Sunday, August 30th, 2015, The 2015 VMAs aired on MTV and in short, it was nothing less than disappointing and utterly disgusting. To summarize it in ones short sentence: Miley Cyrus is racist, Rebel Wilson made an even bigger fool of herself, Kanye has my vote in 2020 and it was clearly a very, very long night. Because the night was so…. “eventful” and there is so much to talk about, I’ll end my introduction with this: Take this information how you want but always think about it.
She’s racist. Competently racist. And she knows exactly what she’s doing. She paraded around on the MTV VMA stage wearing fake deadlocs, shamelessly evoked the Mammy stereotype in her skit with Snoop Dogg and got crazy reactions all night, into the following week. But that was her goal. She’s taking her racism and white privilege ideologies and using it to make a profit and to fuel her career, because relevancy through real talent is not an option for her. Miley Cyrus knows that the media is going to take her side in EVERY case because she’s a young, white, rich racist.
In one night, Miley Cyrus managed to demean and dehumanize the ENTIRE black race & culture by:
– culturally appropriating Black culture and then being praised for it
– making a cissexist joke directed at a cis man who played a Trans woman
– constantly joking about weed when Black people are being thrown in jail for it
– exposing her nipple (when Janet Jackson was harshly reprimanded after her infamous Super Bowl “nip slip”; Miley, your white priviledge is showing)
– using LGBTQIAP+ people as props
– calling a Black man mammy
– disrespecting Nicki with “congrats Nicki, but I lost and I got over it”
– lying about the media twisting her words
– joking about weed (okay… we get it… you smoke) but when Kanye said one thing about it, he was nearly criminalized
– becoming the victim even though she made Nicki’s discussion of racism her place to silence Nicki
Now, I know Miley claims to be a feminist and okay, that’s cool. But what needs to be understood is that Feminism should be more than celebrating your period, accessing birth control, wearing what you want whenever you want, and making the same wage as your male counterpart…oh and freeing your damn nipples. While all are important issues we as feminists should address if we please, it is simplistic, dated, and naive to believe that they are the sum total of the needs of all women. As a feminist, one must recognize that both intersectionality and inclusivity are two major components in the struggle for women’s rights. That means recognizing that the narrative of feminism must include a space for the experiences of women of color, LGBTQ women, low-income/poor/homeless women, urban and rural women, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women, and so much more. So if these new wave “feminists” are going to focus on Nicki saying “bitch” to Miley, you really don’t care about the issues.
Rebel Wilson: -_- I have no respect for Rebel Wilson.
Rebel Wilson used police brutality and the murder of Black lives as a weak ass punchline. Not only did she make light of the serious issue of Police Brutality, but she somehow managed to oddly sexualize the oppressive topic. Definitely NOT a good move, especially when a Black woman recently had her vagina forcibly searched for weed. Now, there was a lot about the VMAs that rubbed me the wrong way this year but the thing that probably bothered me the most was her joke. The joke was awful and then, to turn around and have her present the hip hop award?! It’s not a joke and it’s not funny. Let me say it one more time for the people in the back: AINT SHIT FUNNY ABOUT POLICE BRUTALITY. I am pretty sure the families of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, John Crawford, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and so, so, so many others dont think there’s anything funny about it either. Many may read this and think that I am overreacting. Take a moment, sit there and think about why so many people would be pissed off about her “joke”. I don’t just sit here and get mad for fun. There are just some things you don’t try to joke about. There are just some things that you don’t laugh about.There are some things that just aren’t funny.
Nicki Minaj: I saw a post on Tumblr before writing this section and she said something that truly sparked my interest (in other words, pissed me off): “Nicki Minaj was the one who rapped about nappy headed hoes (Song: Did It On Em), portrayed black women as chimpazees who eat bananas, disrespected Malcom X (Single Cover: Looking A** Ni**as), and made homophobic comments. So this is why I will NEVER stick up for her in all these taylor/miley marketing beef ! This girl used the “ I’m a black people activist “ card mostly because she was mad about the fact that her greedy ass wasn’t nominated for an award for which Kendrick Lamar was !!!! Stop the hypocrisy and the double standards and let’s fight for our real black people activist ! They need it ♥”
Black people, and other people of color, are constantly expected to ‘wait their turn,’ or ‘wait for the right time.’ And coming as a shock to no one, the ‘right time’ never seems to come. Is it any wonder, then, that they speak angrily and at the “wrong time”?
Nicki Minaj did just that, and in response to Cyrus’ casual dismissal of her concerns by focusing on how ‘rude’ she was about expressing them, called Cyrus out at a live awards show. No, it’s not ‘nice.’ Yes, she is a woman calling out another woman angrily. But if you’re looking at how Minaj handled the situation, rather than looking at the injustice of the situation in which Minaj and other black women in the music industry constantly find themselves, then you’re part of the problem. Black women are constantly written off as “angry” or “irrational” or “defensive” when we speak out about racist double-standards. When a black woman boldly expresses her opinion, she’s often automatically deemed the aggressor – usually toward a presumably fragile, meek, white ‘damsel in distress’.
Enough is enough. Instead of brushing off Minaj’s anger, people need to listen to what she has to say. As a black girl with a big butt, I understand her frustration. I understand what it’s like to be shamed for your curves while also fetishized. Minaj has every right to be upset. This is infuriating.
If you didn’t watch the VMAs, it’ll be on every channel, every day until the 2016 VMAs airs in 11 months, but until then, think on this: We do this every year. We watch an awards show, and of course, something unjust happens. We then get on social media and complain, yet we continue to watch their shows which is therefore supporting the channels. I know it isn’t fair , and it’ll be hard, but I feel like we need to do more. There’s power in numbers, and we need to show these companies that we’re not having this anymore.