Why Gary Owen Calling Out Mo'Nique Doesn't Sit Well With Me
This isn't the reason you were offered a plate at the cookout.
By now, we’ve likely all heard about Mo’Nique’s perceived slight in the form of an alleged Netflix low-ball, subsequent rally for a Netflix boycott, and public stone-throwing at seemingly any and every black producer in Hollywood.
All of this being introduced through sporadic social media videos introduced with her now iconic, catch-phrase of “Hello, my loves.”
Well, recently, the comedienne got into a heated Twitter exchange with longtime black political and social commentator Roland Martin. The shade-fest, where he took her to task for her infamous difficulty and gave receipts on his many positive cultural contributions, left me quite amused.
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But when fellow comedian -- though not her contemporary -- Gary Owen (a white man whose entire career has been built on being the only white person “invited to the cookout”) became centered in this conversation on black talent exploitation and the black female wage gap because he wanted to drag Mo'Nique on behalf of his very capable friend Packer -- I felt some type of way.
The most dangerous thing about misogynoir is that even in its most obvious form, it’s rarely acknowledged because black women being mistreated in our community is par for the course. It’s an issue that causes extreme in-fighting and debate with many, if not most, acknowledging that it’s just one of those things that will be.
I made a point to note all of the major players involved in this dust-up as currently, it’s all black men rallying against and clapping back at one black woman. These men made the decision to forego the main point of acknowledging the pay discrepancy (or even speaking to Mo’Nique’s obvious career suicide) and instead decided to belittle the messenger.
It's what we’re used to, unfortunately.
What’s new, was this white man -- invited to the cookout by his black male “homies” -- not only joined in on the fun of black female humiliation but was praised by other black people for his unsolicited and culturally uninformed opinion.
Owen, as down as he believes himself to be, will never experience discrimination based on being a woman, black, or a black woman. He's unfamiliar with the insidious suspicion and rage that this can seed if you're constantly dealing with it. And, no, having a black wife and family doesn't change this.
No one really wants to talk about the pay discrimination of black women. We’d rather talk about a black woman’s attitude and her lack of professionalism, an ever-popular gaslighting technique and slight of hand.
While I’ve never been a fan of Mo’Nique, it’s easy to forget that the initial conversation is one surrounding the pay gap among women, racism, and the financial marginalization of black women -- the unholy trinity. It's a very real issue.
The whole thing has me wondering if self-proclaimed white male allies know that they’re supposed to be a friend to the black community at-large, and not just black men?
To all these cookout plus ones: If you’ve been invited to the event to extend the violence of misogynoir, we have enough of that already. Please stay at home.
Next time, I hope your black male homies fix you a plate, get you a red cup, and remind you that derogatory public opinions on family business aren’t needed or welcomed.