By Pearl Jr.
Author, Black Women Need Love, Too!
The brown paper bag test was for admittance to Black social societies and certain, so-called, upscale parties. If a WOMAN was darker than a brown paper bag, she was disallowed to join certain social groups. This can be verified by watching old Black movies (usually in black and white) and you’ll see that nearly ALL females are light-skinned. Diddy’s Dumb Deed let’s us see that, even though, some progress has been made, real CHANGE has not occurred.
Imagine the mental abuse Black women must be going through thinking well, if I wear light foundation or bleach my skin through the night, I might be able to pull off being light-skinned, or dang I’m too dark; leading to self-hatred. Then imagine the thought processes in the waiting room with all the White and Hispanic women feeling superior because they are NOT melanin enriched and Black women feeling less confident because they are in doubt about their beauty and worth because of the color of their skin.
Furthermore, what would Diddy and/or his staff do when a dark-skinned woman showed up? Would “they” be rude and angrily reiterate that the requirement was for light-skinned Black women ONLY, and then she’d be shamed and embarrassed in front of the crowd of other women because she was told she wasn’t good enough due to her dark-skin?
What would Diddy do if Haley Berry showed up? She is technically a dark-skinned bi-racial woman. What about the beautiful Gabrielle Union, or modeling pioneers Grace Jones, Beverly Johnson, or Imaan? Would they be turned away because their skin was too dark?
And the biggest slap in the face would be the denial of our First Lady, Michelle Obama! She would, too, be turned away because she is not light-skinned, White or Hispanic.
There are so many racist ways of Hollywood, and yes, Diddy qualifies as a part of “Hollywood” because he is a celebrity. The propaganda in movies that seems to always match a Black man (with any useful skills) with a non-Black woman in videos, TV shows, and even blockbuster movies be THE catalyst for the lack of Black love within the Black race family? This propaganda campaign is using the age-old trick of dividing in order to conquer. How long are we going to keep falling for the same old tricks???
The only solution is to boycott racism in all forms, which means that under the devastating circumstances of the high amount of single Black woman/mothers, Black women should NEVER support anyone, especially Black men, that want to keep that status quo unchanged. The media and marketing executives will soon learn that to continue to devalue Black women will NOT render them much sought after profits.
And please, no one use the “it’s all about the money” excuse. Hell, slavery was “all about the money” and how many of us condone that behavior? Racism is racism, even when it’s racism within the same group, now called self-hate.
Well let’s use their own motivation to our favor, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense (cents)!” Don’t allow your hard-earned dollars to be used from anything that divides the Black race and weakens our already weaknesses.
There’s no acceptable denial for Diddy. In fact, he purposely omitted dark-skinned women and there’s proof. On the black and white TV ad for Diddy’s vodka already airing, it only includes light-skinned women. Diddy’s ignorance is astounding because his twin daughters are dark-skinned. He MUST not connect the dots that he is devaluing his own daughters and insulting his own momma!
Now, this falls right in line with the marketing of Diddy’s perfume too. As I was shopping in Macy’s over a year ago, I saw a large advertisement for Diddy’s perfume with Diddy in the middle of two non-Black women. I thought to myself, I guess my money isn’t good enough for him because that ad didn’t speak to me; as a matter of fact, it was insulting that he CHOSE NOT to use, AT LEAST, one Black woman in his ad.
Don’t these fools realize that Black women are their MAIN market and will support a Black male, especially one in the music industry, in a quick second IF THEY FELT CARED FOR? Well according to the US Census Bureau, there are about 112 million White females and only 20 million Black females, so if this marketing of Black men with non-Black women WORKED, then why is today’s Black music sales by Black men so dismal and declining fast and in a hurry? If non-Black women were truly ALL INTO BLACK MEN, then why are these types of marketing strategies NOT rendering much higher sales figures? There are about 130 million non-Black women and I just don’t see the omitting of Black women in the lives of Black men working and equating to 7X more sales. It seems MOST of “them” don’t realize Black women are Black men’s BIGGEST supporters. As a matter of fact, sales figures are doing the opposite, they are declining!
BlackMediaReview.com has been reviewing and tracing the sales figures of so-called Black movies and record sales for the past two and a half years religiously every week. Spike Lee, who is usually a shoe-in for making a profitable movie, failed miserable with his Miracle at St. Anna’s, where he promotes the heck out of Black men swooning over White women; so much so that I simply walked out the movie in disgust. The movie is his biggest loser to date.
Then examine the careers of Taye Diggs, Cedric the Entertainer and many others after they made shows/movies featuring non-Black women. They, too, are huge flops! Terrence Howard, who in an interview in Essence Magazine, a Black female publication, dissed Black women. Then when he released his debut album, his record sales were so low that many didn’t even check to see if he could sing or not. Black women just didn’t care and apparently, neither did non-Black women. His sales didn’t reach 60,000.
