Black Women: New Slaves?

“Used to only be niggas / Now everybody play me
Spending everything on money and that thing called ‘fame.’
“New Slaves”

* Disclaimer*: By no means do I intend to treat “African-American” as a pejorative term. It is not. I merely am expressing my desire to not be classified as “African-American” primarily because I am not, and more importantly, in today’s pop culture, reckless reality t.v. fools are considered to be representatives of African-Americans. These individuals are shaming the name.

I am not really a fan of today’s commercial media and entertainment industries, so when I’m semi-quoting Kanye West, you know that it’s serious. Today, December 30, 2013, I woke up after a ten-hour sleeping session. I love my sleep. Love, love, love. I can’t get enough. I’d sleep all day if, you know, I weren’t a twenty-year-old girl in the twenty-first century. Anyway, I checked my Facebook newsfeed, and the first thing that caught my attention was a headline about Chrissy Lampkin of “Love & Hip-Hop” and “Chrissy & Mr. Jones” fame being arrested over the weekend. The reason? Allegedly, she got into a physical altercation at some club with another patron. The girl apparently sat in Chrissy’s seat or near Chrissy. Whatever. Something about the seating arrangement pissed of Jim Jones’s rabid, deranged beast fiancee, and she hit the other girl so severely that she required hospitalization. I don’t care if this girl took Chrissy’s seat, called her the n-word, or made disparaging remarks about Chrissy’s family. Unless this girl physically threatened Chrissy’s well-being to where it became apparent that Chrissy was in danger, there was no reason for Chrissy to throw hands. One, and you may quote me on this, people who throw hands can’t throw words. By that, i mean that getting physical in a situation that did not present an actual attack on your safety or the safety of someone around you, is the cowardly way out for people who cannot have an actual, civil conversation. Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, Chrissy. You have no right to inflict harm on someone, to touch anyone. I am not going to lie, I have watched “Love & Hip-Hop,” its spin-off series in Atlanta, as well as “Jersey Shore,” “Mob Wives,” and “Basketball Wives.” I was introduced to these shows when I was about sixteen. I’m 20 now and not embarrassed to admit that I used to watch them. There’s always a few rough copies before the final draft. These shows are all marketed as reality shows, but their superficial premises differ. The baseline, tying thread among the aforementioned shows is that they showcase violence: punching, slapping, throwing, yelling, screaming, etc. These are all marketed as “reality television.” That’s a sad thought. Some might say that these shows are all clearly scripted not “real” at all. I disagree. Whether Evelyn Lozada consciously decided to throw a glass at one of her “Basketball Wives” co-stars, or was instructed to do so, she still did it. She is still degrading herself in the name of fame. Now, I grew up in an affluent section of Boston, so I do not understand the struggles that some less fortunate individuals do. However, I hope that they are aware that selling yourself out, or just choosing to act manically, truly does you no favors. These women are a shame: to black women and to the human race in general. One of the largest misconceptions made about me is that I am “African-American.” No, I am not. I am a black American, and there is a difference. I am a first-generation American born to immigrants from the Caribbean. The country from which my parents emigrated to the states is not the most financially successful, but it is the home of resilient, determined people. I am Haitian. Yes, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and yes, it has its own problems. However, I take pride in being a descendant of that country, for my parents instilled in me the values of hard-work, determination, and, above all, self-respect and civility. I’d rather be referred to as a girl whose parents are from a poor, destitute country than as the girl who’s crazy, punching people and getting arrested. It’s better to be described by the negative things that you cannot control than by the negative things that you can control.

When applied to these girls, “A-A’s” is more appropriate, as they’re seriously in need of sobering up. Harriet Tubman,Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. Rosa Parks, etc. all worked themselves to the bone so that people of African descent can get buck-wild and be celebrated for it? 

