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Wake Up Entertainers, Racism is Alive

Post-Black. Post-racial. New Black. These ideological concepts continue to swarm society, with hopes of it one day becoming our reality.

Sadly, reality is just the opposite. We are not over racism.

So that is why it chills me to my core when artists of color downplay discrimination.

For example, ASAP Ferg, recently told NPR’s “Microphone Check” the following foolery:  “Racism is like five generations ago. Racism been over.”  Even Kanye West, “New Slave” mastermind, explained to a Paris publication that “Racism is played out.”  I, like so many others, gasped when Raven-Symoné wasted her time defending a bigoted “Planet of the Apes” comment against First Lady Michelle Obama.

Common and Pharrell, we appreciate your art and voice in entertainment but this ideal of a “New Black” sounds like you are disconnected from the roots of your Blackness.  These theories are more reflective of the fact that you can shmooze and rub elbows because of your green and IN SPITE OF your brown skin.

When news broke about the murder of Trayvon Martin, we called racism. The same was said in the cases of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and countless others whose lives ended tragically. Our instincts telling us these were racist acts were accurate. Check the Ferguson report that blatantly shows officers discriminating against Black people.

Check the footage of a middle school principal caught on camera, candidly admitting he doesn’t “like the Black kids.” Further proving that racist behavior is taught, read about ten-year-old Harmony who received a letter from a classmate explaining why her dad wouldn’t allow her to attend the birthday sleepover. Recall that the entire SAE fraternity made the news for chanting how they want to “lynch n—-s!” and that Black people aren’t allowed in their fraternity.

Just saying. Pay attention to what is happening.

Granted, your daily experiences in this life may no longer meet with blatant racist acts, but that does not discredit the experiences being had around the world. Your view does not trump what Harmony and her classmate learned at a young age or the kids at Scandinavian middle school who already have a strike against them simply because their principal doesn’t like their skin color. Consider even the Sony scandal.

We’re living in a time where people feel it okay to disrespect and mock the President of the United States, to an extent that he has been addressed as an n-word.

The “new Black” is not changing bigoted mindsets with one hug or an I-love-you at a time. Kuumbaya moments are not permanent acts of racial togetherness in today’s society.

Please remember that we live in a world where hate and racial disharmony make the news nearly every day, and we at JET should know. It may not be as frequent or extreme as in past generations, but it is still heartbreaking.

So I’m asking my entertainers and influencers of color: Please don’t sugarcoat it and make it harder to attack.