The views and opinions expressed in this article solely belong, to- Terrance Hopewell
Football is a grand and heavily followed sport, that reaches all corners of the U.S. By extension, it is a part of our culture, televised across the country, and therefore a platform for statements, however much we disagree with them. The Super Bowl is the culmination of this and sometimes a seat of controversy.
I’ve been scrolling through social media and, of course, there have been comments concerning Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance for the past two days. A lot of people, mostly white, have been making derisive and visceral statements regarding the presentation of the performance and the song’s topics: the Black Panthers attire, Black Lives Matter movement, and police brutality. Let me dismantle why many of the arguments against her performance are flawed, ignorant and prove that racism, however casual, still exists.
One: the manner of dress was an homage to a group that, in their best attempts, were fighting the social injustices, institutionalized segregation and prejudices and vying to uplift the Black community, that for so long had been subject to all manners of oppression (people think that 1865, 1954, and 1964 were so long ago, but that’s a different conversation for another day). Sadly, due to the FBI’s COINTELPRO project, the Black Panthers and other deemed “subversive” groups were systematically torn apart, discredited and downright eliminated, even though many of the actions of J. Edgar and his agents were illegal. But the KKK continues today despite the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and President Grant’s attempts to eliminate the group entirely. But I’ll press forward.
This leads me to my second point: Black people, historically, have had a very, and oftentimes, opposite experience with law enforcement at all levels when compared with the experiences of whites. Many of us, especially those with family from the southern or western parts of the country, can recount stories told by our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, of the overt, out in the open racism that pervaded everything from restaurants to hospitals and even to churches.
Police officers were no exception. Saying “Black Lives Matter” does not mean we are anti-white or anti-police; that’s a facile argument. What it means is that we are anti-police brutality, particularly with regards to Black people, and moreover, Black males. What it means is that 12-year old Tamir Rice, who was playing in the park with a toy, should not have been gunned down within 3 seconds of police arrival. It means that Freddie Gray should have been properly secured while being transported in police custody and not wantonly thrown about while handcuffed, thus sustaining a severe injury to his head and spine, eventually dying. It means that if these accounts regularly occurred in areas with heavy, and especially middle or upper class, white populations, change would be swift and punishments would be severe.
Obviously, individual anecdotes about police interactions vary, but we can not disregard that when a significant portion of a society speaks around a particular issue, there is, at least, a conversation that needs to be had — Blacks don’t often get this dialogue because we’re seen as race baiting, blowing up the issue, promoting “white guilt”, or simply being thuggish. To say “All Lives Matter” means that each life is treated as equal in any possible scenario. And, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but, it’s not. We make up less than 15% of the population and yet are more than twice as likely to be killed by a police officer, disregarded by a jury, or serve harsher penalties for similar/same crimes when compared to whites, all because of the color of our skin. Why?
We don’t have any power. Between slavery and Jim Crow, coupled with societal norms, we have been consistently subject to being cut off in all mainstream participation. So, we had to create spaces for ourselves to show our naturally kinky hair, support the endeavors of black students, artists, and entertainers, and honor our fellow black peers. The minute something becomes “too black”, many people, especially someone white, begin to feel uncomfortable and sometimes angry. We, as a Black community, are very much told how we should feel about race, how what we may think is not comparatively valid to what someone white has to think about race.
Racism is not over. It has not ended — its form and execution have only changed. And I’m sorry, but if you proudly wave the Confederate Flag, you’re racist. Or at least extremely bigoted. Plain and simple. You’re not celebrating your ancestors or showing Southern pride and you can’t write it off as it’s just a symbol and represents states’ rights. Because last I checked, the swastika was originally a peace/luck symbol of certain religions and we all know how it was appropriated and used for less than humane purposes. But I digress.
So, to posit that if the Super Bowl had white performers singing “Dixie” and waving the Confederate Flag, everyone alike would be up in arms, and, therefore, Beyoncé should not be allowed to show anything even remotely related to the African American experience, is flawed and only shows your nostalgia and want for a return or revival of how things were before the contemporary era.
