“New Blacks” & Respectability Politics [short]

Coon Chicken -- Past is the present with Pharrell and Co.

We have this neologism of folks Pharrell dubbed “New Blacks” tragically crafting themselves as uncanny likenesses of Narcissus. The pool of compliments and encouragement poured by Whites, the lavish reflections gazed upon will be a bowel of New Blacks’ drowning demise, set to a background cacophony of “Wake up!” reminiscent of the end of the Black film School Daze.

Sure, y’all have made a few million dollars, tripped or climbed up some ledges and steps of status, all the while talking back or next to your racial brethren with words of or seeking encouragement; yet when reaching proverbial Shangri-la, y’all catch a creeping case of amnesia. Soaking in the accolades of pale pallbearers, y’all believe only one way is the correct way to attain “success,” and have a de facto PDF to side-step the detriment at the hands of the melanin-deprived pillars-of-power throughout this country. Even the enforcers of power, the blue lap dog gangs—with their brazen, inexplicable and uncalled disregard of our people’s lives—you cape for; incessantly finding excuses when none exist, reasons fabricated from truths pyrite.

And i am not remorseful nor saddened. Only disappointed at the learnt and accepted betrayal. Y’all’s noses up and turning of backs, claiming we’re naive, when in fact, it is the opposite, yet worse of outcomes: y’all are willfully delusional, ignorant.

I wasn’t alive when coonery was en vogue. Yet, coons still exist. And they fucking irk me. The Stepin Fetchit is a dance mastered. Antiquity is contemporary.

Shucking, jiving, speaking in tongues pantomime is now a Vine video, a 30-second Twitter homage to the oppressor. Lacking is veiled language; just straight up explicit worship to the world at large, begging for acknowledgment, undermining our people, our contributions to the world.

It’s sickening.

This is for you Pharrell (believing you’re above the daily, riff-raff of Black indignity experienced because you’re rich and “cultured”), Anthony Mackie (your disdain for dreadlocks), Don Lemon (let me count the ways), Charles Barkley (slavery “wasn’t that bad”, Ferguson Blacks were “scumbags”), Lee Daniels (your “reverse racism” crap, and actively seeking to “sell out”), President Obama (Baltimore protesters were “thugs”), and Kendrick Lamar (Ferguson comments).

Please, continue to admonish those with lesser or no platforms; those who come from similar backgrounds, households, look like you, but the stars haven’t aligned (yet) quite right. Depending on how y’all continue, you’ll be buried or buoyed. We’ll be here, pitchforks or handshakes and hugs—all up to y’all.