Already in shock that Shangela was barricaded from the top two, I was preparing myself for a Kennedy Davenport win. Kennedy utterly slayed the final lip-sync to an unimpressive song that mostly favored the other queen. Kennedy performed better than her competitor throughout the season, which was not hard seeing that the other half of the top two did not win a single challenge. Because I like to be naive at times, as it can be cute and endearing, I hoped Kennedy would be the choice. However, my ancestors and the spirits who hold my past traumas spoke to me and said, “Sis, you know better than that- we’ve already prepared you for this moment.” So, as RuPaul announced the country queen as the winner, this complicated feeling swept over me. It was a mixture between surprise and this intense calm.
Because I at times commit to poor decisions, I decided to watch the finale at a local bar- one that is queer friendly. Well, white queer friendly. The crowning was accompanied by the whitest and loudest applause I’ve heard in a bar setting- applause and noise that rivaled any sporting event I’ve ever watched in a public space. This reminds me that I am never safe in this Black fat body, no matter if the setting is queer and well-intentioned.Yes, I know RPDR is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. Click To Tweet
I feel guilty for being angry, because I know this show remains problematic in many ways. However, I am legit sadden by this expected surprise. Yes, I know this show is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. And of course someone will soon hop on my timeline telling me that I shouldn’t care so much- and honestly I will probably cuss them the phuck out. I would hope I’d respond differently, but I know my brand. Smh.
This season, this episode, triggered some bad memories and emotions for me. Once again, it told me that I will never be enough in this fat, Black, queer body. Whiteness and white mediocrity will often be the victor, will often be praised, and will do their best to gaslight you when it’s all said and done.
Here are a few insights I must get off my heart. In the tradition of Paris is Burning, I honor the Black and brown queens who made drag what it is today…
The library is open, hunty.
Kennedy Davenport doesn’t deserve your pity. She deserves no one’s pity because she is a boss. She is a champion with or without the crown. She deserved to be in the Top four, and deserved to beat that other gurl in the final two. Not a read, just true.
Shangela was the clear winner. CLEARLY. And her face showed me that she knew she was morally better than most queens in that room, in that moment. Halleloo.
RuPaul once said that drag pokes fun at the rules (a loose interpretation of something he actually said), but in practice has successfully helped white cis-heteropatriarchy thrive in drag. RuPaul is committed to uplifting whiteness, as it is attached to capitalism. Sis wants another Emmy and a much larger check- the internalized anti-Blackness has runneth over, all over those pretty suits and pretty gowns. RuPaul must have sincerely been flattered by the winner’s impersonation of him in the Snatch Game.
…And he is a legend and a trailblazer.
Beware of white people who think this chick with the ethnic puff on the top of her head deserved to win. They are the same people who whisper #AllLivesMatter to one another in Black and brown spaces. They are the same people who love having Black friends, but are absent when violent shyt goes down. They are the same people who are hypercritical of Black queens, but then show up to their shows and events to steal dance moves and drag techniques. They are the Toros of life, a la the white cheerleaders in Bring it On.
The white queen whose name rhymes with silk, and makes me proud to be lactose intolerant is…spolied.
Bebe Zahara Benet is me if I ever do drag. Muva is unshakable. It was clear that she didn’t define her worth by what these other queens thought. She doesn’t have to be crowned the queen because she already knows she is one.
The white queen who dons dreadlocks showed her anti-Black and classist ass in her original season by how she treated both Bob The Drag Queen and Chi Chi DeVayne. <sigh> Some things never change. However, she was the only queen who voted for Shangela to be in the top two.
I was waiting for Aja to conjure Crystal LaBeija once Ru announced the top two. However, Aja chose the Milwaukee queen over Shangela to be in the top two, so perhaps LaBeija was out to lunch with Monique.I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. Click To Tweet
I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. There are young Black and brown queens who are looking up to you, and learning how to address racism and anti-Blackness in this industry by carefully observing your every move. However, I understand that your speaking up puts your booking fee at risk, your livelihood at risk. This is how white supremacy traps Black and brown bodies.
White queens who talk about white supremacy, misogyny, and queer and transantagonism on their platforms, I await your voice in this conversation. It is your responsibility to challenge your fellow white queens, and your problematic followers. Get to it.
