I know I put out a post before about how fascist TikTok was, but there are some good points to the app too. The Black, African, anime, and international niches are the highlights for me. For today, I’m focusing on the Black niche on TikTok, which is not only one of the driving sources behind TikTok’s comedic culture, but also a rich well of insightful satire.
Hooray for TikTok’s awesome Black content creators!
For now, I’ll be analyzing the “Pick Me, Massa” meme. (Yes, that’s actually what it’s called, because on TikTok, over half the memes are based on audio.) In this series of memes, we’ll see various Black content creators critique Black assimilation into mainstream (white) culture as it relates to:
1) Black-on-Black Crime Rhetoric
ANALYSIS: First off, the Black-on-Black crime rhetoric is BS because:
a) Most Americans still live in effectively segregated neighborhoods, so the people around them look just like them--so, obviously--it's more likely that you would be a victim of crime from people nearer to you rather than people who live further away in other neighborhoods with different racial demographics. This is true for any race (ex. white, Asian).
b) Ingrained in this rhetoric is the lie that Black people are inherently more violent than others (especially Whites); People love to talk about the disproportionate incarceration rates of Blacks as the hallmark of inherent Black criminality, but if we were to really carry out that logic, Blacks wouldn't win the race for criminality. Whites would: Most whites are killed by other whites. And according to the FBI, whites lead in incest, US terrorism, hate crimes, child pornography, mass murders, insider trading, child abduction, malpractice, political corruption, and police brutality convictions. And all of those are contemporary crimes. Don't get me started on the historical ones.
2) Interracial Dating
(P.S. I don't condone swirling.)
3) Black Apologists of Racism
ANALYSIS: We all know this person. Those Kumbaya Hoes and Minority Pets. The Black people with the MAGA hats such as Anthony Brian Logan (YouTube) going: "Name one racist thing he (Trump) said!" That Black "friend" that the whites always talk about that lets them say the N-Word. The Black person who refuses to acknowledge how their Blackness affects their existence, and thus, is used like a shield by People of Non-Color against the BIPOC that they have transgressed upon.
4) Political Shucking and Jiving
ANALYSIS: Acceptance, integration and assimilation through politics for Blacks is not currently possible in this country because that would antithetical to the anti-Blackness that has carefully been cultivated in this country for hundreds of years. No high-level politicians (ex. governors, congress, presidency) with comprehensive "Black Agendas" ever get into office. That's because having a Black agenda to address the historical inequity of in our society would be viewed as 'favoritism' and ultimately, 'anti-white'.
Y'all saw how they ain't ask Candace Owens (Black Republican) to speak at the 2020 Republican National Convention, right? Y'all noticed how Herman Cain (Black Republican), died and they ain't say a damn thing about him at the Republican National Convention? Pity. They've worked so hard for colonizer acceptance. The political system has a history of using Black people as fodder and work horses for their claims, starting from the 3/5ths clause all the way till now. The Democrats use Black people as scapegoats and prose in their campaigns every four years. The Republicans are even worse: they blatantly embrace the 'Token Black' ideology, and think that even one instance of a willing Black apologist is enough to cancel out the multitudes of voices saying things they don't want to hear. The Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron (who is married to the grand-daughter of Mitch McConnel and refused to have the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor arrested), is currently one of the Republican party's favorites. Check out his speech from the 2020 RNC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miaB3yyFVDg
ANALYSIS: This post is commenting on the hypocrisy that some Blacks, especially Black males, engage in when it comes to their dating and sexual pReFeReNcEs. The self-hate is real.
7) Black Aspiration to Whiteness, Nationalism, Xenophobia, and Jingoism
ANALYSIS: Where do I start??? Do I have time??? I don't, so lemme just drop these links. Go read what they have to say to get a better feel for how deep this clip is.
VIDEO 1: Commentary from "Seren Sensei", an ADOS/FBA who swears that African immigrants are ruining Black American's chances for advancement in America. As you read her cry for help, focus on the matured "Us versus Them" mentality that she has. It's a delicious display of compartmentalization, projection, rationalization, compensation, and, most of all: displacement. Africans, do you remember those stupid, petty and probably now-irrelevant Black American kids (and adults) that used to harass you growing up? Remember how they used to think and what they said? (Didn't every other one of them used to think that they had a little bit "Indian blood" in them, when it was likely just Massa? Many of them were so....anxious...to decorate their Blackness, to prove that they anything but 'regular Black'. Yet, there we were, Africans, the definition of 'irregular' Black in America...and they spent so much time ostracizing us for it.)
Y'all remember that?
Well, Seren Sensei's commentary is one example of how those mentalities would look if cultivated carefully into adulthood. Most Black Americans like to hide their afrophobic (and anti-Black) xenophobia because it looks bad on them when they're adults. This is especially true in academic circles; the Afrophobia lies deep within, while they're trying to convince themselves that they're born-again Africans on the surface. They do their best to suppress the afrophobia, but then...they see Caribbeans or Africans having pride in their foreign cultures (or being critical of their Black American culture) and they get their knickers in a twist! The afrophobia rears its head, and here come the snide remarks in passing, charientisms in meetings, and slurs in private office conversations amongst sulking ADOS faculty or staff.
How--cute--that they think we Africans don't see them.
Funnier still, they think they can stop us Africans from "making it" with their mere ire... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmKz36osxxM&t=1489s
Who do they think they are?
But more importantly: it's delusional.
Anyway, some Black Americans (ex. Tariq Nasheed) no longer give a damn about concealing these kinds of emotions. (God bless them for their honesty. I'd rather you told me you can't stand me than pretend that you could.)
Commentary from Omowale Afrika (weird name right?) on strange American bedfellows (#MAGA and #ADOS). Talk about Stockholm syndrome on overdrive!
8) And of course, (because they're obsessed) some People of Non-Color have attempted to join in on the fun. Check out the fool below:
ANALYSIS: How crass was this???
It's the racial insensitivity for me.
It's the dumb-ass bonnet for me.
It's the Person of Non-Color tryna interject in a space of Black commentary for me.
It's her feigning impartiality on the imaginary plantation for me.
I mean, it's the play on white fragility for me! (You massa's daughter and you aFrAiD to offend property??? BHB. FOH. What they gonna do to you, snowflake, if you pick one slave over the other? How dare she make a mockery of the power dynamics at play in slavery???)
All that, AND, she had the nerve...to be ugly???
9) Critiquing White Feminism:
ANALYSIS: This clip is commenting the disinformation campaigns that white women, especially ones that fancy themselves "feminists", frequently engage in. It talks about their tendency to conflate and/or equate the effects of sexism with racism.
The following meme is not a part of the "Pick Me Massa" trend but I just had to add it because it was so poignant, and bolsters the previous video so well:
ANALYSIS: This was solid gold.
You couldn't have wrapped up the racism in mainstream feminism any better than this! Want actual proof that the (white) leaders of feminist movement actually were like this? Check out the discord between Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth who were all feminists that lived and fought for women's rights at the same time.. Susan B. Anthony is on record saying: “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the negro and not a woman.” How incredibly insulting to the 'double plight' that Black women experience (both racism and sexism): Sojourner Truth was worked like a man (when she was enslaved), got punished like one, reproduced like a woman, grieved like one when most of her kids were shipped away to other plantations, and STILL had to face racism at the end of the day! FOH.
This has been fun. I think I'll do another post at some point in time about TikTok memes. Would you guys like that?