As I settle into another work week, I realize that this hasn’t been a good couple of days for Black America. First, Serena Williams loses her shit after a bad call during the US Open, which cost her the match. Then, Kanye decides to be a jerk (again) and ruin country music star Taylor Swift’s very first acceptance speech at the VMA’S by bum rushing the stage and declaring Beyonce’s Single Ladies video the greatest of all time.
The two situations above may seem very different, but I think the only difference between Kanye’s outburst and Serena’s outburst was a bottle of Hennessey. These are grown ass people who are fairly young. Black, and at the top of their game. So why did they act out in public like they could get away with it?
The way I see it, Serena and Kanye’s fame and talent, and even their wealth will not make up for their lack of privilege. Kanye didn’t get to perform at the VMA’s and was escorted out of the event. Serena lost the match and had to pay a $10,000 fine for her behavior. It wasn’t waved away as just being “colorful” the way it was when McEnroe did it, and I’ll venture to say that it’s because she is a Black woman and he is a white male. No matter how high a Black celebrity climbs, they will not just be a celebrity getting out of pocket, they will be a Black celebrity getting out of pocket. They will not escape their lack of privilege to do certain things and be able to LOL it up on the David Letterman show the next week.
That’s not to say I”m excusing Kanye and Serena’s behavior because I think both of them showed an extreme lack of decorum and what my Nana would call “home training.” Everyone has to be accountable for their actions, but what I need for Black celebrities to understand is that their fame doesn’t put them on an equal playing field with white celebs that act out in a similar manner. Get your decorum game up and let’s cut back on the nigga moments from here on out.
So what you think? Does a lack of privilege mean greater attention to our public behavior?