I have to say something that has been weighing on my heart heavily over the past couple of days. From the water crisis in Flint, Michigan to the #OscarsSoWhite call to action boycott. It’s so much going on that I’m not even sure where to start. But here it goes!
1. Flint, MI
I have to say that I am disgusted by Governor Snyder and the misconduct regarding the water crisis. First reports of the states water becoming contaminated with lead dates back to April 2014. The fact that this has been plaguing Flint residents for two years is an absolute disgrace. “All of the children who have drank the cities water since April 2014 have been exsposed to lead…And even the 8,657 Flint children younger than six exposed to lead may be a low estimate; It doesn’t include unborn children whose mothers drank tainted water during their pregnancies, or children and pregnant women who reside outside Flint but were exposed while visiting relatives, childcare centers or hospitals inside city limits.”
How extremely deplorable this is for a state government to be aware and blantaly ignore reports and complaints. Cher said it best “it’s always the poor people…mostly black; he (Gov. Snyder) just took advantage of people that have no voice.” Where is the humanity in this, why do we not take care of people and value lives?
2. Jada Pinket Smith’s “We must stand in our power”
Well first and foremost I am trying to not be biased because I love Jada. However, I completely agree with her thoughts and opinions regarding the lack of diversity in within the Academy. This is the second consecutive year the Academy voters have failed to nominate a person of color in any of the acting categories. How shameful is that? In the entire 88 years of the Academy Awards to date only 45 African Americans have been nominated while only 13 have come out as winners. Not to discredit the actors work or award but they were either cast as a slave archetype, crooked cop or low income abusive drug induced mother. I applaud Jada for her response to Janet Hubert, her stepping out and saying that her boycott is not just about the Oscars it’s about Hollywood as a whole devaluing African American actors and writers. We as a people have constantly been begging for a seat at the table. But why should we have to beg for something that is or should already rightfully and deservingly be ours? While I also agree with Aunt Viv there are more things going on in the world that need our attention and voice. Jada, Spike and various others have presented a call to action not just for #OscarsSoWhite but for delving back into our communities and restablishing our worth and power.
My only question is how do those who are less affluent attain that power? How do we become the writers and authors of our own stories and how do we conserve our legacy and not sell it to the highest bidder?
Which leads me to my next point…
3. Stacy Dash Fox New Comments
This part leaves me a bit exasperated because I am just in awe that she would get on television and say that “BET, NAACP Image Awards and Black History Month should not exist”. Girl (insert blank stare); I get you need a check because you have bills, but really Stacy all money ain’t good money, especially when you are selling your soul like this. First of all every day is Caucasian history day just go to any public school and look at their history books, turn on the television or just pick up a magazine, “Dee”!
Second, BET and these other platforms were created for the very reason we are even having this debate; the blatant exclusion of African American from such award acknowledgements and recognition of their contributions to the movie making system…Duh. Nevertheless, BET is owned by Viacom (possibly the whitest broadcasting and cable company ever to exist) and has been since 2000…2001. Therefore, we don’t really control the narrative at BET. Since I’m on the subject that picture that BET posted of Stacy asking for their check back was actually a screen shot from when The Game was on The CW (Camille & Jason, I loved that show only real fans know, but I guess you did get a sydication check though, huh). In any case, Stacy you have done a number of movie of the weeks for BET let us not forget “Getting Played, Single Ladies and the most memorable Gang of Roses”. So “AS IF”. Stacy have several seats boo boo.
4. Closing thoughts
We can no longer pretend that these acts are not connected and are just things that randomly happen to our people. We also cannot continue to live as if these injustices do not have anything to do with us just because they aren’t directly effecting us. They are not just isolated events, what’s protecting your child and your family from consuming contaminated water, just because your local government decides to cut budgets?
Be it Sandra Bland, Tyshwan Lee, Eric Garner, the 9 deaths that occurred in Charleston, or the little girl that was shot in the leg while sleeping in Atlanta, the list goes on. Remember there is a bigger conversation that needs to be had and let’s try not to get distracted by things that are menial. But instead lets work together in finding solutions. Lets get back to the ideals that this nation was created upon. Freedom (of the mind, body and spirit) and Justice for all (no matter your race, spiritual preference or creed). Value humanity, respect life and do your very best to leave this world better than when you came into it.