I am writing a book.
When finished, I hope it will be a critical examination of race and culture in the United States. It will be unapologetic and fact-based and will pull no punches discussing the uniquely American brand of racism and how it is inextricably interwoven into the fabric of U.S. politics, economics and society.
It is not about black people.
Yes, I am writing a book on race theory that only discusses white people. As I am one of the world’s leading scholars on the subject, Wypipology: The Essential Guide to Understanding White People, will be a semiserious satire dissecting my life’s work in the uncharted field of Wypipology. I have no idea who, if anyone, will read it. I just think it’s a funny idea that can also unveil some truth under the guise of comedy.
On Friday, comedian, actress and world-renowned owner of an unnecessary apostrophe, Mo’Nique, appeared on The Breakfast Club to confront Charlamagne tha God for naming her the “Donkey of the Day” in January after Mo’Nique called for Netflix to be placed somewhere between H&M and R. Kelly’s music on the list of things black people say they’re boycotting but still support on the down low (because, as the great pedophile purveyor of pee-pee once sang: “Nobody has to knoooow”).
Mo’ evoked her age, her award résumé, her status as a legend, the history of black women and even the civil rights struggle in her well-laid-out argument on why she considered CandyCorn Face tha God’s use of “donkey” disrespectful. She, unfortunately, dismantled her logic-based assertions every time she publicly referred to her husband-manager (who was on the phone) as “Daddy.”
Charlamagne tha Lawd listened intently and presented his own reasons for why he felt she deserved to be called a “donkey” for overvaluing her worth as a celebrity and boycott kickstarter. The entire exchange was compelling, and both sides came away from it looking simultaneously petulant and convincing in the disagreement.
Here’s the thing. Maybe they were both right.
Charlamagne talks on the radio for a living. Besides providing a platform for Negro-hating white women, and calibrating his disdain for black women based on the amount of melanin in their skin (to be fair, long before he dismissed Amara La Negra’s colorism claims, Charlamagne tha Goddamn Fool explained that “white girls are poppin’ right now”), his primary job is as a shade thrower and shit starter. He does it well.
To his credit, Charlie was willing to face his critics, and anything he said in their absence, he will say in their presence—most famously to Birdman, who forever blessed us with a never-expiring meme when the Cash Money millionaire implored Charlamagne tha Bomb Pop face to “put some respeck” on his name.
Regardless of my feelings about Charlamagne, some people respeck him for that. In his hometown of Moncks Corner, S.C. (the home of my mother), that is the law. You can say anything about anyone, as long as you are willing to say it to their face. He tried to explain why he called Mo’Nique a donkey while she was present.
And even though Charlamagne tha Messiah is often problematic, he didn’t run. Like Erik Killmonger and people who can’t stop themselves from dancing to the remix to “Ignition,” he handled it the wrong way, which she told him in private, after the mics were off:
However you feel about Mo’Nique, it is impossible to deny her credentials. She is one of the few black female comedians to have ever entered the stratosphere of the top echelon of joke tellers—black or white. Lest we forget, she has a little thing I like to call an “Academy Award.”
Her dispute with Netflix aside, one cannot reach the levels of success that she has achieved without talent and hard work. Her unwillingness to accept an offer that she feels devalues her as a performer and a human being shouldn’t be dismissed in the equation. Whether or not anyone else feels she has overestimated her value is inconsequential.
I wish I had Mo’Nique’s level of confidence and self-value. The idea that others cannot determine the value of your work is an important lesson. Maybe she should treat people better. Maybe she isn’t as funny or as popular as she and her “Daddy” believes (I feel like I should put my name on the sex offender’s registry every time I type that), but her willingness to say “Fuck your couch” and stand on principle is admirable.
Mo’Nique is right. Black is often devalued because it is black. Women are often lowballed because they are women. It is difficult to live in that reality and reject it as a reason that she believes Netflix undervalued her. Even if she is wrong about Netflix, her larger point is also correct.
Talent and ability mean a little less when you are black and belligerent in a Caucasian industry. Despite the fact that Ben Shapiro, Dinesh D’Souza and even Milo Yiannopoulos had lucrative book deals, I’m sure there won’t be a bidding war for a satirical tome about white people. The probable lack of interest from publishers won’t be based on numbers, analytics or a résumé.
Many of them will probably be apprehensive because, like Mo’Nique and Charlamagne, I have a history of publicly pissing off white people. And I, like them, wholeheartedly believe everything I say is entertaining, honest and—most important—correct. But it will probably cost me. I’m fine with that.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this:
Hey, my loves,
Because of discrimination and bias, I’m calling for us to come together as a people and stand with me in this boycott against all books and everything white, including Apple chargers, Q-Tips and granulated sugar, until a publisher presents me with a check for $10 million.
I love us, for real.