The Black Snob Asks: What If These White Celebs Were Black?

April 17, 2012  |  
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I’m a black woman. Obviously. Born that way. Don’t know any other life. Any other life, as Evelyn Lozada would say, I wouldn’t be “about it.” Not about that other life. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder – humorously – what if?

What if I was something other than what I am? And, I’ll be honest, I think my situation would be drastically different. Not worse or maybe even necessarily better, but – by golly – it would be different. For one, I might be markedly less focused on whether or not how I look physically has affected my career as a journalist.

Male political pundits on TV don’t seem to have the same – ahem – looks-based standards.

But it’s not just me I play the “What if” game with,  I do that with famous people too.

What if … they were black?

So let’s play the game – me here in the column and you in the comments – of what would happen to these famous and infamous individuals if they suddenly came down with a case of the permanent tan that never ran.

Case No.1: Kim Kardashian

Famous for being famous, KimmyKakes has somehow made her 15 minutes of fame far surpass that of the mentor she trained under – Paris Hilton. Kardashian took the party heiress’ playbook and turned into a reality TV, fashion, sex tape, diet pill, book, perfume-scented empire.


America isn’t too kind to wayward black girls. Even if they are the well-heeled daughters of the elite. Black people accuse you of trying to make us all look bad while to most white people you’re a curious Hottentot novelty at best, invisible at worse.

Case in point: KarrineSteffans. Where’s the love for the world’s most famous video vixen? For some reason you don’t seem to want to do a photo spread of her in Elle Magazine. Then there’s the tragedy known as Montana Fishburne. And before you try to toss out former Paris Hilton compatriot Nicole Richie out there as the “exception” what sex tape was Nicole Richie in? The worst thing she ever did was once have a drug addiction that she thankfully overcame. And no one sold a video of that.

New York Daily News

Case No. 2: Charlie Sheen

This “winning” actor is probably the worst guy possible for you to ever date. He once (possibly) shot actor John Travolta’s now-wife Kelly Preston. (He claims she shot herself, but … um … OK.) Then there was that ugly divorce from ex-wife Denise Richards and the stampede of party girls, call girls, hookers, models and professional pretty women Sheen has abused, terrorized or humiliated. And I didn’t even start talking about his “career,” marked by drug abuse and insults.


He probably wouldn’t have made it out of the 80s. Think about it. He’s drowning in beat up starlets and prostitutes. He’s high all the time and seems to be mentally unstable. Maybe some people will tolerate you and find your violent horndog charm “endearing,” but I have a hard time believing Samuel L. Jackson would still be working (or alive) today if he had conducted himself in the same manner as he struggled with his own crack cocaine addiction. Time is not kind to the brother who snorts up all the drugs and fights all the women. And that doesn’t change if you’re famous.

Case in point: The Temptations’ David Ruffin; blues legend and infamous abuser of Tina Turner, Ike Turner; Sam Cooke of the beautiful voice and the violent death after fighting with a woman after being robbed by a hooker; my favorite and most troubled member of Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard; and … technically Bobby Brown, although his career is more so dead, while his body lives on.

Case No. 3: Coco

Let’s just all say it. None of us would know who this woman is if she weren’t A) married to former pimp-turned-rapper-turned-actor Ice T and B) Didn’t take tons of gratuitous photos of her in a thong with that ridiculously large posterior. But, defying the odds, she’s on reality TV, talks in a baby voice and is the definition of T & A as the latest version of what Pamela Anderson and Anna Nicole Smith were before her.


While there are some white girls with big butts and some black girls with flat butts, people – for better or worse – associate a round booty with black women. So if comedian Aisha Tyler could once joke that being a black girl with no butt was like having a handicap, a black girl with just a large butt is called “Tuesday.” As in, you can see that any day of the week. Black girls with big butts have to do more than just be black girls with big butts if they want to stand out among the sea of big booty sisters. You need a gimmick. Do rappers and athletes really like you? Maybe you could be on Love & Hip Hop or Basketball Wives? Can you sing or rap? Maybe you could be Nicki Minaj? Everyone else? Good luck breaking out of the pack, Black Cocos of the world.

