Taylor and Melania

We Must Offer Black Women The Same Protections We Offer White Women

By now, the world has heard at length about the gaffes of two very famous white women this week. Taylor Swift was exposed on Snapchat by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for lying about approving Kanye’s lyrics in his song “Famous.” Melania Trump, the wife of the Republican nominee for president, apparently lifted part of her Republican National Convention Speech from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech. These two instances are part of a larger history of white women and public victimhood in the United States.

Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West, Amber Rose and the Slut Shaming of Black Female Sexuality

By Arielle Newton

On a track with Juicy J called “For Everybody,” Wiz Khalifa, the estranged husband of businesswoman Amber Rose, rapped about how he “fell in love with a stripper” but “fell out of love quicker.” He opines that hoes don’t “pay attention to love anyway,” because they’re “only concerned with what the haters say” and need Instagram and reality TV to decipher their standards for quality relationships, and how its not even worth playing Captain Save-a-Ho, and some more patriarchal bullshit we’ve heard about women since the beginning of civilization.

Although he hasn’t yet publicly attributed his newfound caveman philosophy to his recent breakup with Amber Rose, we all know that’s what’s happening here. He’s been bitter for some time; tweeting underhanded comments about the mother of his children and the woman he once “loved,” and overall, acting reckless and messy like he has no sense.

In an article about the Mo’Nique-Lee Daniels blackballing saga, I said there’s four sides to every story: his, hers, the truth, and perception. And the perception here is that when Black men are done with Black women, Black women are no longer suitable, clean, or desirable.

This perception is reinforced with Kanye West’s public comments about Amber Rose in an interview with the Breakfast Club. He said that he had to take “30 showers” before Kim would let him touch her.

“If Kim had dated me when I first wanted to be with her, there wouldn’t be an Amber Rose…It’s hard for a woman to want to be with a man that’s been with Amber Rose. I had to take like 30 showers before I got with Kim. Don’t ask me no more [laughs] I just want to be respectful.”

The joke fell flat, with many (including Amber) quickly pointing out the striking irony of Kanye being so hostile to Amber’s sexuality when his wife is only known for hers. A rather underwhelming sex tape is what made her a global phenomenon after all.

Amber has yet to publicly comment on her estranged husband’s lyrics (dare I even call them that?), but we know she’s not one to run from battle. She masterfully etheredKhloe and the Kardashian Kamp, and mercilessly humiliated Kanye with the sage bravada of a woman from South Philly.

 

 

But with Wiz, she’s taken a measured approach; commenting very lightly on their marriage, while ultimately boosting her social media image with that glorious body of hers. And that’s the root of Wiz’s anger—that she, even without him, still has authority and control over her sexual identity. Amber wasn’t a ho when she was twerking on Instagram to celebrate his album, Blacc Hollywood, debuting at number 1. But she’s a ho when he no longer has ownership of or agency over her sexuality.

And we won’t get in to the double standard here. Amber Rose left Wiz after he was caught cheating on her with two porn stars. And apparently, this wasn’t the first time he’s cheated on her. But whatever. She’s a ho. A dirty ho. Case closed.

I don’t think this violent hostility towards Black female sexual identity is indicative of all Black culture, just manufactured Black culture for-profit. Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa are deeply rooted within the music industry, a capitalist patriarchal structure in which calculated, strategic actions are taken to ensure a vicious status quo that subjugates the sexualized complexity of Black women while marginally uplifting the sexual identity of white women. Ugh. And I’m over it.

So, do you Amber. I may not agree with all your choices and all your language, but I know they’re coming for you because you dared to be your intricate, complicated, vulnerable, sexual self.

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Arielle Newton is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Black Millennials. Follow her at @arielle_newton. For Black Millennials at @BlkMillennials.

This post originally appeared on Black Millennials

Photo: Amber Rose/Facebook

Kanye: Prophet or Punk

Kanye Grammys

By Keevin Brown

Kanye West’s playful almost interruption of Beck at the Grammy’s was an homage to his actual 2009 Grammy award interruption of Country artist Taylor Swift. The irony of the situation was meant to instill humor and to some level, show a sense of growth and maturity. We as Americans supposedly live in a “post-racial” society, but once again racism rears its ugly head and seems to be the inescapable lens in which we view society.

Due to the antagonistic and outright racist history of America, every interaction between Black and white people is seen through a racialized lens that forces us to question each others intentions. When Kanye faked us all out during Alternative artist Beck’s acceptance speech for Best Album at the Grammy’s, his actions were automatically read as “a Black man picking on a defenseless white guy.” No matter how much Kanye explains that his actions were in jest and that the voices in his head told him to do it (another joke Kanye made that was in jest) he will still be demonized as the “Black bully” who is selective in his victimization to only innocent and unassuming white people.

In an attempt at scolding the Black boogeyman, Garbage singer Shirley Manson in an open letter uses coded language to reprimand Kanye. “You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like BECK.”  Manson’s comments were said in reference to an E! Entertainment post-Grammy’s interview where Kanye espoused his opinion that the Grammy’s don’t respect artistry. Black people have been called “savages” since before the inception of America and for Manson to posit Beck, who is white, as “humble” and Kanye, a Black man, as a “savage” is nothing more than reinforcing tropes of uncivilized Black people who threaten the purity and sanctity of whiteness by virtue of simply existing.

If we are to truly move past America’s bigoted past and present, we need to level the playing field. What Kanye did is exercise his First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. Kanye did this is 2009 with Taylor Swift and contemporarily with E! Entertainment. Manson also expressed her opinion, which she has every right to. The only difference is when a powerful Black celebrity like Kanye says something it is viewed as savagery, but when white people in the entertainment industry do it, they are touted as heroes e.g. Seth Rogan and his film The Interview. When Seth Rogan wanted to release his controversial and satirical movie that depicts North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a less than favorable light, Hollywood stood up for him, but when Kanye feels a Beyoncé should win an award over another artist, which is extremely less controversial he is berated in the media. Hollywood backed Rogan, who will stand up for Kanye?