It's been a particularly strong last few days for Blackest Thing of the week contenders. Perhaps the East Coast white-out made us all subconsciously double down on our Blackness, like seeing all that snow outside made us channel our inner Sojourner Truths. I don't know. I do, however, know that today there are three contenders who could very easily be the standalone Blackest Thing any other week. But only one of them can receive the title. Because we don't do participation trophies here.
1. Cam Newton's post NFC Championship game press conference
I've already written about Cam's relationship with White Tears, and how he appears so unbothered by them that I suspect he uses them to lotion his shins. But just in case you needed a reminder of how Black Cam Newton happens to be, he made a football analogy where he managed to reference quick grits and collard greens all within a 10 second span. And it made sense! (And made me very hungry!)
I just want to say that this is the blackest thing I’ve seen in a long time and it is incredible. pic.twitter.com/JjEcZ5AepW
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) January 25, 2016
2. Neil deGrasse Tyson's reply to B.o.B.'s claims that the Earth is flat and every credible scientist, physicist, geologist, astronomer, engineer, and astronaut who has existed in the last 500 or so years has lied to us about this
B.o.B. is perhaps the world's best example of the difference between book smart and barbershop smart. Now, this isn't to say that people in barbershops — including the actual barbers — can't be smart. Or even that legitimately smart conversations don't occur in barbershops. Because they do. Just that there are certain people whose understanding of the world doesn't go past what they've heard in barbershops or what they've learned from documentaries disseminated in barbershops. This is a particularly Darth strain of Hotep. Because they're not stupid people. They just base their thoughts and opinions off of terrible, terrible, terrible information, and they're willing to volunteer these terribly misinformed thoughts to anyone within earshot.
Fortunately, perhaps the single most book smart American alive caught wind of B.o.B.'s strange rants, and replied to him as only he could.
But while these both would be awesome Blackest Things any other week, nothing is quite Blacker than BET's prolonged troll of a life-sized human Bratz doll called "Stacey Dash" over the weekend.
BET has become a popular source of criticism for people wishing that the televised content created by and targeted to Black people on TV was better. Some of this is unfair, as it makes BET a convenient scapegoat for a much larger systemic issue. Some of it is also related to this inexplicable (and annoying) level of 90s-nostalgia held by a very large percentage of 30 and 40 year old Black people, who clearly wish they would have just died in 1999. But a lot of it is necessary, and it does feel like BET is listening.
Anyway, sometimes people get brand new. And sometimes these "people" are life-sized human Bratz dolls called "Stacey Dash" who forget that shows on BET featuring them and videos airing on BET featuring them and Black magazine covers featuring them are the only reason why they're even currently relevant enough for Fox to pull them out of the Bratz doll packaging when they need someone pretty to volunteer some remarkably vapid race-based cluelessness. And when that happens, "nigga wake up" calls are necessary, and and I'm glad BET had her number.