Note: I know this says Kathy Rae–but the updated version of this is Addison Rae. She is the White girl that went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, doing the UP dance (badly!) which she copied from Black creators on TikTok. Addison Rae is the representation of the mediocrity, and the thievery of the greater, blank, White culture. I said what I said. -JBHarris
I don’t know what it is about White women that take it upon themselves to believe taking what belongs to Black culture, and making it theirs is okay! Where they really believe that if they take what we have created? They believe that no one will come for them!
What I wish that greater White culture would understand–and even some of our African cousins would sympathize to–is the Black people here, the African-American people here, we have created a culture, an identity from memory. From what we could remember, what we could recreate and what we could save! We have a right to gatekeep! In the words of Sunni Patterson: What can be saved when all is lost?
This child took her privilege– without packing rhythm, style or swag–to Jimmy Fallon and all but had a seizure on stage to Cardi B’s song, Up. What is always so amazing about these Addison Rae’s is the chutzpah they have! They see something neither created by them, nor created for them, where they are not the center of which may put someone else in the center? They steal it.
There is no other way to explain this. There is no erasing of this. There is no, “You’re being sensitive.” or “You should be flattered.” No, I should slap fire from you! White supremacy is a viral contagion which is a threat to all POC/BIPOC/Indigenous people EVERYWHERE! You steal what we have preserved. You mock what we hold sacred! But the moment you can make money off it? The moment it is fad, fashionable–then it’s exotic! For capitalism, anything exotic is profitable.
Black people are not going to apologize for gatekeeping culture. We are no going to apologize for checking these Becky Sue JaneDoes/Addison Rae’s about what belongs to us. The time for that was over when Tignon Laws where implemented–and to a lesser extent? They still are. Now it is just called, professional attire. And the world wonders we as Black women celebrate the soliloquy of Mama Pope.