I know what the naysayers will say already, “stop being so sensitive, it is just a joke” or “no one is being serious,” yet I find this not funny.
Some background, Daquan is a stereotypical “black” name (wholly representing black men) and has become the feeding ground for unleashing many racist misconceptions of black men, juxtaposed with white girls/women lashing out her parents and to defend Daquan and his actions.
It is disgraceful. It is problematic. But worst of all it is downplaying the struggles black men face in our racist country. Yet many will say this is an example of a positive “stereotype”:
As if to say that a black man’s worth only boils down to a good “stroke game” or selling dope.
Politically speaking, there is a “war on Black America” and as an outsider (Indian dude), I see the relentless oppression that black people face on a daily. From fears of police murderers, to being locked up at a 3X higher rate than whites for minor offenses, to be denied a job for the color of your skin, to being evicted at astronomical rates and then finally being told that it is their fault for their conditions and to pull themselves up by their “bootstraps.” When it is clear that the “bootstraps” have not even begun to be laced.
One commonality for those who continue disseminate these posts is that: their is no discrimination. White, black and brown everyone seems interested in prolonging the life of this fad. Not say that anyone who posts one of these pictures believes the content but it is seemingly very indicative of the normalized perceptions of black men today. Still, behind every single one of these Daquan posts, is an underlying (needed) point of discussion. Why do some people “trap?” What causes people to fall into the “street life?” There isn’t a universalized answer but certain themes appear, including but not limited to, wages, necessity and lack of options.
Oppression and it’s extensive inter-webs, encompass everything that may lead to why “trapping” is necessary. To break it down simply, systemically we live in an anti-black society that not only enslaved them but now seems intent on making immense profits off of their backs (see: prison-industrial complex). From slavery to the convict-lease system to the era of “Jim Crow” and now the time of Mass Incarceration, black folks never seem to catch a break, so through all that it what role do wages, necessity and lack of options play? Certainly, since black folks are some of the lowest paid in this country, money becomes a necessity because of a lack of options, so a great deal of “criminal” actions such as stealing, hustling or dealing, have to occur because due to our current wage system under capitalism making it impossible to get ahead, unless you’re at the top, every penny is indispensable. Therefore, when every bit of money accumulated becomes necessary and even when no matter how hard you work money doesn’t seem to add up, selling drugs seems like a viable option.
This is not to say that is why everyone who sells or moves drugs do it because they have to but just some reasons based on what I have learned from many folks, predominately in the black community.
I think it is very important to realize that black men are already very negatively portrayed in this country, so why then is it important that we continue to add fuel to this fire?
With endless talks of the “post-racial” society we live in counterpoised with a black man being murdered by the police every twenty-eight hours, or black women being evicted from their homes at the same rate black men are sent to prison in mass, it is hard to see why saying something like this is funny:
It’s shameful, racist and yet these simple pictures are doing everything they are supposed to, keep the masses distracted from the actual deadly struggles that many communities face to this day. The strategy is to euphemize every major issue till’ everyone forgets what the actual problems are.
Instead help be apart of the solution, let’s destroy Daquan and build together for the total liberation of all our people.