December 9, 2023

Picture it…In Wherever Land, sometime around New Year’s Day, you are reflecting back on the year behind you and looking towards 2020 with eyes full of hope and expectation. And, of course, your looking includes scrolling through New Year’s posts from people all around the world. Then, as fate would have it, you stumble upon a post that will chart the course of the beginning of your year on a short journey to Cancelville. 

Yes…not at all how you pictured things I’m sure. And, thankfully, I am not telling your story, but K. Austin Collins, a film critic a Vanity Fair, and Violet Lucca, a web editor at Harper’s Magazine, are unfortunately not as lucky. 

K. AustiN CoLlins (KANCL), prophetically named for this very moment in his life, decided to go against his second mind and make a snarky comment about the looks of one of the most well-known and beloved children in this country, Blue Ivy, daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z. All while having a pie-face, specifically pumpkin, because sweet potato would never!

I say he went against his second mind because I know his second mind spoke to him because that’s what second minds do. They show up to try to talk you out of dumb shit. First minds don’t like that, but since it’s a natural occurrence, second minds kinda don’t need your first mind’s approval. Let me stop here and acknowledge that I see you mulling over whether it was his first or second mind that was stupid. I can defer to your opinion here because, Love, we have bigger fish to fry right now. The bottom line is that that KANCL was out of his mind when he tweeted about Blue Ivy starting to look like her father and that it may not be a good thing.

I’m telling you 2020 was looking at this guy like he clearly does not want to win. Like when someone gives you everything to succeed, but then you drop all of that everything onto the floor and it all breaks in a hundred pieces. You gotta suffer whiplash or something when your year takes off quickly and then slams into a dumb decision at full speed. Heck…maybe more than whiplash. Even a spirited facepalm wouldn’t have saved him from the impact of this choice.

Thankfully, due to much research, on how cyber-bullying affects our children at an alarming rate, and evolution, we’ve all gotten the memo that participating in or allowing cyber-bullying is toxic and dangerous. Most people have received this memo, but apparently not Collins and Lucca. Hey you two, here’s the memo: “Stop Cyber-bullying kids! The possibilities far outweigh your need for a walk down juvenile antics memory lane. Bullying is not cute and it’s potentially dangerous!” End of memo.

VIoLEt Lucca, or VILE, also threw a middle finger to a great start to 2020, when she limped over to Collin’s tweet and, in what had to have been a drunken stupor, decided to chime in her rusty two cents on the matter by stating that the resemblance was already there and the only recourse would be for Blue Ivy to undergo corrective surgery. Remember those last 3 words because I cannot and you will not believe she had the audacity to utter such trash.

She then suggested that teenagers from rich families get corrective surgery apparently while out shopping because apparently that is what rich teens do. Also apparently this is what VILE wishes she could do herself. I won’t lie I see several opportunities here for her, but I can’t feel too sorry for a grown woman who seems to be peeved at this late stage in the game because she doesn’t have billionaire parents. Ninety-nine percent of us don’t, VILE, but yet the majority of us wake up to our faces and then go about our days without taking it out on seven-year-old children.

Pop Quiz: So, do you believe her and her audacity?

Their ugly tweets garnered attention that I don’t think they anticipated. Among the eyes that saw the tweets before they were deleted was CaShawn Thompson who is widely known for popularizing the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic in 2013. As she has inspired us all to celebrate Black women, young and seasoned, she sent another clarion call out to Black women to update their social media avi pictures to a childhood photo of themselves to show solidarity against attacks on little Black girls’, namely Blue Ivy, appearances. Supporters and participants were urged to promote this cause, using the hashtag #LeaveBlackGirlsAlone2020, at least until Sunday night, but I have a feeling it will continue beyond tonight for many. And that would be a beautiful thing, pun intended.

The bottom-line here is that children being bullied in 2020 via social media or in real life is not acceptable. Bullying has never been acceptable. Ridiculing our children is not acceptable. And here it was just plain unnecessary because K. Austin Collins and Violet Lucca had their own adult faces to talk about ad nauseum including making vile, hateful comments about themselves or even each other. Now they have 12 months to figure out how to start 2021 off on the right foot. May the odds be in their favor.

Talibah Mawusi Smith is a master of the soul clap who, after years of studying the sweet, soulful sounds of the ’70s, catching the bass and beat drops of the ’80s, and swooning over the crooners of the ’90s, was sent out into the world to spread good vibes only. A lover of the sciences and a member of the arts community as a singer/songwriter, writer, poet, and speaker. A proud STEM graduate of Jackson State University and an in-debt graduate of Mississippi College School of Law. Sole-author of published and oft-cited law review articles focused on race, class, and the law. Loves live music and good seats, laughter and good debates, thrift and consignment shopping, books and vinyl records, whiskey and an occasional cigar. I aspire to use my voice, through Black With No Chaser, in ways that uplift, protect, promote, build, and disseminate that which is positive and promotes nation-building and fosters progressive cultivation of our culture. Bless up!
Twitter: @TalibahMawusi
Instagram: @talibah_mawusi

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