Grace Elizabeth Hackney | Staff Writer
The mockery of Black women can be seen in all sorts of media since the ages of reconstruction. I’m tired of it.
The first time I saw content that mocked Black people, specifically Black women, was on Vine. Do you remember the ages of King Bach and his posse?
Do you remember their numerous videos featuring watermelon, fried chicken, Jordans and T-shirt wigs? While I did find some of their content a little funny, it never sat right with me.
This trend has continued to TikTok. And the people carrying this cycle are Black men. I will never understand mocking the women that raise you and fight for you.
I cannot talk about the mockery of Black women without mentioning Tyler Perry.
I am not too fond of Tyler Perry movies, and I’ve never watched a Madea movie all the way through. They have never interested me. To be honest, I never thought men dressing up as women was a top-notch comedy. It’s a tired act unless it’s Mrs. Doubtfire.
When thinking about Tyler Perry movies, you can’t just think about the Madea franchise. What tends to be a trend in all his films is Black women being the villain or being the butt of the joke. Many of his non-Madea films have this storyline of a Black woman cheating on or leaving her broke male partner right before he starts making more money.
In the end, the woman wants to take him back but gets rejected and ends up in a much worse position than she was before. This consistent narrative is harmful and pushes the stereotypes that the Black community is trying to fight.
This is not to take away from Perry’s success in his field, but we must acknowledge that he has made his billion-dollar net worth off of the detriment of Black women.
TikTok has not helped this problem. I think it has made it worse.
The “hot cheeto girl” trend on TikTok took off over quarantine. It was just another way to make fun of Black girls, from what they wore to the snacks they chose to eat.
I never liked this trend. It was full of people wearing long, fake nails, T-shirt wigs, big lashes, laid edges, and speaking in African American Vernacular English. My question was always, “what do you mean by ‘hot cheeto girl’”?
The many Black men who engaged in these trends to gain followers always made these trends worse. The amount of Black men that will tear down Black women for the validation of, well, I do not know, white people, is astounding. What’s even more astounding is the nonblack people that engage with this content as if there’s nothing wrong with it.
This is not Black men’s fault. It’s how many of them were socialized. It’s how many of us were socialized.
The systems embedded into every aspect of our lives teach people that it’s OK to profit at the expense of Black people. They teach people that it’s OK to profit at the expense of women. These identities intersect, and it creates a difficult choice.
Some Black people choose to be closer to whiteness because that’s what they equate to being successful.
Tyler Perry made that choice. Look where that got him. King Bach made that choice. Look where that got him.
That’s why we see Black people (not always just Black men) quickly turn the women that raised them and fought for them into a joke. It’s what pays the big bucks.
However, the continuous mockery of Black women will not stop until Black men stop. That’s because of the patriarchy, but we should all know that by now.
People fail to understand that when Black men mock Black women, they open up the door for non-black people to be racist, misogynistic and engage in microaggressions. This is a cycle we have to end on all platforms.