I also want to be clear. I believe the winner of the third cycle of All Stars identifies as biracial/multiracial with roots to the Ojibwe people, and that matters in their journey to the crown. And, in this industry, this human still benefits from white privilege in some truly complex ways. Trixie, you have a responsibility in this conversation as well.
The Library is closed, officially.
All (Monique) heart, we love you, Shangela. We love you, Bebe. And we love you, Kennedy. Please continue to shine for us. Here is my love letter to you all.
Cody Charles is the author of Mudbound: Uncovering The Parts Of Ourselves We Sacrifice In Order To Survive, A Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018, Our Favorite Blackity Black Quotes In Black Cinema, Engaging My Black Fat Body, Re-Imagining Black Love, You Can’t Outdo Black People, Black Joy, We Deserve It, The Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight, 5 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.
BET Awards 2020 | REVIEW
Beyoncé Drops New Song “Black Parade” [LISTEN]
Beyoncé celebrates Juneteenth with her new song “Black Parade“. Take a listen.
Also, listen to the extended version exclusively on Tidal.
Noname Drops “Song 33” in Response to J. Cole Diss
Chicago musician Noname has responded to J. Cole in her latest release “Song 33.” If you recall, two days ago we broke down the Noname/J.Cole beef and why many were calling Cole’s controversial song “Snow on Tha Bluff” misogynist and patriarchal. Noname appears to address the diss track and more on her latest release “Song 33.”
As soon as you press play the track hits you right in the feels. A sample saying “Oh, I have ambitions, dreams / But dreams don’t come cheap” opens the song, then immediately we listen to Noname discuss the patriarchal society in which Black women are forced to exist – a society that undervalues and ignores Black women. She said Oluwatoyin Salu’s name.
I saw a demon on my shoulder / it’s looking like patriarchy
Like scrubbing blood off the ceiling and bleaching another carpet
She takes aim at J. Cole for staying silent while Black women routinely “go missing,” yet immediately having something to say when she called him out on it.
One girl missing another one go missing / One girl missing another
But niggas in the back quiet as a church mouse / Basement studio when duty calls to get the verse out
Noname lists all the brutalities happening to Black people and Black women while at the same time, calling him to action. She reminds us Black women are going missing.
I guess the ego hurt now / It’s time to go to work / Wow
Look at him go / He really ‘bout to write about me when the world is in smokes?
When it’s people in trees?
She then criticizes the internet at large for being too easily distracted by the “beef” and losing sight of “the new world order.”
It’s trans women being murdered and this is all he can offer?
And this is all y’all receive? / Distracting you from the convo wit organizers
They talkin abolishing the police
This the new world order
Noname has always been an outspoken champion for Black women’s rights, often bringing attention to crimes committed against Black women that regularly go unheard. In her response to J. Cole, the musician again uses her platform to not only highlight the inherent patriarchy that causes so many Black female victims of violent crime to go unnoticed and forgotten, but to also galvanize Cole, to publicly and boldly challenge him and everyone listening to be the vanguards of a more just and equitable society.
Noname’s call to action is one that has been repeated by women of color for years. Tarana Burke (below), a woman of color and the founder of the “Me Too” Movement, initially began saying the phrase to remind women of color that they are not alone when they struggle with coping with sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Kimberlé Crenshaw (below), another woman of color and an outspoken feminist and civil rights activist, coined the term “intersectionality” to explain the myriad obstacles Black women face in society and how those obstacles compound on one another to create a unique brand of discrimination against them.
As we take each and every day, but especially this Juneteenth, to reflect on the painful history of the United States and remember the priceless cost of freedom, we must heed Noname’s call and begin to acknowledge the ways we Black Americans are not free, the ways Black women are not free.
And we must do it in a QUEEN TONE!!!
- For The Culture4 days ago
In The Middle: Of A ‘Black Parade’
- Trending1 week ago
Bubba Wallace Relieved He’s Not the Victim of a Hate Crime
- Trending1 week ago
D.L. Hughley Passes Out, Reveals He Has Covid-19
- In the Middle4 days ago
Shane Dawson, Jenna Marbles, Jeffree Star & The List Goes On
- Entertainment4 days ago
BET Awards 2020 | REVIEW