Last week a white woman ate some cake and a lot of people lost their shit. Most people missed the joke. But that’s not even the point of this piece.
I don’t typically get too mixed up in the appropriateness of political satire because analyzing comedy is a zero sum game. Unless something is blatantly on its face racist – like a privileged Jewish comic who likes having sex with Black women calling himself a house nigger – odds are it’s going to be dismissed as “just a joke” and we’ll be told to “get over it.” And if you recall, obvious as it was, nobody did anything about that house nigger crack either.
So I don’t see the point in being super mad about hypoglycemic Tina Fey. She wasn’t talking to us, or even about us. That “African-American bakery” line was shoehorned in just to buy time for the prop master to bring her cake. Which makes me wonder: why do we give a fuck what a quasi-political clown says?
Don’t get this twisted. This is not a defense of Tina Fey. After all, she’s the same woman who brought us Amy Schumer, continually props up Lena Dunham, and puts Tracy Morgan in a dress every chance she gets.
But this aint a Tina Fey hit piece either. Shooting at her is a waste of ammo. This is a call to us to reflect on why we’re mad, outraged even, that Liz. Ghattdamn. Lemon didn’t have our backs.
She may have the responsibility, as all people do, but most people (including a few of ours) shirk that responsibility daily. She may have the right, as free speech is this nation’s favorite pet amendment to throw around recklessly. But she doesn’t have the moral authority, political capital, or practical experience to be a voice for us. And since when do we look to paragons of white feminism like Tina Fey to be powerful advocates of Black resistance?
If you mad at Fey-Fey, for her little cake rant that’s your fault. If you’re disappointed that Tina Fey doesn’t use her power to educate the audiences she can reach that we can’t you’re naive and have given her more authority than she deserves. Tina Fey isn’t a boss. She’s a comedian.
Let’s put this shit in perspective: this woman was talking with blue cake frosting smeared all over her mouth, on a summer replacement spin-off of a show that hasn’t been truly politically pointed in almost forty years. In a sweat shirt. With bad hair. This is who you felt needed to rep us better?
Cool for y’all, but Tina Fey lacks the gravitas and importance to speak for me. If I must count on a white person to help galvanize the movement (and I never see that happening), I need real radicals not white women who exploit casual racism in the name of comedy.
Tina Fey can only appeal to Tina Fey’s base: White women who lied about voting for Trump. And do you know what happens when you motivate and mobilize those white women? Pussy hats. Pussy hats and safety pins. So if the revolution is going to be on Etsy, then, by all means, let Tina move the crowd. But when the revolution hits the streets she’s gonna need to fall back and get out of the way.
Be mad if you want, but Tina Fey’s joke didn’t do any real harm. What did she say? “Stay home. Let the racists shout into the wind.”
Frankly, this is some good-ass advice.
These allergic outbreaks of scattered white violence are the little more than an agitated rash. And the truth is our counter protests only scratch the surface. Yes, it’s satisfying to break the skin, and pop these the puss-oozing whiteheads until they bleed, but scratching only spreads the infection under the skin. We have to eradicate the source of that infection. That’s invasive, preventative surgery. Not topical application.
So if you’re a Black person who is “tired of marching” You NEED to stay home – and plan tactical boss moves.
If you were listening to Becky Crocker, there are 250 armed, active militias in the U S. How many of them are Black? Are you in one? Maybe you need to stay your Black ass at home, and start assembling a Black a militia to help offset the 250 almost certainly all-white groups who have guns and are aching to Make America Great Again – or nah? We need to handle this cake thing first?
If you’re a liberal, hand-wringing, posturing white woman steeped in white-feminism, who wants to make a statement but isn’t trying to sacrifice, Tina got you right. STAY HOME. You could get killed. Martyrdom is not what you were bargaining for, and we don’t need any more good intentions. We need meaningful actions.
Send resources. Send funds. We need sponsors, boosters, equipment managers, hell, cheerlead for us openly if you must, but understand you are not the quarterbacks of this movement. Black women got that role – and they have a hard time breaking through with so many of you cluttering the field. You can ride the bench. You can’t offer anything in the huddle. And for the bosses of the Etsy based movements, we don’t need coaches who’ve never played or taken a hit.
This movement, which has been in an interminably long gestation period is going to require more that a cake-eating “funny lady” acting as doula to get born. This revolution will be come into the world screaming – with blood, sweat, tears and labor. And the birth of this new nation will not happen on television, in bakeries, or the couch. It will happen in the fields, and Tina Fey won’t be the boss.