I Mean, Seriously


By Todd A. Smith

            Come on Black people.  I mean, you are seriously upset at Mary J. Blige for singing a song endorsing a Burger King crispy chicken wrap and getting paid $2 million.  Get real!

            The stereotype of Blacks and chicken goes back for generations.  Supposedly, because White people said there was something wrong with Black people eating chicken we are somehow embarrassed by someone promoting chicken.  Wake up!

            As Black Americans, we take pride in our so-called independence and freedom.  We often talk bad about White Americans and make fun of their culture, but for some of us, no matter how much trash you talk, you are still a slave to the White man. 

How are you still a slave in 2012?   The answer is simple: you are a slave to the White man mentally because you are enslaved by their opinion.  You are so afraid of what they think of you that you are afraid to be yourself.  To me, that’s worse than physical bondage because if you can control one’s mind you are in total control of them.

Blige and Burger King recently came under fire for a commercial that shows the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” dropping mad vocals about BK’s new chicken wrap.  I guess the stereotype of Blacks and chicken was too much for some of my people to handle. 

I guess it’s OK to admit we like chicken if the White man is not listening because we don’t want to play into that stereotype of Blacks and chicken

Well, here’s a news flash.  White people do not spend their time thinking about us.  It is some of us who are preoccupied with them and what they think. 

Amusingly, then we have the nerve to say that we are Black and proud.  It seems to me that a lot of us are ashamed of our blackness and our culture.

            If there was a stereotype about White people loving to eat scones, they are not going to stop eating it just because we made fun of them.

            Furthermore, if a Latino likes to eat tacos and burritos, they are not going to stop eating it just because we made a joke about them.

            Since that is the case, why are we still in 2012 so uncomfortable with who we are that we care what anyone thinks of us, Black or White.  Be proud of who you are and to heck with what others think of you.  Be you and do you.

            As a result of the backlash (in my opinion) and some copyright technicalities, Burger King recently pulled the controversial advertisement.  But why is the backlash enough reason to remove the commercial?

            There is nothing wrong with eating fried chicken other than it’s bad for your health.  I see just as many White people at Popeye’s or Frenchy’s Chicken in Houston eating the yard bird and they could care less what others think, because they like it.

            The same should apply to Black Americans.  If you like fried chicken, eat it, but eat it in moderation because of the health risks.  If you like watermelon, then eat watermelon.  Watermelon is a fruit that is very healthy for you and has cultural roots that go back to Africa.

            The stereotype of Blacks and chicken is absurd.  I will tell a person in a New York minute that I do not care what you think regardless if you are Black, White or Latino.  The reason is that I am comfortable in my own skin and I am not ashamed of being a Black American or simply being Todd A. Smith.

            It is just a darn shame that so many of us are still ashamed and are too ashamed to admit it.

Smith is publisher of Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

Leave a Reply