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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Keke, Spellcheck.

Dearest Keke Palmer,

Girl, I've been a fan since you starred in Akeelah and the Bee. Look at you! You're the youngest person ever to have their own TV talk show AND you'll be the first Black Cinderella on Broadway.

But let's have a chat about your view on #MikeBrown.

For those of you just catching up on the story, Mike Brown is yet ANOTHER unarmed Black teenage boy shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. There are conflicting stories about exactly what happened but at the end of the day, there's another dead Black unarmed teenager that we can add to a growing list of names and statistics, and growing pain and frustration within the African American community.

Keke, here's my thing. I'm grateful that you're using your Twitter platform to reach out to people about the topic and issue and I don't totally disagree with you. Yes, I wish that we all could just get along every now and then. But you make a couple serious flaws.

First of all, if you're going to start preaching to the choir, make sure you proofread your lecture. You have a show on BET but can't spell racism? Really?!

2. I have an issue with you trying to take a colorblind stance on the Mike Brown issue. Is it too early to pull the racial profiling card yet? In my opinion, yes. I'd like to have more information about exactly what happened before I lay out my hand. And you're also partially right in saying we shouldn't always self-segregate ourselves. But that is NOT the issue here. From my understanding, Ferguson is a predominately African American lower-income neighborhood (please correct me if I'm wrong). Now answer these two questions: first, do you think these people want to live in a lower-income neighborhood? And secondly, do you think it's a coincidence that this lower-income neighborhood is primarily occupied by people of color? This is a prime example of how institutional racism is systematically keeping minorities on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. I can talk about that all day, but my point is, we (as Black people) are NOT separating ourselves. The war against drugs, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the countless other systems of institutional racism continues to separate us. Get it right.

Yes Keke. All of our blood is red. So why is the blood of unarmed Black teenagers being spilt at a far more disproportional rate than non-people of color? The answer isn't in our DNA...

And I can't stop bullets with my flesh. Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, Oscar Grant, Jordan Davis and the countless other African Americans who die unarmed at the hands of the police taught us that. 

4.  And productive silence accomplishes what? Maybe getting a Tweet retweeted a billion times? Is telling your 1.58 million followers that God is love and we're all human and "Let's all hold hands and Kumbaya!" the answer? How are you helping in the movement? Are you going to use your new television show on BET to shine a light on this continuing issue? I'd hope so! Because the hundreds of community members rallying day and night for this young man are doing more right now than you just sitting behind a computer and productively praying.

One love Keke.

From your fan,

Malaika N.

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