Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Black Girls DO Rock!

On Easter Sunday, an annual event called Black Girls Rock! aired on BET. Each year, some string of controversy has emerged, claiming "reverse racism" and declaring some version of "A 'White Girls Rock!' event wouldn't even last five minutes without Al Sharpton outside the venue, shutting it down." But, this year the controversy was particularly more troubling, because it was aimed at First Lady Michelle Obama. Many bloggers, and Tweeters alike, ranted about the "racial bias" the First Lady showed toward "her own race."

Wow. Sounds APPALLING. Let's see what horrible, racist, biased, derogatory things the First Lady said...

“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful.”
“I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so proud of you. We have so much hope and dreams for you.”
“There is nothing more important than being serious about your education, that’s why I am able to stand here tonight."
“I want every one of our black girls do to the same, and our black boys.”
“I know there are voices that [are telling] you are not good enough. Each of those doubts was like a test that I either shrink away from or rise to meet. And I decided to rise.”
(Whole article here)

Oh. Wait. So...wait. What's the problem? 

The problem, some white women are complaining, is that it excludes them. That because this event was aimed at promoting education, awareness, and encouragement for women and girls of color, the First Lady couldn't give two shits about the welfare and outcome of any of the other women in her country. Really?? Really, white ladies?? Is that REALLY what you think? Or were you just mad you weren't invited? I mean, get a grip on life already.

I can sum this all up in a lesson I learned when I five-years-old. I asked my parents why there was a Mother's Day and Father's Day, but no Kid's Day. My father looked me dead in the eye and said, "Everyday is Kid's Day." White people: EVERY BLESSED DAY IS WHITE GIRLS ROCK! DAY. Are you kidding me with this? 

Now, before I continue let me be clear on my intention in writing this post. It is not because I think the black community needs some chubby white girl fighting their battles, it's because when I started this blog I resolved to write about anything that inspires or incenses me and THIS incenses me. For weeks, I have been excited watching the build up of Black Girls Rock! as I follow Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross (the hosts of the event) on Instagram and while I don't have cable, I was excited to see the Instagram photos roll in Sunday night and watch YouTube clips yesterday morning. 

I was unaware of the controversy until I listened to last week's episode of The Read (#TIDALforSOMEOFYALL feat. Dormtainment) this evening while strolling around town and my mouth literally dropped open as co-host Crissle broached the topic. (The event was taped a week prior to airing). That was when I knew I needed to write about it.

The fact that it is 2015 and we, as a society, are still ignorant to the fact that minorities are still treated as such and events and movements like Black Girls Rock! and Black Lives Matter are not about exclusion, but about recognition, awareness, education, community. These are things the white community have at birth. These are privileges I was born with and don't have to think twice about, so of course I don't expect a White Girls Rock! event and OF COURSE women of color DO. 

Seeing the faces of the young girls in the audience as the First Lady spoke was humbling in a way that is beyond words. It was empowering and inspiring, but also disheartening to know I live in a time and a place where young black girls would need a speech like that to feel worthy and beautiful and accepted. But, I do and they do. So, why white women want to continue with #whitegirlsrock and perpetuate the division of race further by creating drama where they doesn't need to be any, is beyond me. But, I declare here and now: I want no friggin' part of it. And as the blogger Amanda Shea wrote, yes "Everybody rocks!" but we white girls hear it a hell of a lot more than black girls do. And that's just a sad fact, sweetie.