The Proper Way To Use Your Skin Colour To Grab Attention


Hi SideSteppers!

Going back to turning social gossip into golden morality nuggets.
Yesterday, Jackie‘s Editor-in-Chief Eva Hoeke, quit her job, after the social media reaction caused by her fashion article called “De Niggabitch“, referring to Rihanna’s dressing style. Bad word? Sure, racist I’d add. Stupid and unthoughtful title? According to people’s reaction: definitely.
Rihanna reacted accordingly: with a tweet, saying:
“I hope u can read english, because your magazine is a poor representation of the evolution of human rights! I find you disrespectful, and rather desperate!! You ran out of legit, civilized information to print! There are 1000′s of Dutch girls who would love to be recognized for their contributions to your country, you could have given them an article. Instead, u paid to print one degrading an entire race! That’s your contribution to this world! To encourage segregation, to mislead the future leaders to act in the past! You put two words together, with the intent of abasement, that made no sense…”NIGGA BITCH”?!….Well with all respect, on behalf of my race, here are my two words for you…FUCK YOU!!!
Do you agree with the famous pop-star’s reaction? Hundreds, could be thousands, of internet users argued about it in Jackie’s facebook page and various other web publications. All demanding the same thing: the head of the article’s writer. Which happened yesterday.
Wait before you agree. I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.
Why does the whole story give me a not so sympathetic opinion about the final outcome?
Do you reckon, out of the superstar’s reaction, everything got solved and back to normal?
First things first…
What is the outcome of this incident’s chain-reaction?
Attention.
Attention to whom?
Rihanna. Jackie Magazine. Eva Hoeke. Black people.
  • Worst kind of attention for Eva Hoeke (resigned).
  • Good for Rihanna (saviour).
  • Pity for black-coloured people (again).
  • Bad reputation for Jackie Magazine (for hosting such an article).

Wait… is it really that way?

I have one thing to say. Words are like symbols. They get the kind of energy you attach to them.
So the *censored* word “nigga”, throughout the centuries, no matter how much the world has evolved and changed, has always kept this racist tone. The obvious reason, because it’s the people keeping this meaning alive. The word, if you illustrate the literal meaning (I quote Wikipedia as proof), means “black” and comes from the latin word “niger”. Through the history of african people and the migration/slavery, the meaning of the word turned bad, like most words commonly end up, after a long-term misuse to hurt a specific social group.
What am I trying to state is: if black people keep reacting on names like this, this negative energy of the word will keep existing for the years to come.
WE give the power to the words and symbols, because the mean something to us. No matter how much the world has evolved and african people are not slaves being dragged by force to America, they keep maintaining the negative energy of the word. What do I think? This should stop and it’s their mistake for getting hurt every time something like this is said.
This is why others prefer the way of sarcasm (I saw Beth Ditto eating a SANDWICH somebody threw up on the stage she was performing last summer. She is choppy, she knows. Should she stop the show and start cursing the shit out of the individual who did that?) while others prefer the safe and conventional way – maintaining the status quo and getting insulted by such characterisations.
It’s their right to protect their tribe – except they’re not really protecting it, they give a pitiful picture about all the black people, no matter if they are originally Africans, Afro-americans (for 3-4 or more generations, typically US Americans), Caribbean (like Rihanna) or else…
Let’s go back to the short-term attention that was drawn because of the incident.
The big winner is Rihanna, undoubtedly.
But what I have to say is this.
If you’re really irreparably offended, Mrs. Rihanna, you choose different, more discreet and civilised (as you quote in your tweet) means of illustrating this frustration. You send a personal email to the author  and demand to take the article down and ask publicly sorry. You explain the reasons without much hype. You sue this motherfucker and demand their head by law. And then, all the public will learn one way or another about your action, earning deep respect for what you’ve done.
You chose the other way, by offending the individual using a accordingly inappropriate word, insulting her. An eye for an eye.
If you’re really insulted Mrs. Rihanna, you don’t use Twitter. You know you got almost 11.000.000 (!!!) followers there, guaranteeing their violent reactions against the dutch author, who, no matter what her intentions were (she said it was a bad joke), would face sooner or later the public wrath. Because they follow you and trust you. You knew that. Admit it, this is why you did it this way, you found another chance to become the ambassador of all the emotionally-hurt-by-this-post people.
Drives sales.
You did something like this: The Danish cartoonist who survived an axe attack. It’s talking about the muslim who broke into Kurt Westergaard‘s house, to kill him with an axe (!), because he drew prophet Muhammad’s face in a funny illustration. You called your fanatics to go and demand the author’s head.
If you wanna be the killer, Rihanna, go do it yourself and in a civilised way. It’s much more effective and respectful. Don’t recruit your ready-to-kill army as well. It’s an unethical attack.
But what about the dutch side? Just a few words.
The magazine will get attention. They wanted to play safe and keep their popularity as an established fashion publication (57.700 copies per month), so they sacked Eva Hoeke.
For me, they’re losers. I would never recall my writings because some people feel (wrongly) insulted and react with everything, although they shouldn’t give a shit about it. Remember, symbols get the tone we give them and without our attention they don’t exist. Also, sarcasm. Suggestion, the brilliant How-Not-To-Give-A-Fuck Guide.
But again, bad attention is still attention, right? They will make something good out of it, if they’re smart. At least they didn’t convince me.
And what about Eva? Probably she will still be able to write and contribute to the magazine she worked for the last 8 years, the one or the other way. There are plenty of options for her, an editor-in-chief is not that disposable and she really won’t get hurt that much.
Rihanna, you did it again! You are a saviour.

Have a creative day!

Don’t forget to visit our official website http://www.sidestepsofficial.com/
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