In the year 2017, Donald Trump, (who will be referred to as Tangerine Toddler from this point on) became our President. And while those of us who were sane mourned the fact that he’d be our “leader” for the next four years, others of us were having meet and greets and taking pictures with him like he was our play cousin. To take it a step further, some of us even agreed to perform at his inaugaration. *enters Chrisette Michelle*
Now to be fair, Chrisette wasn’t the only one who came out of the woodworks for the opportunity to sing for the Tangerine. There was Jennifer Holliday too. And although ol’ Jen backed out at the last minute, the damage had already been done. We seent you.
Before them, others of us had come forward to shuck and jive for the Toddler. Steve Harvey, Floyd Mayweather, Kanye West, and Don King, to name a few. All of them lined up for the chance to have a “sit down” with TT, and grab a photo op, smiling from ear to ear while shaking the Toddler’s miniature hands. What a time to be alive!
Not long after word spread about Chrisette Michelle’s deal with the devil, Spike Lee created this Instagram post.
While some people thought Spike’s post was in poor taste, I don’t, and here’s why:
Sell Outs Never Prosper.
If history has taught us anything, it’s taught us that the white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy cannot be dismantled with kind words from the oppressed. Oppressors are not interested in having conversations with the oppressed about how THEY can give up their own power. Chrisette claimed that she accepted the invite so that she could “bridge the gap.” She later told the Breakfast Club that she thought “we needed to be seen” and represented at the inaugaration. Unfortunately, Chrisette was never “seen” because she was denied access to TT after her performance.
Kanye West, a vocal Tangerine supporter, among other things, was also not invited to the inaugaration. A spokesperson for TT claimed that the ceremony would be more of a “classic American” celebration.
We’ve seen it time and time again-Black celebrities going against the interests of their own people just for a paycheck…and after all of the tap dancing is done, what’s really been accomplished? O.J. Simpson ended up murdering his wife, and escaping jail, only to be locked up anyway. Clarence Thomas finally became a Supreme Court Justice who has proven to be useless over the last ten years, only breaking his silence when volunteering to speak at Justice Scalia’s funeral, one of the most hated, racist, and vile politicians to ever live. And Stacey Dash, who had been Fox News’ token Black chic for years, was officially let go from her position as Top Negro Agitator not long after Tangerine Toddler took office. So what’s the payoff?
Let’s be honest, Samuel L Jackson’s character never got freed for being a “good Black.” That just isn’t how this works.
If we really want to make change, the next time we’re invited to “have a seat at the table,” it would better serve us to come with a list of demands from the people, and an agenda, as opposed to some kind words and a gospel song based in the same ideology that was used to oppress us in the first place. I think it would behoove us all to remember the wise words of once great Chicago philosopher, Mr. Kanye West: “Even if you in a Benz, you still a n*gga in a coupe.”