The internet, the radio, and television are blowing up with Stacey Dash. My favorites, so far, are from Funky Dineva and Roland Martin. Okay, they are not journalistic peers, but their responses are informative and hilarious. These days it seems like our children are getting their news and ideas about how society works from gossip blogs and quick videos on social media sites. This thing…this issue, if you want to call it that, is more than a sound bite. It warrants a conversation with our children…especially our daughters.
Stacey Dash has joined a long list of black female celebrities who are using their celebrity status to expand or recreate their brands. Everybody knows Iman is a model so… makeup? Cool. Vivica has been sporting the weave and wigs for years. Ms. Patti just LOOKS like she can cook, okay? No surprise. But Stacey trying to convince us she can eloquently represent the true perspective of conservative black America after being famously known as the 25 year old woman playing a “Clueless” teenager to video model (or is vixen proper term?) to booty magazine cover girl to…Fox News conservative contributor?? That one has me squinting because I CAN’T SEE IT. That is NOT a natural flow.
Aside from all of that, there are some important lessons in this whole thing for my daughters and here’s what they are:
- Pretty will get you ATTENTION but substance will get you RESPECT. When you are pretty girl or beautiful woman, it is often a very difficult thing to get people, in a serious setting, to take you seriously. So, when you open your mouth…drop knowledge! When you are a black woman…DROPKICK KNOWLEDGE! If you are almost 50 years old and your voice still sounds like you’ve been sucking on helium…dropkick EXTRA KNOWLEDGE. If you want to convince people that you’re smart when your entire career has been spent projecting the opposite image….channel Maya Angelou and Shirley Chisholm at the same time!
Look at Stacey. She is sitting in that chair with her conservative haircut trying to sound conservative. She can’t just switch up on us like that, we needed a gradual transition. If the world only knows you because you’ve made a career playing a ditz in movies and television and by tooting your booty for the boys…you can’t just pop up trying to act like you are Condoleezza Rice.
- Just because you’re black doesn’t mean you have to be a Democrat. Black folks and our experiences are vast and unique. You will not “betray the race” if you express your opinion. Pave your own way. We will keep you. We will not expel you from the race. But! Have a solid basis and reason for whatever you choose and don’t be out in the world embarrassing your parents, your cousins, your grandmother, and your aunties talking about you are a Republican and can’t give a rational reason why you believe what you believe. Likewise, we don’t want you out there talking about you’re a Democrat because everybody in your family is. That’s just as crazy.
Look at Stacey. She’s just trying to be “different”. That may not be how she means to come across, but that’s how most of us are receiving it. Even in her struggly response to all of the criticism she’s been getting, she started off on the steps of the Capitol and ended up on a ride at a McDonald’s drive thru. I don’t know where she was trying to go. I thought she was going to be profound but when she brought up Clarence Thomas and something about Big Macs….done.
- Know when to stand out and know when to blend in. Women…especially black women often struggle with the decision to speak out on certain issues. You will struggle with whether it is REALLY worth the potential consequences if you speak out in a setting where your brown face may be the only one or one of few. There IS no exact formula. You will learn through trial and error. If you’re not sure…ask someone who has been in your shoes so they can help you! Don’t let anyone fool you into believing you’re not like “most black people”. I don’t even know most black people to know if you’re like them or not. I just know the ones I know.
Look at Stacey. She definitely didn’t ask her aunties in the South Bronx before she took this gig. Please believe that, if she had, she wouldn’t be so flip because someone would have given her a “Don’t you get out there and act a fool” speech. Stacey thought she was blending in and still doesn’t realize that she is standing out in a bad way. Why? Because she’s out there listening to the wrong people who are hyping her up!
- About the BET and the NAACP Image Awards….yes, they are needed. They SHOULDN’T BE, but they are. Look at it like this: America is a melting pot, but there are still some chunky, hard parts that refuse to melt, okay? Black folks are slowly blending into “mainstream” media and other ethnicities have almost always been a part of black media. Eventually, the chunks will melt and we will all live in harmony…someday. For now, there will be good days and bad days.
Look at Stacey. Somebody has convinced her that black people need to take some of their “defective” chunks out of the pot. Why? Because she clearly believes that she is a part of the melted part (the few that have it right) and all of those who are floating around in the chunky part need to shut up and wait because the chunks will melt…eventually…if they are just be more like her.
So…this is how I will simplify this for my kids. I have more to say but their attention spans are short. You don’t have to agree. They’re my kids. If I mess them up, they will be adults sleeping in my basement, not yours.
I’m Joslyn Jackson. I have so many kids that I have to stop and take a headcount sometimes. This is my blog. That guy is my husband and he runs the circus. I am also a lawyer who loves to write about the absolute insanity that is my life. I started this blog to embarrass my children. That is my number one goal. If you are entertained in the meantime…great.
My goal as a mother is simple: If I have to keep them I may as well have fun. After all those pregnancies, I need some entertainment as appreciation. Oh wait, I have another simple goal: Not to let my kids make me look old before my time.
That’s it! Love, Peace and Souuuuuuuuuuullllllll