Coffee Rhetoric: Fuckery
Showing posts with label Fuckery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fuckery. Show all posts

June 05, 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow and Them "Niggas in Paris", For Real

Actress, Gwyneth Paltrow is not really known for being able to relate to the rest of us poor, working-class commoners, despite her liberal rumblings to the contrary; having been born into the aristocracy and with all of her sanctimonious diatribes about not being able to live without hand-painted de Gournay  wallpaper or Antonio Lupi Baia tubs in her bedroom and of course her “For wealthy people, duh!” musings in her Goop newsletter and all; So when Lady Gwyneth tweeted a picture of herself onstage with Kanye West and her BFF Jay-Z during a performance in France and captioned it “N**gas in Paris, for real…”  the Twitterverse experienced one of those screeching, record-scratching moments and side-eyed the pampered actress for getting too swept up in the camaraderie.  The tweet immediately went viral and Lady Gwyneth fumbled to rationalize her social-media gaffe: “Hold up. It’s the title of the song!”
Singer, Terius “The Dream” Nash also came to The Lady’s defense, initially absorbing the blame for the tweet... 

 The Dream then deferred to the “We give too much power to that word!” argument to further defend Lady Paltrow’s honor. An argument that only seems to surface when their favored non-Black friends come under fire for using the word out loud. Because I hardly ever hear rappers use that convoluted defense when "Nigger" is used with malicious intent to slight them or when they feel as if they're being discriminated against in some way.

And since The Dream, Beyonce, Jay-Z, et al have reached the pinnacle of the “Class-ceiling” and cultivated a friendship with their privileged friend in the process, it wouldn’t serve their personal interests to explain to Lady Gwyneth why it probably wasn’t a good idea to tweet the picture with that caption. And some would probably even argue that the onus should fall on Jay-Z and Kanye West for titling a song “Niggas in Paris” to begin with. Fair enough I suppose, since some rappers aren’t really known for tact and thinking of anything other than money.  And since Lady Gwyneth’s Handbook for All things Epicurious and Goopish probably didn’t come equipped with a chapter on: The politics of navigating urban lingo and etiquette, and since rappers see no monetary value or incentive in checking their White protégés and/or friends (see here and here) when they commit racially insensitive infractions, perhaps I can try to offer a bit of insight about why it wasn't entirely cool for Gwyneth to reference her "Watch the Throne" experience the way she did...

When Lady Gwyneth drones on and on about her privilege and wealth, she’s already illustrating how out of touch she is with the rest of the country, particularly about those navigating the trenches of the urban jungle. Paltrow definitely may not have had ill-intent with her tweet, but the fact still remains that it came from a place of unfamiliarity with a world she knows nothing about. Some of the responsibility should fall on Kanye and Jay-Z for brazenly titling the song “Niggas in Paris" while being far removed from their former lives and (maybe) expecting their newly acquired, wealthy White friends to find creative other ways to reference the song -- (although the tweet did seem to reference the actress literally being on stage with some Niggas in Paris"for real"). The Dream's shoddy excuses and rationalizations for the tweet...
 "A word means something when u react to it! ... Context is everything. Meaning it in the context as a Song which is how we Sold it to the world!!!!!! It is what it is ... And actually N---az was in Paris! LOL. Stop wasting God's time and do something with your life. Love not war."
...  make him and his rap cohorts just as complicit in its gross misuse when "Nigga" suddenly turns to "Nigger". To me, you can't have it both ways; you can't defend your White homegirl's or boy's right to use it while in the presence of Black people and then get upset if they then turn around in a moment of anger and hurl the epithet in its original, hateful context.