So, why did I title my post “Black Women: New Slaves”? Simple. While the 1800s illegalized the shackling, trading, and owning of human beings, of whom the most obvious victims in the States were black, slavery persists to the present day. A slave is one who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. Of course, like I said, it’s illegal to buy and sell human being as was done during the colonial eras. This is “new” slavery, so there have been some modifications. The black women who act like senseless fools and think with their fists, not with their minds, are the same ones complaining about their public perceptions, their states in life. Girl, have several seats. YOU put yourself there. The money, notoriety, and infamy that you gain from it are just the twenty-first century’s shackles and chains. That shame and embarrassment that you feel? *Whip* That’s what’s beating you, honey. You put yourself there, and you did  not even know. Well, know you do.I’m embarrassed to be listed in the same racial category as you all.

Seriously, please!

Seriously, please!

For those of you who enjoy a good social commentary, I’ve linked below a video by a girl whose YouTube name is “AnymoneGirl.” She’s from the Ivory Coast, and she keeps it real.

…Parents Just Don’t Understand

MC J-Dogg steps to the mic: “In Boston, MA, born and raised, in the Catholic  church is where I spent most of my days.Genuflecting and praying, rather than going to the pool, meeting with the priest directly after school. So a couple of Catholics, they were really up to no good. Running up and down in my neighborhood. They heard of one little fight in which my mom got scared, and said, ‘Jessica, you’re going  to Hell down below, not that paradise in the air.'”

 *Disclaimer: By no means am I attempting to disrespect the Catholic Church. I myself am, in fact, Catholic. I am just decrying the system of telling everyone who sins “you’re going to Hell.” Remember, “[J]udge not, lest ye be judged…” (Matthew 7: 1-3).*            
Now, I was born in the 1990s, and I’m writing a post about the dysfunctional relationship that always exists between the “I am always right” adult and the “Would you at least take my opinion into consideration” child. Therefore, it only seemed fitting, I feel, to parody some lines from Mr. “Parents Just Don’t Understand” himself, the Fresh Prince. Today, December 29, 2013—nearing the end of the year—has been a rebirth for me.  I got into an argument with my father (nothing new), and rather than beat myself up and blame myself for the incident that has just ensued, I feel proud of myself (so new!). My father and I, in a gist, got into an argument about the messy dishes that he leaves around the house. I understand that Chinese takeout is finger-lickin’ good, but does it leave you so paralyzed with lethargy that you can’t at least clean a plate, one that is just stained with a remnants of fried rice and sweet-and-sour sauce? I haven’t eaten Chinese takeout since July 2010 after a weird run-in with my roommate at medical camp, so maybe the formulas have been changed and temporary near-paralysis has become a side-effect.  Well, that aside, my dad basically said that it’s his house, and if he wants it to be messy, then gosh darn it,  it should be messy!

Image

 

I realize i that my father was overcome by his emotions, and that nothing that I could say would placate him. By “realized,” I mean two minutes after the incident. You know, hindsight. Anyway, I retaliated by saying that he does not pay  the bills himself, and that my mother, who is often dismissed, also helps build this house. I was tired of seeing my mother and her contributions disregarded, and the whole “I am the parent; hear me roar!” attitude surpassing everything else. My mom, meanwhile, only vocalized her desire for the argument to come to an end. My mom, bless her soul, is weak to me, sometimes. I understand that screaming at the top of your lungs does not help get your point across, because there is no winner in the “who speaks louder?” competition. However, I just wished that my mom would put her foot down and stand up for yourself. Really, it’s okay to be selfish. I’m not talking about the I-will-not-help-anyone-else attitude, but you must take care of yourself before anyone else. You need to be selfish because, remember, caskets don’t have room for bunk-beds.

My father lost his father almost a year ago, and, as the new “man of the house,” he’s dealing with a daunting amount of stress. I’m going to cut him some slack, but not a lot of slack to where he always gets the get-out-of-jail-free card. No, I do not feel that my dad was right with his authoritative, might-makes-right stance. Parents are not always right, just as neither are we kids. No one is infallible. No one. Ever since I was in kindergarten, I remember being told to respect someone because he or she is my “elder.” Pin me to the cross, but just because someone was born however-long ago before I was, does not therefore designate him worthy of respect and worship. I believe that we should respect all forms of  life just for the sense that they are living creatures. We are all that each other has in the world. We need to respect each other for the simple fact of our commonality as living beings, and not create some ageist system. I’m not trying to disrespect my parents by what I did during that argument, and in this post that I am writing. They are putting me through college, and they’ve given me love and encouragement all my twenty years. I thank them, actually, for this incident as well, for it has been a growing experience for me. I think that what I did, overall, was right in that I shattered his whole might-makes-right logic (“pseudo-logic,” I call it). You should respect every living because it, as you, is a living thing. That should be the guiding principle of all our moral compasses, and you don’t have to be “an elder” to understand that.