And since many people failed to realize that Michael Jackson suffers from the skin depigmenting disease, vitiligo, and seemed to have few Black friends, his sales have been declining for decades. And since he hired the Nation of Islam bodyguards during his trial, had a Black female publicist, was rumored to marry a Black African female, attended James Brown’s funeral and Jesse Jackson’s birthday party, he sold out nearly a million tickets in the United Kingdom in a matter of hours.
It seems even Whites respect people who respect themselves. Check out who Americans elected the President with the most votes in Presidential history? It’s a Black couple named Barack and Michelle Obama. The “sell-out” doesn’t work well for Black folks! Damn it, even proud sell-out Larry Elder, got cancelled due to his low TV and radio ratings.
Yes, people watched Will Smith’s movie, Hancock in large numbers, but he didn’t end up with that White girl at the end of the movie; besides the special effects and the magic of Will Smith’s charm works under nearly every circumstance, except for the movie, SEVEN POUNDS, where he is matched up with self-proclaimed Latina, Rosario Dawson (her last name sounds Black American and she’s quite dark-skinned as well). SEVEN POUNDS is one of his weakest films in recent history!
My “sistas” are finally waking up and no longer making excuses for self-haters. Black women have always purchased Black music, jerseys, and tennis shoes for their sons. Ladies, the proverbial “they” obviously believe we don’t have value, so we can keep our value in our purses. Why give money and power to those who don’t have value for you or, worse yet, don’t like you?
Well, the time has come to make a loud strong statement to celebrities, athletes, executive decision-makers, and anyone else NEEDING to please loads of people, that if you don’t like us, we don’t like you, or better yet, we’ll spend it on people that are showing some signs of support for our community and we’ll pay their bills.
We can forgive, but only with ACTIONS!
So last night a talent management company for Ciroc–Imperative Talent Management–sent out a casting call notice to their mailing list. Ciroc is taping a new commercial on Friday with Diddy and they listed their requirements. And if you fail the paper bag test, you need not apply:
Subject: Promo girls needed!!!
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 9:49 PM
Ciroc promo is this Friday, March 27, 2009
Time: 3:00pm – 7:00pm and 12:00am – 3:00am
Race: White, hispanic or light skinned african american
Height: At least 5’6 or taller
Size 7 or smaller.
This is a cash @ wrap job and the booking will be thru our partner. Please submit asap. Talent will only be contacted if the client is interested in booking you!!!
Compensation: $35.00 per hour
Imperative Talent Management
3500 Lenox Road, Suite 1500
Atlanta, GA 30326
Sadly enough, I’m not even surprised. Let the sh*tstorm ensue. Expecting a PTwitty response in 5…4…3…
UPDATE: Ciroc’s PR folks tell TheYBF.com the following:
representative of the company called and sent me two statements that were issued 3/26/09. Ciroc stated:
CIROC Vodka has nothing whatsoever to do with this inappropriate and offensive casting call, which was done without the brand’s knowledge or consent. We are taking action in response to this issue as CIROC has never worked with the company in question. We find this particularly deplorable and outrageous because it goes against everything we stand for as a brand and a company and everything our campaign has been about. CIROC Vodka has created a brand that defines sophisticated celebration for all consumers, and in no way condones this despicable practice.
The talent agency that forwarded the casting call states:
Imperative Talent Management would like publicly clear any confusion that was caused by an email that was sent out to our talent that might have been forwarded outside of our database. We are a management company that books talent for promotional opportunities, and our booking agents aggressively search the net daily for modeling jobs. The promo job in question was found at <http://www.ethnicitytalent.com/castings_search.php> http://www.ethnicitytalent.com/castings_search.php and we forwarded to our talent. We have since learned that this posting was in no way authorized, supported, or endorsed by CIROC or Diddy. It wasn’t our intention to discredit CIROC Vodka in any way, and since learning of the postings inaccuracies, have revised it on our database and alerted everyone in our database to the error.All of us can see the problem with these two statements: no one at Ciroc or Imperative is taking responsibility for the misconduct. Someone either authorized the casting call or failed to supervise the person(s) who issued the casting call, and those person(s) were not fired. Usually, in these kinds of incidents, a junior person is sacrificed, but even that step wasn’t taken here. No one was held responsible.
As we know, this kind of discrimination happens all the time, but this time someone put it in writing, albeit without Ciroc’s or Sean Combs’ consent.
The talent agency characterized this written posting as containing “inaccuracies” when, in fact, race and color discrimination in employment has been unlawful in New York State since 1962 and nationally since 1964.
Thus, it’s hard to credit statements that appear to:
blame persons unknown
hold nobody accountable, and
do nothing to prevent recurrences.
MMTC is not going to get involved in the matter – it’s not what we do – but I did want to be responsive to our many wonderful and alert members who’ve called and e-mailed today asking for a civil rights analysis of the matter. The bottom line is that this is unlawful. Those who didn’t exercise adequate supervision should be fired, and both the sponsor and the agency should take aggressive steps to ensure that there can be no recurrences.
Regardless of who authorized it or who knows who, this memo from Ciroc was still sent out by this agency as well as many others. And it’s still a mess