Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Racist? Eeh. Asshole? Yes.
By now I'm sure you've seen the caricature-esq impersonation of Srena Williams performed by Caroline Wozniacki. If you haven't here's what happened. During an exhibition match in Brazil, Danish tennis player Wozniacki stuffs her bra and shorts to increase the size of her breast and apple bottom during her match against Maria Sharapova. Honestly, when I first saw the picture I immediately thought "she looks ridiculous". Not because of the claims of racial undertones; but it simply wasn't funny. I've seen impersonations performed by non-professionals (like my family members around the dinner table) who were funnier. Yeah, yeah I get it; it's a joke she's suppose to look ridiculous right? Really? I'll come back to that shortly. Some say this so called friend of Serena's was only joking (as she claims); others see her exploit as racist.
Dictionary.com defines racism as "a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement,usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others". Based on that definition I can't totally agree that Wozniacki's performance was racist if I use the definition as a reference point; but I do believe that she (along with most people) have a predisposed thought process that desensitizes them to the strife that many suffer in the name of a joke. Overall, as a human race, our intolerance has festered and is boiling over with the inability to be compassionate; especially when it comes to those who find themselves successful in an arena where very few people look like them. I almost feel as if a house nigger shows up, props himself on the shoulder of the offender and says "don't worry bout us. we's gon' hush up. No matter what you do or say massah we ain't gon' complain. We knows you shole been good to us and we's grateful; we's here and that's a good thing. Look how far you've let us come. So you just gon' head with whatever you wanna do or say". So amazing that the offenders get a pass and the offended are suppose to be the bigger person, smile and let it go.
The real question we should be asking is why are the physical characteristics of Serena being made into a joke? These are characteristics that are directly tied to African Americans and there is nothing we can do about it. It's how we are built. Amazing that "voluptuous" and "fat ass" were not terms used positively when identifying body parts until J Lo hit the scene. And even then the compliment wasn't paid to Black women. Sistah's have been carrying this feature (pun intended) since the beginning of time yet it's only acceptable when the masses give the green light.
There are claims that Serena wasn't offended and just rolled with it. But really what sort of statement is Serena Williams suppose to put out after a stunt like that? Whatever she could have possibly said would be so heavily scrutinized that we wouldn't even remember how it all began. It's pretty sad when voyeuristic behavior performed by tabloid media is accepted (but then again we are a sad people) because we write it off as "par for the course". If you accept the riches that your talents will bring then you agree that any one on the face of the earth has a right to disrespect you in the name of their opinion or as a joke in this case .
People (not just Black women) have suffered at the hands of people who are well, assholes. I really don't feel like coming up with another word because asshole works so well. Assholes usually stick and move with a hidden agenda.The issue I have with this particular asshole (Wozniacki) is that she is the most dangerous kind of asshole. She seems to be operating in a zombie like state. Doing what she has seen others do; totally unaware of what her behavior suggests about how she really feels about her "friend". If ever given the opportunity I would first like to ask Wozniacki what she thinks of Serena Williams? Not that she would answer honestly but I would really like to know.
Which brings me to my point in the first paragraph about Wozniacki looking ridiculous. Unlike an addiction or learned behavior Serena can't help the donk. So to take jabs at her physical features is insensitive. Caroline, do you really in your heart of hearts think that with everything Serena has endured in the world of tennis (where only a handful of Black women have excelled) that she really thought your display of how "you" see her was at all funny? I'm sorry I've made the mistake of using the word "think". In order to "think" you must first care. You Caroline could careless about Serena. If you were a real friend you would know how this makes Serena feel even without her confiding in you that it bothers her. Which I'm sure she hasn't. The last thing she needs is her "friends" tweeting "OMG. Serena can't take a joke." Do Serena a favor and find someone else to mock. You can start with yourself and the fact that you have yet to win a Grand Slam title. Now there's a quick way to start trending.