Celebro-plasty: The Changing Face of Hollywood and Fame

  I consider myself a humanitarian. No, I have not followed in Mother Teresa’s footsteps and handed out rice on the streets of Calcutta, nor have I started an organization such as the Make A Wish Foundation. I do not have a huge Twitter following or other social media presence; so, my scope of audience is pretty limited. I have, on the other hand, spoken to friends and classmates—heck, even my academic advisor—in an attempt to spur activism. So, where is this effort focusing? Hollywood. Yes, Hollywood, California. Some would say that Hollywood is the last place to focus any aide efforts: the place is full of millionaires and billionaires. But, alas, money does not buy one happiness, and fame does not cushion any tragic blows. In fact, the money and the fame of Hollywood are the problem: for the media, for the stars themselves, and for our peers and us. Three. Two. One. Showtime.

            My father and his family emigrated in the late 1980s from a small island country in the Caribbean, to these pristine states. His first taste of America—his first interaction with this great nation—came through Hollywood. Now, my father did not actually go to California; in fact, he has never left the east coast of this country. “Hollywood” is an industry, a business, and a vehicle of correspondence. In 1853, the area now known as Hollywood was basically nothing but an adobe hut. By the late nineteenth century, the area had become an agricultural community, and in the early twentieth century, the area became merged with the Los Angeles, California area. As it is a very hot and arid area, it has proven favorable meteorologically for film and television productions. Therefore, it soon became a media and entertainment hot-spot. Hobart Johnstone Whitley, the late “father of Hollywood,” would have been ecstatic to see the buzz and popularity surrounding the area that he believed held so much promise. Yet, if he is looking down right now, I have a feeling that his head is shaking, and not in approval.  Hollywood has been “alive” for almost one hundred years, and as it would be tedious to list every achievement during every year of Hollywood’s life, I decided to break its existence down into the following categories: the Roaring Twenties, The Nifty Fifties, and the Eighties, The Nostalgic Nineties, and finally, the New Millennium, which I have taken liberty to title The Rise of the New Celebrity/Pseudo Star. Following the birth of Hollywood, the first three categories were riveting and exciting, making Hollywood the place to be, and making the twentieth century all the more tragic.

            During the 1920s—dubbed the Roaring Twenties—Hollywood’s cinematic section was a booming business. It is reported that an estimated forty million people were frequenting the cinemas each week to see movies, or “moving pictures.”  The 1920s is also known as the silent movie era, during which moving pictures that were not accompanied by spoken lines, were very popular.  Films such as The Phantom of the Opera, a silent horror film based on the eponymous novel by Gaston Leroux; Nosferatu, a German Expressionist film that is considered an “unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula;” and The Great Gatsby, based on the eponymous novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, saw literature coming to light, entertainment transgressing media. Art was reigning fiercely among the entertainment world. The 1920s also saw the birth of the Hollywood sign. Hollywood was well on its way.

       Ask my paternal grandmother what year this is, and her answer always ranges from 1950-1959. Recently, she’s been sticking to somewhere around 1955. She treats that year as if it is her toddler child. “Don’t grow up. It’s a trap,” I’m sure she whispers when she coddles it at night. At first, I was not really sure why she is enamored with an era that is over fifty years in the past. So, I did what any twenty-first century youngin’ would do. I did a Google search on “1950s.” One of the searches that caught my eye and my mouse was titled “The Nifty Fifties.” To sum up the decade concisely: “John Wayne, Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby.” These were three of Hollywood’s leading men. Having won an Academy Award, possibly the most prestigious award in film, Wayne saw a career that lasted about thirty years. Known for talents as an actor, vaudevillian, and comedian, Bob Hope was the entertainment world’s dream.  A dashing man, Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby was a singer and actor, whose brass-baritone voice made him of the most successful artists in the 1900s. The 1950s saw the birth of television gold I Love Lucy, as well as the birth of Saturday morning cartoons.  With almost 4.5 Million people with television sets, the 1950s was a remarkable decade for Hollywood and entertainment. Whether it was comedic wit, vocal vivaciousness, or dramatic deftness, the entertainment world filled to the brim–and possibly dripped over–with talent.

