Sisters Under Attack: Serena Williams Gets Mocked, Black Woman Gets Fired Over Her Hair

Davey-D-brown-frameNot a good week for sisters… First we have Rollingstone Magazine releasing their much ballyhooed 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of all times. They assembled a panel of 33 artists taste makers, label executives etc.. As they scoured through over 30 years of recorded material, Rollingstone and their panel could only come up with 3 female artists who put out songs worthy of being on their Top 50 list  Missy Elliott who was 38, Lauryn Hill (45), Salt-n-Pepa (46)…So sisters were told don’t trip after all,  who cares about a damn rap chart?  There are bigger fish to fry..

Perhaps that bigger fish was tennis star Caroline Wozniacki who has been accused of doing a ‘racist’ impersonation of fellow tennis player Serena Williams. During an exhibition match in Brazil against Maria Sharapova,Wozniacki stuffed her bra and shorts to replicate the body of the curvaceous Serena. She then strutted around the court like a peacock and drew laughter from the crowd and other tennis players.. As this story was being reported it was pointed out this wasn’t the first time tennis players have stuffed towels into their under garments to make fun of Serena.

serena_williamsSupposedly Serena is friends with Wozniacki and things are all good.. The news reports say Serena laughs at these sorts of jokes.. And so once again Black women were told they shouldn’t trip, after all this was’ just harmless fun’.. In one of the reports I saw today, it was explained that since was done in Brazil, people there take racism differently and making fun of bodacious bodies is not racists..

One has got to wonder if those apologizing for Wozniacki would’ve been cool if she did the Crip Walk.. Remember how the tennis world and sports writers came down on Serena for doing the popular ‘Crip Walk’ dance?  They came down on her even though it was done in another country not plagued by Bloods and Crips, and even though we know Serena is not in a gang.  Folks were screaming for her head, talking about how she was out-of-pocket and suggesting she was setting a bad example for the kids.. But I guess the kids are getting a good example with Wozniacki..But like they said it was a joke. Fox News reporters writes about why its a joke.. U can read it HERE

Ok I get it.everyone should lighten up, there are bigger fish to fry.

rhonda-lee-ktbsI wonder if everyone thinks this next story is big enough fish to fried. It involves a Black woman named Rhonda Lee  who was a reporter for ABC affiliate  KTBS in Shreveport, La. What happened to her was a viewer identified as Emmitt Vascocu took issue with her natural, short afro hair style and posted up a nasty comment on the station Facebook page for all to see. This viewer said that Ms Lee should wear a wig or grow some hair.

His exact words were as follows:

“the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still it’s not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news.what about that (cq).”

Lee replied;

“Hello Emmitt–I am the ‘black lady’ to which you are referring. I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.

“I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn’t a reason to not achieve their goals.

“Conforming to one standard isn’t what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.

“Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.”

Vascuco responded by saying Lee has a right to be proud of who she is, but this world has standards and if you come from a world of being poor, you will dress in rags.. Those remarks sat for 6 days before Lee was by her news director and station’s general manager and told she was being fired for violating station policy. When it was pointed out that there was no written policy setting out guidelines on how one shouldn’t respond via social media and viewer comments, it fell on deaf ears.

It was only after this story started making its rounds that KTBS general manager George Sirven issued a memo for the media to look at..A copy of the memo was also been posted on KTBS’ Facebook page. It reads:

When we see complaints from viewers, it’s best not to respond at all. Responding to these complaints is a very sensitive situation and sometimes our off-the-cuff response will be the wrong response … if you choose to respond to these complaints, there is only one proper response: provide them with [redacted]‘s contact information, and tell them that he would be glad to speak with them about their concerns. Once again, this is the only proper response.

Lee had put up with racial insensitivity for a minute, noting that job she  one that been part of a good ole boy network in her neck of the woods and there are some who are not too comfortable with that. In any case the take away from this incident is that Black women need to keep quiet stop complaining.. In this case Rhonda lee came across a situation that was arguably a ‘bigger fish to fry’.. But once she got to frying it, she was told it was the wrong way..

People are signing petitions at and calling General Manager George Sirven 318-861-5813. I hope to be in touch soon. –Met. Rhonda Lee

34 comments on “Sisters Under Attack: Serena Williams Gets Mocked, Black Woman Gets Fired Over Her Hair

  1. That white tennis player needs to sit her ass down somewhere! That was just racist and disgusting! She’s just jealous because Serena has a much better body than she does. Haters will always HATE. That’s what they do. I think she needs to apologize for that ignorant display. You have to call people out on crap like that.
    As far as the sista on the news–I applaud her statement. She stood up for herself and you have to admire that. Black women should not be ashamed for their natural hair. Rhonda Lee is a beautiful woman and this fool Emmitt needs to shut the hell up! We need to embrace our hair and all the natural blackness the Most High gave us. I did a post about it awhile back.

  2. That was really wack of the news station to fire her.I guess she was just supposed to take that laying down. Some issues cannot be handle the “news” way. She was not mean and didn’t come off as angry. It maybe time to squad up on that station.

  3. From one blogger to another, this is a good article and its a sad situation. I’m sick of our women taking a hit for being too “strong” or whatever. Wozniaki should be fined and that Gen. Manager is an idiot. That was a perfect response to that viewer. An empowering response. Irritating.

