Is It Black People’s Job To Educate White People About Racism?

Photo: Bossip

That was the questioned posed by Essence Live yesterday when speaking about Katy Perry and her recent sit down with #BlackLivesMatter activist DeRay McKesson on her many transgressions with Cultural Appropriation.

Katy Perry has repeatedly put her foot in her mouth when it comes to women and people of color. Back in 2012 she was slammed by the media and women alike when she talked with Billboard Magazine and said “I am not a feminist.” In 2013 Perry took her offense a step further with “Yellow Face” when she opened the American Music Awards with a geisha-inspired performance to her single “Unconditionally.” Between the shuffling and bowing of the choreography and lack of women from the actual culture on stage many Asians felt as if she had Westernized and degraded their culture. Still not learning her lesson in 2014 she released the video for the single “This is How We Do.” In it Ms. Perry can be seen wearing long black cornrows (with slicked down baby hairs) along with long finger nails while holding up a watermelon and chucking up the deuces while on the phone with her “thot friend Jessica” (Yes the Caller ID said “Jessica Thot”). She didn’t stop there, continuing her world tour of stereotypes by screaming “Shout out to all you kids buying bottle service with your rent money! RESPECT” before shooting to a picture of Aretha Franklin at Obama’s Inauguration with the same 7 letters underneath. Even as recent as last month she was slammed after a performance with Migos of her song ‘Bon Appetit’ on SNL. Many took her dancing and attitude throughout the performance to be that of imitating “blackness” as a way to get closer with the Black Community.

During Perry’s live stream she and McKesson spoke of many things but the internet really took note when the Grammy nominated singer unexpectedly apologized for her racially insensitive infractions. When speaking of her transgressions she stated “I didn’t know I did it wrong until I heard people say that I did it wrong! And sometimes that’s what it takes… someone to say it out of compassion, out of love… and not in a clap back way because it’s hard to hear those clap backs and your ego wants to turn from them.” When speaking of a Black friend who sat her down and spoke about where she went wrong in the “This Is How We Do” video she stated: “I listened and I heard and I didn’t know. And I will never understand some of those things because of who I am. But I can educate myself, and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way.”

Many on social media are torn. Some are feeling encouraged that Katy Perry is trying to learn and grow from her transgressions while others are still confused as to why these mistakes are still being made. Even more are upset with the notion that not only do we have to endure the racism but when speaking about it we have to be compassionate and nice to the offender. When polled by Essence Live 79% said that Yes! It is our responsibility to educate White people when they do something racist while 21% said NO! White people should educate themselves.

Where do you stand on this topic? Check out the full video below and Let us Know!


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