I watched The Wiz Live last night, just as every other black family in America did, I'm sure. It was amazing. So much melanin. So much soul. So much life. I love my people.
This morning, I woke up just as every other living human did. Not sure how your day started off, but mine wasn't so pleasant. Against my better judgment I checked my social media accounts - leading with Instagram and wrapping everything up with Twitter. I was anxious to see if Black Twitter was as thrilled about The Wiz Live as I was, and most were. What I didn't expect to see as I searched "The Wiz" terms was an unsettling amount of white folks complaining about last night's NBC special - sporting their white privilege per usual.
It's funny how white folks feel entitled to point out when they're feeling left out of the conversation.
"If The Wiz had an all white cast black people wouldn't be too happy."
"I'm tired of black people always screaming about 'discrimination'. This is discrimination against whites!"
I'm sure if The Wiz Live premiered on BET, there wouldn't be any complaints. You see, as long as people of color stick to their lanes and don't infiltrate prime time media they're not offending anyone. Having an all black cast in ANYTHING on public television channels just isn't 'American'.
I was tired.
I was done.
I was just about to wash my hands of all things "racist" until a college friend made a Facebook post about her 9-year-old nephew. He saw a news headline calling the Planned Parenthood bomber a 'Terrorist'. Confused, he asked my college friend, his aunt, how the Planned Parenthood bomber could be a terrorist if he wasn't Muslim. The 9-year-old's family is Muslim and of Middle Eastern decent. This little boy associates his skin color with that of a terrorist because prime time media has conditioned him to believe so.
And just as I was about to wash my hands of all things 'racist' I was reminded by a 9 year old child to keep fighting – To keep writing these blogs with hopes of changing the perspectives of bigots, and to empower people of color.
Prime time media wasn't created to show 'us' in a human light. We can’t continue to let them condition our children to believe something that just isn't true. History has taught us whom the real 'thugs' and 'terrorists' are - and history doesn't lie.