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My Open Letter to Bristol Palin

Bristol-Palin-1024x683Bristol,

I read an article where you were quoted as having a great deal to say about the Oscar nominations and the abilities of African American actors. It turns out it was satire, but much like the video from SNL of your mother being portrayed by Tina Fey, I wasn’t sure that you hadn’t said those things. Doesn’t that frighten you? That someone can use your face, attribute wild statements to you and the average person isn’t sure whether to believe it or not? That at such a young age your credibility is shot? Don’t you see the path you are on? Or, like your mother, are you so cravenly hungry for the spotlight you don’t care how you are seen, so long as you are seen? Is that the world you want for your children, the same one your mother ‘gifted’ to you? It saddens me that you don’t have a strong female role model in your life. It must be difficult knowing your mother is little more that a stage mother to you and that she prefers the cameras over her own children.

With a little digging, I found your blog on the Oscars and what Stacey Dash had to say and I have a few things I’d like to say to you:

You seemed comfortable aligning yourself with Waka Flocka Flame, even though, by your own admission, you don’t know who he is. Interesting move. First, and most importantly, I have a feeling you may not have actually listened to what Waka Flocka had to say because he didn’t ‘agree’ with Ms. Dash so much as he attempted to quantify her statement. But if you listen carefully, his statements are more closely aligned with what Jada Pinkett-Smith had to say about boycotting the Oscars, that “we can not expect the people who took our history, to give us our history?” Sadly, this is also an indictment of his, Stacey Dash’s, and apparently your, ignorance of the history of Black History Month, because we created this celebration of our own successes, no one gave that to the African-American community.

Then you tried to lump Ice Cube in with your convoluted ideology when his statements did not “echo Stacey Dash exactly”. He stated that the point of Straight Out of Compton was for the audience and fans, not for an award, so how you came to the conclusion that this supports the removal of B.E.T and Black History month, baffles me. I suspect that you are following far too closely in your mother’s shadow and are picking up her bad habit of just spouting nonsense and seeing what sticks.

This whole idea of “colorblindness” is simply foolishness, that is akin to saying you don’t notice that someone is blonde or tall, you are saying that my skin color is such a distraction to you that you have to pretend not to see it in order to deal with me. Why? And yes it would be great to not have African American history narrowed down to one month and if you could pass that along to your mother and her cronies and ask them to stop trying to make slavery and Jim Crow seem like part of the necessary process of “civilizing” black people I’d greatly appreciate it.

Now, to your point that “not everyone gets an award.”, this is very true and most certainly someone can not receive an award for a competition from which they have been barred or unfairly restricted in participating. That is why Black History Month, B.E.T, and the Image Awards exist. This is why there is an outcry over the nominations; The African-American community did not segregate itself from the mainstream America, we were and have been segregated, blocked, and hindered from full participation in mainstream America. And rather than wait for mainstream America to get its act together and start to recognize talent and ability above and beyond skin color, we decided to create our own methods of showcasing our talents and giving recognition where recognition is due.

So, you have a set of ideas that you champion, and rather than doing any real assessment of the situation, you searched for black faces that you THOUGHT supported your position and decided to jump into the fray. I don’t know how other people will see it, but, I will tell you something: Not everyone deserves the spotlight and I hope your children see that early on also.

 

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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