What the fuck, Kardashians?! What, you got tired of being the first five headlines of every tabloid online and in print because of mundane things like your homes, babies, business, tv shows, divorces, marriages, lovers, ex-lovers? You wanted to mix it up? Those “more Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died of Ebola” memes were not edgy enough for you? Ok, ok, ok. My bad. Let me get this shit right. Because the last motherfucking thing I need is to fling f-bombs at the wrong K. It is the youngest girl child of the four children born of Robert and Kris, Khloe, who is responsible for the image above. What, did you think we were losing interest in how many times you were on or off again with French Montana? (Who the fuck is French Montana anyway?!) Did we need to give any more than zero damns and not a single rat’s ass about your, um, poem about Lamar Odom this week? What the fuck is this meme about, Khloe? And don’t think we didn’t check that it wasn’t a hoax and TMZ didn’t do a story about it before you yanked that misguided shit off of Instagram. What part of the internet is forever do you not get?
Ok. Let me pull back for a second. Put my shoes and earrings back on and come at this correctly. It’s self-effacing humor, right? Black men love the Kardashians and vice versa. Oooo, risky! It’s risky because you all are white, yes? I’m Jamaican. So if I’m getting America’s racial politics where you are concerned wrong (I do this all the time, sometimes just to fuck with the system), I plead green card. Anyway, everyone else makes these jokes about you ladies and your relationships with black men, so sure; you get in on the self-effacing hilarity too: “look how kool we are. We can make ‘we only screw black guys’ jokes too! I bet you are wondering “let black men in” where?” Hardi-fucking-har. Now, I like a good risqué joke. I like a good self-effacing risqué joke; see green card comment above, in case you missed it. I especially like a risqué joke about controversial things that manages to balance the offensive with some kind of clever commentary that uses humor or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. Satire. Are you familiar? This is how you do a subtle KKK joke, where the punchline is about how the acronym offends even when it’s unintentional.
Pull up a chair; let me school you, because I am no hater and can give the benefit of the doubt. I’m a fucking educator for God’s sakes and can think about this as a poor attempt at satire if you want me to. What if we looked at the Instagram post and thought, “fuck, maybe Khloe is trying to be all politically current and is making a statement about the KKK’s recent attempts at rebranding and increasing membership by including Jews, Black people, Hispanics and gay people.” I know! Fucking generous, right? Me and the KKK both. See, Khloe? That’s how you make a KKK joke at your own expense. You leave the bodies of black men out of it. You don’t draw a direct line to the community from which its most brutalized victims were predominantly drawn – black men – for shits and giggles or even a picture of you and your sisters looking all pretty and shit. That shit is fucking distasteful. Let me tell you one reason why. I’d give you more than one but this white hot anger makes me think more f-bombs than clear logic a motherfucker can follow and be edified by, so one is all I’ve got right now.
It’s distasteful that you didn’t think about, for example, how genital mutilation was a central facet of early twentieth century KKK-run lynching of black men. Because, you know (well maybe you don’t), white patriarchal anxiety about misegenation and the corruption of white female bodies centered on an anxiety about and violence against black male sexuality. That this perhaps did not occur to you means maybe nobody assigned you James Baldwin’s “Going to Meet the Man” when you were in school. That or you might not have been paying attention that day. Moreover, to post such a meme that alludes to your own appreciation of black men, while dressed provocatively in white and likening yourself to a more benevolent and welcoming KKK, without a single deep thought about white robes or any of that shit, conveys some of that unexamined privilege that too many run around ignorant of. This is some Grade-A privileged bullshit that makes me reprise that voice I used to talk about Thug Kitchen. Because motherfuckers who are down, regardless or race—who understand the complexities of how patriarchy and white supremacy work even today in discriminating against people of color—do not do shit like draw lines between their appreciation of black men to the KKK. Seriously, that is some bullshit. Get off Instagram for twenty minutes and go read the Baldwin story.
Now if I can just wrap my head around the Nazi imagery in Nicki’s “Only” video . . .