By Michael Harriot
There are two important lessons every man must learn.
The first I taught to myself and to my college girlfriend. She was in the bedroom and heard me scream bloody murder from the kitchen. She ran into the kitchen carrying a stun gun (yes, this is how I found out my girlfriend carried a taser) to check if a knife wielding intruder had stabbed me in the spleen or if Africanized bees had finally arrived in America and set my apartment as their destination. I slowly turned to her in anguish and whimpered out life instructions I will never forget:
“Never fry bacon when you’re naked.”
The second I learned from my Uncle Rob. He is an intelligent man whose lifelong struggle is the bane of his existence. One day he told me, “Mikey, If you want to live a long, prosperous life, there are three things you should never fuck with:
Pit bulls, cocaine, and most of all—white women”
The latest source of outrage in the Black social media universe comes from internet sensation conservative darling Tomi Lahren, whose popularity stems, in part, from the fact that she has both the physical features and the IQ of a Barbie doll. Lahren appeared on a recent episode of The Daily Show and was overwhelmed when Trevor Noah countered her trite conservative arguments with the simplest facts. The day after the episode aired, the internet was abuzz with how Noah “eviscerated” the blonde-haired troglodyte, even though he just capitalized on the fact that he had a working brain in a debate against the latest dunderheaded celebritard. While White liberals were cabbage patching in the end zone over Lahren’s loss, Black America was nonplused. We’ve seen better beatdowns in barber shop debates, plus—even though we like Trevor—we knew what was coming. Perhaps Trevor did too. That’s probably why he sent her cupcakes.
Because he knew–you don’t fuck with White women.
A few days later the Neapolitan-faced flesh prince of stale air—The Breakfast Club host Charlemagne Tha God—had Lahren on his show. When confronted about the backlash, Mr. God (or is it Mr. “Tha God?”) tweeted this:
You know Black women went in.
The same thing happened with Lee Daniels. He is taking criticism for saying he doesn’t “embrace” racism, so it doesn’t affect him. While parading around the country promoting his new television show “Star,” in which he made the main character a White woman because the story–in the words of the Black man who made his bones and money in Hollywood with Black actors and actresses: “is told through a white girl’s perspective because I felt that the country instinctively, I thought needed to heal.”
I understand Trevor’s actions. I see what you did there, Charlemagne. Lee Daniels knows what my uncle Rob taught me a long time ago:
White girls are magic.
Maybe not to you or me, but to America. If you think Whiteness is sacred in this country, there is nothing more exquisitely protected, hailed and celebrated in the entire universe as White femininity.
They are the first accessory of Black men when they simultaneously embrace success and self-hate. They are the symbol of beauty and womanhood worldwide. They are more precious than an albino tiger kissing a White rhino with a dodo perched on its back. Have you ever heard a Black woman called a “trophy wife?”
Whether explicitly or subconsciously Charlemagne and Trevor both knew that Tomi Lahren’s fame is because of her perceived beauty. I don’t mean subjective beauty. I mean blonde-haired and blue eyed attractiveness. Lahren possesses the Aryan formula that we all know and instinctively accept as the universal, Eurocentric equation for physical symmetry.
I love Black women. I can’t extricate myself from them. I know Lahren isn’t prettier, smarter or more talented than Tamryn Hall, but if you asked me to bet my next paycheck on who America would embrace first, I’d have to put my money on the skinny, white airhead. I have a mortgage. I’m sure if you queried Lee Daniels when he was drunk and asked him which character America would embrace first–a strong, Black, outspoken woman like Cookie Lyon or a toe-headed caucasian chick, he’d probably say “the white bitch.” (don’t get mad at Lee for calling her a bitch. He’s drunk, remember.) Charlemagne, Trevor and Lee live in this world. They know White girls are magic. They know on which side their bread is buttered (hint: it’s the White side.)
That’s why I hope motherfuckers keep roasting their asses. I love Trevor, but I hope feministas tear him a new asshole. I really don’t give a fuck about Charlemagne or his uncovered-scab-like face. I find him entertaining, but ultimately he is here for Charlemagne, not the culture, so I’m cool with y’all going in on him. Lee Daniels? Get his ass too. Not for meanness’ sake, or even for retribution, but for a more important reason:
To remove the mythical, glitter-filled aura that surrounds White women. As long as men like Trevor and Charlemagne keep handing their platforms all willy-nilly to White women, and perching them on pedestals, it will be more difficult for Black women (and Black voices in general) to create platforms where they can get national attention. By inviting women like Lahren to spew her ignorance (and no–it is not hate. She is dumb, not mean) just because of her attractive Whiteness, they are actually obstructing diversity and aiding racism and misogynoir. The reason White girls are magic is not just because of the historic obstacles of White supremacy and Eurocentrism. It is also because motherfuckers like Trevor, Charlemagne and Lee keep fucking with white girls.
Trevor has four spots on one of the most heralded shows in the country. The Breakfast Club is in the public zeitgeist more than any other radio show, but has a limited time every day. There are three hours of prime time on network television, and Lee Daniels gets one of them, and they all chose to fill it with beautiful blondeness.
I know what Charlemagne and Trevor would say. They would say that they are involved in a business. They would say that they can have a diverse list of guests and that it is important to talk about these issues and have varying opinions. But I’m still looking for the time when Glen Beck’s network invited Charlemagne Tha God or Trevor Noah on. I’m searching for the white shows with white directors who decide to tell stories of Black people so America can “embrace” them. Black people are always contorting themselves to find a way to touch the hem of the garment of Whiteness while White people just keep walking by like we don’t exist.
Maybe white girls really are magic. Maybe we have been hypnotized into believing the wispy, straight, unsubstantial blonde locks are more beautiful than tightly curled one. We are witnesses and victims to the sleight of hand that makes us revere pale skin more than our own. We are waving the magic wand for them. When we revere their definition of beauty and femininity, we are the rabbits gladly hopping into into the hat. Every time we embrace them, they are sawing us in half again. We are forever broken, because–according to Lee Daniels–only WhiteGirlMagic can heal us and make uswhole.
I’d rather fuck with cocaine. I’d rather fuck with rabid pit bulls. I know what happens when you fuck with White girls. I learned from Trevor and Charlemagne. I learned from Lee. I learned from my uncle Rob. I learned from Emmit Till:
There is no such thing as magic.
They’re all just tricks.