What Ebro Should Have Been Talking About This Morning Instead Of Our “Attitude Problem”
I’m a huge fan of Hot 97 DJ Ebro Darden. He’s clearly intelligent with insight not only into the world of Hip Hop, but seemingly in the world at large. Personally, I’m here for anyone who is unapologetically Black and Ebro has always struck me as that type of dude. (And I particularly liked his comments and the emotion he showed when discussing the Charleston shooting.)
But this morning, he was catching the side eye from Black and Brown women on social media for asking whether or not Black and Latina women have an attitude problem.
Yes, this discussion… again.
Many, who didn’t get a chance to listen to the actual show, learned about the discussion from the tweet below.
This picture of our beloved First Lady, who has been ridiculed and derided for everything from showing her arms, to being involved in terrorist activity, was the image they used to discuss the most prevalent and detrimental stereotype associated with Black women.
They eventually deleted the tweet; but as we’ve said time and time again, nothing escapes the screen shot.
So, many women responded to that inflammatory image. And as you might imagine, they were less than pleasant.
Hot 97 noticed the less than favorable response. And instead of explaining themselves clearly and succinctly, Ebro added insult to injury with this video.
Based on this information alone, not only were the Black and Brown women on Twitter hot, even we over here at MN were wondering what the hell was wrong with this dude. With the way Black men have regurgitated the same negative stereotypes of Black women against us, particularly in public forums, it’s no wonder we were all ready to pop off. We’ve seen it before and we’re tired. It’s frustrating, infuriating and produces the very attitude that is supposedly so problematic.
Thankfully, our managing editor decided to wait and get the full story. So, in following her lead, I too chilled…and then did some more research.
That’s when I found this Periscope video Ebro posted on his Twitter account.
I highly suggest you watch it to get a better understanding of what the initial conversation was about and hear Laura Stylez’s, Ebro’s co-host, a Latina woman, words on the topic.
If you can’t watch, know that Ebro explained that the discussion was about stereotypes against Black and Brown women and to what degree does our behavior contribute or disprove the stereotype. There was even talk about whether our consumption of reality television shows featuring Black women promotes the stereotype to the mainstream.
Ok… so we didn’t have the full context. We’ve had those discussions here before. And in light of this new information, I’m calmer…and, thankfully, less disappointed in Ebro and the station at large.
But in that same periscope video, Laura Stylez stated that the station did a poor job of promoting the true nature of the topic on social media. And that right there, is the truth.
The conversation is already treading into dangerous waters. And promoting this type of weighty and controversial topic on social media, with tact and clarity, in 140 characters and a catchy image, is difficult. And it’s clear that Hot 97 failed.
Furthermore, Ebro leading a conversation about Black and Brown women and their alleged attitude problem, with Laura Stylez being the only woman in the room, is not only unfair, it might highlight the very reason why Black and Brown women have attitudes in the first place. Men of all shades, across all continents spend far too much time monitoring, policing and even condemning our lives. Black men might know a thing or two about us, but they can’t speak knowledgeably about our experiences, especially when it comes to the forces, institutions and ideologies that may contribute to our unique oppression. They know racism but they don’t know misogyny and how it manifests itself in our daily lives. We have to fight two or more battles, consistently.
If you want to talk about attitudes, it has to be a cause and effect discussion. And while you can’t ever blame anyone else for your behavior; men, of all colors, might find they have a lot to do with the oppression that yields a stank disposition.
And finally, as many times as Black women, seen and unseen, have come to the aid of men of color in this country, marching, protesting, defending and supporting, it would be nice to receive some of that same treatment in return. Sure, we can have yet another conversation about our attitudes. But I’d be much more invested in a conversation about the ways in which Black men and women can come together to address issues of misogyny, within our community, and racism, in the world, that hold us all back.