Stacy Dash

Kevin Gates You’re Belligerent: Black Lives Do Matter

Kevin Gates is barely relevant to me, actually  barely is an overstatement in this situation. Kevin Gates never comes up in of my conversations willingly, let alone a conversation about music. He never comes up on my Spotify playlists, his albums do not appear on my Pandora radio's and I prefer it that way but when and if I do hear about Kevin Gates it is never anything good. Just to put this into perspective, the last time I heard about Kevin Gates or had a conversation about him was because he had kicked a girl in her face.

Yes, you read that correctly.  He kicked a girl in her face at one of his concerts.

Oh Kevin Gates. If you’re wondering the reason why he kicked this girl in her face, well it was because he told her to stop pulling on his pants. When the girl did not listen he then proceeded to kick her in the face.I know how dare this concert goer, who is probably truly a fan of Kevin Gates, pull on his pants in excitement because she's seeing him in person.

Although that situation was horrible enough, that will not be the situation I focus on in this blog post as Kevin Gates has once again put himself in hot water. The rapper recently decided to give his opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement *sigh*. I really wish rappers and entertainers would stop giving political opinions. Remember when T.I. said he didn’t want a female president because he felt like they were too emotional, ugh goodness.

Anyway, during an interview with 106 KMEL radio station, Kevin Gates was asked about his opinion on Stacy Dash’s comments regarding the eradication of BET and identifying as American versus African-American ( you can find my post about Stacy Dash's comments here). Kevin Gates stated he did agree with Stacy Dash’s comments (of course he did) and further explained his stance and why he agrees with her. He explained his own personal experiences with police officers by describing one situation where he stated he was acting like an “ignorant belligerent nigger” and deserved to be arrested. He then proceeded to say that holding up signs and shouting “Black Lives Matter” is not going to change anything, that “All Lives Matter.”

Wait. First of all, I’m sorry Kevin Gates you were acting like a what?

I do not understand nor do I agree with black people who think they can take the word “nigger” or "nigga" and try to change it's meaning. Even typing the word makes me cringe, it is a word that was used to oppress the black community. It was used to make us feel low, like we were trash, like we were nothing. So the fact that Kevin Gates uses it not only so loosely, but to also describe himself, makes me think that there is a disconnect between what he thinks of himself and how society may view him.

The problem with Kevin Gates statement besides just the use of the word “nigger” is his perception of the Black Lives Matter movement. His perception of the Black Lives Matter movement is toxic because it is mindsets like those of Kevin Gates that hinders change. His viewpoint creates this perception that the Black Lives Matter movement feels as though all police officers are bad. That is not the case. It is a matter of holding those police officers who have decided to shot and kill unarmed citizens accountable, but also figuring out why this is happening and taking the necessary steps to bring inequalities and injustices to the forefront so they can be resolved or worked on.

Not only is Kevin Gates perception of the Black Lives Matter movement toxic, his use of respectability politics is problematic. Respectability politics or the politics of respectability refers to attempts by marginalized groups to police their own members and show their casual and social values as being continuous and compatible with mainstream values rather than challenging the mainstream.

Kevin Gates statement that holding up a sign and screaming "Black Lives Matter" wouldn't change anything, followed by his statement that "All Lives Matter" is a clear example of respectability politics. It is a message to those supporting the Black Lives Matter movement that you need to stop because what you're doing is going against the mainstream. It is wrong and it is unnecessary and you should stop it. The use of respectability politics usually comes in the form of the person speaking to someone as if they are a child and I have no need for it. I have never had a use for respectability politics and the use of it by Kevin Gates is definitely unnecessary.

