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Drag Is Not Exempt From The Isms, In Fact, It Is Entrenched in Them

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Online bullying and harassment is real. Many of the drag race queens have had to endure heinous comments and vicious attacks by folks who call themselves fans. I’ve heard several horror stories, as some queens have shared accounts of their own online experiences.

I think it was Morgan McMichaels who was told to kill herself by an angry (and irrational) fan of BenDeLaCreme in response to a disagreement the two talented queens had on drag race. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and all the other social media platforms are often unkind and disturbing spaces.

DeLa holding up her own lipstick- eliminating herself from the competition.

The further you are on the margins, the more harassment and violence you are susceptible to. I struggle to imagine the experiences of Black trans disabled poor undocumented women on any of the aforementioned platforms, let alone in their lives outside the computer screen and the latest iPhone.

Again, online harassment is real- it takes the form of disgusting words and images, erasure, racism, misogyny, misogynoir, queer and trans antagonism, ableism, and all the other isms. It is sickening (not in the drag way), and a reflection of the times we live in.

As we continue to have critical conversations, it is important that we don’t conflate online harassment with the calling out of white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy which drag race is entrenched in. I feel confident that many queens are intentionally confusing the two to evade accountability, and labeling liberation seekers as attackers.

Drag queens Milk and Trixie posing for the camera.

When a socially conscious fan says, “I think Trixie’s proximity to whiteness was a significant reason she won All Stars 3,” that’s not an act of bullying to Trixie- that is a critique of the violent system we live in.

When a fan says, “Milk’s disrespect of Kennedy Davenport and her drag felt much like anti-Blackness,” again, that’s not an attack on Milk- this is an attempt to hold Milk accountable for their actions, and hopefully spur a conversation that prepares us all to interrogate the ways in which anti-Blackness shows up in our lives.

We live in a system that privileges some folks, and deeply marginalizes others. Drag is not exempt from this system or this conversation; actually, RuPaul has placed drag smack dab in the heart of pop culture. Although we are all queer, that doesn’t mean violence doesn’t exist intracommunity- in particular to Black and brown trans and gender non-conforming folks.

Moreover, when a queen labels social critique as an attack, they themselves are committing violence. They are gaslighting the folks who have a legitimate concern with how the people on the margins of the margins are experiencing a system meant to extinguish their fire. Additionally, we throw away an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation on liberation and accountability.

Although difficult, it’s time for us to be honest. If we’re going to engage these critical conversations, let’s center truth(s). I am observing a lot of conversation on online harassment, and rightfully so. However, I’ve not heard any queen talk about how this toxic system infiltrates drag culture.

There is a reason why. Let’s talk.


Cody Charles is the author of Mudbound: Uncovering The Parts Of Ourselves We Sacrifice In Order To SurviveA Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018Our Favorite Blackity Black Quotes In Black CinemaEngaging My Black Fat Body, Re-Imagining Black LoveYou Can’t Outdo Black PeopleBlack Joy, We Deserve ItThe Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight5 Tips For White Folks, As They Engage Jordan Peele’s Get Out. (No Spoilers), and What Growing Up Black And Poor Taught Me About Resiliency. Join him for more conversation on Twitter (@_codykeith_) and Facebook (Follow Cody Charles). Please visit his blog, Reclaiming Anger, to learn more about him.

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Zaena x Jason Maek Pay Homage To ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ In “TikTok” Music Video

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In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the cult-classic show ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’, Chicago hip-hop duo Zaena x Jason Maek travel back in time for their new music video “TIkTok”. The self-directed adaptation features cameos from Danielle Cohn, Joey Klaasen, and 18 of your favorite TikTok stars with a combined reach of over 100 million followers.

The video highlights moments from the original show, including The Fresh Prince spinning on the throne, shooting some b-ball outside the school, and being chased by his grandmother. The 2 ½ -minute-long project is the largest collaboration between TikTok content creators. Appearances include Danielle Cohn, Joey Klaasen, Jiffpom, Enochtrue, Jasmine Gonzalez, Jake Maldonado, Ryan Shakes, Zayla Shakes, Tyler Brown, Justin Blake, Adam Sheey, Oliver Moy, Marcus Olin, Beasteater, Ayypatrick, Nicki Baber, Alex Holem, Damian K, and Harlem Globetrotter Crissa Ace.

Zaena x Jason Maek have a history of creating hilarious music videos. Putting a spin on ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ was a no-brainer for the duo.

“The Fresh Prince is my favorite show of all-time,” said Zaena. “We wanted to bring it to life for a new generation using faces they would recognize. Our goal was to recreate everything from the extended intro, including the airplane scene that was cut out later. There is a little ‘Parents Don’t Understand’ in there also.”

According to Jason Maek, “We had so much fun on set with everyone. We flew everyone out to Chicago and got the video done in two days. It was an ambitious project, but we wanted to kick the new year off right with something refreshing.”

There are also a few other key moments to spot. Athletic brand Wilson premiered their Fresh Prince inspired basketball in the video. MVMT watches and Vita Coco also debut new products in various scenes.

“TikTok” is the first single from Zaena x Jason Maek since completing their sold-out tour titled “The Freshman Tour”. The track is available on YouTube, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms.

For more on Zaena x Jason Maek visit:

www.instagram.com/zaenaworld

www.instagram.com/jasonmaek

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“Cardi B for Congress” Has Conservative Twitter PRESSED!

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Cardi B is contemplating a run for office according to a series of tweets published this past Sunday, January 12. Unsurprisingly enough, she is already battling hate from all across the aisle. 

“I think I want to be a politician. I really love government even tho I don’t agree with Government (sic),” the New York rapper said in a series of tweets. “Like I was watching war documentaries. No matter how many weapons a country have you need people! How are you trying to go against a country and possibly start a war when this country lacks patriotism? I barely see people claiming the LOVE being American.”

 

The rapper then went on to say she will have to explain more at a later date, possibly in a video. After publicly endorsing Vermont Senator and progressive Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in 2019, Cardi was lauded for showing us the “woke” side of her image. 

On Tuesday, the rapper found herself in numerous Twitter spats, especially with right-wing accounts. Mindy Robinson, a conservative political pundit, commented on Cardi’s post with several drawn-in grammatical corrections. Despite Cardi admitting on Sunday that she would need more schooling before she could seriously enter politics, Robinson ended her tweet with “you need more than that.” In a later comment, she declared that her “cat is more qualified to run for Congress than Cardi B.”

 

Cardi, whose given name is Belacalis Almánzar, is no stranger to Twitter beef and quickly had an answer for Robinson. “Leave me alone. I didn’t insulted your party or your believes so please don’t try me and let’s keep sweet OK….don’t want to dog walk you,” she replied before unleashing a savage string of jabs toward the internet personality. 

 

While a dog walk sounds like a peaceful way to spend quality time with your beloved pooch, for Cardi, it is a serious threat – one we’ve heard before. You will recall in January of 2019 she warned Tomi Lahren, another conservative pundit, to leave her alone, lest she gets dog walked. Just as in the feud with Robinson, Cardi was minding her own business on social media Tomi Lahren attacked her for her views. Her comments lit a fire in the rapper and the two engaged in a back and forth lasting several hours. 

 

Obviously Robinson did not get the message a year ago that Cardi B has the time to argue with internet trolls because she found herself in the same predicament as Lahren did – potentially discovering what it’s like to “dog walk” with Cardi. 

 

Check out the best of both feuds below and let us know what you think.

 

Cardi B vs. Tomi Lahren

 

Cardi B vs. Mindy Robinson

 

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NeNe, BScott & Snake Gate

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