I am not saying that every white person is racist or can’t understand the struggle of being Black in America. Or that every police officer is corrupt and quick to draw their weapon when the subject is not white. Obviously, I don’t expect one person or even a small number to represent an entire people. It took many white supporters to help minorities, especially Blacks, get to where we are today. That’s oftentimes the only way an oppressed group of people are able to advance in a society: those that are part of the mainstream and larger population have to help. And yes, we’ve come a long way from where we were a short 151 years ago and an even shorter, 52 years ago.
But, we can do better. I don’t expect this to be some life-altering post but I do hope it reaches enough of you to at least start a dialogue. We don’t have to bash and criticize and demean one another. There is a way to acknowledge someone’s view and have a disagreement. Like Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
The Circle on Netflix Had A Racism Problem
Bey Ain’t Slick
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of Rafael Roden.
For far too long we’ve been giving her passes and today I say enough is enough. People are literally afraid to write about this shit because of the inevitable blowback from people who worship Beyoncé like white Brits worship their actual Queen monarch. So here goes…
Beyoncé is not above criticism. That’s the first thing. I understand the stance many Black people take when another Black person casts an unflattering light on your favorite Artist or celebrity, but not all of it is hating. A lot of it is warranted. And every charge I make in this article is coming from a major fan and someone who used to wanna collaborate with the woman. Understand that I have bias, but that’s not making me not wanna hold Beyoncé accountable for her trash ass actions as of late and the precedent it sets for aspiring “bosses”. And just know she ain’t the only member of the upper echelon guilty of this shit. I’mma take shots at a few other entertainment giants, just you wait.
What set this think piece I didn’t wanna find myself writing into motion was the information stirring around that Mrs. “of course sometimes shit go down when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator” is only paying her dancers and other various performance staff $250 a day without benefits when they are performing at the highest level in the world. I’m even flattering her in my critique so please uncock your pistols. I have caught up on all the tea and these claims are supported by many of the lead performers and solidarity exists within that community. It’s hard to substantiate every last bit of wrong in this whole ordeal, but that’s the crux of the situation. Take me at my word cause there are receipts for days.
Moving back retroactively to the Shawn Carter Foundation Gala (which is where that tacky ass clutch in the picture is from) we find our favorite vocal angel arm & arm with her sell out husband Jay Z (NFL partnership, nuff said) who gave out Rolex and bottles of champagne as invitations to a room full of people worth billions of dollars who only raised $6 million. That’s just stingy. But that’s been written about enough. I just think it’s crazy who get’s in these rooms in the name of seeming to authenticly coming from nothing. Like Fabolous. You know the dude that head butt his then girlfriend and knocked her teeth out? Not Beyoncé’s fault, hell no, but why are abusers around a self proclaimed Feminist? Why are you letting your man invite him? Why did Rihanna try and normalize him at her last few events (which I find quite disgusting considering her history)? The answer is money and optics. The message comes off as “rich black men who are seen as legendary can make the mistake of domestic violence and still deserve A Seat At The Table” (see also Nas who beat Kelis). I just can’t square these conflicts of interest. I need somebody to make it make sense. Because remember, birds of a feather flock together. Beyonce blink twice if you need help. I’m fucking serious. He cheated, who knows if there’s a domestic violence story in there. I don’t put shit past no man at this point. It’s also part of the reason why I stopped identifying as such.
Read the entire piece at RafaelRoden.com
Welcome to Uncle Tom’s Haus of Koonery
So in light of the great news of President Trump getting impeached. I was sent an article from a few twitter mutuals of an interview done by Mikelle Street interviewing everyone’s favorite problematic porn star Max Konner. I knew at that moment I would not receive any peace this week. The article at hand denoted that Konner was beginning his own talent agency for people of color. I did a double-take, but I been on this earth long enough to know a stunt when I see one. In the article, Konnor mentioned the need for porn actors of color needing proper tutelage and education before entering the pornography industry. Which I do agree with, but we also know that seeing the phrasing “people of color” does not mean black people and why would Konner exclusively help his own people? He wouldn’t, but that’s been made very clear that he has no intention of helping the Black LGBTQIA+ community after his behavior during the PR nightmare which and is still NoirMale.com.
