THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS: SHOWER ROD EDITION

love-and-hip-hop-atlanta-season-2On Monday, the trailer for MiMi Faust and Nikko’s Vivid Entertainment sex tape went viral. A small teaser of rather basic sex acts starring two D-list reality “celebrities” from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta sent the collective popular culture into a frenzy. The leading conductors of this distracting stunt machine however, were my people of color, i.e. Black folk. Black bloggers, Black websites, Black Twittah, and even the Pegros* of Facebook.  My Instagram, Twitter and Facebook timelines were inundated for TWO days with ridiculous memes, jokes, and degrading photos of Ms. Faust, her “family’s” reaction, and of course that daum shower rod, as if there weren’t 50/11 more important or socially relevant things to share and discuss. Like Black Heirlooms (shameless plug). Why must MY PEOPLE always scrapple for the low-hanging and rotting fruit??!?!

How easy it is to pile atop of Mimi’s public, poor decision-making, trying to cross promote her exploitation to gain “likes,” blog hits or shallow praises with snarky quips about her plight? Very. As affirmed by the trending topic that refuses to die. Even the most “accomplished” and “intelligent” of the social media sphere felt the need to #RP and chime-in with a rudimentary joke or four, about the latest degrading act… another Black woman exposed as a punchline when attempting to trade her dignity for social approval. Everyone should know that any adult willing to go on one of Mona-the-Ringmaster’s Reality TV Minstrel Shows (sponsored by Viacom and the continued perpetuation of chattel slavery stereotypes of Black Americans), has deep-rooted issues surrounding self-esteem, vapid ideals of fame as a reciprocity band-aid, and little to lose.  The revolving cast of “reality stars” have been a thorn in the side of quality television programming for over FIVE years now, yet in spite of the criticism… all of the shows remain crown jewels at the Network. Why? Because WE refuse to ignore the bullshyt, instead giving it larger platforms.

#WHATTHEJOEJACKSONHELL A shower rod was TRENDING on social media!? Did you know Tuesday, April 15 was JACKIE ROBINSON DAY??? Or that 3 more cases of racist hate crimes made national news with little attention given from the leading websites in our Black community? Doubtful. For even if you were remotely concerned with news stories outside of the streaming feed of social media (OHHH the gross danger in solely relying on Social Media spaces to deliver your “News”) the more relevant stories were trumped, traffic and trending-wise, by this ridiculous LHHA sex “Scandal.” This is when I get off the train.6e368cff1254d949cde7aebec4bdc5f9

Mimi is a mother, responsible for the emotional well-being and stability of a child. At what point did the masses choose to pause on the re-posts, think critically about the media promoted, and decide to look for more integrity-engaging stories? Never. It is not a bragging right that a blog post poking-fun at Mimi’s desperation for relevancy and attention be the #1 story two days after the teaser was leaked… it is a sobering barometer that a large majority of our people, are worried about the WRONG. THINGS. And THAT is why we consistently CANNOT have nice things. As a PEOPLE.

Before I deleted ALL of my accounts on social media, the rant had to be written. We can’t expect anyone or any institutions to take us seriously if we continue to joke about our depictions and perceptions in media. Everything is a joke…until someone’s life is at stake. Like when a white/Latino flashlight guard gets off for murdering one of our youth under the guise of  ”defending” himself from the idea of a “thug” stereotype. Or a Black woman looses her life at the hands of fearful ignorance because a white man deems her just as expendable and devalued as the characters seen “cooning” on cable television.

Few find that funny, but consider how and when these seeds are planted. Fear is but an emotion, a perception, oftentimes gathered from concepts absorbed in mainstream media. These stereotypes perpetuated in 2014 resemble the same contextual themes as the ones originated during chattel slavery. Shout out to the producers and the collective viewing audiences.

Media representation reaches across the global diaspora and local offices far quicker than your “interpretation” or explanation that WE aren’t a monolith. Stereotypes manifested as fear can play out in fatal examples. We know far too well how they are used to cradle institutionalized decisions in government policies, education, law enforcement and even interpersonal relationships. So why not know better and DO better?! Oh. Because ain’t nothing like celebrating a laugh about a shower rod and recorded sex for two days straight in order to fit in with the rest of the sheep. Too bad more people are falling for the distractions, opting to fan the flames of foolery as opposed to thinking critically about what is being promoted, perpetuated and digested in media. That is just too much like right without enough “likes.”

*PEGRO- A pretentious negro (as defined and popularized by Auntie Peebz @thepbg)

Peace,

Dawnavette