Cultural Disconnect or Blatant Disrespect?

About a few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to see Hip-Hop legend Eve back in the spotlight. The Philadelphia bred MC is now part of the cast for daytime talk show ‘The Talk’ as the permanent replacement to former host Aisha Tyler. I was glad to see Eve back in the limelight even if it’s not rapping or acting. It’s weird seeing one of your favorite rappers come out of retirement, but not an exact return to rap, but more a return back to the entertainment field. I was all-in for the move until I came across a picture of ‘The Talk’ co-host Sharon Osbourne. I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a picture of Eve sitting regally beside what can best be described as a white woman’s attempt at being “edgy” or “funny,” but ended up being EXTREMELY RACIST. In the picture, Sharon Osbourne can be seen throwing up “gang signs” in a stereotypical caricature of how a Black person who may be affiliated with gangs would pose and use gang hand signs.

This type of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated or swept under the rug as just Sharon doing things innocently in jest, because the dog whistles she blew reverberated loud and clear for me as a Black man. If I picked up on the blatantly racist depiction of a Black person then I KNOW the white supremacists and their sympathizers have clung on to it as well. What bothers me the most is the fact that Sharon’s little moment is juxtaposed to Eve’s queenly demeanor and stature in the picture. Eve, Black, sat looking very calm and dignified next to Sharon, white, who is throwing made up gang signs. The gag here is that Sharon is not so subtly letting Eve and the world know exactly what she thinks about Eve. The message is that no matter how removed you are from Hip-Hop or a checkered past you are still a “nigger” who is inherently street oriented and the only way to show solidarity is to mock you.

What Sharon did with Eve is similar to what I’ve seen quite a few melanin-deficient folks do which is akin to the whole “yo yo yo” bullshit they say when “trying” to connect with other folks of color, Black folks in particular. To play suspected white supremacist advocate (I could have said devil’s advocate, but that would’ve been too easy lmao) these white folks could be well-meaning and are trying to connect with Black folks on a perceived cultural level. The problem lies in the fact that Black folks are not homogeneous and what one Black person will tolerate another wouldn’t even consider.  It also doesn’t help when we have repeat offenders like Sharon Osbourne who before she was making fake gang hand gestures with Eve, called rapper 50 Cent “Fiddy.” Sharon knows damn well how to enunciate her words and say “Fifty” she opted not to. Instead she chose to say it in a way that’s more “urban.” Therein lies the problem!

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