Twitter en Español, not to be confused with Black Twitter or Twitter General, had a twit fit when Kelly Osbourne went on daytime talk show The View and made the infuriating statement that without Latino people, Donald Trump would have no one to clean his toilets. View co-host, Rosie Perez made a minor outburst to alert Kelly to the racist bull excrement that came out of her mouth but was largely calm when correcting Kelly and again pointing out the inherent racism. Kelly of course back pedaled like a professional cyclist and reminded the viewers that not only was she not racist but she “wasn’t part of this conversation”, a conversation in which she literally made herself the center.
That’s what we saw on screen.
What happened off screen is what has me at death con four. Rosie Perez, the ONLY Latina on the panel when Kelly made her comment was forced by ABC show execs to apologize for being so harsh on Kelly after Kelly cried during the commercial break over the fear that everyone was going to think she was a racist. Rosie delivered the apology on-air towards the end of the show. But according to the Daily Mail, that wasn’t good enough for ABC. Rosie was forced once again to do more for her co-host which came out in the form of an apologetic tweet in which Perez said of Osbourne, “I adore you.”
For those of you keeping score at home, Kelly Osbourne clocked one (half assed) apology while Rose Perez, who is the victim of the original comment clocked TWO (very public) apologies. Rosie then quit the show two episodes earlier than originally scheduled while Kelly continues to go on mostly unscathed.
That’s the carne, let’s add the rice and beans.
Yes, Kelly Osbourne made a racist comment and she apologized. The problem is that Kelly negated her apology by claiming that she won’t apologize for being racist because she isn’t racist. Kelly, I hate to break it to you but as a registered Social Doctor, I’ve diagnosed you with a severe case of Internalized Racism. I get it, it happens, you’re English. But the only way to work through this problem is to admit that you have one.
People of color are constantly under attack. For some groups it’s micro aggression, for other groups it’s outright murder. What the ABC execs did to Rosie is a micro aggression that effects the entire Latino community. Her voice was manipulated to appease “the man”; a voice that for years has made stands for Latino recognition in the industry, that has spoken proudly of Latino history, a voice that has made people laugh. They quelled it and created another apologist.
Racial apologetics is on the rise as more and more people feel that they need to explain away things that happen and are using race as a shield. Black communities that get brutalized are expected to respond as if nothing major has happened because if not it becomes, “look at those angry Black people”. Latinos must constantly make excuses for the community lest we be seen as lazies, or illegals, or toilet cleaners. Marco Rubio is an amazing apologist puppet who in the same breath curses immigration while lauding the fact that he’s blessed to be here through his parents immigration. One cannot drag their community and then expect its support.
We as minorities, as brown people, as Muslims, cannot constantly apologize for things that our outside our sphere of control. Kelly’s comment was a controlled action, apology needed. Rosie’s REaction was knee-jerk and still completely contained, no apology needed. In all honesty if I was sitting on that panel and heard that comment, Kelly would’ve had no time to realize what she’d just said because I’d fly across that table and rock her ass one good time. But that’s just because I’m a bad person; not because I’m Puerto Rican. Pray for me.
It is not Rosie’s fault that Kelly and Donald Trump have some strange distaste for Latinos. It is not a young Black boy’s fault that the police don’t respect him. What we are seeing now is a culmination of years of well hidden institutionalized racism bubbling to the surface. And instead of responding to that with strength the visible members of our community are being minimized. It is the responsibility of those of us on the bottom rung to see that this is happening and not fall into that trap.
Do not apologize for being sensitive to those people hijacking your identity. Be more sensitive to that kind of thing. Micro aggressions that continue to go unchecked will only increase. Do not let them think that this behavior is acceptable because of things like money or large fan bases. Because on behalf of Rosie Perez and the Latino community at large, I do NOT accept the apology of Ms. Kelly Osbourne.
Great Read. Thank You to the author, Shannon and MuslimGirl for publishing it.
Kelly Osborne’s comment and subsequent so-called apology (while joking and essentially blaming Rosie Perez) is representative of so many White “liberals, progressives” in our society. Who think they get it, believe they can sympathize (yet will never fully understand lived experiences) with minorities, and understand White Privilege. They’ll call out individuals to defend (save) their friend who is a PoC, but in the right conversation, whether public or private, their own words will betray their deep thoughts. White allies are people who accept their shortcomings and will push forward to grow.
I like the way you write, but . . .
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