Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things Black Girls Can't Do.

I'm giving myself the side-eye because I was semi-inspired to write this post after seeing a trending topic on Twitter. People all over the world are tweeting "#thingsthatblackgirlsdo." However, after getting a dose of reality television recently, I began to ponder the things that black girls CAN'T do.

I watched Russell Simmons' reality show on Oxygen last night. Don't judge me. It came on immediately after the "Bad Girls Club," the TV remote doesn't work, and I was too lazy to get up and change the channel. Anyway, for anyone who cares, I will provide a synopsis of what the show is all about. Basically it gives a behind-the-scenes look at what Russell goes through every day as a business mogul. It also follows his assistants, and his assistants' assistants, who all look like they belong in a Victoria's Secret catalog rather than a business office.

In the episode I watched, Russell invites rapper T.I. to his office to shoot the breeze and discuss some ideas Russell has for a jewelry line. During the meeting, a couple interns are instructed to bring the guys some lunch. Both of the interns are women who appear to be in their early 20s. One is African-American, one is white. The white girl is seen on camera earlier, gushing about how excited she is to meet T.I. and how sexy she thinks he is. She has also chosen to wear a black mini-dress to work that day, which her fellow intern tells her is a bit "risque." While serving lunch to Russell and his colleagues, the intern sits cross-legged on Russell's desk, then shifts her legs in a not-so-subtle manner that gives T.I., and everyone else in the room, a nice clear shot of her pink meat. Thankfully Oxygen has the decency to pixelate her no-no area, but it's pretty obvious that someone "forgot" her thong before she walked out the door in the morning. T.I. seems amused, but Russell comments that what she is wearing is inappropriate, and orders her out of the office.

He brings up the issue later with his assistants, giving a comical reenactment of the intern's come-on to T.I. The assistants gasp in horror and promise Russell they will have a sit-down with the intern. They call her into the office and advise her that what she wore to work is inappropriate, and warn her to be more careful about what she wears to the office in the future. A couple days later, the same intern is invited to the Hamptons to assist with a weekend dinner, and she greets Russell Simmons with a kiss on the cheek. Again, his assistants are horrified and have another chat with the intern about remaining professional, even in a casual setting. The intern doesn't seem to be fazed at all, and points out that she must be doing okay if this is "all" they're criticizing her about.

And that's it.

The whole time I was watching this, I couldn't help but wonder how it all would have gone down if the roles were reversed, and it was the black girl running around the office in a freakum dress with no panties on, and greeting Russell Simmons like he was her sugar daddy. Perhaps she too, would have only gotten a slap on the wrist, since this IS reality TV (and we all know reality TV is about as real as Nene Leakes' nose). So then I had to think about it in terms of everyday life. Would a black girl be allowed as many chances to make as many royal fuck-ups as the white girl did, if she had managed to snag a prestigious internship? I highly doubt it. Even on Russell's show, I could tell the black girl was afraid to sneeze the wrong way, lest her ass be shown to the front door by security. The only complaint her bosses had about her was that she didn't bring her "A game" when helping out with an event. Meanwhile, the white girl was totally oblivious, and saw nothing wrong with how she was conducting herself.

I guess what this showed me is that even in a time of "equal opportunity," black people still have to be twice as cautious as their white counterparts on the job, and when looking for a job. It makes me think about the stories my family members have told me, of how they showed up to a job fair/interview decked out in business suits, and got turned down, while a white job-seeker came in wearing jeans and a T-shirt and was hired on the spot. Like really.....where they do that at? In my own job and internship-hunting experiences, I went to interviews in my business professional attire with my resume in hand, and couldn't get hired at Target. Then I turn the TV on, to see this white chick who doesn't have the sense to know NOT to flash her pussy at T.I. in a business meeting, and she's working for one of the biggest entertainment moguls in the industry?

I can't. This was supposed to be a lighthearted post, but I've gotten pissed off now. That's why I have to stop watching these reality shows.


khaki la'docker said...

YES!!!!!! i wanted to watch this show soooo badly last night but knew i was gonna get pissed off at the sight of that chicks HotPocket. Im sorry but I highly doubt that a black woman wouldve gotten away with that.

khaki la'docker said...

furthermore- had this been "Work For Diddy" or whatever that show was called, I can almost be sure that they wouldve fired her ass.

Anonymous said...

I've read and heard that he doesnt care to date or associate with African American women. Whether or not thats true, I havent watched his reality show and don't plan on it. A bunch of 20-something model type chicks running around kissing his ass 24/7. No thanks.

Eyes On The Prize (eyesOTP) said...

Interesting post. I think people just have less patience and tolerance for 'us' at times. In a more structured enviroment Becky probably would have gotten the ax. But in this one where Russell is calling the shots, she gets a pass? That's pretty clear what the deal is right there.

Sad but it's true. I guess the best we sistas can do is just understand the world we live in and the challenges and unfairness that we face and just learn to roll with it. Why even get upset anymore?