Notes on Piers Morgan…

Another day, another king sized helping of black outrage.

I don’t chide my community’s  suffering with a light heart; but with a heart heavy from the weight of exasperation- four hundred years of it, to be precise.

Playing the role of antagonist in this week’s episode of Minority Misery was none other than career villain Piers Morgan.

In a brilliant bid to further the cause of cultural sensitivity, Piers singlehandedly defused the media storm surrounding  a group of random white girls and their drunken recital of Gold Nigga- sorry Gold Digger.


Piers lays the blame on a thoroughly confused Yeezy

The ladies- and I use that in the loosest sense of the word- performed a rendition of the Kanye hit, notable only for its remarkable lyrical accuracy.
It seems the excitable bunch were more than a little eager to let the world know  who Ye’s proverbial Gold Digger was not in fact  ‘looking for’.
Piers being, well Piers, came to the only conclusion that any sane person would come to; blaming the entire episode on the rapper.
‘Cause obviously that’s totally not offensive.  Nigga is like a term of endearment.  I mean I’m sure that’s what Piers calls his mum.

Nothing like some good old fashioned racism to get the party started


I’m going to be honest here; I am not mad at Piers.

If the truth be told I don’t care a jot what he thinks of me or any other black person for that matter.
Do I find Piers and the actions of his group of girls gone wild to be extremely distasteful?  Yes I do.
It should be apparent to anyone there is something deeply sinister behind any attempt to justify the use of a word that is a synonym for degradation.
The women in question fully understood the twofold way in which their use of that word further undermined the status of  black people.
There is very little doubt in my mind that reducing black men to non-human entities and giving voice to a wider narrative in which  black men habitually demean black women, was a source of enjoyment for them.

Piers when he realises no one is giving him attention

But what troubles me more is the way in which the opinion of a certified fool has black people in a state of perpetual feather unruffling.
Piers is a professional troll at best and a seasoned scab picker at worst.
Morgan goes straight for the achillies heal, aiming his parting shots at the queen of bark backs; black twitter.
And we fall for it each and  every time.
Perhaps it’s time we traded in the visceral thrills of socking it to the ‘man’ (or Piers for that matter) for a healthy slice of logic.
For the world in which we  ignore the persistent pokes and prods of Piers; is one in which his innate fear of irrelevance is fully realised.

I’m sorry Mr Jackson…

Did anyone else hear the distant rumbles of disquiet emanating from the world of the perennial fake smile, also known as Acting?  If not, have your cups ready, because I’m about to serve, not Lovely’s piping hot tea, but a witch’s brew.  So apparently someone has like finally decided to say something about America’s involvement in the mass importation of foreign born Black Africans Actors; more specifically those from Britain.  That someone was Samuel L. Jackson, and I believe him to be…how shall I put it?  Displeased.  His gripe is, that much like America’s car industry, many of Black Hollywood’s meatiest roles are now being outsourced to cheaper foreign counterparts…or something like that.   With the the ‘facts’ out of the way (sort of), let me get right to the serious and sticky business of my thoughts on the matter…

While the stormy and difficult plight of the overprivileged nearly always rates highly on my personal barometer of concern.  The sympathy box, which I store right behind the last can of My heart bleeds soup; seems to be running curiously low.

For the record, as a Black Brit, the success of my peers across the pond, made me feel nothing but pride and excitement.  Until 12 Years a Slave…  That, is when I believe, I first thought that those in film were beginning to make bizarre and ultimately jarring choices behind the scenes.  Here we had two Brits one of Nigerian and the other of West Indian descent and a Kenyan born Mexican taking centre stage in telling the story of the African American experience.  While it is clear to me that (sadly) the common threads of Colonial Rule, Subjugation and the struggle for Autonomy run through the entirety of the African Diaspora.  The scars that have been etched on to our souls all differ slightly.  In truth, when I saw that Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta, would be played by British actors, I was deeply disturbed.  Europe seemed an awfully long way to go, in search of actors capable and willing to tell the stories of individuals, so deeply woven in to the fabric of Black America.

The question is; was Samuel L. Jackson right to call this out?  I’m going to say no and here is why.  Jackson has fixed his ire at Jordan Peele’s casting of Daniel Kaluuya in the masterpiece that is Get Out.  However the Hollywood fetish for exotic negroes, did not begin in Black film, and here I think Uncle Sam is guilty of being disingenuous.  Jackson knows very well that he, like many others who frequent the highest echelons of Black Hollywood, made a fatal mistake.  It is the same mistake made by every house negro that ever there was; believing that the preferential treatment he  received stemmed from a place of genuine regard.  That is the real problem here; the elites like no one, and foolish is the Black Actor who fails to realise that the exchange of African Americans for Black Brits is nothing more than a game of power.  Hollywood’s key players are much like slave owners who thought that an auction would be the best way to deal with a slave who got too big for his boots.  Their continental casting choices should serve as a reminder to Black Thespians everywhere, that Hollywood is not in fact ‘our’ house, but ‘theirs’.  It is all very well for John Boyega to brush aside Jackson’s comments, but my hope (though it is a vain one) is that he will come to the conclusion that if America can turn on its own, it will surely not spare the rod when it comes to outsiders.

There is another reason why Jackson’s comments trouble me.  They are a clear indication of the unhealthy dependency Black’s have on the elite.  Jackson is essentially saying that Massa is doing him wrong.  Hello, Massa has been doing the same thing for 400 years, and it pains me to hear a grown man whining.  Mr Jackson I put this to you, instead of relying on the very people who have shown nothing but contempt and disregard for you; start a revolution, start a production company, start a studio, start a film school.  Yes, I hear you, it won’t start out as big or as shiny as what they have over there.  But I can tell you one thing Mr Jackson; it will be ours…