POC Who Need to Get Their Ish Together

I'll start, but feel free to add some more.

Boris Kodjoe
...Boris Kodjoe got it wrong when he decided to go in on “fat” black women, while ignoring Americans in general, black men, poverty, the economy, income, etc. While extolling how healthy he and his wife are – and I applaud them – he somehow forgot that they are wealthy. His targets are overwhelmingly living in low income areas, are often single and taking care of children, and don’t have money for much.

~ Jonne Austin
Boris is what I call "Bitchy Rich". How quickly they forget.  It's so easy to look down on others when paying your bills requires little to no effort, and part of your job is to actually look good.

Affion Crockett
For those who have yet to see the show, it’s a variety/sketch comedy show featuring Mr. Crockett poking fun at pop culture and celebrities. I’ll tell you – dude did a clever Drake impersonation; it nearly had me in tears! However, flipping back and forth to the show, I found some themes to be troubling, especially as it poked fun at themes that the Black community continues to come against. Admittedly, the “Hilight” sketch – meant to poke fun at both Twilight and the plight of mulattos and light skinned Blacks – was when it all began to go sour for me. There was also a very clever sketch of Chris Rock that had him painted a darker shade of brown.

Beyond that, the real resolution I’m struggling to reach is this: are Affion Crockett’s performances, especially where he colors himself darker or lighter, merely a minstrel show on a major network?

~ Livication
If you have to ask, then that means your alarm bells are ringing and it's time to go. POC who poke fun at other POC for the entertainment of whites deserved to be abandoned out in the wilderness.

Rutina Wesley

Hold your horses, kids.  Let me explain.

I have spent almost two years now listening to POC rage about the treatment of "Tara" on True Blood.  While they love Rutina herself, and think she's utterly beautiful (which she is), there's this chest-constricting frustration on how the writers treat her.  People...by now Rutina has money, experience, and contacts, that artists the likes of Issa Rae would kill for.  She could be bankrolling her own operation by now - indie films, a web series - you name it.  And we would support the ever-living hell out of her.  Hell, [white] actress Eliza Dushku hasn't had the best career post-Buffy & Bring It On, but she still has her own production company.  And this woman hasn't been able to regularly star in a show for more than two seasons, while Rutina's been "Tara" for four now.

Is it harder for POC in Hollywhite?  Yes.  That's not even up for debate.  That's also not the point here.  The point here is that it's 2011 and the statements like "at least there's a black girl in such-an-such" or "the black girl has the best character but she's not the star" are inefficient.  In his interview with me, actor Peter Jae made a powerful statement of how "you can't sit around complaining about the industry not creating [good] roles because before you know it, you'll be 50 years old singing the same old song. Gotta make it happen by any means necessary."

Indeed.  Strike out on your own and make it happen.

D.L. Hughley, Damon Wayans, & Esther Ku

Hat tip to For Black Women – What Not to Buy for bringing this to my attention.

So, Black women are the butt of jokes for Black men. Asian men get picked on for fun by Asian women. In the end Asian women and Black men are rewarded by the white run media?

It’s plausible.

~ Sardonic Sistah Says
Enough said.

Dat Phan

  1. You’re clearly ripping off Ken Jeong’s Mr. Chow from The Hangover movies.
  2. While I love me some Ken Jeong almost any day of the week, Mr. Chow is basically awful and your rip-off is worse.
  3. An Asian accent isn’t a stand-in for funny.
  4. Wait, was this ad supposed to be funny? I’m assuming because you hired a comedian, the answer is yes. But I can’t tell. Seriously, I can’t tell.
  5. Let’s assume this ad was supposed to be funny. Jokes about an Asian person being small are played and unfunny. So I guess you weren’t trying to be funny? See that? Now I’m confused, which is never a good thing in advertising.
~ Jen (from Disgrasian)
There's nothing left for me to say.

Katt Williams

I don't like people (especially POC) ragging on Mexicans.  Cut it out now.

Julanne Chidi-Hill

Julanne is a dark chocolate, classically trained actress whom I've seen on Weeds and in Crank 2.  Both times she has played a foul-mouthed prostitute.  In Crank 2, her ass was basically a spanking toy for the creepy guy she lived with, who threatened her with choking whenever she refused to obey.

*shudder*

Comments

  1. Re: Rutina Wesley.

    To be fair, as we've discussed before, POCs don't support their own. We see how much support Danny Glover got when he tried to make that period piece sans the white hero.

