I wonder how quickly Bolling would jump at you if you suggested he owes his success to someone. At yet, that’s exactly what he did to black artists on Tuesday, when he dismissed actor Jesse William’s highly-praised Sunday speech by saying black entertainers are only successful because of white people.
“The Next Jay Z”
Williams delivered a powerful and moving speech at the BET Awards on Sunday, highlighting the nature of cultural appropriation and the abuses that white culture rains down on African Americans and other minorities through systematic injustices and ignorance so advanced it’s indistinguishable from malevolence.
In his speech, Williams invoked Billie Holiday’s song, “Strange Fruit,” as an example of appropriation:
We’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil. Black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.
For most normal people, this would at least cause a moment of pause to think about what he’s saying. Even if you don’t necessarily think appropriation is a problem in isolation, it can’t be denied that it exists within the society-wide systematic mentality that regularly degrades being black and blackness all the same.
But Eric Bolling is not a mere mortal like you or me, and he showed that on The Five Monday:
The reason why rappers are living in — you know, driving in Mercedes-Benz’s and living in neighborhoods is because they’re selling their music, not just to the black community, but to the white community. Every suburban white kid thinks he’s the next rap star, thinks he’s the next Jay Z.
Way to miss that point, Bolling.
The hosts were also confused about the criticism leveled against Justin Timberlake during the speech. Timberlake has been accused of appropriating black culture in the past, and while he apologized for stepping in it on the issue of Janet Jackson, co-host Kimberly Guillfoyle was still confused:
I didn’t know he was so angry. He seems so upset, I don’t know, I mean I feel like, yeah, there’s things that go wrong, but also focus on the positive.
This, it should be noted, is coming from a Fox News Host. Fox News, you’ll remember, has the official tagline, “America’s trusted source for White Indignation and Entitlement.”
Watch the video below:
Feature image via video screen capture