Black outrage is a trend and we need to stop reacting

To the Kim K's and Tomi Lahren's, issa game. But now it's time we stop feeding the machine.

Kim Kardashian Tomi Lahren theGrio.com
(Photo: Instagram/KimKardashian and Instagram/TomiLahren)

Black outrage has been a vehicle for many great changes, especially in the fight for justice. But now it has also become a trend that companies, influencers and celebrities alike are milking for profit. And it’s about damn time we stop feeding the machine.

On Sunday (Jan. 28), Tomi Lahren tweeted a JAY-Z quote calling Donald Trump a “superbug” (with absolutely no context, mind you) from his sit-down interview on CNN’s The Van Jones Show.

“As opposed to you who raps about bitches and sisters and brags about selling crack. Yeah…Trump is the problem…sure,” she wrote, quickly igniting a reaction from Black Twitter.

–Wale comes for Tomi Lahren after her JAY Z comments–

Immediately, the “Tammy” joke—an ongoing exchange sparked by rapper Wale, where folks call Lahren any other name starting with a T except Tomi (ex: Tommy, Tammy, Tanya, etc.)—took off and garnered the Fox News host another wave of online attention, which undoubtedly adds to her ratings.

In all actuality, Hov was expressing how America arrives to a place where someone like Trump can become president. Short answer: We never properly extinguish our closeted racist problem.

“You have sprayed perfume on the trash can,” he said, referring to the 2014 scandal involving Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. “What you do when you do that is the bugs come, and you spray something and then you create a superbug. Because you don’t take care of the problem. You don’t take the trash out, you keep spraying whatever over it to make it acceptable. As those things grow, you create a superbug. And then now we have Donald Trump, the superbug.”

He added: “Trump is a human being, too… but somewhere along his lineage something happened to him and he’s in pain.”

But of course, Lahren left that part out.

So if we know the context in which the multi-hyphenate magnate mentioned Trump, why react to Lahren who so obviously (and desperately) was seeking a reaction? She knows that the more headlines she makes, the more her GOP followers will lean into her Final Thoughts.

Kim Kardashian’s Black outrage

Elsewhere in Calabasas on Monday (Jan. 29), Kim Kardashian used Black outrage for her own ploy by posting about her “Bo Derek” braids. First of all, they’re Fulani braids of West African origin. Secondly, they can never be credited to a White woman ever.

BO WEST

–Black Twitter gives Kim Kardashian a lesson on cultural appropriation for the millionth time–

And, come one, as a mother of three Black children, Kim Kardashian knows better. She is no longer ignorant to culture appropriation. We’ve schooled her more than once. Now, Kanye West’s wife is merely a willful participant in using these upsets to give her life. And please don’t tell me the debut of Yeezy Season 6 just a day later—with an army of several models, porn stars and IG honeys impersonating Kim—was just a coincidence.

Yeah. No. The jig is up.

Some may argue that the Black community is just too sensitive, too easily offended—some have dubbed it “fake outrage.” But nah. To quote one of the great writers of our time, Solange Knowles: “You’ve got the right to be mad.” But in an attempt to cripple the notion that these entities can use Black anger as their cash cow, we must dead breathing life to these losers.

Not all creative directors and public figures are tone deaf. Some just simply know the power of our money and influence. When the Daily Mail UK credits Gigi Hadid and Khloé Kardashian for making Timberland boots trendy—we know what they’re doing. When Pepsi sticks Kendall Jenner in the center of a protest at the height of Black killings by police—we peep game.

The article gains a hefty uptick in traffic because we RT it; the Instagram post gets boosted to “most liked Instagram of all time” and the “public figure” gains more followers (and more financial opportunities); and the racist T-shirt gets a spike in sales because our viral attention to it just emboldens people even further to purchase it.

Our money and our influence are astronomically A-plus. What we deem fire is lit, and what we deem trash, we can crumble. And our outrage can always be a catalyst for great things. But now we just need to know when to react and when we need to just take away the chair and let them fall on their asses. 

Niki McGloster is a Maryland-based writer and co-founder of her sweat. She has written for ESSENCE, Genius, Billboard, VIBE and Teen Vogue. Follow her on Twitter at @missjournalism.