All Articles Tagged "racism"

Racism Is Real: Three Black Women Mistaken For Prostitutes At The Standard Hotel

September 18th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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While actress Daniele Watts’ story of being mistaken for a prostitute has more holes than a flour sifter,  the occurrence of Black women being mistaken for prostitutes is, sadly, not uncommon.

When Kantaki Washington and her two friends went out to spend an evening at the Standard Hotel in the New York City’s meat packing district, a few weeks ago, they encountered a similar, undeniably racist, circumstance.

Washington and her friends Cydney Madlock and J. Lyn Thomas told AlterNet that during the early morning hours of August 28, a security guard from the hotel approached them and accused them of being prostitutes.

The women had just come from Le Bain, a bar at the top of the hotel, and were seated in the lobby, when several men approached them, offering to buy them drinks. Shortly after an African American man introduced himself, a security guard from the hotel whispered something in his ear and ushered him away from the women.

Washington told AlterNet, “After the security guard ushers the brotha away, he comes over to me and my friends and says, ‘Come on, ladies. You can buy a drink but you can’t be soliciting,'” Washington told AlterNet in an interview. “We were like, soliciting? He said, ‘Don’t act stupid with me, ladies. You know what you’re doing. Stop soliciting in here. We were like, ‘Soliciting what?'”

Washington incredulously asked the security guard if he was accusing them of soliciting sex from the patrons of the hotel. He responded, “Don’t act stupid with me, you know what you were doing.”

Washington responded, “Dude, I’m a lawyer and these women are educators. Why the hell would I be in here soliciting prostitution?”

He said, “I don’t know but that’s what you’re doing.”

As you might assume, Washington and her two friends were the only Black women in the area and believe they were racially profiled. Washington demanded the guard give her his name and his manger’s name. He gave her his first name only and directed her to the reception desk.

Washington says when she and friends spoke with the manager, their story was received with indifference. The manager claimed the security guard was an outsourced employee and not officially a staff member.

Apparently, a few weeks later, the hotel saw the error in their ways and attempted to extend a peace offering.

Washington received an e-mail from the Standard Hotel inviting her and “three guests back to The Standard for a bottle of champagne in The Top of The Standard or Le Bain, followed by dinner for 4 (valued at $400) at The Standard Grill.”

Washington provided the e-mail correspondence between herself and The Standard to Alternet and none of them made any mention of the prostitution accusation.

Instead, a staff member wrote: “Again, I want to apologize for what happened to you here that evening. We are extending this table for 4 as a gesture of goodwill for you and your friends, plus one more person. Please let me know when you would like to come back.”

Ugh.

The fact that they thought a $400 dinner would fix being called prostitutes…ridiculous.

Ladies, have you ever been racially profiled in this way?

You can watch the women tell their story in the video below.

Does It Really Matter If White People Don’t Have Black Friends?

September 17th, 2014 - By Ezinne Ukoha
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

This past summer was a harsh lesson about the complexities of race relations. The images from Ferguson following the tragic killing of another unarmed, Black young man, was another reminder that despite our best efforts, the racial divide is widening at an alarming rate.

Of course, this realization spurns a plethora of articles that attempt to utilize the chaotic climate as a guide for racially toned stories. Some of the ones that I have noticed due to their growing popularity tackle the fact that most White Americans either don’t have any Black friends or have very few of them. While this fact is not necessarily surprising to me, I am fascinated that it is even a topic of discussion. Are we trying to prove that the more Black friends a White person has, the less likely it is that person will be a bigot? Or are we encouraging White people to mix up more so that they become more empathetic to the plight of African-Americans? None of these scenarios are valid enough to yield promising results.

My personal journey with Caucasians has always been contingent on my life experiences. When I was in college, I started off at a two year college based in a remote town in Missouri. And yes, as I am sure you guessed, there were more Whites than Blacks. So naturally, most of my friends were White, it’s not like I had much of a choice in the matter. Later on, I ended up in Kansas City, Missouri where I completed my college education, and that was a completely different scene. There was a better mix of both races, but I ended up with more White friends than Black. It wasn’t something I planned, it just happened organically. I am not sure how other people form friendships, but I tend to gravitate to the ones whose energy bonds with mine. We have to have something in common, enjoy each other’s company and most importantly harbor a mutual respect. Those are just the basics, but there are enough to keep me invested.

