In this last word on That Blogger who talked some foolishness, I examine the ways some Black folk deny their Blackness in pursuit of cultures that are not their own.
Zipporah Gene, the infamous blogger who published That Article, has been the receiver of some of the dopest, culturally sound receipt-reading and tea-spilling in recent memory. The responses to her factually defective article are crisp, direct, and full of Black wisdom from folks who’ve actually performed the extensive cultural labor necessary when analyzing the nuances, subtleties, and expansiveness of the African Diaspora.
Tia Oso (as I’ve mentioned before) came through with flames, and Front Pxge — an independent rapper who I have the pleasure of knowing — dropped a free-form fuck-grammer soliloquy that tied together Marcus Garvey, colonialism, and musical expression with unapologetic pro-Black swag.
Natural hair vlogger Jouelzy flexed her #SmartBrownGirl muscles in a culturally rich, research dense, YouTube video that, at this time, has 15K+ views.
But Gazi Kodzo served the hottest of tea in a Facebook post last Friday.
In true nail-in-the-coffin fashion, Gazi revealed that the photo which served as a source of the blogger’s anti-Black ire, features well-known and highly-regarded continental Africans.
*sips extra loudly*
But what reallyreallyreally does it for me is the affinity with other cultural expressions that — seemingly — are not her own, to the point where she’s willing to invest significant intellectual labor and financial resources for the purpose of deep engagement and professional credo.
She is also allegedly dating a white appearing man. Learning about and engaging with external cultures, and interracial dating are not issues in of themselves. When done appropriately, both of these types of experiences can be enriching, informative, and healthy.
But when the basis of these types of relationships and formations are rooted in anti-Blackness and/or self-hate, then “problematic” becomes the most polite descriptive term available.
I call this phenomenon the Post-Racial Plantation.
The Post-Racial Plantation (PRP) refers to those who have an aversion to their own culture, and thus latch on to other cultural identities for personal gain or fulfillment. The PRP is a platform of self-hate masquerading as self-righteousness, as those on the plantation believe they are more aware, mature, and worldly, when in fact they are the most ill-equipped to wrestle with the complexities that define their own cultural makeup.
Zipporah Gene might live on the Post-Racial Plantation, as do many others.
Culture is fluid and porous. Culture is the antithesis of rigidity and the hallmark of subjectivity. As an intangible with blurred lines and abstract cross sections, all folks fall within some cultural crevice — a crevice that’s constantly being reformatted due to the readjustment of some other.
These tectonic shifts can be both pleasurable or painful, liberating or oppressive, reasonable or irrational. These shifts are consequential — causing ripple affects in the most visible or obscure socioeconomic demographics, indicators, and institutions.
Post-racialism is a tectonic cultural shift that’s created a version of an oppressive plantation that is even more physically and emotionally violent without appearing so.
“Post-racial” is a theory turned American consumer brand that essentially argues that we live in a world where racial discrimination is more the exception than the norm. Race doesn’t matter in this post-racial world. It’s bullshit. But, despite astronomical evidence that shows that racial disparities continue to rise, the bullshit prevails.
In much the same way the historical plantation was a source of revenue for the white slave master, post-racialism serves that same purpose in a manner that’s more socially and politically acceptable.
When “race doesn’t matter!,” racists can kill Black and indigenous bodies with impunity. When “race doesn’t matter!,” Black healing and cultural spaces are vilified, targeted, scrutinized, and encroached upon. When “race doesn’t matter!,” the prospect of Liberation grows dim, yet core anti-Blackness is more internalized and built upon. And if this wasn’t fucked up enough, Americanized Black folk are charged with upholding post-racial lies almost exclusively. When we don’t, we’re silenced, ridiculed, mocked, and killed.
And on the PRP, when Black folk have internalized anti-Blackness to such an extent that they have an uneven or unhealthy affixation with external cultural groups that center, standardize, or are applauded by whiteness, they do so out of thirst, hunger, and desperation.
Lemme stop here. But do know that I’ll revisit this phenomenon in the future.
*Featured Image Credit: Screen grab from Gazi Kodzo’s Facebook page.