Nicki, Taylor, and the Insertion of White Privilege

On the same day that the video footage of Sandra Bland’s arrest was released, Nicki Minaj also got a little bit of a wake up check from the white superiors.  As you know, Nicki’s video Anaconda did not get a nomination for the video of the year in the VMAs, so she took to Twitter to discuss her frustrations on the racism faced in the music industry and entertainment business. And, while many others shared her views, someone decided to take things personally. Taylor Swift of all people took to Twitter in response, as she believed that Nicki was talking about her specifically. How, I have no idea, but that’s what she believed.

Because this came out on the same of the Sandra Bland video, it became a thing to divide many of the black people. There were many people saying that it doesn’t matter, that this whole spat is irrelevant, but it isn’t. Nicki is facing discrimination in her workplace, which is another form of racism. Her upset is completely valid. Too many times have we seen people of color get passed over in the entertainment industry for the mainstream whiteness. Not to forget the backlash we’ve faced time and time again for calling out the white mainstream for cultural appropriation.

It was never about Taylor, yet the second Taylor jumped into this conversation, the media picked it up and turned it into a whole defaming of Nicki, putting her into the all-too-familiar role of the angry black woman. Nicki’s anger was justified, and certainly not toward anyone in particular, yet Taylor was so quick to take it as such. That is the issue that we need to address.

Often when talking about race, white people are not included. It is done by the others, not because they don’t want to include the white people, but because the white people have the ability to walk away from the issues. This is white privilege, plain and clear. But the second an othered person decides to voice their disdain with their treatment in this country that is designed against them in so many ways, we get white people taking it rather personal.

PSA: It isn’t all about you!

That is one thing we hear all the time: “Well, I don’t live in an area like that” or “I have always been treated well by the cops.” And that’s fine, because you have that privilege. But you need to take a moment to realize that when people discuss race, it’s not specifically about one person. It’s about the system over all, that looms in every part of our lives. We don’t get the ability to pretend like we don’t see race, because we know that we could be killed in a second because simply walking is grounds enough for our death.

The VMAs may be trash, but the fact that their nominations list is mainly white people still says something about our country. And instead of jumping to the person of color who is frustrated with having their rights taken away, jump to the people who set up the country for them to fail.


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