I was never bothered by the fact that I had disproportionately more White friends than Black, and to be honest I didn’t give it much thought. Maybe because I am Nigerian, and perhaps my background gives me a level of nonchalance when it comes to social mixing. I have always had the ability to blend well and to attract people from all walks of life regardless of their racial makeup. I have never subscribed to the idea that you must have friends from all over the globe in order to fulfill a particular requirement. We are attracted to people for reasons that go far beyond whether or not they help us stay within the parameters of political correctness.

To define someone’s level of racial tolerance based on whether or not they have a healthy number of friends outside their race is a nonsensical endeavor. And if you do decide to investigate, you will find that in most cases, it isn’t necessarily a conscious effort to exclude people who don’t look like you from your circle. We are all drawn to the familiar and when we do explore the unexpected, it works only if there are certain characteristics that are relatable. Romantic relationships can’t be forced, it’s either you love the person or you don’t – the same notion applies to friendships. You either click or you don’t and if you are White and you get along best with your own kind then it makes sense to have them around you, and vice versa. So it’s time to stop critiquing other races for not having enough Black friends because it won’t alter their mindset either way and it comes off as unbearably trite.

 

The Drama Surrounding FCKH8: Should A T-Shirt Company Be Able To Profit Off Of Racism?

September 16th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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FCKH8.com

FCKH8.com

 

I have always been on the fence about the sudden interest in social capitalism within the free market system.

On the surface it sounds great: using capitalism for the benefit of the greater community as opposed to the agenda of a single person or entity. However, when you think on it some, social capitalism is sort of an oxymoron. Seriously, using capitalism to right the wrongs, which are likely byproducts of the system of capitalism, sounds – for a lack of a better word –  kind of a** backwards. Or tone deaf. Or at the very least, self-centered, because how much of this special kind of capitalism actually benefits the greater society and how much of it is about feeding the ego of someone with a savior complex?

It’s a question, which Philanthropist Kevin Starr alluded to during this PopTech talk in 2010 (seriously, take a few moments to watch it). During that talk, he “eviscerates some of the (ex?) darlings of development design like the LifeStraw and One Laptop Per Child,” this according to the website Good. For those who are unaware, LifeStraw was a portable straw-like filtration device developed for Third World countries where clean water is sparse. However, the LifeStraw failed because it inflicted added cost on poor people. And while it cleaned pathogens out of water, it did not clean out waterborne viruses, which are most prevalent in Third World Countries. Plus, there was the matter of the exorbitant cost, which in some Third World communities where the filtration device was being marketed and sold, cost more than what the average person made in a whole week – if not a month.

In particular he notes that with his company, Mulago, they only consider new ideas for products to help people when the following questions are answered:

“Is it needed? Does it work like it’s supposed to? Will it get to those needed and a lot of them? And will they use it right when they get it?”

I like to use Starr’s questions as a guide when evaluating the usefulness of a particular charity or even charitable campaign. For today’s case study, let’s consider the social value of the website FCKH8.com. According to its About Us Page:

“FCKH8.com is a for-profit T-shirt company with an activist heart and a passionate social change mission: arming thousands of people with pro-LGBT equality, anti-racism and anti-sexism T-shirts that act as “mini-billboards” for change. Started in 2010 with comedic viral videos that captured millions of views on YouTube, FCKH8.com has shipped almost 200,000 equality tees, tanks and hoodies to supporters in over 100 countries. T-shirts emblazoned with bold messages like “Some Chicks Marry Chicks, Get Over It,” “Straight Against Hate,” and ”Legalize Love” have been publicly talked about by celebrities including Jane Lynch, Adam Lambert, Perez Hilton, and Zac Efron – who’s raved about his own “Some Dudes Marry Dudes, Get Over It” shirt in the press.”

FCKH8 also says that it’s a socially conscious T-shirt company that has given out more than $250,000 to various social justice campaigns. Sounds fantastic right? What could be wrong here? Well, according to ColorLines, the company’s latest campaign against racism, in particular, a viral video for its newest line of anti-racism T-shirts, has has some calling foul over concerns that the company is exploiting social causes for profits for themselves. More specifically, the website reports:

Titled, “Hey White People: A Kinda Awkward Note to America by #Ferguson Kids,” the video’s making lots of rounds on social media. Which will probably equal lots of money for the company behind it, called Synergy Media

The video features a group of unnamed black kids, purportedly from Ferguson, reciting parts of a script that’s clearly been written by adults. A script that will make you think race is solely a black and white issue, by the way. Even if the children are from Ferguson, it’s unclear if or how they’ve been compensated. Either way, the idea that these kids are from Ferguson is paraded for consumption.

