Charlie Sheen: What’s Black Got to Do With It?

It's ridiculous to assume that blacks have a unified opinion on anything -- especially Charlie Sheen.

I’m not even sure why this sort of idea would be peddled within black media at all. In a society where we are constantly being placed within some sort of black box and then told how we’re going to react or how we feel (What up, Huckabee?), why would we ourselves create narratives that are so all-inclusive?

It’s annoying when CNN says things about “black people” as a unit, but when those of us in media who are black or black-owned entertainment-news sites follow the same pattern, it’s even more disheartening. Whatever happened to leading by example?

And why do we need to create black connections that don’t exist? Nothing about the Charlie Sheen story has to do with Negroes. He’s not pulling a Mel Gibson and throwing racial slurs at us. He’s on a fairly white broadcast network on a fairly white show.

Is the issue that black sites want to talk about things that aren’t specifically black and feel like they have to create a connection? Do we think that black people can’t read things that aren’t specifically mentioning them at that very moment? This obviously isn’t true, but lots of places operate as if it were.

When arguing against the monolithic branding by mainstream America of minorities in general, we have to make sure not to do so ourselves. And sometimes popular news stories simply have nothing to do with blacks — and that’s OK.

Elon James White is a writer-comedian and host of the award-winning Web series This Week in Blackness and the Internet radio show Blacking It Up. Follow him on Twitter.

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