So now its every black youtuber’s responsibility to personally be all about “the struggle” ? I really hate this idea that to be “socially conscious” means you have to all-day-everyday sit around making political statements. Most of Tre’s videos are commentaries. Satire. Exaggerated tropes meant to poke fun at the absurd stereotypes and “crab mentality” of the black community to make you go “wow we’re messed up.”
Like it or not, black culture DOES glorify harmful behaviors and “problematic” practices on a daily basis but whenever this is brought up someone never fails to shift all the blame back on to white people. They have a part to play, certainly, but so do we- and we’re not playing it. Look on twitter, look on instagram, look on vine, turn on the radio, listen to how regular people talk— Tre is doing absolutely nothing but making fun of what’s already there and its there because this is what we support. This is what we encourage, co-sign, and inadvertently teach.
So how would everybody who co-singed the above suggest Tre single-handedly “deconstruct” white supremacy? Tre has bills to pay. Tre has eat just like you. So unless all of you are willing to stop supporting all these rappers/actors/singers/comedians/personalities/tv-shows/movies that do the exact same thing— let tre live.
But y’all won’t do that. You’ll laugh your heads off at “Real Housewives of ___”, go see the new Tyler Perry movie, walk around singing “THESE HOES AINT LOYAL~”, then turn around and criticize people like Tre and Shannah Malcolm for rolling with it.
Pro tip: regurgitating problematic ideas and yelling “satire!” does not make it satire. Honestly, I’m not interested in “Hoes be like episode 3 million”, but if that’s what you’re into, awesome. I think Tre’s crazy talented and clearly very smart, and I was incredibly proud of him when he came out on YouTube because that took courage and was super inspiring. But I’m not here for anyone who makes a career out of demeaning themselves and other black people. Not Tyler Perry, not the Housewives, Vine & Instagram famous people or anyone else. So you can miss me with that assumption.
Yes, people of all backgrounds say and do problematic things and will continue to do them as long as that is rewarded by mainstream society. That’s….not being debated. I take less issue with those folks and more with the system that favors that type of content over more positive and intelligent content because it creates space for only ONE type of black person to be portrayed. But that’s the awesome thing about YouTube and social media. You don’t HAVE to stick to those stereotypes to be successful! At the end of the day, black content creators are welcome to say and do whatever they want on the internet and as consumers we’re allowed to respond, which….is exactly what we’re doing.
No one is asking Tre to “single-handily deconstruct white supremacy”. That’s ridiculous. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking it isn’t disingenuous to say one thing about fighting white supremacy, while at the same time using for your professional gain. Make all the “black people love chicken and watermelon” videos you want, but don’t think I won’t give you the side-eye the minute you spit some consciousness as if those videos don’t exist. THAT’S the issue here. Not just the content, but acting as if that content isn’t part of a bigger problem.
As for deconstructing white-supremacy, I do A LOT. Including speaking at colleges and high schools around the country and creating content that has been seen by millions and breaks down important issues in ways that are easily digestible. I don’t just sit on Tumblr all day talking shit. Soooo uh, before you go running your mouth about what I do and don’t do, do your homework. Thanks.
What I dont understand is how you can admit these behaviors are demeaning and backwards then claim its not satire when people like Tre make fun of them— when that is the LITERAL definition of satire.
"The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues." You dont get to change the definitions of words and practices just because someone uses it in a way you don’t approve of.
Tre’s target is the black community. To me- thats obvious. I’m not surprised in the least bit that he’s conscious, with a name like thisisacommentary I expect it. And yes, the content itself is part of a bigger problem, but his content is supposed to mock things that shouldn’t be glorified in the first place— but for some reason they are. Because we, black people, think its funny and cool and “normal” on some level.
Who looks at these videos and legitimately believes this is an honest portrayal of black people?
…Dont answer that.
I’m not defending the behaviors, I’m saying that its not fair to act is if the black community doesn’t roll with this like its going out of style. We, as a collective, ENCOURAGE these things every time we watch these shows, or buy these songs, or tweet these vines/videos of black girls beating eachother up, or repost these memes.
That is what Tre is making fun of.
As for what you personally do- never said you didn’t. >_> That was a general statement aimed at a collective, hence the “y’all”. Meaning the millions of black folks on and off this site who in one way or another continue to support these things but point fingers at Tre for giving them what they ask for. Do I really need the “not ALL” disclaimer? Apparently so.
But….”don’t answer that” really says it all, doesn’t it? Intent and impact are very different things. Good intentions don’t negate negative consequences. I don’t doubt that he’s attempting to satirize popular culture, but I think in many ways he misses the mark. You’re welcome to disagree with me. I’m not here for “we as black people need to do X” arguments because I can’t take responsibility for anyone’s actions but my own. There’s no black people hotline. We can’t all decide to do or not do something as a group.
And while you might not have meant me specifically, you reblogged the post from me and made some pretty blanket statements about what black people need to do and stop doing. Thus, your comment suggests that I’m “one of those black people pointing fingers”. Not your intent, but…that’s what happened. Again, I can only speak for myself here and how I operate. I’m not trying to speak for Tre’s fans or for black people who watch content I don’t agree with. You’re allowed to consume whatever media you want. It’d be great if I could snap my fingers and make content that I don’t agree with disappear, but that’s not possible. Instead, I try to push for more diverse portrayals of black people and POC in media, so I try to create that content myself and uplift and share content that does the same. I aim to be the change I want to see in the world, and so that’s how I live my life.
EDITED TO ADD: Thanks Jay for messaging me privately about this conversation so we could clear things up. Long story short - no one is without flaws (even our favorite YouTubers & celebs), and sometimes we aim for one thing and hit another. It happens, we’re human, we’re all working to grow and be better. Let’s all hug.