    How much have we witnessed this in trying to get support for MCP and Hollowstone. Often times it's like pulling teeth from the very people who are ALWAYS bitching and moaning about the lack of diversity and the need for more POC media.

    Hell, I can't tell you how many times I've done posts promoting quality POC and/or queer media and I get e-crickets from the same mofos who swear on 12 stacks of Bibles that they would sooooooo support us if there was an opportunity.

    Don't get me wrong, your point is a valid one and I feel where you're coming from. However rather than putting the onus on Wesley, I say we need to put it on POC audiences in that we need to get our ish together. We can't expect artists like her to put herself out there, invest her hard-earned money into projects and not get the support she needs from her own people.

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  2. I say we need to put it on POC audiences in that we need to get our ish together. We can't expect artists like her to put herself out there, invest her hard-earned money into projects and not get the support she needs from her own people.

    I agree to an extent, but at the same time, I look at Avery Brooks (Captain Benjamin Sisko) and I have glowing respect because he's very choosy about roles. In addition to acting he lectures, is a professor, an activist, and he sings in a jazz band.

    There was a time when actors were expected to do more than just act and I say we bring those standards back. Rutina can be earning a degree, writing essays, and going on the lecture circuit talking about what POC experience in the biz. And I'm sure more than a few theaters would love to get their hands on her.

    Our artists have to meet us halfway. Like you said on the other post, we have to demand and not give a damn. CCH Pounder got her role as a judge simply because she asserted herself and refused to keep auditioning for crack hos. That's what I'm talking about.

    And now that TV is wooing black actors, Rutina needs to be auditioning for other shit and delivering ultimatums. She's also known abroad and should consider doing work in Brazil or Britain or Canada (like she once did). I'm just afraid she feels so grateful for her role as Tara that she's grown too frightened to even think for a moment that she deserves better.

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  3. "The point here is that it's 2011 and the statements like "at least there's a black girl in such-an-such" or "the black girl has the best character but she's not the star" are inefficient."

    This is the truth, i remember when I was debating on Marvel's Runaways and Tower Prep. I complained about how the characters was portrayed. This is the comments that I always got.

    "To be fair, as we've discussed before, POCs don't support their own. We see how much support Danny Glover got when he tried to make that period piece sans the white hero."

    This is why i respect Glover. Mind you he did a Japanese movie in Japan no less. Frak, if the Japanese are more able to give that much the a Black actor (seeing how Japan shows black people that's giant step). How much so that POC support POC?

    Side Note: You guys are going to make me write another blog again.

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  4. I met his wife at a funeral. She is so thin it's not even worth wanting. She refused a chicken wing at the repass. Not because she didn't eat chicken, she said it was too much food. A CHICKEN WING!!! At a Black funeral? Really?

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  5. @Serenity, are you talking about Boris Kodjoe's wife?

    That is too funny...and sad. I mean, some people are tiny genetically and can eat for real. I think it's kind of sad if people can't at least eat a normal amount trying to maintain that. So I'm not going to trumpet his wife as an example of anything if she maintains her size through extreme measures.

    I'm not surprised. Some of us have swung the pendulum in the opposite direction when it comes to food. Like just passed the middle ground entirely and just won't touch anything. Several of my black female friends have had issues with eating disorders, and one black girl I knew in college finally died from hers before she hit 30.

    What annoys me about the fat talk is that as was mentioned everyone acts like it is a problem that black women have a monopoly on. Like every other discussion, everyone else is apparently perfect and black women are horrible and must do all of the work . Every group is affected by this, and guess what, in countries that are getting richer, like China, or that are eating more fast food, like France, everyone is getting tubby too.

    A much more productive discussion would be more general and wouldn't just attack one group while giving others a free pass. I hate that, and having examined the issues of food desserts in an academic setting, he is attacking people who don't have the same options as even middle class people.

    And it is a complex issue...for people it is access to good food, for other it is access to spaces to safely play or exercise, for some it is time to do anything besides work. Plus, we are all different and even if you behave "perfectly" you'll still have people of various shapes and sizes walking around. Sorry, but it's true. (And boy do I envy people who never exercise but get a free pass and are automatically praised as being superior beings b/c they are tiny; not for the tininess, but just b/c people don't judge them as being lazy, smelly, or stupid).

    And I hate how big black men just act like it is sexy when it is on them, but gross if it is on us. You know that back in the day, Biggie could barely breathe when he was interviewed, wheezing and gasping for air, and they acted like that was the sexiest thing ever. And now Rick Ross will show his gut for pictures too. Either you hate it or you are okay with it, or you love, but don't act like there aren't plenty of black men with this problem. In online settings, BM launch really ugly attacks and NEVER acknowledge that it's a problem that men or women face...they just talk about how BW need to take their big, ugly a$$es to the gym.

