So I had an unfortunate interaction with a racist yesterday who, like most racists, saw himself as not racist but rational. Also like so many racists he seemed to operate under the assumption that everyone feels the way he does, he’s just the only one voicing it. Which of course is the power silence on the matter of racism gives racists. They think they have legions of silent allies. You might wonder why a post about Nicki Minaj is starting this way and it is quite frankly because she’s black. I think it’s important to recognize that because it’s too easy to let the idea of race become invisible to those of us who allow it to be so. If you are white and well off there is a good chance you have the convenience to not think about racism often. I don’t think Nicki Minaj can be discussed without thinking about racism though, not for me at least. My train of thought started this way last winter when Beyonce mentioned she was a feminist in GQ. I assumed the reaction would be resounding applause because discussions of feminism don’t come up much at all in GQ and mainstream pop stars very rarely bring it up. For an icon to do so was a big deal. Instead there were a lot of articles from well educated and well read white people steeped in a racism they may not even know exists. They attacked her because of how she dresses on stage and the fact that she plays on her sexuality. Which goes back to age old stereotypes that can be so ingrained we don’t even realize we have them. People have largely embraced Madonna and the way she traded on her sexuality. She is considered a feminist icon. The difference, of course, is that classically (and by classically I mean in the olden days, ie way more racist days) white sexuality is seen as knowing and sophisticated and black sexuality is seen as wild and animalistic. Madonna knows what she is doing and is using it to empower herself as a woman. The same could not be true for a black performer. Which brought us around to the Anaconda cover, which people tore apart. Nicki Minaj very astutely pointed out many, many white models showing off their asses. Some people got this. Others said it wasn’t racism, it was different. I read an article that said the problem was her album cover was, “Attention seeking”. No shit, it’s a piece of commercial art, the entire point of an album cover is to grab your attention. But I am not here to discuss that, really. I know this got heavy, I know you may not be here to read that, it’s cool. I have a forum here though, I have a bunch of followers, it is an obligation to sometimes use the forum you have to say something that matters. You can read all this and disagree with me. That’s fine. I just want you to think about why you think and feel the way you do about things. When you instinctively feel a way maybe stop and examine it. See if your reaction changes based on who is doing something. Just be aware of the world we live in and that it isn’t entirely equitable to everyone. You know, maybe be less judgmental and more prepared to see things from another view. And feel free to keep hating Nicki Minaj, it’s your choice. I don’t hate her. I find her quite attractive. Today I want to fuck Nicki Minaj.