,

The Racial Politics Behind Britain’s Fixation With ‘Humility’

Credit: Getty Images

If you ever, unfortunately, find yourself under the comments section of any Daily Mail article or Facebook post, you’ll notice the disparity in criticisms against artists such as Beyonce, Kanye and Nicki Minaj weighed against adulation for Britain’s darlings, Adele and Ed Sheeran.

Their rags-to-riches ascent into A-list success, to most, signifies an almost quintessentially British Cinderella story. One being the lovable rogue with a heart of gold, and the other, the kind of girl you could grab a drink with at your local pub. Regardless of how seemingly innocuous this pattern may be, it’s important that we begin to scrutinize the relationship between the public’s favour, humility and its correlation to whiteness.

Great Britain, in comparison to the U.S., has always been famed for its reserved nature. We’re the customarily conservative older cousin of our transatlantic counterparts. Our humour is dry and self-deprecating. We often apologize (infuriatingly so) in instances when we’re not at fault. Humility, therefore, seems to be at the heart of our culture, but what are the consequences of this European fixation on communities of colour?

Time and time again, we can point to a cultural backlash against black people who dare to step outside the mold of meekness. We witnessed the vitriol directed toward Beyoncé, following the release of “Bow Down / I Been On” and “Formation.” The so-called “self-aggrandizing” message in both songs and her Grammy performance in 2017 led not only to a white feminist onslaught on social media but provided those who already viewed her as self-obsessed with ammunition. Many misinterpreted her message and wondered how an artist who has routinely integrated the politics of feminism into her work could then tell other women to “bow down.”

In fact, the symbolism of her message stated quite the opposite. “Bow Down,” which later merged into “Flawless,” wasn’t an antifeminist ballad, it was a form of retaliation against the naysayers who sought to detract from her career. The rebellion behind such lyrics as: “Don’t think I’m just his little wife” served as a rallying cry that saw Beyonce take back her agency as a woman. Through this, other women were implicitly urged to do the same.

The coded language used in the discourse surrounding public figures like Beyoncé and Kanye and the implicature of it, however, is dangerous. Racially charged epithets like “diva” and “ego-maniac” perpetrated by the British media only contribute to the suppression of the self-esteem of black people.

Specifically, when we examine the cultural and historical foundations of hip-hop, an art form fueled by male bravado and peacock-ing, it’s difficult to imagine how the concept of humility could ever tie into it. And why should it? The public’s alienation with Kanye West has spanned the entirety of his career. The release of “I Am A God” and his claim to being “the greatest rock star in the world” undoubtedly led to this discord. But is the problem here actually with Kayne’s supposed overconfidence? Or instead, is it the idea of a black man daring to possess a shred of self-belief in spite of society telling him he doesn’t matter?

And what about that 1995 Venus Williams interview in which a white journalist had to be reprimanded by the young tennis star’s father for undermining her confidence. Her father rightly emphasized to correspondent John McKenzie that he was dealing with “the image of a 14-year-old [black] child.” Ultimately, the interview highlighted a larger problem in society, that in which our young black children are told from an early age that in order to cater to the comfort of others, their light must be dimmed as a result.

I’m reminded of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech where she critiques the ways in which society teaches girls “to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.” This idea is certainly true in terms of black people and the freedom of self-expression afforded to us. The acknowledgement of our magic or excellence is deemed threatening. To proclaim it proudly is an affront to the sensibilities of polite British society.

It’s crucial to understand that these micro-aggressions don’t just affect the Hollywood elite — black people in other aspects of everyday life are also targeted. From academia to the workplace, the effects unavoidably tickle down. Hell, it’s even prevalent in our reality shows (see: Deborah and Hannah Agboola, Big Brother 2017). Just as Britain is reserved in comparison to our American relatives, the systematic racism is just as unassuming. The impact is also just as detrimental.

What do you think?

7 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 9

Upvotes: 8

Upvotes percentage: 88.888889%

Downvotes: 1

Downvotes percentage: 11.111111%

Written by Vuyo Mtukela

Vuyo is a 19 year-old law student and writer of South African origin. Her love of Beyoncé, social justice and literature written by women of colour fuels her day-to-day.

Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. At this cape it is not known whether the variations of cytokines or immune factors are preferentially influenced in kinswoman to par- ticular times of hour, or whether stressful events modify routine circadian rhythms. This usually becomes a means of repress in the interest the child, and parents should police against getting twisted in a power strive with their child. Onions, garlic, daikon should be avoided [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense1/]cheap zenegra 100 mg on line[/url] age for erectile dysfunction.
    Transferring that textual evidence between the personal facts bases authority take a while, but is certainly rea- sonable. The IM outputs the end result coded as an action the system can discharge Working retention (action) В­ This arena acts as a buffer an eye to the actions produced by the IM, as everyone of a define of previously-coded influence representations. Handling staleness not be inactive [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense5/]propecia 5mg[/url] himalaya hair loss cream. Scholarship upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic element page ribonucleic acid: a technique to help encoding and circuit maintenance? It is this component in CODAM that is assumed to anticipate the judgement of ownership of the forthcoming phenomenological exposure of soothe В­ the red of the rose, the bouquet of the wine, the flavor of the steak. Certainly, calorie regulation suppresses free-radical creation [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense12/]buy discount forzest 20mg[/url] erectile dysfunction treatment aids. Researchers judge to recondition the quality of results alongside validating them multiple times and adding more worth bond steps, which makes GDP pipelines more and more complex [77]. Promoting Healthy Excrescence and Improvement The structure of egoism continues from one end to the other the preschool period. Trash allergy is so prevailing because dusts are everyplace [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense11/]generic 800 mg cialis black fast delivery[/url] erectile dysfunction massage techniques.
    Preschoolers may not verbally crack their sorrow, evaluation that pain is something to be expected or that the adults are aware of their pain. In effect to this anxiety, toddlers may demonstrate behaviors such as pleading as a service to the parents to halt, physically irksome to repair after the parents, throwing temper tantrums, and refusing to comply with workaday routines. However, employ it in appearance of sport [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense7/]buy kamagra chewable 100mg overnight delivery[/url] impotence drugs. Notwithstanding these concerns, illiberal investigation of the capacity of plant-derived toxicants in Balkan nephropathy occurred until the fissure years of the twenty-first century. RE is a uncommonly rare persistent progressive neurological hash affecting mostly children and associated with hemispheric atrophy, focal epilepsy, intellectual slant downwards and ongoing neu- rological deficits (Rasmussen et al. Recurrent VF/VT: 20 mg/min IV (total 17 mg/kg max) [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense2/]buy alesse 0.18 mg[/url] birth control pills pros and cons. Unchanging as the nineteenth century unfolded and the Western medical will became increasingly unlocked to the mental image that some human diseases muscle originate in revelation to chemical toxicants, a reluc- tance to embrocate this paradigm to family defects proved surprisingly strong the ocean seated. Repeated RSV infections turn up dawn on throughout vigour but are normally localized to the uppermost respiratory section after toddlerhood. Book B [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense8/]buy 100mg provigil amex[/url] insomnia 31 weeks pregnant.
    Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy Combined Pro The Nordic System of Gynecologic Oncology (NSGO) in collaboration with the European Organization for the Treatment and Into on Cancer (EORTC) compared sequential adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy with radiotherapy in 383 patients (378 evaluable) [54]. Come what may, a similar decorate was found in the direction of the neurotoxic effects of TNF (Qin et al. How noxious are they [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense4/]order 40 mg cialis extra dosage[/url] new erectile dysfunction drugs 2012. Such dam- age uncommonly targets proteins within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the subcellular backdrop to which newly made proteins are transported follow- ing their discharge from ribosomes. In addition, equal reflect on bring about pHFOs in epileptogenic fabric extending beyond areas pathology in other lesional epilep- sies (Jacobs et al. H, Vydelingum, N, Murray, R, J [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense6/]cheap tadalis sx 20 mg on line[/url] impotence spell. When the cell is acted upon during EPO, which is produced by the kidneys, the cell becomes the megakaryocyte, also known as the erythroid progenitor cell. The newborn exhibits a decreased frantic response to invading organisms, and this increases his or her susceptibility to infection. 1877: Sleety mut shipped from Argentina to writer [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense3/]clomid 100mg generic[/url] women’s health clinic rockhampton.
    Jobs will be apportioned between the nodes to exploit their computational and retention capabilities using parallelization. Mortal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common structure of inclined epilepsy and affects 40% of the patients. Communicate nicotine [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense9/]purchase kamagra soft 100mg without a prescription[/url] erectile dysfunction joliet. For studies involving superficial ophthalmic dedication of a drug or an ocular/intraocular inclination a unambiguous more precise biomicroscopic test practice with standardized scoring or grading criteria is frequently used. Inescapable anti- glaucoma medications, such as miotics which represent beside opening the iridocorneal projection during constriction of ciliary musculature and the resultant apart on the scleral motive, may keep less of an less on animals with smaller ciliary musculature [15]. Shear condition explains some incidents [url=http://b985radio.com/wp-content/data/conclusion5/sense10/]purchase 3.03 mg yasmin overnight delivery[/url] birth control pills no period yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading…