Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Racism in Black Media

Last month Reggie Bush was on the cover of Essence magazine. He’s a professional football player, young, attractive, great body. Makes sense to me. Apparently a number of Essence subscribers disagreed. You see, Reggie is dating Kim Kardashian, who isn’t black, and that apparently should have eliminated Reggie as a possible cover choice for Essence, a magazine that focuses on black women. The upsetting part is not that one person was upset, it was that dozens of people were upset enough to write a letter to the editor or blog about the poor choice of Reggie because he doesn’t love “our women” or support “our community” so he shouldn’t be featured in “our magazine”. Sounds like a whole lot of racism to me.

The great thing about Essence is that there are articles on beauty and wellness that I can relate to. If I pick up a Cosmo or other popular women’s magazine there are rarely people in there who look like me. As a result, all the advice about the best makeup and hair doesn’t apply to me. Essence also features articles on social issues and celebrities that just don’t appear in mainstream magazines. Unfortunately, Essence often has a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle racism in every issue.

I wish the editors at Essence would take a stand and tell these readers that they are wrong. Society isn’t going to change until the media hold black people to the same standards that it expects of white people. Can you imagine the outrage if Cosmo published an article about how horrible interracial dating was and how black people should stick with their own kind? These same black people would have been calling for the editors of Cosmo to be fired for publishing such racist comments. That it is 2010 and there is no place for racism in this country. I don’t understand how they miss the hypocrisy in publishing an article about how minorities can’t find jobs because people discriminate against them on one page and then on the following page publishing a two page rant from a blogger about interracial dating and how much she hates it and the people who participate in it.

Who someone dates or marries has nothing to do with how black someone is or how supportive that person is of the black community. I spend time with people that I share common interests with; the color of their skin has never been something that I consider in any of my friendships or relationships. The thought that I should have put my efforts into finding the best black man for me rather than the best man for me is ridiculous. Aren’t these same people discriminating against other races when they only seek out relationships with people of their race? When they go on E- Harmony they rejecting messages from anyone that doesn’t share their skin tone despite any personality traits and hobbies that they may share with that person and then they go out with their girlfriends and complain that they don’t have any luck finding a date. Well get your head out of your ass, step out of that little tiny box you’ve been living in and open yourself up to new people and new experiences.

Maybe if I would have grown up in one of the many urban areas in this country where some of the schools have a 90% black student body my views would be different. But I doubt it because my parents aren’t racist and I was raised to judge people by their behavior and not their skin tone. It is hard to believe that in 2010 there is this much ignorance in people my age. If you don’t want people to discriminate against you then stop discriminating against them. You are part of the problem and the sooner you realize that the sooner we can move towards true racial harmony in this country.


  1. "young, attractive, great body"
    You can say that again :D

    This issue is sad, but so true.
    People are people and people should be with who ever they feel like being with regardless.

  2. I just wish people would realize they can't expect white people to stop being racist against black people until black people stop hating on each other!