Next came the 80s, in which my parents became pre-teens. Some of the most powerful film creations of the era include E.T.: extraterrestrial, Star Wars sequels V: The Empire Strikes Back and VI: Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones, and Beverly Hills Cop.  The sub-genre of the teenage comedy saw an increase in popularity, with movies such as John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink. Though I was not born until 1993, I feel that I can briefly speak on the popularity of 80s teenage comedies, as Hughes’ Sixteen Candles had a profound impact on me. I turned sixteen in 2009, and unlike my wealthy, daddy’s girl peers on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen, I did not receive a Ferrari, a Porsche, or a measly Beamer (yuck! Can you say “second class”?) to mark the sixteenth year to the day that my mother gave birth to me. Instead, I received a life lesson. My now-late paternal grandfather, who had been an orphan since he was twelve years old, told me that, more important that entering driving age, I was nearing adulthood. Maturity Town was where I would be living soon. He advised me to be honest, ambitious, and respectful, à la Polonius’ advice to son Laertes, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” and “To thine own self be true.” I had to make that connection. Again, I am a Shakespeare aficionado, and I make no apologies for my enthusiasm. It was like Sixteen Candles for me, in that, while I didn’t get some flashy bling to mark being one year closer to claiming Social Security benefits, I realized that the best gifts are those that do not come with a bar code or price tag, are not always expected, and help you grow as a person. Sure, I didn’t get the guy like Sam Baker did, but I got something even more revered and priceless. I’m no Ebert and Roper apprentice, but I believe that the true power of a work of art is its ephemeral nature, the fact that it is not just a “wonder” when it comes out, but withstands the test of time.

Then came ( drum roll, please), the last decade of the twentieth century, the 1990s. Some of the decade’s cinematic accolades include Titanic, Toy Story 2, and Schindler’s List. On the television front, the 1990s saw the increasing popularity of the sit-com (“situation comedy”). Shows such as Friends, Rosanne, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and, my favorite, That 70s Show “turned TV in new directions and defined the humor of the decade.” I myself was born in the 1990s, and I remember playing outside, but rushing back indoors to catch episodes of The Golden Girls (1984-1992) and Sister, Sister (1994-1999).  Those two shows that I just mentioned really stuck out to me, because they have been incredibly impactful in my life. Those shows taught me that it was (cue the clichés) to stand up for what I believe is right, love myself, and enjoy being a kid. Now, I know that I mentioned that those concepts are considered clichés generally, but I do not subscribe to that belief. Being steadfast and assertive when it comes down to right and wrong, taking care of oneself, and enjoying life while it is here are over-repeated, but not to the point of banality. In fact, I petition that they be stated even more, because they are qualities that are vital to the health and vitality of the human–physically and spiritually/emotionally–yet, we are often told to tone them down. Confidence is often mislabeled “arrogance,” and we are always told that something is wrong. We’re told that our nostrils are too big. To loosely paraphrase The Golden Girls’ Rose Nylund (played by Betty White): [in quoting  a late relative]: “The air’s free; [you] might as well take in all that you can.” We are told that our pores are too noticeable, our hips are too wide. Damn it, I am tired of this pseudo-constructive criticism. Those critics need to make like Roger, and go home.

 

Ask anyone who was a child in the 90s, and that person will tell you that its music and television programs were considerably better than much of those today. Take a listen to Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up.” I guarantee that you will not be disappointed, either by the beat or, more importantly, the content. 