Case in point: You, if you have a big butt, but only the bus driver seems to care.

Case No. 4 Lindsay Lohan 

She’s like Charlie Sheen, but looks more like one of the women he would take out on a date and ruin. Also known for some really cool teen movies like Mean Girls and the Freaky Friday remake with Jamie Lee Curtis. But lately, she’s mostly known for being a hot mess. She’s in the middle of mounting a “hey guys, I’m clean again, give me some work” comeback, but we’ve heard this story before.


See everything I said about Charlie Sheen, but replace the “fighting women” with stealing things, crashing cars and stalking her ex-girlfriend Sam Ronson. Although LiLo has managed to cheat death, she’s still young, meaning there’s always a shot that if she were black she might just denounce Hollywood, find Jesus and start doing nothing but Tyler Perry films. Sure, that’s not mainstream success, but it is SUCCESS. And you get to be alive while having that success. Can’t ask for much more than that? But it bears repeating that black women – even famous ones – cannot suffer the career suicide of breaking the law, having a mental breakdown and being high all at the same time without some deadly consequences. Especially when they never get it together.

Case in point: I’m still really mad over Whitney Houston, but I’ll still go see Sparkle opening weekend


Case No.5: George Zimmerman

The most infamous man in American right now, Zimmerman was recently arraigned in court for the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, who he shot believing the 17-year-old was a robber instead of some kid walking home from the 7-11.


For one, he probably would have gotten arrested immediately. None of this “Oh, you say it was self-defense? Heh. We believe you. Here’s your gun back. See you at the church picnic.” Which also means Zimmerman would be invisible to us outside of the Sanford, Fla. community. The fact is a story only becomes national news when the death is seen as especially tragic or unusual. Zimmerman going un-arrested, plus the race angle (most people die at the hands of a member of their own race), is what made this story and the outrage over it grow. Without it, is just another tragic shooting lumped in with the many local, tragic shootings that befall black and white people all over America everyday.

Case in point: If you still have a local newspaper, turn to page two of the Local section and read how most homicides are communicated in a sentence or two, and not broadcast on MSNBC.

Case No. 6: Justin Timberlake

He brought “Hotback,” but when Prince retorted that “Hot never left” that piss-ant wrote a whole rap with Timbaland about it. He’s an actor now.


Justin was always an above average-to-excellent pop music guy, but that’s often when compared to other pop music guys. While he came from the “House of Mouse” – which create white kids for public consumption regardless of their level of singing ability – most black male vocalists of R&B have to deal with a little something called “black audiences.” Black people have a certain “standard” about who can and cannot sing. Competition is stiff and we celebrate our history of booing people off the stage. I’ve often said that as much as I’ve enjoyed Timberlake, if he’d been a black guy he would have struggled. There are too many black male R&B acts, running around, pretending like they wereThug Michael Jackson.

Instead of dancing causing wardrobe malfunctions with Mike’s sister, Timberlake would have been fighting to get out of the background of Chris Brown, Usher, John Legend, Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, Mario, Jaheim and Omarion. But there is an upside of being forced to deal with intense competition.

Timberlake might actually be a BETTER performer if he was black.

You don’t learn how to be the next Michael Jackson or Prince when you have no competition. You get that when you are expected to beat and exceed the best. So maybe Justin Timberlake could have been a one-hit wonder stuck on the R&B Hot 100 list … or he could be the Greatest. We’ll never know, because he had just enough talent, plus novelty factor to blow up anyway.

Case in point: I’m not a Chris Brown fan, but I would assume his dedication to being a well-above average dancer while maintaining his singing chops is because he knows the competition is always one hot beat and hook away. Also, an example where if you’re white and a novelty, but surrounded by good mentors forcing you to push yourself … cough … Justin Bieber. Cough. Again, not a fan, but he can play more instruments and I’m sure that swagger coach will pay off any day now.

Case No. 7: Casey Anthony 

She was accused of killing her young daughter, but got off. Nancy Grace hasn’t been the same since.


She’d be the most evil black woman that ever existed that no one would ever speak of because it would just be some horrible, tragic local news story, not on Nancy Grace. Just like with George Zimmerman, it was the continued media obsession with attractive white women (whether missing or murdering their kids) that caused the case to skyrocket. Black mothers who murder their black children are a local story, rarely making it to CNN. Or Nancy Grace. Probably has something to do with how folks cried when the “angelic” character Rue was killed in the book “The Hunger Games,” but were “upset” when they found out they’d been crying over “some black girl.”

Case in point: The horrible story of Jhessye Shockley and the child welfare system that failed her.


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  • Chris Broadwell

    haha if someone who referred to them self as “white snob” wrote an article about black celebs you guys would go ape-shit, pardon the pun. If you want to be treated as equal start acting equal, not a high school dropout; hold yourself to some minimal standards please.

    • colliz6

      You’re a miserable poor excuse of a human being. A complete waste of air. Take your rubbish some place else. If you’re inplying that blacks are all high school dropouts and have no standards then you don’t have the sense God gave a fly. Stop making excuses for the racist bs that happens in this country. Everyone deserves respect reardless of what color they are. Do society a favor a shut the hell up you ignorant turd.

    • joanne1647

      Wow! I can tell you are of lesser class than the drop outs themselves. I can tell you have never ever had a conversation with a “black” person have you? Goodluck. Whites like you make me vomit!

  • Ifuaskme2

    For the ignorant. Nicole Ritchie is very white. She was adopted and does not have a black bone in her body. Moving along. Kim is Armenian. Not exactly white. Look it up before you start with the what if psycho-babble. Justin is talented so if he was green it wouldn’t matter. Here’s a question. What if you were smarter?

    • Jaz

      Nicole Ritchie is multi-racial. She is of Black Creole, Hispanic, and Caucasian ancestry. So I suppose she has a few black bones in her body!

      • Ifuaskme2

        ROTFLMAO. Don’t be an ignoramus. If u have to dig that far back, then what is your point exactly? Her father was born in USA as well. Or are you assuming everyone with a spanish sounding name must be Hispanic? What would Penelope think? You sound like Obama critics who when he does something right points out his mother was white but let him make a mistake……. Nuff said

  • KickWhitesOutAfrica

    Well first of all, if they were BLACK they would be WORTHY of the title
    ‘Celebrity’ because they would ALL be TALENTED. 
    As for their bad side… well yes they would be criticised and vilified more
    so than white celebrities because black people as a whole are not prepared to condone
    bad behaviour like white people are. 
    White people have an immoral habit of putting bad behaviour on a
    pedestal.  For instance, Rebecca Loos slept
    with the married David Beckham and soon after she was catapulted into the celebrity
    limelight to be on TV.  A white contestant
    cheated on the quiz show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ and he and his wife
    were next seen on the TV show ‘Wife Swap’. 
    When Hugh Grant was caught with Divine Brown it launched his acting
    career – I had NEVER heard of him before Divine Brown.  What you have to recognise and accept is that
    Black people and White people are DIFFERENT. 
    It isn’t only skin colour that separates us.  We THINK differently.  We are as different as night and day.  We see through different coloured glasses and
    I am very pleased to know that our glasses are not so filthy that we are
    prepared to overlook what is wrong and reward it.

  • KM320

    I loved this article, but you ruined “The Hunger Games” for me!!  I just got the books to reading them!!!  I didn’t know Rue died!!!  Geez!!

  • Colliz6

    I never realized how cruel people are to black celebrities who have fell out of grace as when Whitney Houston died. I remember how cruel and disrespectful people were on several blogs and sites. Yet when Amy Whinehouse died it was all sobs and sympathy. The worst part is white america is yet to acknowledge and take responsibility for their racism; and some blacks would rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend this stuff doesn’t exist. It is all very sad. 

