Y’all… *insert row of laughing/crying emojis* Real talk, tho…dude needs to stop talking.
So y’all’s MCM Michael B. Jordan got himself roasted proper in the Shade Room when it was revealed there were no sistas at his party in Italy. Then he decided to respond (second big mistake) and things just continued to deteriorate from there. And I will admit, it was an admittedly entertaining roast, nice an bloody. But what intrigued me the most were the reactions to the reaction; some people were perplexed that a man who’s never spoken ill about Black women was getting ruthlessly barbecued. There was the question of why anyone would care about his dating preferences and how they were none of the fans’ business.
To which I have to reply: dude brought this on himself.
Earlier I stated that responding to the roast was MBJ’s second big mistake. His first was ever bothering to bring up that he liked Black women, and that the craziest rumor he ever heard about himself was that he didn’t date sistas. It might have been okay if he’d only stated this once, but alas…casual attendees and active participants in the roast kept pointing out that celebrities who actually date/marry Black women never need to bring it up because they’re too busy actively pursuing with Black women.
Fashion tip for aspiring public figures: this is 2018. If you’re not actually interested in pursuing Black women, 1) that’s perfectly okay, but 2) never, ever, ever state that you are. It will not end well.
Whenever a public figure, be they actor, musician, vlogger, blogger, etc. feels the need to “declare” that they love Black women, our spider senses start tingling. We want to know what the angle is. Generally speaking, nobody makes these declarations about non-Black women, so what gives? Do you need votes? Do you have an album about to drop? Are you a non-Black man launching a career in R&B or hip hop? Are you a member of the Black Panther cast, probably instructed to promote pro-Blackness in all forms? What exactly do you want from us, boo?
For people wondering about Black women’s irritation/disappointment with Black male celebrities who say one thing and do another when it comes to us, THIS is the primary source. People—Black men included—are typically only nice to us when they want something. They want our support when the cops/racists in general are mean to them. They want us to fight for them if they become a bloody hashtag. They want us to clean up the mess when the politicians they elect screw up. They want our beauty, fashions, money and fandom…they want everything from us but just not us. And when we confront people about using us, we’re first told to be flattered that we’re needed. Since that doesn’t work (anymore), people then fall back on the classics, branding us as bitter, hostile, jealous, and my new personal favorite, selfish.
Let’s be clear: the overwhelming majority of Black women don’t care about who MBJ dates. We don’t care about who any public figure dates, really. Pandering to us (vastly different from marketing to us, mind you) annoys us. For one, it insults our intelligence and implies we’re desperate, that we’re so lonely and unloved we’ll hand over our hard-earned cash simply because a complete stranger whom most of us are never going to meet said they loved us. *insert eye roll emoji*
Meanwhile, we know what this is really about: Black male celebrities who prefer non-Black women can’t rely solely on non-Black female fandom.
Sure, the Beckians might be head over heels for someone like MBJ…until the next time Jason Momoa takes his shirt off. Or until the next time Kit Harington decides to grow a beard and wield a man bun. Or until the next time Tom Hiddleston shows up to a convention in full cosplay mode. They’ll fawn all over a Black male actor until Grant Gustin, or Theo James, or Henry Cavill, or Benedict Cumberbatch, or literally any of the infamous Chrises comes along. They’ll gladly stream a Black male artist's songs until some mediocre White boy rando steps forward and performs the same kind of music. Then the Beckians will be out on the internet in full force talmbout how it all sounds so much better in mayonnaise.
And when that happens, the burden falls to Black women to stay loyal, be supportive, and keep their careers afloat—no thank you.
So I propose we keep things simple: one, stop talking. Modern celebs have GOT to learn to shut up and not feel compelled to tell us absolutely everything about themselves. Two, don't pander to Black women. Just present your product or service or whatever it is you're selling and then...stop talking. Three, if your target audience isn't Black women, find a way to get them to support you and then...stop talking. To us.