Towards the end, a white adult and a black adult make nice and encourage viewers to buy a FCKH8.com T-shirt. Five dollars from each shirt will supposedly go to unidentified “charities working in communities to fight racism.” Which charities? Who knows! What communities? Can’t tell you.

You can watch the video here. Although I was initially turned off by the use of Ferguson kids in general, it’s the advertisement at the end that kind of cheapens what could have been a pretty decent bit of snark mixed in with cool messaging. But according to a note posted on the T-shirt company’s website in response to the Colorlines article, for every item sold, FCKH8 will donate $5 to either the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, the NAACP, the Michael Brown Memorial Fund and Crossroads Anti-racism Organizing & Training. FCKH8 is reporting that it has raised nearly $6000 for these four causes. Not bad considering all (well, at least some) are worthwhile organizations.

However, its anti-Racism gear ranges anywhere from $2.50 (for a bumper sticker) to $36 for a hoodie (with “Racism Isn’t Over But I’m Over Racism” written on the front). And that means a pretty sizable portion of the profits are still going back to the company. By default, it means that the company is making a pretty decent profit off of racism, which is very icky in itself. It’s almost as icky as when those Christian missionary groups use African children with swollen bellies to inspire donations for their campaigns to save the children.

It should be noted that the T-shirt company, which is definitely a for-profit and owned by entrepreneur Luke Montgomery, has drawn ire before from some in the blogosphere over claims that in spite of its anti-ism image, both the company and its founder have actively engaged in racial stereotyping and even transphobia. You can read about some of the accusations here at StopFCKH8. But in this Tumblr post entitled, “The Case Against FCKH8,” user RapACityInBlue writes:

Fckh8 speaks from a place of authority and presents themselves as a voice of tolerance. According to their mission statement, they want to educate people through their mini-billboards. But they misgender people, they trot out dehumanizing sterotypes[sic], and they scorn asexual and pansexual people. Every time they do this, they reinforce the perception that this is acceptable. They make it harder for marginalized voices to be heard.

So with that kind of polarizing image, it’s clear to see how to many people, the FCKH8 campaign does more to alienate people than it does to promote actual social justice. And when you consider Starr’s questions (Is it needed? Does it work like it’s supposed to? Will it get to those needed and a lot of them? And will they use it right when they get it?), you have to wonder if the FCKH8 campaign is really trying to help fix things or if it is just another phony feel-good venture using the theme of social responsibility to help sell T-shirts and make money? You know, like regular ol’ capitalism?

Atlanta Hawks Owner To Sell His Interest In The Team After Admitting To Racist Email

September 8th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Another day, another sports scandal. This time it’s the Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson who’s admitted to sending an offensive email in 2012 that said basically the Hawks games were populated by too many Black people.

The email came to light after June free agent discussions began. During the course of talks and a review of various documents, the email was discovered.

In it, Levenson expressed concern that White fans were “scared away” from Hawks home games because the fans in attendance were overwhelmingly Black, as were everything from the bars to the cheerleading squad to the kiss cam. In this respect, he says, the Hawks games don’t “look like” the games for other teams in the league.

“I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don’t care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that’s our season tixs demo,” the memo reads in part, explaining that this isn’t the first time he’s spoken about these feelings. He expressed his belief that the lack of White fans was having a business impact, with the Black fan base lacking the money to purchase season’s tickets. He also noted his belief that it kept corporations away, who are also usually season ticket holders and big spenders at sporting events.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement last night saying that Levenson came to him with the email and his decision to sell his controlling interest in the team. “He shared with me how truly remorseful he is for using those hurtful words and how apologetic he is to the entire NBA family – fans, players, team employees, business partners and fellow team owners – for having diverted attention away from our game,” the statement says.

Levenson had actually been vocal about ousting Donald Sterling as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers after a racist audio rant from him was made public.

Atlanta is 54 percent Black and 34 percent White and has close ties to the city’s history in the civil rights movement. The Black population actually declined from 62 percent in 2010.

Moreover, as The Washington Post notes, the city is known for having a larger than average Black middle class, even if they took a hit from the economic recession.

