Amanda Seales is not a victim of anything but her own hubris

OPINION: Amanda Seales recently complained about not being supported by Black media or invited into Black spaces, and she seemingly does not understand why people don’t rock with her. 

Amanda Seales speaks on stage during the Grit Before The Gram returns for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards at The West Hollywood EDITION on February 02, 2023 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Unique Nicole/Getty Images for The Vanity Group)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I am an outspoken, highly opinionated Black woman. My friends will tell you that I am no shrinking violet. I take up space everywhere I go, and I am not afraid to voice my opinion when the need arises. 

Because of this, I’m well aware that I can rub some people the wrong way. I accept that, and I own it fully. It’s par for the course. 

As an outspoken, highly opinionated Black woman with a large platform who regularly publishes content that gets people of all types (white, Black, or otherwise) in their feelings, I know that it is going to come with a certain amount of backlash — either in the form of comments on my social media posts, or nasty emails, or comments left on my personal website. I’ve even had people try to reach out to the publications I write for in an attempt to have me canceled. 

It’s a thing. 

I also know that I haven’t always gotten it right. I have been called out before for having a bad take. When it happened, I took a moment to think about what people were saying to me, thought about what I said, and was able to understand how what I said may have been stated incorrectly or been easy to misinterpret based on the way I worded it. 

I took those opportunities to either clarify what I meant, explain my point further or own my erroneous take.

It’s not that hard. 

Amanda Seales recently went viral on social media after complaining that she was not invited to the NAACP Image Awards. She believes that Black media is not supportive of her. 

Amanda Seales and I agree on some things. I’m always here for calling out white supremacy and the systems in this country that have been put in place to keep Black people subjugated and marginalized. I applaud her willingness to tackle these topics and speak out about them loudly and unapologetically.

Sometimes, Amanda Seales gets things wrong, too, and it’s not about her delivery, as she noted in her video; it’s about the problematic things she says. 

Take for example the time she actively attacked Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, after Samaria called out Shaun King for fundraising in the name of her dead son. Samaria felt Shaun King was using her son to raise money for himself while nothing was going to the family — even though King himself made claims that the money was for the family.

“It’s no secret that I have sideyed [sic] SK,” she wrote on Instagram. “However, bigger picture, nobody finds it somewhat odd that she’s just, out of the blue, going out of her way and being given EVERY platform, with no receipts shown, to ‘call out,’ one by one, black activists/organizers that have been the visible faces of the movement? Just food for thought…”

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Samaria Rice was asking that her murdered son’s name not be used for profit by those who didn’t care about him or his family, and Amanda Seales managed to find fault in that, so much so that she inserted herself into a conversation that had absolutely nothing to do with her. 

Calling out Samaria Rice and implying she had an agenda against movement activists is nasty work, and Amanda was rightfully called out for it. 

Then there was the time in October 2017 when she got on Twitter to say, “If you’re buying Jordans and Nike suits but you don’t have a PASSPORT, YOU’RE LOSING.”

Passports are not accessible for everyone. There are people who cannot afford to go out of town for the weekend, let alone travel to a foreign country, so what good does a passport do them? 

Why do we denigrate people who don’t have the same amount of money or privilege that we do? We live in a very lopsided, capitalistic society where Jordans and Nike suits are a lot more attainable (and attractive) to some people than foreign travel. 

Calling people losers because they don’t have the same amount of privilege as you is misguided at best and disgusting when you really think about it. 

When called on to explain herself, she doubled down on her comments. 

“I made a comment, that I still stand behind, which was that if you can afford multiple—that’s why there was an ‘s’—Jordans, we must assume that when we say Jordans we are not simply referring to one pair, and Nike suits, plural. So, that’s multiples,” she told Essence magazine. “A full Nike suit is like $350, the pants are like $200, sometimes even $500. Jordans, $200-$250 minimum. If you can afford multiples of these things and you do not have a passport, you’re losing. Somehow that statement turned into, ‘Amanda Seales is a classist petty bourgeois who is passport shaming the impoverished Black community.’”

Notice how she victimized herself in her explanation, but she was still loud and wrong. As I explained above, laying out what the prices are for those things doesn’t change the fact that they are a lot more accessible to some people than worldwide travel. 

But let’s press on. 

In that same Twitter thread, Seales asserted “If you’re buying Jordans and Nike Suits but you DON’T HAVE A CREDIT CARD, YOU’RE LOSING.” and “If you’re buying Jordans and Nike Suits but you DON’T KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE, YOU’RE LOSING.

I’ve already written a column about how the credit scoring system is a rigged game. That is an undeniable fact. The entire credit scoring system is shrouded in enough mystery to make it completely confusing for the average person. It was not created for Black people to benefit from it at all — in fact, I would personally argue that it was created to shut Black people out, but that’s a discussion and a debate for another day. 

For this conversation, let’s acknowledge that not knowing your credit score and buying Jordans and Nike suits are not even equivalent in the grand scheme of things. There are people who never use credit for various reasons, and I would argue they are actually smart to live that way. 

The point here is that this is another instance of Amanda Seales being loud and wrong. 

I won’t even get into the rumors that her castmates from “Insecure” don’t like her because I cannot state that as fact, but what I will say is it doesn’t escape notice that while the vast majority of them still hang out together from time to time, we never see Amanda Seales with them. 

I’m sure there’s a reason for that. 

Imagine you worked with a group of people for the better part of six years, and when the job ended, they all pay you dust. That is Amanda Seales. 

Critiquing Amanda Seales for her bad takes and her tendency to be loud and wrong isn’t “hating” on her, and it’s not “tearing another Black woman down” either. 

As Black people, we should be able to offer valid critiques of each other without it being viewed as hating. If we don’t hold our own accountable, we look like hypocrites trying to hold anyone else accountable. 

Amanda Seales is very good at holding white people and institutions that uplift whiteness and white supremacy accountable. She calls them out and draws attention to things they are doing that are harmful to the Black community. 

I love that about her. 

I think Amanda could take that same magnifying glass and examine some of her own statements and actions to come to an understanding as to why there are some people who dislike her. 

Two Black publications recently published articles about her. Both were simply calling for her to do the work of self-analysis and a self-inventory to see if any of the things she is openly complaining about (not being invited into Black spaces and not being supported by Black media) could be a reflection of her own personal actions. 

Those articles have been painted as hit pieces against her. I wholeheartedly disagree with that labeling. 

We cannot be so fragile as to not want to be called out on our own bullshit.

Amanda Seales is very vocal with her opinions. She makes sure everyone hears them. It comes with the territory of having a large platform. 

What also comes along with a large platform is the recognition that not everyone is going to agree with you, and instead of trying to play victim when this happens, taking the opportunity to either clarify or course-correct would be the better option, but ego is a helluva drug, and ego is where Amanda Seales is stuck.

Amanda Seales is not a victim of anything but her own hubris, and until she recognizes that, she is always going to be crying every time anyone says anything about her.

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at

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