January 1, 2000 marked a new millennium. This marked the two-thousandth year of our Lord, the era of rapid technological advancement, and a devolution of content and appearance within Hollywood.  “Hollywood,” as I have often used it here, has not solely referred to an area within Los Angeles, California. “Hollywood” here is synonymous with  the American film and television industries. These industries were often known for their inspirational, enlightening. Don’t get me wrong, as some of them still are. Brokeback Mountain and Beasts of the Southern Wild are  just two of some many remarkable pieces from this millennium. Yet, they’re generally overshadowed by the likes of pseudo stars and pseudo art.

Reality television, perhaps the most popular form of pseudo art, came about in the 1990s, with MTV’s The Real World, but it was not until the 2000s that this baseless television genre began to see incredible popularity. The 2000s saw the birth of The Simple Life, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Real Housewives franchise, Basketball Wives, Love & Hip HopThe Bad Girls Club, etc. Unlike shows such as The Voice and The Biggest Loser, the aforementioned television programs feature no talent, no real substance. Don’t get me wrong: I love watching Brandi Glanville unleash on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and I always tune in to its spin-off, Vanderpump Rules. It is nice to look at these shows and realize that my life is not bad at all; at least I’m not like they are. The problem is that this is where much of entertainment is focused. Meryl Streep  has taken a backseat to Kim Kardashian as far as media is concerned (except, of course, around Oscar season). There is this new “claim to fame” that some are employing, such as fighting on national television, making a sex tape that they know is going to be released (Kim and Paris, really?). As animals, we rely on our vision, such as seeing—and then escaping, hopefully—a potential predator, avoiding a food product that just doesn’t seem “right.” However, we are really now an aesthetic culture, for your looks matter more than anything. Artists are valued more for their shock value than their talent. Miley Cyrus gyrates on Beetle Juice  Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards, sticks her tongue out almost incessantly, sings about popping Molly (MDMA), and she’s MTV’s Artist of the Year (“Wrecking Ball,” though, is an amazing song). What has made Hannah Montana the talk of Tinseltown?  Shock value. 

Image

 

 

This is psychology at work here, people. We are used to seeing her in a certain light. To see her change, probably to her parents’ dismay, has really caught our eye. Most of us would not want to be in this position (money aside), but we can’t help but watch the train wreck. 

Another big name is Kim Kardashian. She was Bing’s second most-searched-for person in 2013, thankfully topped by talent megahouse Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Other names on the list include Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Nicki Minaj. Please, don’t even get me started on them.

Image

Image

Image 

Kim Kardashian is the daughter of one of O.J. Simpson’s defense attorneys, and as much as you may want to, you cannot fault her for that. She should not bear her father’s crosses. Running in the same circle as porn star  heiress Paris Hilton, Kardashian was bound to burst onto the scene. In 2007, Kardashian’s sex tape filmed with former boyfriend Ray J was “leaked.” I put that in quotation marks because I’m not buying the “woe is me; I never expected this to happen” bit. She knew what she was doing; she was marketing. Sex is no new concept, but the act of public depictions of sex is relatively new. Sex is so taboo. Therefore, the more you suppress and shame it, the more interesting it becomes when “exposed.” 

I said that she was marketing, and I was right. Kim Kardashian has a series of hit reality shows on the E! network, has a shoe empire (Shoe Dazzle), and a line of endorsement, such as Skechers,which, of course, delivers on the sex appeal. Image

 

 

 

Image

 

Image

Image

Kim Kardashian Bikini Cover Pic

Type in the word “Kim” on just about any search engine, and I guarantee that the Kardashian one is the first to pop up.

So, how is this a humanitarian endeavor of mine? Simple: i hope that we become aware that the media is reflective of us. They give us what we want. What one Earth does that say about us as a society (generalization)? We are the products of millennia of evolution; yet, this baseless, shameful content is that which we seek. Gag. Therefore, we have the  power to change it. Teen Mom 3 was canceled, for practically no one was watching it. This stuff is not really affecting me, for I don’t pay much attention to it. You all are free to live as you want; I just want to know if this is really how you want to live. To change the world, we must change ourselves. Our media, how we interact with others, is one sure-fire way.

 

Shar-pocalypse: The Proliferation of Violence In The Era of Infamy.