Atlanta’s identification with the black middle class makes Levenson’s claims all the more mystifying. Though African Americans households lost more than half of their net worth in the Great Recession, NPR said Atlanta was “virtually synonymous with the black middle class” in 2011. Though it said that African American median income was much lower than that of whites, the Root pointed out in 2010 that Atlanta has the largest concentration of black millionaires in the country.” Among them at the time: OutKast and real-estate developer Herman Russell.

Hawks CEO and part-owner Steve Koonin will be in charge while the sale takes place. Today, he issued a statement on the team’s website, addressed to Atlanta residents and fans:

Today’s statement from Controlling Owner Bruce Levenson is extremely disappointing and the email that he sent over two years ago was alarming, offensive and most of all, completely unacceptable and does not reflect the principles and values of the Hawks organization. In partnership with the NBA, we will work to ensure that a new ownership team will be put in place that is united and committed to the Atlanta community.

United Nations Condemns U.S. Racism & Police Brutality

September 2nd, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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a katz / Shutterstock.com

a katz / Shutterstock.com

The United Nations is finally doing something activists since Malcolm X’s times have been calling for. The UN said it will look into abuses by the police of African Americans and other minorities. Just last week, the UN condemned U.S. police brutality and called for  a review of  “Stand Your Ground,” a controversial self-defense statute in 22 U.S. states.

This decision was reached by the U.N. racism watchdog following the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black teenager by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri.

Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims at an unfair rate, states the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) after it examined the U.S. record, reports The Huffington Post.

“Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing,” Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, told a press briefing.

Intense protests ensued after teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer on Aug. 9. The incident of one of many tragic events that put a spotlight on race relations in America.

“The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue of concern and particularly in light of the shooting of Michael Brown,” said Amir.

“This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials.”

A panel of 18 independent experts questioned a senior U.S. delegation on Aug. 13 about a perceived persistent racial discrimination against African-Americans and other minorities, especially within the criminal justice system.

Even U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper had to admit there was a problem. He told the panel that while the U.S. had made “great strides toward eliminating racial discrimination…we have much left to do.”

With Stand Your Ground, the UN panel said it needs to be reviewed to “remove far-reaching immunity and ensure strict adherence to principles of necessity and proportionality when deadly force is used for self-defense.”

“The Committee remains concerned at the practice of racial profiling of racial or ethnic minorities by law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Transportation Security Administration, border enforcement officials and local police,” it said and urged investigations.

Also, the panel, which monitors compliance with a treaty ratified by 177 countries including the United States, said that the obstacles faced by minorities and indigenous peoples to exercise their right to vote effectively must be addressed.

Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union said the U.N. feedback showed “shortcomings on racial equality that we are seeing play out today on our streets, at our borders and in the voting booth.

“When it comes to human rights, the United States must practice at home what it preaches abroad,” he said.

Comedienne Retta, A Seat Filler, And Commentary On Racial Injustice

August 28th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Please tell me y’all watch “Parks and Recreation,” affectionally known as “Parks and Rec” for those in the in crowd. If you don’t, you’re missing out on a whole bunch of goodness, a lot of goodness.

But that’s only part of the reason why I’m here today.

“Parks and Rec” features the brilliant comedienne Retta. And she is everything. Sharp, in touch, and of course hilarious. In case you’re not familiar, this interview of Retta with Conan will tell you practically everything you need to know about her.

In other words she’s the ish.

And feeling the way I do about Retta, I don’t take it lightly when people come for her. But I also look forward to it because she will read you for filth. That’s exactly what happened at the Emmy’s earlier this week with a random type of dude.

Retta is known for live tweeting and so naturally, she did so with the Emmys.

But before the show even got going, she had to deal with the seat filler dude.

She tweeted the awkward interaction.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.18.59 AM

So once the seat filler got home and saw that Retta was tweeting about him, picture and all, he didn’t take too kindly to it and started insulting her, by calling her fat and smelly…very elementary school.

I’m not really going to discuss his insults because they were unoriginal, irrelevant to the initial altercation and just stupid. What is interesting though is the conversation it’s since sparked. One of Retta’s twitter followers asked her why she said it was “very white of her” to call security. She even used the “Keep It Classy” hashtag as a way to let her know she thought it was tactless.

