If there was ever a moment I felt like I was in Black Twitter Twilight Zone, it was this past weekend when DjChubbESwagg made a tweet that said,
THERE IS A WHITE WOMAN CURATING THE HIP HOP PART OF THE NMAAHC SMITHSONIAN?!?!?!?!?!?!? WHO LET THIS SHIT HAPPEN!?!?!
— Dj Possibly The Plug (@DjChubbESwagg) September 20, 2018
His question was in regards to a White woman named, Timothy Ann Burnside, curating the Hip Hop section of National Museum of African American History and Culture.
His question was a valid question. Even with years of education & curatorial experience, how does a White woman curate Rap/Hip Hop-a musical language that was developed from griots in West Africa to Black people today? HOW SWAY? (If you have to Google ‘How Sway’ you proved my point.)
Black people constantly deal with White people stealing, snatching, taking, curating and repackaging Black history, art and culture, only to sell it back to us. Rap/Hip-Hop is a language of Black people. It tells OUR stories, OUR struggles, OUR DAY TO DAY EXPERIENCES of being Black in this world. I DO NOT CARE if Timothy has an MFA. I DO NOT CARE if Timothy is down with a few Black people/rappers. I DO NOT CARE if Timothy listened to the Beastie Boys. I do not CARE if Timothy’s best friend is Black. I do not care if Timothy can rap all of DNA. I do not care if Timothy can Milly Rock on any block. I DO NOT CARE HOW MANY BLUE CHECK BLACK TWITTER FRIENDS TIMOTHY HAS! Timothy is A WHITE WOMAN curating a space THAT SHOULD BE CURATED BY A BLACK PERSON. PERIOD. A White woman is NEVER going to be able to tell me about rap/hip-hop. This doesn’t take ANYTHING away from her credentials that Blue Check Black Twitter was so quick to scroll out, I DON’T CARE! She can have EVERY credential in the world from READING and STUDYING Black culture, but she will NEVER have a true understanding about BLACK PEOPLE THAT ARE AND LIVE THE CULTURE! PERIOD. No question. Don’t debate me. Don’t @ me. I DON’T CARE what you say today, and I don’t care what you say tomorrow. PERIOD. DONE!
I was 100% convinced in where I stood and I would not waiver. And then Blue Check Black Twitter chimed in. SURELY people that have BUILT THEIR BRANDS on Black Lives Matter; Black People Should Be In All Spaces, Listen to Black People, Trust Black Women, Spaces should be More Inclusive of Black People, would support DjChubbESwagg asking a VALID QUESTION? WRONG! DjChubbESwagg was Blue Check Black Twitter assassinated for asking a VALID QUESTION that would be asked IN ANY OTHER SITUATION! Assassinated by people that BUILT BRANDS on demanding that Black people be included in ALL SPACES. Help me Jesus! People that claim they are the voice of the culture assassinated him online. And they were LOUD AND WRONG. You ain’t a voice for my culture. NOPE!
The Blue Check Black Twitter Alleged Gatekeepers of All Things Black jumped on the LET’S SAVE A WHITE WOMAN THAT DOESN’T NEED SAVING and opposed his question BECAUSE they happened to be friends with the White woman, Timothy.
REALLY? That’s all it takes? A friendship with a White woman allows you to forego EVERYTHING you stand for? A friendship with a White woman allowed you to ruin your brand? WHILE SHE REMAINS SILENT! Why? Because Black people, particularly BLACK WOMEN, did all the work of vilifying another Black person while she merely posted heart emojis to your comments. RECOGNIZE THE GAME!
Y’all out here trying to “secure the bag.” That’s what it’s about, right? In the midst of fighting for justice, you have forgotten WHO AND WHAT you are fighting for! Ya’ll have become some type of go-to people when it comes to race relations because you have a blue check you got on Twitter in its infancy. FUCK YOUR BLUE CHECK! There are people out here doing the work, hard work, sacrificing daily! People ON THE GROUND that WILL NEVER BE INVITED TO YOUR CUSHY PANEL DISCUSSIONS WHERE YOU TAKE SELFIES! FUCK SECURING THE BAG! FUCK YOUR CNN INTERVIEWS! FUCK YOUR BOOK TOURS! WE ARE FIGHTING OUT HERE TO LIVE! TO EXIST! TO BE!
THIS IS NOT A GAME FOR US! This is not about some panel discussion you can get on. This is NOT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA STATUS! PEOPLE ARE OUT HERE DYING! This is aint about BLUE CHECKS AND FUCKING SOCIAL MEDIA STATUS!
AND LET ME BE CLEAR:
Black people, I love you. Daily my heart aches for us. When I tweet about our struggles I ain’t trying to secure the bag. I’m trying to bring awareness to our issues. And I will do it DAILY! Every day I will fight for you to feel safe and comfortable in spaces. EVERY DAY I struggle to speak up about spaces being inclusive. EVERY DAY that I am on this earth, I will fight for you to tell our stories. I love you, and I love US SPEAKING FOR US! Moreover, I will NEVER compromise that because my friend is White. I WILL NEVER COMPROMISE THAT TO SECURE THE BAG OR BE IN SOME IMAGINARY CLIQUE! I DON’T CARE! If I have a White friend that cannot tolerate the truth, we ain’t friends. PERIOD!
White people, if I am your friend and you consider yourself an ally or advocate please know because of who I am and what I stand for there may come a time that I am going to have to call you out. There may come a time when I have to stand and speak truth to power and honestly our friendship is secondary to my desire for Black people to have justice. If our friendship is based on your never feeling uncomfortable, we are not meant to be friends. If me speaking the truth means I can’t be on your show or come to your next tea party, I AM FINE WITH THAT. MY JOB IS TO SPEAK THE TRUTH!
And I KNOW some Black people may compromise the truth to be in the clique, but I don’t give a damn about the clique! I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT JUSTICE! I am secure enough in who I am and what I do that I know there is nothing that you can give me that God has not already ordained for me. I will not today or tomorrow change my message to be in any clique, club or group. I will not today or tomorrow water down my message for White people to feel comfortable. The truth is merely the truth, and you can deal with that any way you see fit, but I will NEVER change my message. It is what it is.
Black people have a right to ask anyone about Black spaces and who curates those spaces and who tells the stories of us!