The final week of November 2013 proved very busy for the news and media worlds: there was Thanksgiving, there was Black Friday, and there was Sharkeisha. For those of you who didn’t know, Thanksgiving commemorates the alleged peaceful get-together that took place between white European settlers and the indigenous American Wampanoags, who are said to have settled down for a peaceful meal, in honor of which we Americans convene with our loved ones and express gratitude for our respective fortunes; Black Friday is the day after, when the people who  gave thanks for their blessings on Thursday, display greed and selfish desire as they rush and trample each other in stores to get the best deals; and Sharkeisha? She’s just a black girl who beat another black girl, and has thereby gained infamy. Yes, you guys. Infamy. Sharkeisha is coming to a computer screen near you.

 Here we have the Sharkeisha, a dangerous, potentially fatal breed of girl, looming in on her unsuspecting prey. The young and oblivious glasses-wearing victim has no idea that she is indeed in harm's way.

Here we have the Sharkeisha, a dangerous, potentially fatal breed of girl, looming in on her unsuspecting prey. The young and oblivious glasses-wearing victim has no idea that she is indeed in harm’s way.


.

Here’s a recap: some time last week, an Instagram video was posted in which Sharkeisha (left) confronts a girl named Sharmichael (right) over an at-the-time-unclear issue. Sharkeisha seems to be upset, as shown by her not-so-amused facial expressions and defensive position. Sharmichael, not as invested in the issue as Sharkeisha, is often seen looking away, in any direction but straight ahead. The final time that Sharmichael looks away proves detrimental for her, as it is then that Sharkeisha goes in for the punch. Sharkeisha inflicts the slap-punch heard ’round the world, thereby disorienting her victim, who falls to the ground. Afterwards, Sharkeisha inflicts more punches,Sharkeisha paws her foot like an enraged horse, and then kicks her defenseless victim. What’s even more sad about this video? the pseudo-bystander intervention. The girl who’s filming this, who’s heard quipping, “…I gotta pee,” and then, “Don’t kick her, Sharkeisha. Don’t kick her,” post-kick, really did nothing to stop it. She was filming this the whole time. Plus, it appears as if she was in on this. Why start taping this interaction about thirty-something seconds before  the shark Sharkeisha attacks? Were you expecting them to exchange quips with each other that you would then post on the world-wide web? Of course not, because in the day of Twitter, Vine, and Instagram, the objective is infamy. You don’t want to be known for saving puppies or helping an elderly person cross the street. You want  to be known for whooping some ass, or witnessing and publicizing the spectacle. A sad era for humanity, indeed. So, what caused this? A boy, a sexual relationship with a boy. “You supposed to be my nigga , but what da fuck you was doin’? Who da fuck you was tryin’ to fuck?” The English major in me is cringing.  As rappers would say, “Dick game got da hoes goin’ crazy.”

Recently, Sharcuckoo’s  Sharkeisha’s victim Sharmichael Manuel has spoken out about the incident. She’s understandably hurt and embarrassed not only by the incident itself, but by the notoriety that it has received. She confirms my aforementioned suspicion of a set-up, saying that she was led to the apartment complex where this took place, under the pretext that she would be picking up some belongings. A senior at Cypress Creek High School in Texas, seventeen-year old Manuel reveals that she was blindsided–both literally and figuratively–by the attack. “I was just in shock. I was like oh my God. Did she really do this? You’re supposed to be my close friend. We were talking in school earlier that day.” 

Much like its predecessor that it is the infamous beat-down video, I believe that Sharmichael’s speak-out will go viral as well. Why? Because it’s a continuation of the brute-like video that has been viewed over 1,000,000 times already. No, there are no physical altercations this time around, but those sick individuals who gain pleasure at seeing another being beaten severely, will get a kick (pun unintended) out of haring about the altercation from the individual at the receiving end. This video is a vicarious mode of existence for the previous video.

