We Have to Ease Up on the 'R' Word
Writing at MadameNoire, Brande Victorian argues that the major risk of throwing around the word "racism" so casually is that when there is an actual incident of racism, we won't be taken seriously.
Scrolling the MSN homepage this weekend, I came across a teaser that read something like “racist BK ad pulled.” I stopped and thought, I know they are not referring to Mary J. Blige’s chicken commercial controversy, and sure enough they were. I can think of several “r” words to describe Mary’s chicken wrap advertisement, like ratchet or ridiculous, but racist would not be one of them. And since we know white folks only use the “r” word when someone else puts it in their head, we have to take responsibility for the monster we’ve created when it comes to this ad spot and all the other non-mothereffin’ racial factors we’ve made a fuss over.
I first realized we had an issue with being too quick to deem things racist sometime last year when that silly planking craze reached it’s peak. From somewhere beneath the ashes of a pimped out ride, Xzibit resurrected himself to say the Internet photo craze was racist because it reminded him of how slaves were transported in ships across the middle passage. Reading quotes from that man on the topic, all I could think was, no this negro didn’t. He was so past the point of no return with that comment that all I could do was pray it would die as quickly as his career, and for the most part it did.
Read Brande Victorian's entire piece at MadameNoire.