There is definitely no need for the type of alarm that would call for boycotting Goop (other than it’s just an annoying newsletter) and creating online petitions. Calling the actress out with a warning, since her nouveau riche Black friends won’t, suffices just fine. And if she genuinely develops an understanding about why some people found her tweet to be a bit irresponsible, fine; if she shrugs if off, then perhaps we need to examine the fact that her rich, Black friends wrote a song and titled it "Niggas in Paris" and told her to go ahead and repeat it as liberally and as often as she chooses to. Hip Hop Mogul, Russell Simmons also rushed to Gwyneth's defense, with somewhat disingenuous argument of his own ...
"It was this explosive expression that spread out of the inner cities of America into the walkmans of kids like Gwyneth Paltrow during their childhoods in 1980s and 1990s. It allowed white kids to begin to sympathize with the plight of many in black America. And these kids have overwhelmingly become progressive in their politics and their social concerns. Having any Hollywood starlet at your concert was unimaginable, and having her quote your lyrics as a badge of honor that she was hanging out with you, you never would have dreamed of that – until your poetry hit the market and changed the world.
So, for Gwyneth to tweet out her excitement about hip-hop taking over the planet is a good thing. She didn’t mean any harm, she just was trying to ball so hard, and like Jay-Z says, "motherf*ckers can’t fine" her." (Source)
Gwyneth Paltrow and people of her class and ilk often enjoy the luxuries their wealth and privilege affords them and will freely appropriate those aspects of Black urban culture they find most intriguing and entertaining… while disregarding the darker and grittier elements of that experience. On some level, is that not the fault of rap culture? I mean Gwyneth's rap friends are being especially emphatic in defending the "hood pass" privileges they've granted her, even though The Dream and Russell Simmons no longer navigate those circles and rub elbows with a more well-heeled group of people. Moreover, would Russell Simmons and The Dream feel equally as passionate about imploring folks to disregard the original impact of the word had... Ann Coulter tweeted a picture of herself at the concert and captioned she was having a great time with some "Niggas in Paris, for real"? Methinks this is just a case of rich rappers wanting to make special concessions for their wealthy White friend.  For me, this is where the conundrum lies.

In the video below, British poet and rapper Akala, explains why he stopped using the word out of context.

Also read: Dutch Magazine Labels Rihanna "De Ultimate Nigga Bitch"

March 02, 2012

Date Like A Dummy, Think Like a Foolio, REDUX

Foreword: Overcoming Interracial Dating Myopia

I realize this is the second time I've re-posted an essay but I've been a bit lazy busy working on a few other things and I've got a few topic ideas I need to mentally sift through before blogging them. Additionally, I've been reading some rather… disappointing things across the Black Blogosphere and feel that certain posts apply. Rather than blogging the same thing in some other written variation, I figured I'd offer a brief foreword as a prelude to the re-post. I've been reading some interesting articles (none of which I care to link) and some equally as interesting-- (if not downright disturbing) -- commentary from readers... many of whom are Black women. It seems as if a certain sub-group of my sistren has the dating game all twisted and are vigilant about 'White Knighting' other ill-informed forum commentators… throwing other Black women under the bus in the process.
The concept of agreeing to disagree, respectfully, seems to get lost in translation whenever the issue of interracial dating comes up.

Living and letting live, would be the ideal way for one to date however, those of my sistren (mostly) and brethren who are emphatic about dating other don't seem to be genuine in their dating intentions, as they almost seem to be political. In pushing their agenda(s); climbing on a soapbox and using their respective relationships to antagonize others for who they're attracted to-- (even going so far as to resort name-calling). In being completely frank in my assessment, much of the vitriol I read, came (and comes) from a collective of Black women who are seemingly still hurt by prior relationships and harbor feelings of resentment (despite proclamations of feeling empowered and free). I actually just learned about terms like "DBR" (Damaged Beyond Repair) - Black men and have read pointed attack-words like "stupid, weak, (fat) Black women" and my favorite, "DBR enablers".  Language like this is counterproductive and sanctimonious, as the people at the helm of the hate, demand to have the right to love who they want to love yet, can't seem to do so in earnest.

I never understood why the topic of interracial dating has us (the Black community) at such odds with one another; or why some folks are supposedly so happy with the opportunity to explore their options, yet are so pressed by who someone else is sleeping with or dating and seem bent on projecting their personal aesthetic on others… and will lash out when all their prodding is rejected.
What the hell is wrong with us? Why can't folks just genuinely like who they like, date and marry who they want to date and marry, without there needing to be a motive or agenda behind it; and leave other folks to their own dating devices? Do we really need a How-to manual written by a few self-righteous proselytizers with an axe to grind on something as superficial as "how to attract a White man", belittling other Black women for not trying "something new" and demanding that they mold themselves to fit a beauty mold, dictated by societal norms? Additionally, do we need to be subjected to rap songs ridiculing Black women for not having the right complexion or hair? People who are genuinely empowered, free, and secure with their dating choices, don’t need to indulge in extraneous foolery. Folks have got the game all twisted and need to succumb to the four G’s (Good Goddess Get a Grip!) Just... stop.

Anyway, without further ado...