Why Do We Act As Though You’re “Bringing Down” Other Black People If You Have An Opinion On Their Work?

September 28, 2012  |  

Want to know what a real “hater” looks like? They’re the ones who go out of their way to go on every post about Beyoncé and say, “Who cares???” If you hadn’t realized it yet, you clearly care just a little bit when you take time to comment. They’re the ones who like to pretend like certain people can do nothing right, and every song or album or movie they drop is a complete fail. They can’t acknowledge the awesome moments without lacing their backhanded compliment with shade. Often, they work so hard to go against what the majority likes, that they relish in being “anti.”

But when did we get these “I-hate-24/7-as-a-job” folks confused with individuals who just happen to have an opinion about black folks that you don’t agree with?

“You weren’t feeling Red Tails? How can you not like a movie with a cast full of black men depicting black history??? Keep your negative opinion to yourself. Let’s stop trying to tear our people down and give folks some credit!”

Yeah, it can get that deep.

I’ve noticed this for a while, but it has really started to catch my attention in the past few weeks. An author for the site did a piece on why she was a big fan of Tyler Perry’s plays, but felt they didn’t translate well when put on-screen. As someone who has to keep her eye on our social media pages, I noticed that a lot of people had a lot to say about that story. Some commented and claimed to be more partial to his plays, others said they loved the movies more, and some said they just loved both–they were ridin’ for their man Tyler. That’s all fine and dandy, because a healthy discussion is what we strive for around these parts.

However, I also noticed a few people who felt that the author saying she liked his plays and wasn’t a fan of his movies was an attempt to bring “our people down.” One even wrote it in caps lock in case your vision was less than stellar (thanks for that…). And then I noticed this week that when we posted the new Rihanna song, “Diamonds,” some people liked it, some people didn’t, and for those who didn’t, a commenter questioned why people were so negative and that we needed to be trying to uplift her as she’s a global star. She’s made it folks! A black woman all the way from the Caribbean is doing big things, so I guess you can only say you like her work, her style and her conduct, or you could be confused as someone hoping for her downfall.

I’m all for uplifting our people, but does that mean we have to accept some things of poor quality with a smile and give the thumbs up just because the entertainer/author/artist that gave it to us is black? I can’t have a simple opinion about what didn’t work for me without it being deemed as an opportunity to hold my brothers and sistas down? C’mon now…

Once again, I’m all for uplifting the people, but when the people want me to spend my money to see their movies, buy their albums, or watch their shows, I have every right to speak my opinion if something isn’t working for me. There’s no need to get nasty with it of course, as that would be an example of trying to tear black folks down: “This dog lookin’ b***h looks stupid as hell!!!!” But when you’re stating an opinion you believe to be an honest one, and not a malicious one, and NOT to get kicks or be controversial, I just never understand when other people get their panties in a bunch. Especially when you’re not the person being critiqued. Take my statement with a grain of salt if it doesn’t float your boat, but there’s no need to question my support of black people as a black person because of a simple opinion.

I love my people (really, I do), but just because someone is black and I occasionally like their work doesn’t mean I have to keep my mouth shut or pretend something is a classic when it’s absolutely not. Don’t give me crap and tell me it’s gold and expect me to just go along with it. It’s great to know when an opinion isn’t one that needs to be voiced, but if somebody asks my opinion on a movie/song/book by a talented black person and I just so happen not to like it, I can’t promise you I’ll hold my tongue, but I can promise I’ll be tactful with it. Well, for the most part at least…

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