What I’m about to say may sound a tad creepy, but here goes. My uterus oven is not preheated to 375°with the hopes of some baby batter aka jizz being inserted in it, but every time I see lil miss Quvenzhané Wallis being interviewed, I feel like a proud mama and wish I had a lil Quvenzhané of my own. Ever since I saw her wonderful and touching performance as a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy who struggles to survive in post-Katrina New Orleans with her father, I’ve read and watched every interview she’s done and been bowled over by her charm. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Today‘s Tamron Hall was quite effusive with Wallis during their interview and expressed that she want to take her home with her. Simply put, e’erybody kinda wants to be Quvenzhané’s mama. And when you wanna be someone’s mama, you always carry around some fruit snacks, a renewed sense of hope for the future, and a jar of Vaseline, just in case you have to fight a bitch who gets hella ignorant with your child. And today, the bitch I wanna fight is satirical newspaper The Onion who tweeted a vile “joke” in which they called Q a “see you next Tuesday.”
At first, when I saw the tweet, I responded the way I did when I called Cablevision to cancel my landline, but they kept trying to persuade me to keep the landline by saying that if I did, they would throw in the Starz network of no additional charge (Starz, really? I’m pretty sure I’d pay y’all not to give me that piece of shit station):
But after the initial rage passed, I immediately grew sad like when I listen to a musician’s album on Spotfiy and every song on the CD is available except for the biggest hit and I keep clicking on the song in the hopes that it’s going to magically start playing, but it never does:
Finally, after going through all those emotions, I thought, “This is why I’m glad I don’t have kids.”
This is the tweet in question that was sent out to the world as the winner of Wallis’ category was being announced (which was subsequently deleted, but as we know in the age of the Internet, something may be deleted, but it’s never truly gone):
SERIOUSLY?! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? She’s only nine years old. She got her hair pressed and curled, so she could look cute during her moment in the sun and this is what you chose to do? Please head to the nearest trashcan at family BBQ, find the biggest discarded piece of corn on the cob that’s covered in Reynolds wrap, unwrap it, and promptly go fuck yourself with it.
Before I continue, if you are going to fart out some trifling shit to the world, own it. Don’t go grabbing a can of Febreeze to spray the place down and pretend like you didn’t stink up the joint after eating two bowls of potato salad, or in the case of Twitter, delete a tweet after the world notifies you of your ignorance. Secondly, if you are going to tweet out some nastiness, use your name – your government name - instead of hiding behind your company’s name or your bullshit AIM screen name back in high school. Act like this is your wedding announcement in The New York Times and state your first name, middle name, last name, and suffix, if applicable. In fact, include that you are the son or daughter of your parents and then include their government names as well so when they need get email alerts from Ticketmaster about an upcoming Neil Diamond concert, they will also get Goggle alerts that their names are linked to your foolishness. Bottom line, if you engage in jackassery against children, then you lose anonymity. Now back to the tweet.
I get that the Oscars are an overblown affair that don’t amount to a hill of beans, so it’s fun to poke fun and snark it up in hopes of bring the ceremony back down to Earth. One way of doing that is by mocking nominees who take themselves too seriously or are disingenuous by pretending they are not the toast of the town (i.e. Anne Hathaway). But what exactly is the joke here with Quvenzhané? That she’s clearly adorable and beloved by Hollywood, so let’s paint her as the complete opposite in hopes of achieving…irony? Um, what is the point of that exactly? Does a charming nine-year-old behaving as a charming nine-year-old really need to be brought down a peg? Ooooh, The Onion, how brave of you to let her just where the fuck you think she stands.
Except you’re not brave. You’re a bunch of cowards. Sidenote: the reason I keep saying “you” is because due to their policy of anonymity on all their work, which makes this all the more disgusting, we’ll nev get the culprit’s name behind this tweet, so everyone who works at this newspaper is getting the brunt of this Blaria blage (black rage). Moving on. Your cowardice is reflected in the fact that you think it’s appropriate to use the word “cunt” as means of inappropriately sexualizing a girl so as to devalue and disregard her and her achievements. Your cowardice lies in the fact that shortly after deleting a this tweet, you sent out another tweet that essentially said, “Hey, guys, chill out and take a joke.” And then that tweet was deleted as well. The thing is this wasn’t a “joke.” This wasn’t a “we’re all friends here situation, so you make fun of my big ears and I poke fun at your silly haircut.” This was a racial and gender attack and to present it as anything else is to ask that everyone who has brains to power them down like a cell phone before the flight takes off. Well, I’m not going to. My shit is straight up going to be in airplane mode, so I can listen to my ’90s movie soundtrack playlist and play Snake aka I’m calling bullshit because in all my years of watching the Oscars, I’ve never seen such vitriol directed towards Abigail Breslin, Dakota Fanning, or Chloë Moretz, all of whom are talented white child actors who are on the same level of talent and critical acclaim as Quvenzhané.
Look, I don’t think whomever tweeted this necessarily had the intention of “Fuck this little black girl for bringing her blackness all up in Hollywood;” however, there was definitely the attitude that it’s acceptable to humiliate her. That it’s totally fine to degrade and reduce a nine-year-old black girl to by summing up existence as nothing more than a slang term for a vagina. Certainly, it would be reprehensible to call any child a “cunt” no matter the race; however, given this country’s history of hyper sexualizing, humiliating, and raping of women of color, especially black women, there is simply no way that this sexual tweet is in a vacuum of a “Sowwie, I was just trying to make a funnies.” History contextualizes this and shows that once again, it’s essentially fine to degrade a black woman for a thrill, for sexual enjoyment, for a laugh. Not only is fine to do all of this, but that no one needs to defend her honor because after all, what honor is there for defending in a black girl/woman? I’m aware that I’m perhaps taking this personally because I cannot look at Quvenzhané and not see a part of me in her brown skin, her cute little kid smile, her adorable sense of humor. But the funny thing is that when the whole Taylor Swift/Kanye West fiasco happened at the MTV VMA a few years ago, I saw myself in her as well: young, living out her life’s passion, and unsure what to do in an embarrassing situation. I look nothing like the blonde haired and porcelain-colored complexion of Swift yet, I identified with her. And, ultimately, that’s the problem surrounding this whole tweet. That’s why it happened. The folks at The Onion have general lack of empathy, sympathy, and respect for another human being who isn’t like them. They could not see themselves at a nine-year-old black girl and that’s why it was okay to humiliate her because she is not them. She is not human.
But here’s the thing, even if you look at her and she doesn’t look like a child that would come from you, she is someone’s child. Someone made a deal with Quvenzhané that they will spend yesterday having a Hollywood day in exchange for getting her homework done today. Someone gave her a million “I’m proud of you” hugs before she stepped foot on the red carpet. And someone had to explain to her that she got called a very bad name because someone thought it’d be funny. Someone had to do that, The Onion. Someone had to clean up the fucking mess you made. I just sincerely hope that when she woke up this morning, she was still doing this:
And not crying and asking her mom why this happened because she doesn’t understand. Hell, I’m damn near thirty years old and I don’t understand it all. Not one bit. So I’m glad I don’t have a child right now because I don’t know how I’d be able to explain this without crying, without letting her know my heart is broken not only because this happened, but because it will happen to her again in the future, when she is older and able to process a hurtful situation like this. Even in those moments of pain and ugliness, I still hope she is flexing her arms as symbol of strength.