And Retta let her know umm… the random man challenging her very presence at the Emmys–when she had more reason to be there than he did– was something she was not going to let slide. And she proceeded to educate. See what she said in a series of ten tweets.

This is a classic example of diff points of view. By saying it was “white” of me, I read it as I’m not taking the assumptive stereotypical “black” route by being confrontational and thus putting me in the “guilty of being black” position but rather chose to go the white/safe/appropriate route of seeking an authority figure. 

I haven’t spoken up about it or posted on social media about it because it put me in such a place of rage that I couldn’t see straight but the rawness of the Michael Brown tragedy and the “guilty of being black” inequity is at the front of my (and many others’) mind these last 2 weeks. Yes, you were coming from a place of was race necessary? You are white (drawing from your profile pic.) As a black person ON the day of Michael Brown’s funeral, I was coming from a place of WHAT THE EVER LIVING FUCK?!? For me it is pervasive and pollutes almost every thought. So you are right. My joke didn’t need to be about race. But neither did that shooting on Aug 9th and many others that have taken place in the past. And I guess I just chose your tweet to make my social media statement on how I felt about Michael Brown’s shooting. Probably unfair but there’s a lot of that shit going around.”

Well…

10 Armed White Men Who Did Not Die By the Police

August 16th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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10 armed white men who did not die by the police feat

The headlines have almost become a weekly occurrence: Black person shot and killed by the police.

Usually it is Black men. But sometimes it is women.

In the majority of times, they are unarmed. And most of the time, their deaths were for no damn justifiable reason at all.

Yet, despite the video evidence and eye witnesses accounts and just flat-out appreciation of history in this country, some folks still don’t believe race is a factor.

So let’s play a game. It’s a game I created based around my favorite scene from the film A Time to Kill (based on the John Grisham book of the same name) when Jake Tyler Brigance, a young snappy lawyer (played by Matthew McConaughey) defending Carl Lee Hailey (played by Samuel L. Jackson), who is on trial for the murder of the two White men, who raped his 10-year-old daughter, tells the all-White Mississippi jury to close its eyes and imagine that the little girl victim is White. For those who haven’t seen the film, the scene is pretty climatic as it is supposed to be the moment when the all White jury has an epitome about their own biases against Black people.

I’m not going to tell you to close your eyes and imagine anything – or else how would you read the rest of this essay/list?

But I’m going to tell you that during this slideshow of 10 White Armed Men NOT Killed By the Police, in hopes that it inspires some of y’all to take off your rose colored glasses and put away your colorblind blinders and ask yourself in the most serious tones: what would happen if these men were Black.

Let Your Voice Be Heard: How To (Legally) Protest A Business

August 14th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Angry coworker employees, protesting, yelling on bullhorns, Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

Companies aren’t immune to doing things that are tasteless, insensitive or downright wrong. Barneys coughed up $525,000 to settle racial profiling situations in their stores. While we certainly don’t have the answers on what to do in every situation, we can make our voices heard when it comes to where we spend our money. Here are some tips on how to legally protest a business.

President Obama Releases Statement On Michael Brown’s Death

August 12th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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President Obama Releases Statement On Michael Brown

A lot of people were complaining that while President Obama was quick to speak on the death of Robin Williams, he had yet to speak on unjust killing of unarmed teenager, Michael Brown.

But today the White House Press Secretary released a statement from the president. It read as follows:

“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community deserve.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 7.18.02 PM

Are you glad to see President Obama spoke on the matter? What do you make of his statement?

No, Charlize Theron Is Not African

August 11th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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"Charlize Theron pf"

WENN

According to E!Online, Charlize Theron did not try to get Tia Mowry banned from their fitness class.

More specifically, the site reports:

Charlize Theron may have played an evil queen, but she isn’t going around lording it over people at SoulCycle. In response to a report that Theron wants Tia Mowry banned from the celeb-favored spinning franchise in the wake of an alleged exchange-gone-wrong between the two of them, a source assures E! News that “this is totally fabricated and completely not true.”

Phewsh, well that is a sigh of relief! I thought for a second we might have to get Iyanla Vanzant to shake a calabash full of cowry shells around those two or something. Of course, there is still the matter of the original incident, where Mowry alleges Theron rudely cut down her introduction with an “Oh My God!” But honestly, who cares? Amirite?

