtered them. They prayed for him before he killed them.  Maybe that's a simple matter that will fit neatly into a hashtag, but don't assume other people have such a simplified view of the world.

No matter how much people on Twitter and Facebook have been demeaning them as a group, being a BLACK. beauty. blogger is a revolutionary act. I’m going to say that again. Creating platforms that focuses on the beauty of Black women and girls is a revolutionary act. It's not anymore frivilous than writing recaps of ratchet reality television shows.

I know you may dabble in lotions, potions and products, but you’re a warrior (in your own way) - even if you don’t realize it.  

Black women and girls have a right to have spaces where they can be carefree, flighty, flaky, frivolous, and funny. Occasionally we need a break.  For some people, that’s a beauty blog.

I’m not a Black beauty blogger, but on this one, I’ve got your back. We are NOT going back to 2007. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. Not. On. My. Watch.

If you truly want Black beauty bloggers to talk about particular social justice issues, try asking. . .

Great discussion over on the Facebook FanPage. People are making some great arguments some of their arguments are wrong, but they are making them.

 

Monday
Jun152015

Things We Could Have Focussed on Instead of Rachel Dolezal: Twitter Power?

Twitter giveth and Twitter taketh away. Just last week, the power of social media was on display as Twitter was used to highlight the plight of a group of Black children were rough-housed by an out-of-control police officer in McKinney. Less than a week later, the Black children of Mckinney,TX dropped off radar screen and officer Eric Casebolt is preparing to send a fruit basket to Rachel Dolezal, the President of the NAACP branch in Spokane Washington.

What's so extraordinary and important about the president of an NAACP chapter in a town many of us could not find on a map if our lives depended on it? Nothing. Other than Miss Dolezal has been telling people she is Black, when it appears she is not. Her mother came out and said that she's been masquerading as a Black woman. She appears to have altered her appearance over time to "deepen" the tone of her skin and has taken to wearing curly hair extensions and braids.

It is a bonus to the internet that she had an active social media life and posted numerous selfies. She managed to trend for at least three days on Twitter and launched spin off hashtags such as #AskRachel.

The think pieces have already started rolling in. The list of grievances is growing. It appears she may have fabricated hate crime allegations ( however, if racists did indeed believe she was Black- as head of an NAACP chapter in the middle of nowhere, it is still possible that her life was threatened) - time will tell.

Last week I spoke about a lack of mental toughness displayed on Twitter. Grown Black people who claim to be emotionally distraught to debilitating levels because of something they saw on social media.

In several of my live presentations about the power of social media, I have quipped that Twitter is the Candy Crush Saga of Social Justice.  For many it isn't a tool, but entertainment. Something to make people feel as if they are doing something- when they really aren't.

That's dangerous. It takes a certain level of frustration and rage to move people to the point that they are willing to risk their lives to change the status quo. Kind of like a pressure cooker. Every time one of these "emotionally distraught" Black adults tweets, it's like opening the vents on a pressure cooker.

Some would say that Twitter is real and it's this powerful movement making machine. I would say any movement built on the whims of the tweeting public is build on sands that will quickly shift as soon as a new cat video appears or Beyonce drops and album.

#RachelDolezal proves this.Luckily for McKinney, it appears that the local faith-based community (you know, the grass roots activists with boots on the ground) have taken the lead.

In other words, Twitter is an anesthetic. It puts people to sleep. It's bread and circuses. It's virtual reality. Can Twitter be a powerful tool? Of Course! But like anaesthesia, if it isn't deployed properly, it can kill you-- or worse - it can rob you of your voice so you can't speak out or move. 

Miss Dolezal is going to richly rewarded for her internet fame. She's going to get speaking gigs, a reality show, she's going to be invited to appear as a guest on cable news, she'll get a book deal and more --- assuming she isn't carted off to jail for filing false police reports - but then again, that  would make a more dramatic screenplay.

 

 

 

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 829 Next 2 Entries »