Big Sigh: Dear Black People, Respectability Politics Must Go

Two Black women have skyrocketed to fame and fortune: Cardi B and Tiffany Haddish. They are both beautiful women. One of Caribbean descent and the other Eritrean and African American descent. What’s great about them both is that their rise to fame was after some really tough times. Cardi likens her success to Cinderella in her song “Best Life” featuring Chance the Rapper. We’re rooting for them right?! Well, not all of us.

Binderella – Cardi B
Tiffany Haddish –

Both Tiffany and Cardi are known for being “loud,” “ratchet” and “ghetto.” They are loved for being honest and true and all of the above. But some Black folks, can’t get past the loud. Black people continue to hold on to respectability politics like wearing nice clothes, speaking proper English and working a respectable job is going to save us from the reality that is this racist society.

They complain that these women are getting attention when more educated women are not. Are you so called educated women entertaining? Why would people want to tune in for two hours to watch you on stage reading cards “properly” with no flavor? I stopped watching the award shows long ago, mostly because of their racist history. But also, they were boring and I can read about the winners in real time via social media and I can see performance clips online the next day. We tune in to award shows to be entertained. The hosts must draw us in thanks to the internet age….ooops

Sassy Tiffany Haddish
Sassy Cardi B

Some of y’all Black people can’t even enjoy the show because you’re so busy tearing these Black women down for not meeting your standards. Preoccupied with being disgusted by their essence which is really truth when you think about it. They are true to themselves. They enjoy themselves and people enjoy them.

So my big sigh is for all of the Black people who don’t understand that MOST… THE VAST MAJORITY of Black people work hard everyday. Many work with white people daily. And these same white people go home and read the news and hear that a Black person killed someone or they see a Tiffany or Cardi and they automatically think most Black people are loud, or violent ask yourself why your respectable presence in the workplace doesn’t represent Black people to them. Ask yourself why the decades of Oprahs, Denzels, Poitiers, Freemans or Bellefontes of the world aren’t enough to cement our goodness and respectability in their minds. Also ask who set the standards of respectability. And when you are done, write an open letter to every Black person begging for forgiveness. Forgiveness for expecting them to carry the burden of proving our humanity and worth as Black people. We can’t ever be seen as either to people who aren’t interested.

And on that note…