Sometime during an international film festival, in response to an inquiry about a quite caucasian jury being able to evaluate and understand North African films, Meryl Streep decided to go full hotep and inform us that “we’re all Africans really.”
That clink you hear is the sound of Lady Meryl officially falling off the list of “White Women That I Fux With (TM).” Previously excommunicated members include the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Schumer. There are also folks with a life time ban: see Handler, Chelsea.
At this point the only ones left are Dame Helen Mirren and Jojo — and even Jojo is on probation until she starts putting out music that I want to hear again.
And then, a couple days later, former Oval Office FreakFest organizer Bill Clinton shaped his mouth to say we're all biracial. Which is technically true, I guess. The same way it's technically true that cottage cheese is "food" and me and Serge were "hanging out together" last weekend because we both happened to be in New York City.
I don’t even have the slightest clue as to what in the Sankofa-imbued Rachel Dolezal hell either Meryl or Bill were sipping on that morning that convinced them their brands of pan-Africanism made even the slightest bit of sense, but it is far from the first time melanin-deficiencies haven't served as a deterrent for them staying in their Motherland-ass lane before.
Take a gander at the following:
Jollof Rice is a West African one-pot staple. Simply stated, it is a big fucking deal. To the point that it is subject to regular debates on Twitter between who makes the recipe best. (The answer is Senegal by the way.) Paired with plantain, it is one of the purest expressions of love that exist within the Diaspora, which is why when the UK chef Jamie Oliver turned the following crowning glory into an abomination I damn near ate my foot:
I’ve spent the better part of my days trying to figure out what is going on here, but I’ve come up with less answers than Sway. All these additional herbs and spices, pieces of tomato instead of actually cooking it down in blended tomatoes and oil. No one asked for this! This is like when you go to someones Thanksgiving dinner and and the cook brings out tofurky. Just tell me you don’t like me!
2. Vacation cornrows with beads on them
The fact that this is still a thing that Anglo-Saxons do will continue to befuddle me.
What part of duplicating a hairstyle that you see no adults around you wearing seems like a good idea? It’s the equivalent of me going to an authentic Chinese restaurant and ordering General Tso’s chicken. I’ve always wondered just how long they keep them in, as my interaction with White folks’ braids is mild amusement as we’re getting off the same flight. Do they keep them in through the weekend? Show them off to their friends at happy hour? Rock them at work? And why the beads? Who other than RG III puts beads at the ends of their hair past the age of 7? Somewhere on a beauty shop shelf, all the girls on a cover of a Just for Me Box are laughing at your beaded plaits.
3. Scented oils
If you’ve ever been on 125th street before 2007, you are guaranteed to have a detailed story of a personal interaction with any one of a plethora of “African scented oils” vendors. I’ve never not seen White people go out of their way to purchase these and take in their “authenticity.” I’m sorry to have to be the one to break it to you, but “African Black Love,” “Blue Nile,” and “Ebony Musk” were more than likely made in a basement in Philadelphia.
4. Most “African Dance” classes
I’ve been dancing in a variety of capacities and companies for the majority of my brownskinned life, and I can count on one hand the amount of “introduction to (West) African dance” seminars that didn’t involve exaggerated pelvic movements and drum circles and high energy jumps. Few things are more off-putting than a lily-White instructor telling you that this is how “your people” traditionally move. I don’t tell you guys how you make specialty mayonnaises after all; let stick to our respective rivers and lakes.
5. Any artwork that was commissioned by Rachel Dolezal
To this day, I am utterly dumbfounded at the month-long phenomenon that was that alabaster spectacle from the Pacific Northwest. Is she still running a natural hair shop out of her house?
I know Will Smith isn’t White but I need to take this moment to emphasize that Willard’s version of a Nigerian accent is an abomination and I rebuke in the name of my Lord and Savior, Amen. I’m sure the acting in the movie was otherwise great, but every time I see Will demanding that the NFL “tell di troof” I start violently shaking as I imagine the number of times he sat in front of a dialect coach to mimic an inflection that he still missed the mark on. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. By my estimation, Will was somewhere around 6250. He still gave an earnest effort though.
(Honorable mention:The kente cloth stole that everyone got for Black commencement ceremonies at PWIs that most definitely had a “Made In China” label on the inseam.)