Quick Hit: Your Blackness Ain’t Like Mine

In response to Alice Randall’s unfortunately titled NYT editorial “Why Black Women Are Fat” Jamilah Lemieux has written a smart and hilarious rebuttal to the mainstream notion that all black people are the same:

Why are Black women fat?Why are Black men in jail? Why can’t Black women find “good Black men?” Why did I get married, too?

Miserable questions that provide no path to answers—but offer broad sweeping generalizations in their stead—have put a lot of money in the pockets of writers, bloggers (that’s not redundant; not every member of the latter group can rightly be described as the former),  and anyone else who profits off the lucrative “Inherent Deficiency Industry.” Yes, I just made that up. Yes, it is is a real thing…

Where’s my critical beatdown from a race scholar like Tim Wise –“Why White People Are Racist”? The Times don’t wanna go there? Where’s “Why Black People Can’t Find Jobs?” Where’s “How the Prison Industrial Complex—and Not Bad Attitudes and Over-Achieving—Keeps Black Women Single?” I won’t hold my breath, as I am sure “Why Black Women Are Sassy,” “Why Black Men are Violent” and “Why Black Rappers Are From Brooklyn” will emerge sooner than anything I could deem worth the Times’ time. The Inherent Deficiency Industry is just making way too much money to change the game. Hey, maybe our next romantic comedy hit will be “Why Black Women Are Fat” or “Think Like a Fat Woman, Act Like a Thin One” and we can get the two White guys who wrote “Friends with Benefits” to do the screenplay and take Hollywood by storm once again!

Yesss. Go read the whole thing!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/dani23/ Danielle

    As a black woman, I can definitely see how this article is problematic, but once I read the whole thing, I didn’t think it was that bad. One thing that I noticed is that the title was different. The article is actually called, “Black Women and Fat” and not “Why Black women are fat.” Even that small change in words can come across a whole lot differently to a reader.

    • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

      The title as shown in the URL itself is “Why Black Women are Fat”. Apparently that was the original title and someone changed it in the actual article without changing the URL.

    • http://feministing.com/members/jamilahlemieux/ Jamilah

      Thanks SO much for this, y’all! We appreciate the shout-out.

      Danielle: I agree with you, as does the editor at the Times who changed the title of the story after the piece had gone viral. If you’ll notice the slug and the FB postings from before the title was changed and the note at the bottom that the story appeared in print with the less-offensive title, the original title was “Why Black Women Are Fat.”