Amy Schumer Isn’t Racist, She’s Just a White Woman in a Privileged Body
Yes, I saw the Formation spoof, read Amy Schumer’s well-meaning response to the hoopla that erupted over her ill-conceived actions. I also dug into the think pieces that desirably labeled her a racist for taking what was specifically constructed for Black woman and rerouting it as her own playbook.
Amy Schumer is not a racist.
She isn’t prone to vocally expressing how much she detests people of color — neither does she proudly litter her timeline with grotesquely inclined garbage aimed at perpetuating damaging stereotypes.
Amy Schumer is just a White woman with the privileges that come with such a reality.
When I first peeped the video of her and her posse doing their best to revive the seductive lyrics of Formation, I felt exactly the same way I did when I saw Kelly Ripa in a yellow dress doing her best interpretation of Hold Up.
The initial feeling is of annoyance and irritation. And then that dissipates to a more resonant grip of the fact that perhaps, I am being over-zealous in my quest to be the adequately angry black woman. Music shouldn’t be a catalog that can only be revived for a certain portion of the population — while the ones who yearn for an invitation are forced to wait with bated breath.
Or, maybe this is exactly what fucks this whole thing up.
Maybe, I am torn as an artist when it comes to freely interpreting what is culturally sound and available. I believe that we have the right to adopt what has been so readily emancipated — as our own. We have the right to replace the characters that were formed from the minds of geniuses with the versions that we bestow — out of inspiration or a dire need to feel represented — even if we haven’t earned that right.
In this case, I can’t extend those privileges to someone who has more of where that came from than I ever will. You see, I hate what Amy Schumer did because she can do it and still maintain her status as more desirable and relevant — and I will just be the Black woman — who is bitterly swayed by the fact that another White woman exercised her rights to my discontent.
Here’s the thing. The reason why I can’t stand Amy Schumer and Kelly Ripa as Beyonce in a work of art that shifted the landscape for me and so many others like me — can be encapsulated very simply –We are Black Women and You Are White Women Who Don’t Give a Fuck — Unless It Strikes Your Fancy.
You see, I would be inclined to give White women like Schumer and Ripa a pass if they also paid attention to the shit that isn’t quite as lively and jam-worthy. I would be willing to stand up for them if they had tweeted sentiments about Black women being stuck in vehicles with dead lovers and wide-eyed toddlers. I would step up for them if they showed compassion and passion for the areas that make Black women feebly unrequited — especially when it is clear that we could use some reinforcement from the staples that aren’t better than us — they just happen to possess the voodoo of adornment that dripped their way in more ways than we can ever maneuver.
Schumer wants to continue to “work hard to empower women”, and her attempt at a Formation foreplay was really to “celebrate bringing us all together, to fight for what we all want. And to do it together.”
The issue here is that Schumer isn’t fighting for all women. She is sounding the alarm for White women who need to feel included.
Black women are royally pissed because White women have never had to fight to feel special or celebrated by a global audience that adhered to the glossy hair and creamy skin as the currency of success. Black women are insulted because White women don’t understand that feministic pursuits will never translate across the boarders of ethnicity — because White women are pleasurably White and don’t fuck with us unless Beyonce orders a Formation of the minds.
Unfortunately, this only applies to us and not to you. It’s just that simple. Amy Schumer, Kelly Ripa and all the other White women who gawk with awe haven’t earned the right to wriggle their hips to the soundtrack of our lives and future. It sounds insane, I know — but it’s the utter truth,
Yes, Black men fuck and parade you around with ignorant bashfulness and God bless them, it’s all they can do to keep the scripture alive and well. We don’t care how much they remind us that we can’t measure up to what they deem as superior.
But, when we finally get that moment of retribution without the haze of judgments and manipulated hallucinations — we prefer to indulge without the soaked rhetoric of the pureness of White.
We like it Black and Blacker.
We have earned the right to close the door in your faces and twerk our way into the solitude of delight. We shouldn’t have to deal with the shit that White women release as proof that they mean no harm — they just want to help us love each other — together.
We are not together. We see it and you don’t.
That’s why y’all are privileged. Period.