Jamie Foxx is drawing fire after his comments at the NAACP Image Awards, saying: “Black people are the most talented people in the world.” To some conservatives, that remark was more than just prideful boasting. To them, it was racism.
‘Black people are the most talented people in the world. I, it’s, I can’t explain it,’ Foxx said. ‘You can’t sit in this room and not watch Gladys Knight sing and go like, “Golly, what in the world?”’
Perhaps Jamie got a bit carried away in his acceptance speech. The Academy Awarding winning actor made that statement as he received the NAACP Award for Entertainer of the Year. Of course, having won several other major awards in his career, including a Grammy for his song ‘Blame It’ in 2010, Foxx should be well-versed in delivering politically correct acceptance speeches. However, for his Entertainer of the Year speech it’s clear he decided to throw caution to the wind and say whatever came to mind.
The NAACP Award aired almost two weeks ago on Feb 1., but conservative news outlets like NewsBusters picked up on the story after writer Noel Sheppard wrote a piece criticizing the actor for what he called a “really stupid” remark. In his criticism, Sheppard wrote, “Can you imagine the heat a white actor would get if he said at a nationally televised awards ceremony, “White people are the most talented people in the world?” Sheppard wrote. ‘Probably be the end of his or her career.”
This is an interesting point. If you watched Vh1’s debacle ‘Love and Hip Hop’ recently then you know that reality TV star ‘Jen the Pen’ ended an argument with her non-White co-star saying, “I’m White…it’ll get done.” Some viewers were outraged by what they viewed as the “racist” statement Jen made.
In both cases, both comments can be seen in poor taste, most definitely. However, when does the idea of being politically correct go out of the window in favor of people being honest with how they see the world they live in? It is okay for someone to ever praise their own race as superior in any regard? Or has race become so ingrained in our consciousness that we will do anything to be seen as “politically correct;” even at the expense of productive dialogue?
Can we as a nation push the envelope of race relations if we never openly discuss the wounds caused by issues such as slavery, Jim Crow and segregation? One thing is for certain: Keeping the blinders on regarding White privilege and Black cultural issues that exist as a result of the sorted history of this country is not the way to move the discussion forward. If anything, that silence helps reinforces the status quo and allows the uncomfortable separation among the races to continue.
Do you think Jamie Foxx’s or Jen the Pen’s comments were disrespectful and racist? Or were they just saying what’s on their mind?