Ever since I read about this controversy last week I’ve wanted to post about it here but I was all over the map about what to say or which emotion or argument to focus on.
Even know, as I write, I’m pinging between hurt, outrage, disgust, and bewilderment. But I don’t want to cover all of that. So, let me just get this out of the way: it hurts my feelings; I’m outraged by her blatant racism; and I’m disgusted that she, or anyone else, considers herself a journalist.
Now I can focus on the bewilderment. When I first launched this blog, one of my first posts was about a segment on Lifetime TV about “African American fashion” and what a ridiculous and condescending concept I found it to be. Eventually, because the show was old (produced in the 90’s), my belief that we’d moved forward, as country, from such notions like “all black folks dress the same” and the realization it really was not a good use of my time or energy to launch any sort of letter-writing campaign against the network, I let it go.
Ah, but here we are in 2012 and we’ve clearly, as humankind, NOT moved forward. This state of affairs is disheartening, to say the least. And I have so many questions – hence my bewildered state. Like, what rock has this chick been living under that she still thinks all black people think, vote, act, dress the same? Is she Rip Van Dips**t – fell asleep in the 50s, woke up in the 2000’s, didn’t realize nobody voices idiotic prejudices out loud anymore without risking global castigation? And why didn’t the editor, after reading this piece of “fashion journalism” (let’s pretend it’s journalism), say “Are you insane?! We’re not publishing this drivel!” Any why, why, why do they profess not to understand why certain of their readers – and fellow magazine writers and editors – are pissed off? Does no one know how to say “We’re sorry. We screwed up. We’ll make every effort not to screw up like this again and here’s how we’re going to make sure it doesn’t.”
When you think about it, this woman was failed, because no one told her that her premise is ludicrous, intellectually lazy, and completely unacceptable. After all she is, evidently, incapable of figuring it out on her own.
For the record, I think Michelle Obama is an incredible woman, but I was dressing myself – and very well, thank you – long before I ever even heard of her.