I have to be honest that I found the interview to be amazing and at minimal a cross-examination of Konner’s work history, work ethics, and very sorted and messy racially insensitive history. Konner acknowledges that there will be criteria for all those that apply to join the slaveshi-, sorry the Haus of Konner.
He says in the article:
“Right now we have three exclusives: Derek Cline, Jabari Clutch, and Asher Lee. I have a bunch of other submissions but I’m taking my time to go through everything because it is a boutique talent management company. I am not just accepting everybody that applies. I’m trying to pick models who I feel like have what it takes to make it.”
Now, what this statement could subversively say so many things. Firstly, Jabari is the only black presenting model. Derek is racially ambiguous and Asher is Asian. Even in the first stride of selection, there is only one Black person in the mix (pun intended). Secondly, “boutique talent management company” is reading as “no fats, no fem” because knowing the shortness of sight that Konner has he may only present body boys and cis actors that are racially palatable.
Mr. Street follows up with the question:
“The release says that you all are prioritizing “models of color.” Are you referencing all models of color, specifically Black models, or will it be all models with an emphasis on models of color?”
Konner responds with:
“As of right now we are looking at all models of color. I’m trying to decide if I want to have one or two models that don’t necessarily fit that because in doing this I don’t want to become the problem that I’m trying to fight. There are so many avenues and so many arenas where we as models of color are shut down or shut out because of the color of our skin, and I don’t want this to be a thing where we say: OK it’s all models of color and anyone who is not that, get out. So I’m still toying around that, but right now we are exclusively models of color.”
My thoughts are that this is basically saying that “I’m gonna have some good ole boys in the club because I don’t want massa upset with me none.” I’m just saying. Rather than doing the right and altruistic thing and doing an all-black agency. Konner is going to appease the comfort of his white fan base in spite of the fact his black fan base was there for him when he was the porn actor Isaiah Foxx. Which if anything he owes that little boy the world because Konner is fully aware and present on the issues that BLACK porn actors face and what Isaiah a black bottom porn actor felt.
The thing that is further disturbing in the article is when Konnor says this:
“I do plan to send models from Haus of Konnor over to Noir Male but one of my big things is: if I send a model to a studio there’s agreement between me and that studio that nothing that has to do with that model’s race or nothing pertaining to the “BBC experience” is what that model is participating in. I’ve been on jobs where I’ve had no clue what I’ve been working on and then the movies come out and it’s like ‘Oh god!’”
This sounds very historically familiar. So during the slave trade, the Caribbean Islands was used as a large space for sex farms for slaves and “buck breaking”.
Noted on RacistReport.org:
“These male slaves were purchase based entirely on the prerequisite of them possessing a large penis. Black men were routinely raped by their gay slave owners. The process was known as “breaking the buck.”
It involves a strapping Negro slave, who was defiant, was beaten with a whip till bloody in front of his entire slave congregation. The slave owner would cut down a tree and, with the help of the overseer, would then pummel the deviant “buck” into submission. Once the slave was worn down, the master had the other Negro slaves force him over the tree stump where his britches would be removed and he laid fully exposed buttocks, he would remove his own clothing and proceeded to savagely sodomize the buck in front his wife, family, friends, and children.”
Konnor is basically handing these gentlemen over to a problematic porn company ran by the also very racially problematic DJ Chi Chi LaRue. After the debacle with PrEP/U=U advocate, #TakedownTina activist, and now amateur porn actor Jacen Zhu. He stepped away from the company for their purposeful mishandling of race in the studio. We can not trust that Konner will have good intentions.
So let’s be clear. Is there a race issue in gay porn? Absolutely.
Should there be a space cultivated for porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes ma’am.
Should there be a space cultivated for black porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes sir!
Should Konner be the one doing it? No, not at this juncture and especially around his limited education on race.
Konnor has clearly acknowledged that there is a problem, which is good for him I guess. I just understand that there needs to be more work done to supplant footing for black LGBTQIA+ porn actors of all genders and body types and this attempt is half-cocked, lazy, and wildly remedial. He participating in the same foolish stunting that Noir Male did as well at their inception.