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  6. RE: Rutina Wesley

    On one hand I see what you're saying and I agree. Rutina needs to find/do her own shit. Because she gave Alan Ball 4 solid years of her awesome and he wasted it. On the other hand those screeching white woman have been trying to lynch Tara for years and I honestly think it's because she doesn't kiss Sookie's white ass. Tara while being Sookie's best friend is the only character that doesn't allow her life to be dictated by that dumb broad. Normally when we see the black best friend trope she doesn't have shit else to do except care for her hapless white friend. Tara's not like that and like any black person/character that doesn't conform they are hated. The screeching white fanbase called for her head, and finally they got it.

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  7. What annoys me about the fat talk is that as was mentioned everyone acts like it is a problem that black women have a monopoly on. Like every other discussion, everyone else is apparently perfect and black women are horrible and must do all of the work . Every group is affected by this, and guess what, in countries that are getting richer, like China, or that are eating more fast food, like France, everyone is getting tubby too.

    For real. Mind you, I remember at one point West Virginia - a state that's 96% white - got slapped with "Fattest City" or some such. Running into a skinny girl there was not the norm for me, and I noticed that slimmest/most toned women were usually of color.

    Fast forward to my relocation to Houston which, to many folks, is a "black" city. Now I see a slender horde of black women down here, but still we get the fat label and the whole "80% of black women are overweight" stats - um, according to whom, how and why? Because when I went to a weight clinic in WV, they were not impressed my ass, and when I suggested dropping to 130, they flat-out told me hell no.

    I bet our numbers are a little more realistic; they're just not being tossed around. According to the damn Census, 41.9% of us are unmarried, but according to everyone else, it's 70-90%. So if according to "everyone else" 80% of us are overweight, what's the real statistic?

    Lastly, I've noticed that non-black men are telling me to lose weight. Only fragile, thirsty BW and white chicks have thought I needed to get skinny. Some have flat out told me being thin is the only way to be "happy". But I have to ask: how is starving myself (the only way I've ever been thin, by the way) going to make me "happy"?

    And what does it say about your body when even eating a small to normal amount of food makes you gain weight?

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  8. *weren't impressed by my ass

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  9. On the other hand those screeching white woman have been trying to lynch Tara for years and I honestly think it's because she doesn't kiss Sookie's white ass.

    But this fall's into the "the black girl's the best character, but she's not the star" line of reasoning.

    Here's my point, POC generally don't support our own because generally speaking, they don't give us something to support. Once we see a token POC in a white cast, it triggers our disdain. We walk into horror movies yawning, expecting any and all POC to die first. And what's worse is, a lot of POC defend their roles because they don't want to lose their jobs and the tantalizing world of showbiz. So after a while, we the audience start to ask ourselves, "Why the hell do we even bother?"

    Issa Rae & Tracy Oliver proved that there's a strong potential to change that. They gave us a POC-dominant project, asked for $30,000 and got damn near double. It's possible. It's not easy, and it takes time, but when I saw those numbers steadily climb I experienced a hope I hadn't felt since...well, ever.

    The key is attention. We have to capture POC attention en masse. If all tokens withdrew from Hollywhite, openly and unequivocally denounced those roles and the industry which spawned them, and then started doing their own thing, it would grab POC attention. Ktown Cowboys did. Awkward Black Girl did. And none of these folks have half of Rutina Wesley's success.

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  10. And white folks needs to see more TV shows and films where they are clearly not the intended audience, because the whining about POC in their precious world has gotten old. They need to see a kick-ass project which in some way, shape, or form, says, "Fuck you" in every scene.

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  11. "And white folks needs to see more TV shows and films where they are clearly not the intended audience, because the whining about POC in their precious world has gotten old. They need to see a kick-ass project which in some way, shape, or form, says, "Fuck you" in every scene."

    This is the reason why I stuck to Anime and foreign media. I feel more conformable when there is no white people involved.

    Like everytime I turn around I see a white guy, behind a white is is POC best friend that is treated like a second fiddle or a villian.

    So that's why I have a long list of shows that I don't like.

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  12. I don't watch True Blood, but on top of all the problems with Tara, didn't they make her a lesbian in the recent season? How convenient to make the female who had the most problems with men turn lesbian because of it. Rme. Her characterization seems to be getting worse and worse

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