Here are my two cents, as I know that you’re dying to hear it: Cut the shit, people. Simple as. You’re a homo sapiens. You’re the product of millennia  of evolution. You are, by nature, capable to activities such as walking up-right, thinking highly, and, oh yeah, communicating with someone with these things called your larynx, tongue, and mouth. Geez, it’s not that hard. You don’t have to say, “Sharmichael, I am truly upset and feel betrayed that you would try to fornicate with the guy with whom I am fornicating/want to fornicate.” Heck, a “Who da fuck you was tryin’ to fuck?” from the get-go is leagues better and more civilized than the altercation that unfortunately took place. I don’t know if Sharmichael did betray the trust of her “friend” in trying to get with some guy. It doesn’t matter. You don’t hurt someone else, period. You have no right to inflict harm on someone else like that. Just because you got your feelings hurt, it doesn’t mean that you can go around punching people. And to Sharkeisha and all her supporters, you’re not tough, I hope you know. Getting a sneak shot is the physical equivalent to making irrelevant, below-the-belt comments in an argument:”You had no right to take my clothes, as I specifically told you not to.” “Yeah? Well, your hair is ugly.” You’re just a immature coward. If you really wanted to fight, then why didn’t you try to hit her when she was looking at you? Maybe because she could really take you head-on in actual combat? Maybe because you were nervous and finally got some courage when she displayed vulnerability? Whatever the case, you’re a coward, girl. Shar-coward. Shar-cuckoo. Shar-You Need Some Help.

I have two gripes against this, as a female in general, and as a black female specifically. We females have always gotten the short end of the stick. Thanks, patriarchy. We’ve always been looked to, as Simone de Beauvoir put it, as the second sex. The inferior sex. Male is the human standard, and female is the degeneration of said standard. We can’t wait for our oppressors (not all men, of course, are our oppressors, but those who subscribe to patriarchal ideals.) to grant us equality; we must seize it for ourselves. The twenty-first century is landmark, in that it is the first time ever that women, generally speaking, have had substantial rights. Now, we vote, go to school, and no longer have to depend on our fathers or husbands for stability. As such, Sharkeisha is the huge recession, the huge step back for women, black women especially. One big step back for womanhood, one large leap back for black womankind. All women face, at some point and in some form, oppression, but black women’s oppression is definitely up there high on the list. Why? Because it’s often self-enforced, self-perpetuated as well see with the Sharkeisha-Sharmichael case. Some black women continue to paint themselves in negative lights. I’m not even going to compare them to animals (praeteritio/paralipsis. See, Ms. LeDang? I remember this rhetorical device) because that would be insulting to our animalia kin. Sharkeisha, as illustrated by the video, lacks character, lacks decency. Gosh, this story is making my blood boil, and I already have low blood pressure. Her actions just reaffirm black women’s state in society. You’re providing the ammo needed to solidify (black) women’s place as incoherent, senseless. Let me just say that i don’t need Shar-whatever  to graduate at the top of her high school class, attend an accredited college, graduate maxima cum laude, matriculate to Harvard Medical School, graduate at the top of her class there, and then go on to discover a cure for leukemia in order for me to feel better about myself as a black woman. I refuse to let some media generalize me, group me with others solely on the basis of common geographic ancestry and national identity. I can do bad all by myself. I just feel like the people who engage in this type of senseless activity are the ones who really have internal issues, the one’s who need some self-affirming attention. Why post the video on Instagram, girl who had to pee, a.k.a. pseudo-intervening bystander? Because you knew that you’d get attention from it, that your Instagram account would get  a lot of traffic.

I’m not trying to point out this violent incident as the first. It’s the continuation of a pattern, I feel. It’s one thing when J-woww and Sammi Sweetheart are swinging at each other in the Jersey Shore house. They’re paid to do so, but more important, the whole situation was probably staged. When your average Joe’s—or Sharkeisha’s–are doing so, it really highlights the denigration of human values such as respect, both self-oriented and general. You don’t respect yourself, so you surely don’t respect others. Is this what we’re becoming as a species? Senseless opportunists? If this evolution at work, then let me die.  I don’t want to see a world where this type of behavior is lauded or even normalized.  So, you’ve heard it from me, folks. It looks like there’s a Sharkeisha-nado coming our way, and my prognostics yield the following forecast : (WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IMAGE IS NOT FOR THE HEMOPHOBES AND  OTHERS WHO ARE FAINT OF HEART)

Sharkeisha-Nado: Pray that it not coming.

Sharkeisha-Nado: Pray that it’s not coming.