In today’s edition of “Why can’t we have nice things?” we’ll be (quickly) examining the epic fail that is This Is America: Women’s Edit.
After the viral success of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” desperate YouTuber and alleged comedian, Nicole Arbour decided to hijack the honest discussions that Americans were having about the raw visual, in order to generate attention to herself.
Shrouding herself in the flimsy excuse of female empowerment, she followed in the footsteps of fellow blonde appropriator Taylor Swift and used a moment of black excellence as a fun way to play victim and display an anemic version of what we can only assume she believes is “swag.”
The whole things is so unabashedly bad, for a quick second I was sure it was meant to be comedic. But a quick Google search revealed that Arbour seriously released this thinking it would create intelligent dialogue.
The range of topics clumsily referenced in the lackluster remake include feminist buzzwords like: beauty standards, the pay gap, rape, and a random shoutout to “titties.”
The Fela inspired body contortions that initially gave a clever nod to the Jim Crow era, are now gone and replaced with soulless body gyrations that resemble a drunk sorority girl doing her best Eminem impersonation at Karaoke.
And all the women of color who thought it would be a good idea to take part in this dumpster fire are getting my sharpest of side-eyes for letting themselves be used as blatant visual diversity tokens.
I’m gonna keep it real with you guys, this video isn’t worth the sort of serious analysis that I would normally give an artist’s attempts to make a social commentary. Mostly because there is no artist in sight and the commentary being pushed onto us is basically just a copy-and-paste of the pseudo-deep inspirational messages you would find on the Instagram account of the most basic of Becky’s.
What does make this clip (barely) notable though is the childish glee and untethered entitlement that Arbour clearly felt in both conceptualizing and then actually producing this hot mess. It displays everything that is wrong with white feminism and legitimizes why women of color, particularly black women, are finding themselves cautious when forging any sort of sisterhood movement with our melanin deficient allies.
Donald Glover created a piece that was meant to take an unflinching look into the black abyss and reflect back to us the escapism, brutality, and racism that we have all been seduced into accepting as normal.
It had layers, and at the very least deserved to be shown a modicum of respect due to severity of the topics it touched on and the communities it highlighted.
Anyone with even a shred of self-awareness would have treaded lightly.
But as usual, mainstream white feminists believe that having a vagina alone makes their voice worthy of being interjected into discussions about…. everything. They don’t recognize that the intersections of culture and race create spaces where even they need to shut up for once and listen.
Nicole Arbour is nothing but a attention starved social media influencer who wishes she had the same publicist as Tomi Lahren. Her lackluster brand of “Look at me! I’m a provocative white girl!” antics is well documented at this point, especially after she went viral for her parody of Dear White People, a film and Netflix series about the complexities of racism on American campuses. Arbour’s crude reinterpretation was named ‘Dear Fat People’ and used to give her a platform to body shame overweight people.
At the time, she claimed was exercising her rights as an edgy comic. But last I checked, edgy comedy is meant to be both intelligent and funny; two things I’m beginning to think are tragically out of her reach.
A note to any white person reading this who thinks they’re being dangerous and bad ass for talking about race or appropriating black culture with “no apology”: What you’re doing isn’t all that new and is highkey what your ancestors did for generations. You’re building your dreams on the backs of black labor.
Instead of wearing pink pussy hats at marches and giving flowery speeches about how “race is just a social construct,” I’d respect you more if you just admitted you’re still pissed off that you can’t touch our hair or say the n-word (in public) without risking a reparations style beat down.
And yes, this applies to you even if you call yourself a feminist.
Follow writer Blue Telusma on Instagram at @bluecentric
Are we really surprised that Nicole Arbour gentrified This Is America? I mean, she tweets stuff like this. pic.twitter.com/x3xFmlNgN8
— e o i n (@AUTOAMERlCAN) May 14, 2018