So over on YouTube, there was this video created by “Uncle Rush” aka Russel Simmons about Harriet Tubman. Seems okay, right? Wait. The video was about a sex tape. The video was pretty much “Harriet Tubman’s Sex Tape”, and was how she got her freedom through using her sexuality.
It featured DeStorm Power, Shanna Malcolm, and a few other popular YouTube users. I was crushed about it, and have only seen clips. But through word of mouth via user chescaleigh, I’ve seen and heard about as much as I’d like to. Chesca called out both these users. I mean, this was obviously unacceptable to begin with. The video has since been taken down, but the scars are still there. Why did anyone….let alone “Unca Rush an’ them”, think this was a good idea?
Now, when Chesca called out these people, DeStorm pretty much gave an awkward response that was basically like putting a hat over one’s face and going to sleep. Shanna eventually got her friend–Shane Dawson–into the fray. Shane’s fans came for Chesca, and took it to a childish, ugly level. She talks about everything in a video. What I hated is how NOBODY CARED. I mean good LORD, really?!
I’m sitting there all hurt and dumbfounded (this was before the video), trying to understand why my hero DeStorm would participate. I was already somewhat aware of Shane’s f*ckery, but tried my best to forgive. But waaaay back when he wrote that crappy Tweet about Trayvon Martin, I should have dropped him then. But all along, he’s been making fun of Black women, has been doing Blackface, has been childishly covering his tracks. The entire time, he’s pretty much been setting a very bad example for young and old fans alike about respectability and behavior in general. So, while he and Shanna are laughing and calling Chesca a hater, his fans were calling her all kinds of slurs. Not once did he stop them. Not once did he use his so-called power to make things right.
I had to move away from all that anger and negativity, really disliking Shane and asking myself how did he get so popular. But just like Chesca says in her video, it’s quite obvious–Questionable activity. Now, I liked him. I laughed, enjoyed some of his videos because I will be honest–I’m 28 and sometimes that sick, wacky toilet and goofball humor is my style. But, knowing where it comes from with him…..ugh…I don’t need it.
Here’s this kid who was overweight and bullied and lonely, who admirably battled demons for cripe’s sake….and….ugh….cannot process. I can’t stand behind anyone who thinks that perpetuating rape culture and becoming an apologist is a good thing. I can’t stand behind someone like Shane….period. I thought he was better than that. This is just like Onision all over again, and I don’t even wanna go there as to why I don’t follow his channel anymore. It’s just all too much drama behind horrible behavior.
The fact that people are okay with that awful video burns my soul. Harriet’s legacy isn’t something to be sexualized. It’s not something to be made light of. It’s not something we need to “get over”. That’s the problem with people and humor some of us get offended by. That’s the first dismissive thing–“get over it”. Even with humor I like, I try not to say that to people who get offended. I find a way to either respect them or steer away from the topic. It’s not always easy, but dismissing people’s feelings–that’s messed up.
Watching all these popular people–especially those of color–treat this issue with such carelessness really hurt me. Popularity with so many eyes watching is such a huge thing. It becomes a social thing. It teaches people about behavior of the acceptable and unacceptable kind. Like, I get that people don’t think that way, but folks are your fans. If they like you enough, they’re hanging on to your opinions and your thoughts. I’m not saying they don’t think for themselves, but, I promise you like-minded folk will come together and congregate.
This post was long and boring, but I had to get my feelings out somewhere. I don’t know why I couldn’t believe Shane, given his history. But DeStorm and Shanna…those two shocked me. But then again….Shanna participates in Shane’s messier videos, too. I won’t even get into the kinds of parts she plays. They’re all stereotypical. She’s cool with that, but, it’s a bad look period.