Seriously, who really cares that Theron didn’t speak to Mowry at SoulCycle? For one, what the hell is SoulCycle? I don’t know, I do Zumba. And secondly, is there some sort of law, which requires us to speak to the Mowry sisters all the time? Because if so, I want that law struck down and the Congressman, who introduced it, impeached and tried for treason.

What I’m saying is that there could be hundreds of reasons why she didn’t speak to Mowry. Theron could be an introvert, who doesn’t particularly like strange and unfamiliar women interrupting her SoulCycle class for her. Or she could not have recognized the one-half of the stars from “Sister, Sister.” Or she simply could be she is just not a fan of the goodie-two shoe twin spawns of Claire Huxtable’s respectability and just really wanted her to go away. That is a huge possibility and I wouldn’t be mad at Theron in the least if that is the case. Or Theron could just be a big, fat (physically skinny) racist. That could be a possibility right?

No. Well, why not? Eye roll. Oh yeah, the African thing…

What most annoys me about this story is reading comment thread after comment thread of Black folks in particular, denouncing even the possibility that racial bias played a part in Theron’s rude behavior simply because Theron grew up in South Africa. Now, I’m not saying that Theron is racist or even her exchange with Mowry was racial. I’m saying that we shouldn’t instantly exclude the possibility of racism – or even give her a pass – simply because she might know some Black people in Africa.

Yes, this is totally petty. But it is pettiness spawned out of years of hearing Black folks make ridiculous claims about Theron’s relationship to blackness. The belief, as it has been told to me since this White woman stepped on the scene confusing everybody, is that Theron, who was born and reared on a small farm in Benoni, Transvaal Province, South Africa, is more African than most African Americans because she was born in South Africa around native Africans, so by default, she’s African too – or more specifically, an Afrikaan. Sounds confusing. Yeah, well you know how I feel every time some one says this to me.

And yet Black folks specifically repeat this sophistry proudly and with a straight face. And also without the least bit of irony. You know the kind that might make one think about colonialism and imperialism. At the very least, the apartheid system in South Africa, which by design, was created to keep native African culture separate and subjugated under whiteness including the Afrikaners

And especially the Afrikaners.

For those, who don’t know, the Afrikaan language and culture is a derivative of the language and culture of early Dutch European “settlers” (‘cuz folks were already inhabiting those lands they “settled” into), who arrived along the coast of modern day South Africa in the mid 1600s. You can read this Wiki page for the full history of the Afrikaners (and definitely check out the annotations at the bottom of the page in case you need more insight).

But just to highlight some points: despite being in a land of Black people, the Dutch “settlers” were kind of separatist (some owned Black slaves) and made sure to keep themselves insular from the natives, hence the “founding” of two provinces called Orange Free State and Transvaal, which later became the birthplace of everybody’s favorite African American, Charlize Theron. As well as the creation of their own language, Boer-culture and even religion, known today as Afrikaan. And by 1948 this “culture” and its Afrikaan Nationalist Party would gain control of the South African government and begin restricting Africans (the Black kind) from having access to housing, education, employment, citizenship (got-damn citizenship on their own land) and even voting rights in the government.

Now the point of this rushed history lesson is to get folks thinking of the ridiculousness of calling an “ethnic” group, which intentionally existed separately from actual Africans, African. An “ethnic” group, which still has largely white-only enclaves in apartheid South Africa. An “ethnic” group, which contains a loud and vocal subgroup of “ethnic” Whites called the Boers, who even to this day feel that they are entitled to homeland in South Africa because God supposedly told them that. And a group, who also to this very day, is identified South African National Census – not as Black or coloured or Asian – but as White.

Because even in Africa, a white person is to be still treat and regarded as a white person. And yes, there is also a Wiki page for that.

So yeah, Theron might be an Afrikaner from South Africa but she is no African. Now does her Afrikaan heritage make her a racist? In all truthfulness, one can make a very good case that the whole culture was formed out of White supremacy, so therefore, yeah! Not to mention her tone-deaf response to Viola Davis’ comments about the lack of roles for Black women in Hollywood. At the very least, she is pretty aloof.

With that said, she also adopted a Black baby boy, so that means something right? But now that I think more about it, so did Madonna. And Strom Thurmond had a Black kid too. His was even biological. Point is, using a non-Black person’s affinity for Black folks, including their abilities to not be racist, based on arbitrary reasons like who they might live by, date or even call family is a huge mistake. One made with foggy blinders on, which probably got cloudy during SoulCycle class.