So you remember in Lemonade when Bey is strolling through the streets looking all cute and fabulous, then suddenly turns Lyn Whitfield circa “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” on us. Well, that basically sums up the sentiments of black people this year. At any given moment we could snap.
An Orange-American president, white supremacy protests, the continued shootings of unarmed black people, Taylor Swift albums, Dove ads, and a country curled up in their entire feelings because a few woke, black athletes have decided to use their freedom of speech *deep breath* I digress. In a nutshell, being black is a lot right now (and everyday) and we the Black Delegation would really prefer to enjoy the remainder of October in as much peace as possible.
It’s October, which means fall is here and so is National Cultural Appropriation Day, also known as Halloween. Shoe polished skin, bandanas, faux grills, Serena-inspired booty pads and any other item imagined in the “black like me” kit; I can smell the Miss Jessie’s on Becky’s hair now.
Before I go any further in my rant, let’s take a step back for a second. White people. Remember how mad you were when Donald Trump bragged about grabbing pussies, taunted that disabled reporter, or when news broke that Harvey Weinstein is essentially White America’s version of Pill Cosby sans the pills? Well, that’s kind of how black people feel when you shroud yourself in Fashion Fair cosmetics, cornrow your hair and throw on a white beater while drunkenly rapping every hip-hop song made in the 2000s. Actually, we get a lot madder, probably to degree you’ll never quite understand, but attacks on white women, gays and the disabled seem to get you going so stay with me.
Whether it’s for the sake of a cheap laugh, Instagram likes or in the name of supposedly avant-garde fashion amped to a degree this “Project Runway” enthusiast will never understand, white people prancing around in soot smeared faces will never, ever, like ever, be the norm or okay with any black person in their right mind. White people in khakis, hanging at the local Pottery Barn or Old Navy, that’s another day at the office; but Betty serving Crazy Eyes at Becky’s Halloween party, nope at normal at all.
I’m just curious, when did dressing as a slutty police officer, the Spice Girls or Wilson from Home Improvement become not enough?
Sure, in general dressing as Nicki Minaj versus Taylor Swift will always win, but the buck has to stop somewhere. If being a person of color is really what your heart desires, maybe try Scar from The Lion King, or Dionne from Clueless. Yeah, after further consideration Stacey Dash may be your best bet, as we the people of Black America revoked her black card some time ago. Cool? No, not cool. That was a trick question and you failed. Not cool guys. Not cool at all.
Thank you for admiring Winnie Harlow, she’s a great girl, but if you try really hard, there are other ways to show your support other than smearing Mac Medium Brown on your face. Besides, is the morning aftermath of Buzzfeed articles and eternal side eyes really worth the uncomfortable chuckles?
It also doesn’t help that your go-tos aren’t necessarily the Talented Tenth of our race. Not that I’m advocating dressing as W.E.B. DuBois, but we can’t offer much empathy when your outfit of choice is Flava Flav or an extra from Straight Outta Compton. Oh, and your one black friend who gave you the green light to douse your skin in all brown everything is not really your friend. They’re actually a jerk of Donald Trump proportions and deserve to walk into a black barbershop with busted Timbs (it won’t end well for them, trust me).
But I digress, what do I know. No, scratch that, I know a lot. I know if I see a chick with anything darker than my beige wallpaper on her face come All Hallows Eve, 2017 may just be my year to gulp some lemonade. I also know my soul can’t take another Bloods and Crips commemoration party by Ivy Leaguers whose closest reference to anything remotely “hood” is a stiff Nae Nae interpretation and the campus soul food buffet in February.
Bottom line, our culture is not a costume and if it were you wouldn’t be allowed to wear it. Yes imitation is the truest form of flattery and being black is awesome when the police aren’t performing WWE moves on you, but do you. No really, do you and leave us alone.