By Michael P Coleman
This past weekend, the media served up a lot to think about.
First, we had Gucci’s “blackface” sweater. One look at it and you should all be tossing your Gucci purses and bags in the trash.
Within hours of launching the sweater, Gucci pulled it from retail locations and their online store, claiming they didn’t know that blackface was considered offensive, and that the social media outcry would lead to a “teachable moment” with their team.
Seriously? I’m waiting for African American women to provide a real teachable moment, and to step up and just say no to a company that would roll out a product like this. As of this writing, “Gucci” is trending online, so maybe that was the point all along.
Speaking of blackface, what do you think about Virginia? The state’s African American Lt Governor, Justin Fairfax, who’s in line to take over the state as his embattled boss deals with the fallout of his blackface college photos, is now embroiled in a controversy of his own. Two women have come forward claiming Fairfax sexually harassed them.
Fairfax vehemently denies all wrongdoing. There’s a growing charge for him to resign. The timing of this one’s interesting, as the charges weren’t levied until it appeared that he might succeed his boss.
But more importantly, I don’t think Fairfax should resign based on unsubstantiated allegations against him. Yes, the charges are serious. And yes, of course, the two women who’ve levied the complaints should have their day in court.
But so should Fairfax. Haven’t we all been accused of doing something that we didn’t do?
One thing I did do last weekend was watch the Grammy’s, and the broadcast didn’t disappoint. I’m in the minority, it seems, who thinks Jennifer Lopez did a fine job with the Motown tribute. But I’m from Detroit, so I know what I’m talking about!
Childish Gambino made history with his Grammy win, and host Alicia Keys did a phenomenal job. Other highlights were performances by Janelle Monáe, Dolly Parton, and Diana Ross, who is beginning her celebration of her upcoming 75th birthday. “Happy birthday to ME!,” she sang like only she could…or would.
Some are criticizing Ross for being self-indulgent and taking focus away from the Aretha Franklin tribute, which employed three women to try to approach the Queen Of Soul’s vocal brilliance.
But I say more power to Ross, who clearly wants to enjoy her flowers while she’s yet with us. If I live to be 75, I just may yell “Happy birthday to me,” too…and I just might do it in a big, poofy red dress.
Speaking of Ross, did anyone catch her eldest daughter, Rhonda, on her iPhone during Smokey Robinson’s performance? Her father, Motown mogul Berry Gordy, was sitting right next to her. CBS almost immediately cut away from her, but if you missed it, a number of hysterical memes were on the internet within minutes.
I can understand being a proud mama and all, with her son Raif having just almost stolen the show from his “grandmommy” The Boss, but c’mon Rhonda! Let it wait until the commercial break, at least!
’Til next time, take care of yourself and somebody else!