For many years I have been indifferent to the Kardashians. When Black Twitter and online forums would lambast them for their appropriation of black culture, I’d simply scroll on by. I’m a black woman, and have been a black woman all of my life. Sure these Kardashians rock corn rows, plump their asses and lips, and date black, but all of these things do not a black woman make. Do I find it annoying AF that these girls have made a killing doing the same ish we do on the daily? Yes. Does it enrage me? Stop my hustle? Incite me to write think-pieces everyday about the way in which they rip off black culture? Not particularly.
My indifference has steadily grown to disdain. Not so much because they appropriate black culture, but more-so because they have made being “just a pretty face,” the thing to which many young girls aspire. Substance has taken a back seat to slicked down baby hairs and grotesquely fat asses accompanied by 10=inch waists, and I’m over it.
Do you know what else I’m over? Every. Single. Black-centered site making it their businesses to elevate this family every chance they get. I know we can multi-task. I know we can discuss many ways in which the black community is being harmed by both natural and Dr. Miami-made forces, but Jesus, when will it end?
I can’t go to Essence, Madame Noire, the Root, the Grio, and now Afropunk without somebody writing a whole think-piece about how the Kardashians are fucking up society in one way or another. Now, before I go further, make no mistake, I’m not caping for this family. I just want us to get back to us.
The Kardashians are famous because we, both black and mainstream media, have made them famous. And while I guess this article does commit that very offense, it does so because I want us to do better.
An article on Afropunk this morning is partially to blame for this post. In it the editor takes Kim Kardashian to task for alleging that in her household she does not see race. The article: TO WHITE MOTHERS OF BLACK KIDS: ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR RACE, uses the Kardashian household as an example of how white mother’s of biracial children harm their children by neglecting to acknowledge their black DNA, and in doing so, they ill prepare these biracial children for the world.
I am not a white mom and I am not raising biracial children, so I am not in anyway familiar with the longterm societal effects of white mothers not knowing how to properly tell their kids about blackness. Frankly, I think the onus is on their black a$$ daddies to do the job. Sure white mothers can and should try, but educating kids on black culture is best left to black people. Furthermore, every minority kid is going to, at some point, face some ish in the world; somebody is going to hurt their feelings. This is not unique to biracial children. I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but, they’ll be aight. As long as they have parents who love them and guide them to the best of their ability, these kids will find their way, just like everybody else. And if not, they’ll get on that therapist’s couch and pay someone to help them later, just like everybody else. But I digress. The Afropunk editor writes:
“what’s truly scary is the fact that their family is bringing biracial black children into an environment where white adults tell blacks to get over racial violence and where their identities are, admittedly, being ignored. Which, I suspect, is how many white moms of biracial children approach race. And doing so seems to be more about protecting white feelings and white comfort than it is about preparing biracial children for the world.”
Are we really scared for Kim’s kids? Are we really? While this statement may hold some truth, I take issue with this writer’s assumption that what Kim Kardashian does in her household is akin to what folks do out in the real world. The Kardashians are not real, and it’s high time we stop using them as a measure against any of the challenges we face in the world. The truth is, the Kardashians have more wealth than the average black or biracial child will ever have, and to assume that North or Saint’s struggles in the world will ever mirror mine or those of my child is grossly misguided. First and foremost, while these kids are indeed 50% black, and may face some discrimination in their lives, their class alone will see them through these tough times. It is highly unlikely that Kim’s children will suffer true racism. They will not suffer from access to proper healthcare, housing, education, and employment. Someone calling North or Saint mean names may happen, and they should be prepared for it, but are their struggles every going to look like mine or yours? Are we still pretending in 2017 that class doesn’t often trump race? Have we forgotten about OJ “I’m not black I’m OJ” Simpson so quickly? And why the fuck, are we, black people, so intent on enveloping this family and making their narrative a part of our own. Do we truly see ourselves in them? Because I don’t.
When parents like Kim K. say that they choose not to “see” their children or spouses race, it tells children that part of their identity is not worth seeing. And it fails to prepare them for the very real world in which color is not only seen but is used to determine how the world treats you.
The whole “I don’t see race” nonsense is straight up bull, and white people, as a collective, need to cut the shit because I don’t even believe they believe themselves when they say that mess. So yeah, Kim, cut the crap. But at the same time, how Kim Kardashian handles race in her rich ass life does not trickle down to us regular people. The Kardashians are not us. They will never be us. So can we, black sites, for the love of God, stop ramming them down our throats? Whatever the fuck they have going on in their lives ain’t got shit to do with us and how we live our lives.