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 a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

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

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