Fierce

Black Women Know Exactly Why Kamala Harris Had To Hold Back In the Debate Last Night

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Kamala Harris’s debate performance on Wednesday night was admirable on so many fronts. She had done her research and was prepared with talking points and answers. She was calm and measured, a constant smile on her face. She never raised her voice.

In essence, her demeanor was the exact opposite of President Donald Trump’s at the presidential debate the week before. Trump had been veritably unhinged–yelling, ranting, insulting, and constantly interrupting former Vice President Joe Biden.

But Kamala Harris did make headlines for a statement she made, possibly her most assertive statement of the night: “Mr. Vice President,” she said after being talked over by Vice President Pence yet again. “I’m speaking.”

“I’m speaking” swiftly went viral on social media, quickly being meme-ified and retweeted by her supporters.

But not everyone loved that Harris had the dignity to assert herself. When speaking with Fox News about what he thought of the Vice Presidential debate, President Donald Trump called Harris a “monster” and pronounced her as “totally unlikable.” For Black women around the world, the insults Trump lobbed at Harris were seen for the dog whistles that they were.

Harris and every other Black woman in America is deeply familiar with the pervasive racial stereotype of the “Angry Black Woman”. The “Angry Black Woman” is a bitter and emotional woman who has let the circumstances of her life carve out a chip on her shoulder. And the media is quick to peddle this narrative.

Look no farther than the public flaying of Michelle Obama during the early days of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. The negative headlines about Michelle ranged from “Michelle Obama Hates America” to “Just Say No to Mrs. Obama“. And the vitriol aimed at her on social media was especially vile.

The former First Lady spoke candidly about the media’s unfair treatment of her while promoting her memoir “Becoming” at the 2019 Essence Festival.

“People from all sides, Democrats and Republicans, tried to take me out by the knees,” Obama told host, Gayle King. “And the best way they could do it was to focus on the strength of the Black woman, so they turned that into a caricature. For a minute there, I was an angry Black woman who was emasculating her husband.”

But the effects of misogynoir–which is defined as the specific hatred, dislike, distrust, and prejudice directed toward Black women–are not limited to public figures. They are ubiquitous.

Even I, a Black woman who is not at all in the public eye, experience misogynoir constantly.

Recently, I was lamenting to my brother over the fact that I am perpetually single. During our conversation, I was brainstorming possible reasons as to why no man wanted to commit to me. “From my perspective,” my brother (who is also Black) told me, “you’re too loud.” He continued: “It’s intimidating. If I were a guy, that would scare me right off.”

His comments stung.

I called a girlfriend later, my heart hurting, my feelings of undesirability and unfemininity coupled with that all-too-familiar feeling of shame that comes with simply existing as a Black woman on the planet–and especially as a Black woman in white spaces. But I was unable to articulate the uneasiness I felt at his comments. “I can’t help who I am,” I said to her.

“It’s a double standard,” she responded. “Our friend Jocelyn is just as loud as you are–ask anyone. But no one would ever tell her that her loudness is a negative trait, or something that she should change about herself in order to land a man. But Jocelyn is white.”

I felt the burden of my identity like a bag of bricks in that moment. I knew that whatever I used to shield myself from misogynoir–a good job, a college education, fancy clothes and makeup–none of it would ever fully shield me from the racism and sexism I would face for the rest of my life.

Kamala Harris’s debate performance was measured and grounded because she knew she had to package herself to be palatable to white America.

After all, Harris already recently faced some media backlash over what critics called her unfair treatment of (now running mate, then-rival) Joe Biden at the Democratic Primary Debate. Now, it seems, Harris has changed tactics.

Kamala Harris doesn’t have the luxury of being loud or combative or angry–all feelings that would otherwise be completely justified in today’s political climate. Instead, in order to be taken seriously as a Vice Presidential candidate, she must devote a significant amount of her time and energy to being likeable. Trustworthy. Ladylike.

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Amy Coney Barrett Has Refused To Acknowledge That Systematic Racism Exists

Things That Matter

Amy Coney Barrett Has Refused To Acknowledge That Systematic Racism Exists

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We know LGBTQ rights, birth control, and race are under threat as Amy Coney Barrett as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. We know that that conservative judge has been evasive in answering comments about her beliefs which, if appointed, would steer her in making fundamental decisions that could affect American citizens’ lives for decades. Still, though we knew things are bound to go sideways as most things under the Trump administration have, we didn’t realize that an educated woman living in today’s world would refuse to acknowledge a basic societal fact: that “systemic racism” exists in the United States.

In written responses submitted Tuesday night, Barrett repeated her refusal to say whether “systemic racism” exists in our country.

After Sen. Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii asked her to explain her view of the existence of “systemic racism” in the United States, Barret refused the opportunity to acknowledge its existence.

“At the hearing, you acknowledged that racism persists in our country, but you refused to answer where there is systemic racism, calling it a ‘policy question.’ You also refused to answer other questions based on your view that they are ‘policy questions,’” Hirono wrote in his questions. “What makes a statement a policy question rather than a question of fact?”