Let me clarify for those who do not know, “Black Lives Matter” is not simply a saying, it is not something we as black people write on signs protest and feel good about ourselves. No, it is something that was created resulting from a terrible incident where an unarmed black teen, Trayvon Martin, was tragically shot just for being a black teen by a vigilante who thought Trayvon Martin was up to no good. Then after that terrible incident, cases similar to Trayvon Martin's and situations where police officers were involved started to happen more and more, to the point where they are now. “Black Lives Matter” is not something we as black people yell out only to be masked by the sound of “All Lives Matter,” no, Kevin Gates you are wrong. “Black Lives Matter” is a movement in retaliation to the unfortunate realization where black people, including me, see that our lives are not as guarded, are not as safe, and are not as important as a white person’s life may be compared to ours. That does not take away from "All Lives Matter" because of course "All Lives Matter" that is a simple matter of empathy, but saying "All Lives Matter" does take away from the situation at hand, because it causes the person to focus on the "All Lives Matter" statement, instead of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Look here Kevin Gates, while you may not think the Black Lives Matter movement will change anything, let me tell you that it is the actions and the movement behind “Black Lives Matter” that will change something. It is the “Black Lives Matter” activists who are a part of the movement who have met with presidential candidates to hopefully change legislation that will affect police departments and police officers who are shooting unarmed citizens. It is the message that will hopefully change the perception of Americans in the United States. It is the message that will hopefully get America to have conversations and talking about the problems we face because Kevin Gates, that is how you institute change. You get people talking.

Stacy Dash, You Clueless

Ah, Clueless. The 1995 coming of age teen, comedy, romance? Loosely, very loosely based on Jane Austen's novel Emma. The movie was set in Beverly Hills and stars Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Britney Murphy, and *drumroll* Stacy Dash. While all of these actors and actresses have gone on to have I guess you could say successful careers (Paul Rudd was in Ant-Man by the way), Stacy Dash has had the most interesting career. Starring and appearing in various roles on shows such as, The Game and Single Ladies, she now makes guest appearances on Fox and Friends.

Oh yes, Fox and Friends. Fox and Friends is Fox News morning segment airing from 6 am - 9 am with Steve Doocy. Unsurprisingly like most of Fox News programs, Fox and Friends is conservative leaning and is known for its rants and attacks against President Obama.

Last Wednesday, January 20th, Stacy Dash appeared on Fox and Friends and discussed the recent backlash against the Oscars. While discussing this Stacy Dash decided to state her opinion in which she said,"We have to make up our minds, either we want to have segregation or integration,” Dash said. “If we don’t want segregation then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you are only awarded if you are black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms, it’s a double standard. There shouldn't be a Black History Month. You know? We're Americans. Period. That's it.”

Woo. That's a mouth full Stacy Dash, but also, pump your brakes.

Segregation? Integration? I could have sworn it was 2016, not 1960. When was the last time you heard these terms besides history class? I mean really heard the terms segregation or integration being used when regarding the black community in 2016?

Exactly there hasn't been one because racial segregation was abolished in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Which was 52 years ago.

Now let's discuss the bigger problem with what Stacy Dash said besides her using the terms segregation and integration because honestly that just sounds like Stacy Dash is stuck in the past and I refuse to get stuck there with her. The problem with what she said is she focused only on black networks and black holidays, basically, anything dealing with black people. Take a look at her examples she uses the NAACP Image Awards, BET Network and Black History Month which are all geared towards the Black community.

Oh, Stacy Dash why do you hate the black community so much? Or have you forgotten you are also a part of the black community as you are black and that you did play a role on a television show *whispers* The Game, which was owned by BET Network. You know that same network you despise so much.

Why only focus on BET Network? What about Logo tv which is aimed towards the LGBTQIA+ community or WEtv which is geared towards women. There's TBN Salsa, Telemundo, and Univision which is aimed at Hispanic Americans. But none of these television networks were named, it was just BET Network. These networks do not exist to please Stacy Dash they exist because they are aimed towards minority groups. Minority groups is a term referring to a smaller category of individuals which differentiate from the social majority. Most of the time these minority groups do not hold positions of power, they are not the overly represented group which is where television networks and award shows aimed at their communities come in. In the simplest of terms, representation matters.

Lastly, the statement Stacy Dash said towards the end of her outdated rant completely missed what the hashtag #Oscarssowhite is truly trying to bring visibility towards. Once again, in 2016 much like in 2015, films with racially diverse or predominantly black actors and actresses were once again overlooked. In 2015, Selma was overlooked, but this year, even more, films were overlooked. These are films that dominated not only the box office but also got high marks from many critics. Films such as Straight Outta Compton (link to a post I wrote about the film here) Beasts of No Nation, Creed, The Hateful Eight, but also The Force Awakens. It is not a matter of black people needing to make up their minds, it is a matter of us being able to be recognized for our achievements. In the movies listed above the actors and actresses of color did amazing jobs and they should be recognized for such work as white people are recognized time and time again.

If I do say so myself it seems as though the Oscars need to make up their mind, either segregation or integration.