Americans like Ben Carson, Rachel Dolezal and Donald Trump have flatly shown that they will never stop finding new ways to exploit the social construct of racism for their own benefit. That’s why we need more Americans like Don Cheadle willing to call them on their bullshit without hesitation or regret.
Tuesday, the Miles Ahead star and director exposed a new layer of the president’s legendary past of racism, which already includes housing discrimination, absurd comments about every minority group in America, and his insistence on calling Lil Jon by the name “Uncle Tom” during an entire shoot of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
According to the father of Cheadle’s friend (a reputable source in the era of Trump), the president misread his golf buddy as a fellow racist and directly asked Cheadle’s friend’s dad if he had ever “fucked a nigger.”
On his Twitter, the Don revealed that the racialized “locker room” talk is what first made him hate the Donald in the first place. He was responding to a troll who accused him only recently hoping on the anti-Trump train.
With the president continuing to spread and legislate hate on a daily basis, ignoring and excusing blatant bigotry is just as deadly as it has always been in the U.S. And as history has shown from Rosewood to Germany, those sitting silently as Mexicans, Muslims and other minority groups are targeted, labeled and denied access to Trump’s great new America will eventually find themselves begging from the other side of someone’s fence.
Sure it’s easy to look the other way when you feel your future is secure. But when all falls down are you like the Old Kanye or the new one? Will you double down on your designer kicks while telling your oppressed kin folk to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and pay the retail price to get on your level? Or will you climb the highest mountains and yell at the top of your lungs every time you see and injustice to great for you to correct with your own two arms, legs and head?
We are all one human race. But the easiest way to categorize us these days isn’t our melanin content or hair texture, it’s how we treat our fellow humans. Your shade shows clear as day and deep as night.
If Ben Carson can call slavery immigration, the mainstream media should be able to call him a dick-headed Uncle Tom on a repeated loop with no censors or apologies. Carson’s alternative truth about slavery has the same dangerous consequences Trump’s consistent lies about Muslims, Mexicans and the media. But what will it take for all Americans to get on code and stop watching idly as Trump’s cancer continues to evolve and spread?
Like Cheadle, many artists and excecutives participating in the upcoming SXSW festival immediately addressed and corrected an immigration clause that would have jeopardize the freedom of some performers. Musicians and brands who had been working their entire lives for a shot at SXSW immediately resolved to back out until the contract was corrected.
That level of empathy and self-sacrifice may be foreign to Secretary Carson, Sage Steele and the “I don’t see color because if I did I’d notice I’m the only Black person here” crowd. But I frequently wonder whole scanning the day’s ridiculous headlines who is more clueless these days: Stacey Dash or Rachel Dolezal?
Pardon me, Nkechi Amare Diallo, the activist formerly known as Rachel Dolezal, who I recently learned should never be compared to Caitlyn Jenner.
You can argue that at least Stacey knows her race; But she’s also a Black woman who is out of a job after helping an orange super villain secure the most important gig in the world.
Yes, Nkechi with the curly perm is clearly a compulsive liar with deep-seated identity issues; But at least she can recognize the racism around her and act on it. Even if her actions are only self-serving, she’s woke enough to understand that captured slaves and willing immigrants shouldn’t be compared.
Whether you believe Shaun King‘s origin story or see him as the Millie to Nkechi’s Vanilli, you’re focused on the wrong things if you can’t appreciate his dedication to uncovering and spreading the truth of racism on social media. Likewise, if your fragile masculinity prevents you from recognizing queer activists like DeRay and the ladies of #BlackLivesMatter as the frontline heroes of today’s digital activism, you’re just as lost as Cousin Stacey and Dr. Ben.
Or Sage Steele, who recently claimed that the racism (read: structural oppression) she faced from her fellow Black folks was worse than anything she’s perceived from Whites. She’s clearly too afraid of her true self to face the truth of racism around her. Shaq is too. And they’re both in for the same unpleasant surprise when President Trump shows them that he and his White Trump Walkers can all see race clearly in the day or night.
If Trump isn’t enough proof that the end is near, his second-favorite African American Ben Carson’s comments about slavery and immigration should ring some alarms. So is today the day you finally stop burying your head in the dirt to keep from facing the dirty world around you? Or will you stand up, speak out and resist with every ounce of truth and power you have at your disposal?
They will try to crucify you like Kaepernick and overanalyze your every move like Beyoncé, but you will die free knowing you did your best to make it better. Claiming not to see color doesn’t make you wise or progressive, it’s a weak excuse used by those who’d rather turn a blind eye to racism than address it. Or in the case of Tomi Lahren and our president, those who directly benefit from White Supremacy.
So would you rather be like The Donald, or the Don? Speak now or forever beg your oppressor for the key.