“I believe that racism persists in our country, but as I explained at the hearing, whether there is ‘systemic racism’ is a public policy question of substantial controversy, as evidenced by the disagreement among senators on this very question during the hearing,” Barrett replied. “As a sitting judge and judicial nominee, it would be inappropriate for me to offer an opinion on the matter.”

Barrett’s approach to the question is not totally uncommon. Previous Supreme Court nominees have avoided answering questions concerning precedent. Barrett clung to the approach during her confirmation hearing last week while sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barrett used this as a standard and repeatedly cited it as a reason for dodging questions.

Systemic racism exists within our country without question.

It persists in our academic settings, workplaces, as well as in our court and judicial system. The fact is that when a certain group dominates a majority of positions of decision-making power, others struggle to exist and get by let alone get ahead. For generations and right now, white people have been the dominating group with decision-making power and people of color have suffered as a result. Acknowledgment is a vital part of making this change. Particularly from our leaders.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Barrett’s confirmation on Thursday afternoon.

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JLo Is In Hot Water For Her Lyrics In New Song With Maluma After She Calls Herself ‘La Negrita’

Entertainment

JLo Is In Hot Water For Her Lyrics In New Song With Maluma After She Calls Herself ‘La Negrita’

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One of the few highlights we’ve had amid this unprecedented year of trauma has been the music industry. From Maluma and Cardi B to Bad Bunny’s surprise albums, we’ve been blessed with some of the best songs ever. Plain and simple.

Despite the global pandemic, many singers have managed to stay busy and put out new tracks. Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are no different as the duo are working on music for their upcoming movie project, Marry Me.

However, the one of the tracks from the upcoming film isn’t getting the type of reception that JLo had likely counted on.

Jennifer Lopez is facing criticism for calling herself a “Little Black girl from the Bronx” in her new track with Maluma.

Despite the pandemic putting the breaks on so many aspects of the entertainment industry, Jennifer Lopez has managed to keep herself busy with new projects. One of her most hyped projects has got to be her collaboration with Maluma on the upcoming film, Marry Me.

In anticipation of the film’s release on Valentine’s Day 2021, the pair have released two new tracks that will also be in the movie’s soundtrack. However, the most recently released song, “Lonely,” isn’t getting the attention that neither JLo or Maluma had likely hoped for.

In the lyrics for the song, which JLo sings with Maluma, Lopez sings “yo siempre seré tu negrita del Bronx” (I’ll always be your Black girl from the Bronx). Obviously, that lyric is causing loads of controversy and fans and critics alike are letting Lopez know they’re out OK with it.

Many are taking issue with the lyrics because “Jenny From The Block” has never really claimed or referenced herself as Black in the past. So why now? And why use an outdated term that’s incredible insensitive to the Afro-Latinx community.

Negrita is a questionable Spanish term that should definitely be phased out amid Spanish-speakers.

Many people are taking issue with the lyrics because they include the controversial term negrita, which is really an outdated Spanish-language term that’s often used as a term of endearment to describe people who are dark-skinned.

It’s a common nickname among Spanish-speakers but it should be phased out of the Spanish language as it’s extremely insensitive to Afro-Latinos.

Both fans and critics have called out Lopez on Twitter.

Fans were obviously confused as to why Jennifer would describe herself as ‘Black’. 

‘Maybe if she said brown girl she coulda gotten away with it,’ one fan said.  Another commented on social media: ‘This is so insulting as an actual black woman.’ 

‘I heard the song and I was like “what she just say? Rewind that. cause she definitely not Afro Latina,’ one fan said. 

However, many others from the Latina community weighed in to explain that while the translation of ‘negrita’ literally means ‘black girl’, it’s not used in that sense. 

‘If your hispanic or latino you know what she means. yes it sounds weird asf the literal translation but that’s not what she means,’ one fan explained.  They continued: ‘As far as I know it’s like a term of endearment for darker complexion within the community. I think she should have not used it being that not everyone would get it and in my opinion her skin isn’t even considered dark. Plus with the times we are in like let’s do better.”

This isn’t the first time the singer has come under fire for insensitive actions around race.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Jennifer Lopez has been called out for appropriating Black culture, but this is the first time that she’s facing such a major backlash.

Jennifer Lopez has proudly claimed her identity as a Puerto Rican woman but she’s never claimed Black ancestry or self-identified as an Afro-Latina – so her use of the term is troubling.

In the 2001 hit remix of “I’m Real” with Ja Rule and Ashanti, JLo sang along to the N-word slur and faced a similar backlash then. She ended up going on The Today Show to claim that the lyrics were written by Ja Rule and were “not meant to be hurtful to anybody.” She went on to say that “for anyone to think or suggest that I’m racist is really absurd and hateful to me.”

Then there was the whole debacle from this year’s Super Bowl halftime show (which feels like a lifetime ago!) when many criticized her and Shakira for performing for a franchise that didn’t support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Hopefully, this incident on JLo’s part will bring with it a discussion about the term negrita and we can finally eliminate it as a ‘playful nickname’ in the Spanish-speaking community.

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