Let’s talk about Katy Perry’s ridiculous new video for Bon Appétit. I’ll be honest, the song it kind of catchy. But the video, though. It’s horrendous. It’s gross, and it’s thrown together in seriously poor taste.
But most of all, the subtext is so fucking played out. The whole men of color being characterized as insatiable (shit, cannibalsin this case) for white women trope is ridiculously stereotypical, but it, coupled (in this case) with hip-hop artists and strip clubs (you know, the basic white woman’s guide to Black men) in the video is just…wack.
It’s no secret that I have no chill when it comes to calling out white women for appropriating our shit (you know, naming their Black babies after influential Black folks with whom they have no meaningful cultural references, etc.). As usual, I digress.
But this extra layer that Katy Perry has added in Bon Appétit brings to mind images of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915), where Black men are portrayed as mindless, psychotic animal-like predators, stalking and chasing after white women. And the women are terrified.
But in her video, Katy seems to be loving it. You know the drill, white feminism — weak (failed) attempts at flipping the narrative, or something. Spare me.
Now, it’s hard to tell of there are white men included among the chefs literally mangling, cutting and cooking Katy while she writhes in pleasure, but all that I noticed were the Black and brown hands that the director chose to focus on. Oh, and Korean chef Roy Choi is thrown in, too, for good measure. And the whole thing bothers the fuck out of me.
Spare me with the sexual liberation and sex positive justifications for this mess. The fact of the matter is that not only are we tired of your appropriation (because you look foolish, Katy), but portraying men of color as cannibals, starving and famished for your basic ass is too much. We’ve seen that story before, and we’re tired of it. Also, don’t flatter yourself. You’re basic. And so transparent.
I’ve debated writing this for a while. For one, I don’t want to be messy. Secondly, I still wrote with my ex’s feelings in mind. I realized that just like he owes me nothing — nor do I him.
I’d like to start by saying that I am biracial. My mom is white, my dad is Black. As I’ve stated here before, for political, social & cultural reasons, I consider myself a Black woman. That said, I would never deny my mother. I love her dearly. And honestly, she is responsible for shaping me into the woman that I am. I adore her.
I’d also like to say that many of my close friends are white. And I love them. Most of them (at least the ones with whom I am close) are very socially astute as it relates to race and racism. Though not necessarily politically and socially active, I would venture to call many of them allies.
Taking this a step further, several of my white friends are married to (or in serious relationships with) Black men. Knowing the hearts of these women, they’re not the type of ladies who fetishize and seek out Black men to validate their whiteness.
That said, the concept of interracial dating is something that is contentiously personal to me. I support my friends’ unions. And c’mon folks — my parents’ marriage? How could I ever speak ill of that? (And my father is not the type of Black man who ever sought out white women — in fact, when they met he thought my mother was of color, so…)
Here’s my but. And my contention.
I cannot stand brothers who are infatuated with, cape for, and choose white chicks over (or to the detriment of) Black women. It demonstrates not only a submission to society’s racist Eurocentric standards of acceptability, privilege and currency, but also a nasty element of colonized self hatred.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll get to my point. My ex, yep, the guy who knocked up some goofy random broad while he was out of town “working” — well that goofy broad is white. Like extra white.
A bit of context. My ex is a Black man. He is very conscious and proud of Black culture and history. He is outspoken about racial issues, and has committed his life to the culture and to a certain extent, the struggle. I’ve always admired that about him.
So, after I uncovered the news of the baby and researched who this mystery woman was (her name is very white, so I suppose I should’ve guessed she was just from reading it); I came across her Facebook page — with a profile picture of she and my ex smiling and looking disgustingly carefree (while my Black ass is sitting at home, miserable, making playlists and making excuses — missing him).
Upon further stalking, I came across her Instagram page, and saw a few very problematic things. First, I came across a picture of the baby, and in the comments, she joked with her friends about her “mulatto” son. I am not even going to get into how ignorant, foolish and offensive that term is (not to mention the person who uses it). But to think that my ex would even associate, on that level with — 1. Becky 2. An ignorant Becky — sickened me (and made me lose all respect for his judgment).
Next, I came across a text conversation between her and my ex that she screenshot and posted to her IG. The main conversation is irrelevant, but the crux of the conversation (at least to me) is when he told her that he was “happy to serve her” because she is his “queen”.
It is difficult for me to unpack all that is wrong this this, but I’ll start here. First, how DARE you refer to this ignorant white bitch as your queen while your Black girlfriend is at home missing your lying, cheating ass (and paying for our household bills)?
Secondly. You’re happy to “serve her”. Are you a slave? Uncle Tom? Uncle Ben? Tapdancing Negro? What in the actual hell?
This happened three years ago, and it still raises my blood pressure, so I’ll have to end this post here and resume when I can gather my thoughts. Minus residual bitterness.
Point being: Black men, these days seem to have an infatuation with (mediocre, at best; horrific, at worst) white women — with no regard for common sense. And least of all the Black women who love and are down for them.