Dear Stacey Dash

I used to like you as an actress because you reminded me a little of myself. You were a Black girl who sounded like a “valley girl”. After having people make fun of the way I spoke, I no longer felt alone. Now, based on the thoughts that you have formulated yourself, I realize my admiration for you was only because as an actress you were given things to say. 

Your self hatred, while not uncommon, should not be broadcast as popular opinion on a news network known for being bias. Unlike you, I grew up to hold my head high as a black woman while loving and supporting my community and history. Over the years I’ve watched documentaries, read books, and exercised general common sense when it comes to race and being black in the world we live in today. While black people are being systematically murdered, endangered, imprisoned, and disadvantaged, you to try to tear them down even more.

Given the disparity of what black people can call their own, it’s important for us to stick together and support each other’s businesses, products, art, and initiatives. Somewhere along the way, you lost sight of that. Instead of using your access to a public forum to uplift the Black community, you embarrass it. Your comments do nothing but make you a target for Internet memes and makes you look lost.

For the record, white people don’t need a “BET Awards” because they have everything else. They have every other award show on major cable networks. They control what’s on our televisions, what’s played on our radio stations, what advertisements we see, what resources we have access to, what the standard of beauty is perceived as, what is trendy, who is on the inside and who isn’t. Yes, they include other ethnicities in their events but to me that’s like saying “Look at how many African American, Hispanic, Asian, etc. friends I have, I can’t be a racist”.

Instead of speaking on behalf of the community that you’ve made money off of with your movie and television roles prior to this phase in your life you choose to be the Aunt Tom proposing the destruction of what we’ve worked to build. If they put you on television then maybe we will tune in because as a black person there’s no way your comments could be racist against other black people. But in fact your comments are oppressive. What hurts the most is that every time you speak, it’s a slap in the face to all of the people who came before you that allow you to even have the opportunity to sit next to a white person on national television. They fought, marched, sacrificed, and died so that you could walk through the front door of a television studio and waste your exposure. They risked everything for black people to have a voice. Not your voice, but a voice that lifts our people up and inspires positive change in our communities. 

Celebrating what makes us special and unique does not equal segregation. That is literally one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. All people are encouraged to support Black History Month. Every singe race has been present at the BET Awards. These are not purely black events. These are celebrations of the work and achievements that black people have made that aren’t acknowledged anywhere else. If the BET Awards, Black Girls Rock specials, and the like didn’t exist, many of those talented artist and positive imagery wouldn’t be recognized.

Everyone is welcome at events that celebrate different experiences, cultures, genders, lifestyles, etc. I am a straight woman but I’ve been to LGBTQ events to support those that are. The Million Man march is not exclusively for men. The Black Lives Matter movement is supported by different races all over the world. Women’s Rights movements are not effective if they only include women. The only group that is explicitly not inclusive is the KKK. If you want segregation eradicated maybe you should start there.

While you’re at it, if you want to get rid of a celebration, get rid of Christopher Columbus Day. Your basis for getting rid of Black History Month is because we are “all Americans” and if we want equality a month celebrating Black history has to go. I hate to have to tell you this in the year 2016 since the history of this land is no secret but none of us are Americans. Your ancestors were sold, beaten, raped, and forced from their homeland. It has been documented that Africans had been coming to North America long before Christopher Columbus discovered it. It has also been documented that Africans were the navigators for Christopher Columbus and his crew. They came and forcefully took over a land that was already occupied and said they discovered it. They murdered, raped, and stole from the Native Americans as they did the African slaves they brought with them. None of us are from this land. We’re not “Americans”. We are all immigrants. Some came voluntarily to better our living situations and provide a safe environment for our future generations. Others were forced here against their will in human trafficking and sex trades. So when you open your mouth to spew uneducated and reckless comments about America take the time to think first. When you have the support of Donald Trump, you should know that your moral compass is dangerously broken and you should reconsider your stance.

While our black men are being unjustly murdered without receiving justice, while our black women are mysteriously dying in the custody of police and we receive no answers, while communities in our own country are denied access to clean water as if they are living in a third world country, while our black men are being disproportionately arrested and convicted, while our culture is being commercialized and exploited, you think getting rid of the positive images we have to encourage and unite us or dismantling the celebration of our successes is the answer. You are clearly not in touch with your history, the community you speak about, or reality in general.

Although black people have been there for you during your stint on BET’s The Game and mourned that you wouldn’t be coming back to VH1’s Single Ladies or maybe we did or didn’t see your urban movies like Mo’ Money, Getting Played, Paper Soldiers, or Nora’s Hair Salon 2 we see that you’ve lost your way and are trying your darnedest to sink our ship. Whether you truly believe the ignorance you’re spewing or you’re selling out to get a check, I personally ask that you stop portraying yourself as someone who knows anything about what’s best for the racial harmony of this country. Stick to what you know, acting clueless.

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