  4. Yo Davey,..respect for this open news quarrel,..but I am far away and can’t follow this scandalous ‘Knesset’ for ya sisterz in heart and mind, that I must explain the paternal_ism behind these structures of patriarchy men,..ergo the political flow work of anti_patriarchy men like me in postfascist Europe, where many debates of punishing women as structural concept of [deficit] capital_Ism labor and sexual violence is an everyday struggle in the Ghettos we have.
    So all Rap artist and left radicals should be on a reflected deep vocalist topoi of view on these shame act of violence. Today on the last sibling marriage myth 12/12/12 we have a huge debate in the media and the Blogs about the feminist Punk term of ‘Pussy Riot’ and the preparation through the cath_oles men behind their imprisonment,..also the sex positive // pro_porn activism on such open sourced war on bodies has ‘its’ impact on hetero determinism and the ongoin shaved filth of my favorite like ‘Jada Fire’ and ‘Montana x_posed’,..but let me state that good media work against these act of shame starts always on the reflection of owned socialization constructions and there the beAph on a revolutionary struggle with the deep solidarity for women rights and all oTTs starts…you have there very beautiful and intelligent sisterz. My deep due respect!

  5. I believe Rhonda’s civil rights have been violated due to the comment by the individual, and the ireaction by the station. What you had is a situation where a woman was standing up for herself and educating somebody who could be seen as insensitive to a culture different from his and was just ignorant. The station should had applauded her for response, but instead they took the good old boy rout. As for the tennis player, why is it racist for her to imitate a sexy black woman. It is racist to suggest the tennis player is being negative because it is being reported that it is bad. Serena is sexy as all Hell, and I take offense to give this simple white woman the power to suggest that she is being racist. See the tv station was being racist because they actually deprived someone to make a living.

  6. As a black woman…people fear what intimidates them..we as black women are too strong to let this weakness try to bring us down..obviously we really could care what others think about our natural hair or we wouldn’t embrace it to the one’s who has something negative to say know the “YOU ARE A NON-MOTHER$%^&*$# FACTOR” for that tennis player..she should just stand in line with the rest and get butt injections, implants, botox(we do age gracefully) be like us..oh yea we see ya!!!..:-)..and we will continue to be the queens that we are…xoxoxoxo..:-)..Anita Toliver

  7. I guess we can all impersonate stupid female Danish tennis players with racist overtones, right? Caroline Wozniacki was disrespectful with that s**t! What blows me away is the audience’s reaction. Everyone in the bleacher was laughing at this. This coming from a sport, which professionalism and appearance, is valued and expected. Shame!!

  8. Reblogged this on BROTHA WOLF and commented:
    This is all the more reason why the black community needs to work harder than ever to defend and support our sistas against such bullshit.

  9. That shit is so fucking wack. The world stays shitting on Black women and yet demands that they bend over backwards to please everyone and anyone. Women of color the world over are still considered public property. That’s why we need to be constantly challenging white supremacy and sexism at the same time. They are intertwined.

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  11. I’m sure other races go through this as well, mostly in movies, and before that in literature, read Edward Said’s Orientalism.
    Game face!
    What I see is someone trying to throw Serena out of her game. Similar to how the African and European African players are treated by some European fans. This is an all too real part of the African and African-American experience. All you have to do is study the history of American sports. What about what happened to Jeremy Lin with ESPN? What about Hank Aaron!
    People have and will probably continue to tell people of African decent or other races, what they should be like and look like. Some of it is ignorance and some of it sometimes comes from the fact that some people want so bad to be a a part of a culture that they have to try and tell or try to show others, who they think they are, without really discussing these issues with someone from that particular race.
    Anyway, white women are under a lot of pressure too, maybe because European female standards of beauty are not really important to some people anymore.
    Some people make fun of how African or African-American people look but they envy their bodies too. People think they really understand African culture but they don’t. It’s really a shame, especially in an era with so much information available, so easily but maybe that’s the problem. I mean, with the internet, it’s easy to hide but not on Youtube.

  12. Pingback: Thoughts on Robert Griffith III (RG3) being called a ‘Cornball Brother’ by ESPN’s Rob Parker | Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

  13. Pingback: Thoughts on Robert Griffin III (RG3) being called a ‘Cornball Brother’ by ESPN’s Rob Parker | Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

  14. @ News MaKKK: The history of being person of color in that manners [to talk about Union in Africa] narrated an end seman_tikkkt the issue of African men alike in Rap consciousness the ‘The young Aboriginal_ties’ plus the native from the pathologic to handle women of color as porn subjects toilets,… the ongoin difference between homo_national ‘temple’ territories of t_error in white – and the tri_ball of ethno_national_Ism the cap talk has on Mike,…the question is moree how to prevent such analysis and math the role out for some free space cis ????

    The billio_naires amkes the news! Salaam! Allah Hafiz T-Dog!

    Fore electrough bass_Ism against racism….


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  16. There is a quote atributed to the late businessman AristotleOnasis, “Always keep a tan, because there are people who worship the sun”…perhaps mocking is the best form of compliment for some…

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