As I wrote this piece about how ridiculous Black History Month 2019 has been, we’ve discovered that R. Kelly has been hit with multiple sexual felony indictments, and that it finally looks really bad for a dude who has been skating on allegedly felonious behavior for decades. That might be the best thing that’s happened in a BHM when we really needed a win: While we were all basking in Black Panther mania a year ago at this time, now we’re all looking to rewind back to February 1 on some Groundhog Day shit to see if we can have a do-over. Here’s several of the reasons this month just went off the rails.
1. Miley’s slithering back to hip-hop: Miley Cyrus fixed her mouth in 2017 to reject the hip-hop that helped make her a smash pop star. But since no one anywhere was feeling her Justin-Timberlake-back-to-the-woods-ass 2017 album Younger Now, she’s going back to hip-hop with her upcoming album. Yeah, c’mon back, Miley…so we can lock the door on your bony ass.
2. The polar vortex: February hopped off with the North Pole acting a gotdamn fool by sending its weather down to cool the entire country. N—-s couldn’t even take a respectable Miami weekend getaway. But if you live in the Midwest, you had to endure a historical cold snap that made the act of getting the mail off your front porch one that might cause you to punch a stranger in the face. You know we don’t even mess with the cold like that.
3. Blackface bullsh*t: Mind-blowingly, we’ve been forced to have a protracted national conversation on blackface in 2019 (and not even before Halloween!) thanks to more than one Virginian politician getting caught draped in blackface in school yearbook pictures. The whole thing devolved into forcing accountability on major fashion for contributing to the problem and a diss song from rapper T.I. targeting Floyd Mayweather for his devotion to Gucci after their blackface controversy. It was a braincell depleting carousal of stories about contemporary blackface and I’m glad we seem to be moving on.
4. Jennifer Lopez’s Motown mockery: Everyone except the organizers of the Grammys realized that employing J. Lo, of all the countless professional singers in the world, to do a Motown tribute was a terrible idea. She proved detractors right with a performance demonstrating that all the vocal coaches in the world couldn’t band together to get her to hit any notes that matter. I’m calling a technical foul on the whole damn performance, even if Smokey says otherwise.
5. Runaway slave game: Virginia, determined to take home the gold medal for landfill behavior this BHM, made news this week because one of its elementary schools had their students play a gym class game that had them navigate the Underground Railroad. Because that would never offend anyone and make national news, right?
6. Liam Neeson wanted to rock you n—-s: In the most glaring example of “ain’t nobody asked you that shit,” Neeson had the presence of mind during promotion of his film Cold Pursuit to explain that, once upon a time, he roamed the Irish countryside looking for a Black man to kill as revenge for the sexual assault of a friend. Really, any “black bastard” would’ve done the job for him. It was then that we had to ask ourselves how much we really care about a previously unproblematic and somewhat entertaining white action star.
7. Jussie, man…: It doesn’t matter where you stand on the heavily divisive, still-unfolding issue…the whole thing is bad for Black folks, and especially the Black LGBTQ community. Perhaps the only “winners” here are the MAGA troglodytes who are salivating at the alleged hoax, looking for some bullshit to shake in our faces. Of all the reasons to hit the big, red “abort” button on Black History Month, this might be the most compelling of all.
Dustin J. Seibert is a native Detroiter living in Chicago. Miraculously, people have paid him to be aggressively light-skinned via a computer keyboard for nearly two decades. He loves his own mama slightly more than he loves music and exercises every day only so his French fry intake doesn’t catch up to him. Find him at his own site, wafflecolored.com.