Here is Why You Need to be Careful in Looking at Black Celebrities as Role Models
People in the entertainment world are often looked at as role models. They may be at times and at other times pure idiots. Those we hold in high esteem often are often great rappers, singers, and actors, but when it comes to politics and history they can be just as ignorant as the of the population. There are celebrities that have said sexist things, not to mention that have committed criminal acts, racist comments, and ridiculous viewpoints. I frankly am not one that believes if you have a lot of money you can say or do whatever you want without being slapped down for saying stupid stuff. Being rich does not make you an expert in every area—Donald Trump is a good example—lost.
Thanks to various news sources we are able to review these actions as they were said by these confused celebrities. For example, Zoe Saldana claims to be “colorblind,” but Hollywood, the very folks she works for knows nothing about being colorblind. I don’t have to go into the black exploitation films of the 1960s and 1970s to make the point that Hollywood has always been a purveyor of prejudice; of making movies that degrade black people. There have been some improvements but not enough to make blacks folks think “We have arrived!” With the improvements have come the wishful thinking in much the same way people fooled themselves into thinking that racism would disappear with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Racism after Obama is at all time high as racist whites have come out of the closet to undue everything that Obama tried to accomplish. I told folks then that, “You better not go to sleep!” They went to sleep and celebrated, and remained too quiet as the racists came back like a tornado.
Zoe Saldana opened her foolish remarks by saying her sci-fi roles gave her "the ability as an artist to be colorblind." Sorry Zoe, but Hollywood never obtained that talent! Her comment would be laughable if they were not so illusionary. In 2103, she went further according to vivala.com when she said that there were was “no such thing as people of color." She even claimed to be “gender blind.” I might add that she is mentally blind! Stacey Dash is another one. She said that Black history Month shouldn’t exist as explained in an Essence article, and Lil Wayne looked even sillier when he was quoted in the Guardian Newspaper as saying he does not believe racism exists.
In another Essence article, “Raven-Symone has criticized ‘black sounding’ names, called herself ‘colorless.’” Is that “So Raven?” The article went on to say that she “defended a television host who said Michelle Obama looked like an ape.” Her ignorance is stressing. Black historians know that naming children is an African custom that predate slavery, but being an actor not ensure that she has the proper education. According to Redeye Chicago, in 2014, Pharrell Williams while on the Oprah Show said, “the New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality, and it’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re going to be on." He later tried to walk back that comment after he thought about his statement by saying he was only speaking for himself.
I almost hate to bring up this guy’s name—Kanye West. He has said enough stupid things to make you wonder if he ever read a single book. According to the Guardian, he has said
That racism "a dated concept" and "silly." "It's something that was used to hold people back in the past," He seems to know what being black on some days and the rest of the week makes comments that border on lunacy.
Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t escape either. According to the Huffington Post, said the “Academy Awards can't be that racist because she once won a prized trophy.” Woe is me Whoopi, just because you did it your willing to excuse the racism in Hollywood—maybe she should apply for the “Token Negro Award.” White supremacist producers are always looking for people to give this award to. What about Jim Brown, the NFL star from ages ago? He has made all sorts of foolish comments over the years, and even criticized players for kneeling at football games—which was a patriotic act against police abuse. I don’t even recognize the name A$AP Ferg, but since he opened his mouth with a twisted tongue it is appropriate to let folks know what this “expert” said. In quoting an NPR interview, the Huffington Post said he claimed racism was a thing of the past and no longer existed. Please don’t comment “You mean you never heard of him?” No, never heard of him, and glad I have not for obvious reasons.
How “Common” is Common? According to reports about an appearance on the Daily Show, Some guy who calls himself “Common” suggested that Blacks should show love to whites, and that was the solution to all racism. He went further according to the Huffington Post by saying, “Let’s forget about the past . . . .” Ok, let’s forget about all of his past, and the past of 911, and the past of Pearl Harbor, and the past of his achievements—according to him the past does not matter. Foolish and ignorant!
Ooh my, Morgan Freeman has sexual harassment charges now, not as bad as “Fat Albert” but bad enough. Power in the hands of people who have integrity issues can be dangerous. According to CNN and the Atlanta Black Star, “Morgan Freeman thinks people should just stop talking about race and told Don Lemon that he didn't believe racism existed because he and Lemon had succeeded. He went on to say, "Why would race have anything to do with it? Put your mind to what you want to do and go for that. It’s kind of like religion to me—it’s a good excuse for not getting there.” This guy learn nothing from the roles he played in especially the film “Glory.” I guess it was just a job in which the reality of racism did not sink in.
Devyn Abdullah, as reported by the Huffington Post said, “I don’t really consider myself as a black girl model. I know what my ethnicity is, but I’m fair-skinned and I feel like I have an international look” Her mentor Naomi Campbell was shocked and blasted Devyn by saying, “What the f*ck does she mean? That’s a disgrace! She’s a Black girl.”
When R&B singer Keyshia Cole said that she was hesitant about participating in Black Girls Rock because she wasn’t sure if she was Black, Black Twitter exploded with criticism. Keyshia quickly backpedaled and said ““I’m bi-racial, but it’s okay. I’m Black.” But she still left a few fans feeling frustrated. http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/10/13/8-black-celebrities-who-denied-being-african-american/2/
Video model Karrine Steffans — better known by her industry nick name Superhead — says that she doesn’t consider herself or her son African-American. Karrine says that because she’s from St. Thomas, she doesn’t have a black “state of mind”:
“I think people forget, I’m an islander. I’m not African American. I don’t have like African American struggles. I just don’t. I don’t have the same history. So, and I’m not even tryna be facetious…There’s a serious mind state that comes with being Black in America and being a Black American. And the history that comes with that. And all things that are passed down from generation to generation…Shame. Shame sexually. Sexually shaming. Shame on the female gender. Shame just all kinds of shame. And abuse. And belittling and all those things that come from post-slavery.” https://bossip.com/887916/ho-sit-down-karrine-superhead-steffans-says-she-doesnt-consider-herself-african-american/
In his controversial 2004 NAACP event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, Bill Cosby said call him anything but African-American:
“We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.”
OK, so Gabriel Aubry obviously knows he’s White. What he doesn’t understand is his daughter is also Black. TMZ reported that he goes “nuts” whenever anyone calls his daughter Nahla, born to bi-racial actress Halle Berry, Black — and even tried to get the word retracted when he saw it in print.
The world may consider Tiger Woods the first African American to win the Masters, but Tiger told Oprah that he considers himself “Cablinasian”: a mixture of Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970423&slug=2535313
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller came under fire when he was accused of passing for white while a student at Harvard. Wentworth says that he had other reasons for not revelaing that he is half Black, but a lot of Miller’s fans still don’t know that he’s biracial.
Kidada Jones says that her famous sister Rashida used to pass for white back when they were in school. She told Glamour Magazine,
“I didn’t want my mother to come to my new school. If kids saw her, it would be: “your mom’s white!” I told Mom she couldn’t pick me up; she had to wait down the street in her car. Did Rashida have that problem? No! She passed for white.”