So it is with some reservation that I write this (deliberately vague) blog.
Recently a young white female American performer, of mediocre talent, performed at a music awards showcase. In her performance the young lady lifted certain key elements from the "gangsta rap" culture and placed them on the stage. The next day American news and social media exploded with outrage at the racism of it all.
The thing is, in the grand scheme of things the performance was altogether unremarkable (Yes American media worked... I saw it... in its entirety), it wasn't remarkably good, it wasn't remarkably bad and in a country in the which people get killed, jailed, deported and declared war on on racist premises, it wasn't remarkably racially offensive (just a little perspective).
Yet again American media has dictated to us what is important to think about, and without thinking about it... we thought about it.
As a black man I was not at all offended by the performance, I did not feel that she was speaking to me or about me. I happen to know thousands of Caribbean black people and I did not feel she was speaking to them or about them either. I know several (not thousands) of American black people, from several walks of life, and I can say confidently (despite what American media would have you believe) that she was not speaking to or about them either.
I will grant you that the young woman (or rather her handlers, for she is little more than a product) are guilty of some racial insensitivity, in much the same way that some white people can't quite grasp why it is okay for black people to say "nigger" but not for them! (For the red herring lovers I am not saying that it is or isn't okay to say nigger I'm merely... drawing a reference). I will also grant you that given the global problems of racism, class-ism and culturalism (aha!!) we do need to discuss such issues... but really? This bullshitty performance is your trigger for discussion... Really??!!
Furthermore there was nothing in the performance that I haven't seen (or far worse) in a typical gangsta rap video. If I was to choose to be offended by the shenanigans of manufactured, contrived American celebrities I would be offended by the black rappers who put these images forward as "black culture" in the first place not by the pathetic attempts of a soon to be" has been" to expand her market share.
Anyway American media has won again for here I am discussing a performance that I would not even have farted on ordinarily... while the country that I live in and love spirals towards economic ruin!
Nala (The $2 Philosopher)
*I'll talk about Rihanna because even though the construct of RIHANNA is an American celebrity the human being around whom it is built is a Bajan so I feel (may be mistakenly) entitled.