  • about time you guys posted an article SAYING something true and meaningful

  • MsPMC

    Hotback??  I think Justin Timberlake brought Sexy Back?  Prince has been in the game for years and Justin should have considered it a complement that he even mentioned his song instead of doing a song about it.

  • chaka1

    If Kim K was a black woman, she wouldn’t get any positive coverage on bawsip or madame noir. These sites give her and her family more press than anything.

  • RenJennM

    Awesome article! I was furious at all those racist remarks about “Rue” from The Hunger Games being Black. Showed me that we STILL have a long way to go.

  • Maryann P1227

    I will be glad when Black folks realize they CANNOT do what white folks do. White folks have perfected the art of propoganda, lying and stealing— NOBODY really does it better.  Just look at their history. Having said all that, what is good for the goose in America is definitely not good for the gander when it comes to white folks getting away with crap. If Lindsey Lohan were Black, she would still be doing time, never having the benefit of doing community service 50 times and still messing up. The Kardasians en total have no talent whatsoever and rest on the laurels of their dead father. Yet whatever they do makes the covers of every magazine like People or Us. Why?  I could go on and on….

  • Jdmann

    Its about being connected why is Chris Rock, Gabby Union, Cedrick the Entertainer, still working you can count their hits on one hand but they are in movies every year.

  • Glitterbug97

    Except for Zimmerman, JT and Casey Anthony I believe that white people are embarrassed by the other white folk on the list. White people wish these people would disappear but it’s us black folk who keep fueling shows and clothing lines from these fools SMH. Black people in general like anything on tv that’s ratchet or things that glitter we need to admit it.

  • Shellie

    Tiger Woods, Isiah Washington, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Chris Brown…the list goes on and on. The game is NOT played the same when it comes to black entertainers vs white entertainers. They seem to keep a get out of jail for free card all while our celebrities are slandered for years and careers are slaughtered to pieces.

  • Chris Brown was ostracised for hitting his girlfriend and yet Charlie Sheen puts a Knife to his wife’s neck, hits them and all sorts but gets a standing ovation and a Hollywood Roast…………….wow!! Kimmy makes money by sleeping around whilst others get called w****s…………….

  • Sanya155

    I always ask that question!! Thumbs up. Definitely for sure no black person will be able to come up from the floor up after they have been torn up! Its facts!! Matter of fact we(black people) are some harsh critics, therefore we don’t usually get on board as soon as you say I’M clean!! case in point: (dramatic pause) Whitney Houston.. How many of us actually believed she was clean.

    • Jaz

      As for a black celebrity coming from the floor up ever heard of Mike Tyson? He was a wife beater, ear biter, roid monster extraordinaire. Yet here he is years later, a tony award winning performer for a one man show on broadway AND in one of the top grossing comedies of the last decade. He went to anger management and has stayed out of the press for anything negative. I applaud him!

  • LiiSH

    Word. George Zimmerman’s race is only a factor in the fact that it made the story national news. Black kids get killed all the time by other black people and it never makes the news local or otherwise. SAD but true.

    -_- Chris Brown has no singing chops. J.T. can definitely out sing him. But Breezy got him beat performance wise becasue that boy’s dancing is enough for me to say eff the audio (which sounds like a whiny dying cat) and invest in headphones.

    Karrine Steffans vs. Kim K…. Karrine at least does something reputable for a living now instead of whoring off fame. Yes, she is an author/ editor/ publishing company owner which proves that her past does not have to define her.

  • SheSpeaks

    There is little to zero tolerance for blacks no if and or buts about it. Even Blacks have little to no tolerance for each other so what do you expect from the rest of the world.

  • Galenafiel

    Very good article! Made me consider some things.

  • ashley udoh

    I ask myself this all the time! Happy you did a post on it.