White Media is Consciously Trolling Black Women

I feel like white journalists are trolling at this point.

On the heels of that atrocious New York Times article, in which Alessandra Stanley dismissed Shonda Rhimes as a valid mastermind of thrill, and instead praised her for perpetuating the angry Black woman trope, I’d think that white journalists would tread thoughtfully and carefully when writing about her or her creations.

As the “urban” saying goes … The streets is watching. Insightful responses from across the social media specter ranged from critical analysis to tongue-and-cheek humor. In delivery and content, Black bloggers and journalists dispatched compelling accounts of racism and prejudice in media, all while uplifting this era of Black female leads in primetime.

The backlash prompted an apology from the paper of record.

The fuckery coincided with the lead up to How To Get Away With Murder, ABC’s latest show produced by Shonda Rhimes and starring the talented and deserving Viola Davis. Another thriller with political overtones, Davis stars as Annalise Keating, a browbeating criminal defense lawyer and professor unafraid or unabashed to bend the law and her ambitious students for personal gain.

So of course, with the whirlwind of social media salaciousness surrounding the premiere, media outlets knew that anything referencing Shonda, Kerry, Viola and their shows would generate a cache of clicks.

Now, we turn our attention to People Magazine.

On their Twitter page, they posted this really dull and fantastically stupid tweet.

People Tweet

The tweet references Davis’ role as Aibileen Clark in The Help. There’s no need for me to analytically dissect this foolishness because you all know exactly why this tweet is offensive.

Unsurprisingly, the backlash was swift. But instead of anger, rage, or frustration, I measured a sense of exasperation and exhaustion. There was a collective sigh and a communal eye roll within the Black online space. We all muttered at the same time: Didn’t we JUST go through this?

There’s no way in hell People didn’t catch the NYTimes debacle. I suspect clickbait; a deliberate offense meant to galvanize Black anger and boost traffic.

The same goes for this ridiculous piece on LA Times, which praised white women for wearing cornrows. Kara Brown of Jezebel articulated Black exhaustion perfectly in this piece.

Kara Brown

I refuse to believe that these major media outlets are this ignorant. I absolutely refuse to believe that they’re so blind to Black female existence to the point where they’re continuously publishing articles that ignore, deny, and discredit Black culture.

We’re being trolled, ladies and gentlemen. We are being boxed into a corner, poked, prodded, and pissed on. Major media outlets are purposely pushing these pieces to incite anger. Why? Because where there’s controversy, there’s traffic. And where there’s traffic, there’s money. And where there’s money, there’s demand. And where there’s demand, there’s controversy.

photo 1Arielle Newton, Editor-in-Chief. Get at me @BlackMusings. Get at us @BlkMillennials.


3 responses to “White Media is Consciously Trolling Black Women

  1. OMG! I don’t watch TV or read fashion magazines because it DOESN’T identify me, first as a Black woman and second as a Latina. The issue of white media is stealing Black culture and “adapted” as their own since they obviously don’t have any identity besides copying everyone else and they do that “pretty well.” If Black women will get their cojones and boycott fiercely news outlets, cosmetics, fashion and TV that their identity isn’t a fashion statement, that would be great. But in the meantime, the media will keep denigrating Black Women until the end of time.


  2. I’ve found that when people point out the “angry” woman they are actually saying “shut up” as in, “we like you subjugated and submissive and as our servant cattle.” And white women do this to women of color. And conservative christian women do this to their daughters, sisters and mothers. And we teach each other please or become accused of being unpleasing. When obviously women have every right to feel angry about oppression(s).
    Anyhow, to the more specific points of your article, well said. Harping on the “angry black woman” meme is not just sabotage, it’s a character attack… and it’s getting boring.
    I don’t watch the shows she writes about so I was avoiding her as a topic… but as I’m learning more about her I wonder if she feels the old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad PR”. Does that sentiment still hold true when cast in the light of racist stereotypes?


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