Still Suiting Up & Shutting Up, Boys & Girls
Think about why such a style choice feels comfortable for a 53 year-old black male? A better question is, perhaps, “Why would this style choice make white people more comfortable?” That is, why would it put Racist Man/Woman more at ease than brown skin attired in a bow-tie, and, say, a fedora, stetson, or no hat? Does it communicate to Racist Man/Woman that no matter how many virile, young black males he employs and no matter how old he is that said black male is in no danger of trying to graduate from boyhood to manhood? Maybe Mr. Simmons only has to don such get-ups a few times per month to avoid news headlines such as “Arrest of Hip-Hop Tycoon (no pun intended) Seals Criminal Character of Industry.” But, d a y u m.
I’m not picking on Mr. Simmons. Really, I’m not. It is frightening to face the disapproval of white people. (And make no mistake about it, Mr. Simmons has stared down the barrel of their guns as a result of his opposition to their system. See Chapter 32 NYPD vs Hip-Hop Summit Rap Moguls Russell Simmons and Sean Puffy Combs; Targeting Public Enemy in The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders by Jon Potash.)
I have seen otherwise attractive black females attire themselves for the job in a manner that would probably be appropriate for their grandmother or their brother. And, I suspect it is because normal attire would be sexually threatening to white women who might, then, decide that the black female “just isn’t a good fit—for the organization.”
As for Mr. Simmons, I could get with that baseball cap, if on the front, instead of the “NY” emblem for the New York Yankees baseball team, it said “Still A Boy” in bold letters. But, then, I can’t protect Mr. Simmons from Racist Man and Racist Woman. So, why should he care what I think? Let’s Replace White Supremacy With Justice. And, let’s hurry-up about it. It won’t be long before so-called baby boomers are memorial boomers, ya know. I want this done before the existences of Mr. Simmons and I are terminated.
For now, I, like all black people past puberty, gotta suit up and shut up in order to keep breathing. White people are powerful and there is no limit to their capacity for meanness. The scowl of black hip-hop icons can’t scare me nearly as much as the cold, smiling blue eyes of white people.