Mert’s Safe Space
A weekly column diving into questions about race, gender and social issues from a black, honest, fair and masculine perspective
Email: mertavius@gmail to sugget topics and ask questions
Today’s Questions come from Orlando in Queens, NY and Timothy in Long Island:
Question 1 from Orlando:
Mert did you see Obama’s portraits go up in the White House, how could America be viewed as racist? Isnt President Obama one of America’s greatest achievement, as a white man I think we should get credit for this but I’d never say that out loud?
Great question Orlando and questions like these give me nightmares, because the white people who are interested in progress can’t be taken for granted and often times are.
If we tell white people who campaigned and donated money to Obama’s campaign that they should shut up and not take credit for it, then we risk turning off those allies in the future.
So to answer your question,
No it’s not one of America’s greatest achievements; it’s one the world’s greatest achievements!
And to all the white people who made that possible, I want to give you a big thank you! Without white partnership and support, we could not have given the world hope and enthusiasm as to what was; and what is possible.
Around the world after Barack Obama became president, billions of people thought to themselves, if a black man could be in charge of America, then anything is possible.
Why I write about this now is because I want blacks, whites and every other minorities to understand the importance of white partnership.
Personally, everytime I get asked for work/career related advice by a minority I ask them do you know any white people in the field your trying to get into.
Victoria Schneps, a white woman who I met through another white woman Dottie Herman, has helped me see and experience some things in life professionally that other communities dream of. She’s made me more money in one month than any job has and it was all based upon a relationship that was built.
I like to brag about my successful white friends and colleagues because minorities often times make other minorities feel bad for having such connections.
They should not; and in turn, white people like Orlando shouldn’t feel bad for wanting credit for Obama or any other success of minority communities they helped participate in.
Some may say this is a demeaning statement to blacks and other races, but I’m not interested in placating anyone’s feelings, I seek to remind and in some cases teach the importance of dealing with reality instead of dealing off emotion and gestures of kindness.
Question 2 from Timothy:
Mert based of what I’ve read in the past you seem arrogant but at least you believe in what you say, here’s a topic for you. Is Disney making the Little Mermaid black wrong?
Yes, it’s something that shouldn’t be done because we all know the reason their doing it, to stir up controversy and paint themselves as progressive.
I love Disney and their long catalogue of movies and T.V shows but this right here”just aint it”; if Disney wanted to introduce another black character, they should invest the money, effort and time into creating another black character, instead of replacing an iconic white character with a person of color.
This strategy which i consider lazy is honestly very effective, so I can’t really blame Disney for doing it because over the last couple of days, I’ve been on social media researching the responses and black people are overwhelmingly supporting the black version of “The Little Mermaid”.
It shows me how hungry black people are for an image that represents them, but if you dive deeper, you will see that we are not putting in the work of creating those images ourselves.
To illustrate my point ask yourself this question?
Whens the last time the black community has created a black cartoon character and both marketed and supported it?
Bottom line, stop changing the race of iconic characters to placate and harvest quick admiration from black people or other minorities,
If you want to garner the support of minority communities give us new characters and put the money and resources into making those characters iconic.
The world doesn’t need a black James Bond or a gay Super Man. Do the hard work and make new characters that fit those descriptions but have their own stories.