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Pop Culture The Tea The Word 6 minute read

Raging about Raven

A few of you have contacted me and asked me to write about Raven Symone. What the hell can I say?  She and her behavior don’t provide much for in-depth analysis, pondering, or eventual conclusions or a diagnosis.  It’s simple: she doesn’t like herself, or at least doesn’t like her blackness.  In the words of every Black grandma, “God Bless her po’ lil’ soul.”

Let’s first address her latest comments that she would never hire someone with a Black-sounding name.

Symoné opined it’s not “racist” to judge people based on their names, it’s simply “discriminatory.”

And, she continued, “I am very discriminatory against words like the ones they were saying in those names,” she said, referring to examples of names in the video.

“I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea.  It’s just not gonna happen.  I’m not gonna hire you.”

Huh?  I know even Bill O’Reilly from Fox news sucked in this breath and exclaimed, “Oh, no she didn’t!” I mean, who on national t.v. would admit to discriminating against an entire race?   Seriously, think about it: she essentially said that she wouldn’t hire black people (because why else would you care about the name?).  Fox obviously has the exact same hiring philosophy (minus their one hire of Stacy Dash, who had her card revoked by the Black coalition years ago), but even they would NEVER publicly admit to it.

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Now these comments are troubling standing alone, but are even more befuddling when they are being said by a Black person with Kool-Aid red hair, Salt-N-Pepa huge hoop earrings, and a throw-back Bobby Brown shirt (refer to his “My Perogative” video). Raven doesn’t exactly dress from the Ralph Lauren preppy catalogue.

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Additionally, HER name is “Raven-Symone.”  Did she think that accent on the “e” was fooling folks?  Did she think that folks are expecting a blond, petite French woman when she makes reservations?  Girl, puh-lease, the Devontes and Dejas’ want you to know that we Black folks have been adding accents on our names for years.  You are one of us, Boo (that’s Boo with an long accent over the second “o” for clarification).

You are one of us, just a stupid version.  How can you, who emphatically declared on Oprah that you don’t want to be defined by race or sexual orientation, define someone else by his or her name?

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“I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay,'” Raven says. “I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’ I’m tired of being labeled,” she says. “I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American

How can you judge a person, decide that you know enough about them to deem them unemployable based on a name – which, by the way, is decision that was made for the person and not by the person?

These latest comments aren’t the first time that Raven has attempted to separate herself from her Blackness:

“I mean, I don’t know where my roots go to,” Raven explains. “I don’t know how far back they go… I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana.  I’m an American.  And that’s a colorless person.”

This approach is nothing new.

For example, Tiger Woods let the world know on Oprah that he was not Black, but Caublanasian.  The world let him know fairly quickly that he was perceived as a Black man.

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Fuzzy Zoeller did when he talked about Woods’ performance at the masters in 1997, “He’s doing quite well, pretty impressive.  That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well.  He’s doing everything it takes to win.  So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here?  You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year.  Got it.  Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”

Then Steve Williams did after he and Tiger parted ways, when he responded by saying he badly wanted to beat former employer, Woods: “I wanted to shove it up that black arsehole.”

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Sergio Garcia did when he was asked about whether or not he would consider hosting Tiger at the 2013 U.S. Open, and he said he would.  “We will have him ’round every night.  We will serve fried chicken”

Race is not purely physiological.  If that were the case, wouldn’t things be lovely?  We wouldn’t have any such race issues because when my son walked in a store, my son could just say, “I’m ¼ white, so we are all good.”  But he is what is seen.  Raven, trust me baby, no matter how much you preach about a colorless world—people see a Black woman sitting on that stage.  Right now, older white woman who can’t remember your name are saying to describe you, “The other Black woman on the View.”

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But now that I think even more about this issue, maybe you aren’t as dumb as I think, Raven.  There might be some job security in saying everything that ignorant White people think but are smart enough to hire people like you, Stacy Dash, Jon Lemmon to say.

 

The media loves to find that one in a 500,000 Black person, who will say all the things that they feel.  Then they can point to that jackass—as if they are the spokesperson for ALL (or even the majority of Black people) and say, “See even Ben Carson says Black folks should get over slavery.  Gosh nabitt I’ve been saying that for years.” “What did I tell you, Herman Cain even said that this is a post-racial America and that Black folks are brainwashed.” “See?  Even, that Black-gal Raven on the View said she wouldn’t hire a person with a ghetto name.  And my boss had the nerve to report me for throwing out all the resumes of candidates that were clearly Black and hood.  We don’t need that element in our office.”

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Racism is it’s most effective and powerful when there is Black face on it.  Truth be told, you probably wouldn’t have made it on the View if you spoke and thought as the majority of Black folks.  So, unlike any Black person who applies to you for employment, you will be hired and paraded around.   You will be used—another puppet.  I just wish they’d put your butt on the Muppet Show instead of the View, so at least everyone would know who actually was pulling the strings.

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