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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

Enemies of Progress

Night Cap

Black women, we are fierce, we are resilient, and we are unapologetically ourselves. However, in a world where our worth is often diminished or overlooked, it becomes imperative to amplify our voices in the face of adversity.

I waited as long as I could on this one, y'all. But it's a narrative that begs to be addressed.

You see them. You hear them. You wonder how they get to speak to the general public. Gilbert Arenas, Shannon Sharpe, and others, continuously stirring the pot with their ignorant attitudes and comments about women.

Gilbert Arenas, a former NBA star, and Shannon Sharpe, host of Club Shay Shay, always seem to find themselves under scrutiny after insensitive remarks regarding women, particularly Black women.

We can go back to 2015 when Arenas posted Instagram comments laden with sexism and misogyny. The short summary of Arenas' distasteful comments was that he thought America expected hot women to play basketball when the WNBA was announced in 1996, but instead the league is full of "ugly ladies running up and down the court." The objectification of women in sports is nothing new, but his comments had many underlying issues. His ignorant comments have never stopped. As a matter of fact, they have gotten worse.

On April 24, Shannon Sharpe interviewed Amanda Seales on his weekly podcast Club Shay Shay. They discussed her recent autism diagnosis for the first time, her lengthy career in Hollywood, and her life-journey as it relates to race. The conversation got intense on several occasions during the 3-hour sit-down where Seales expressed what she called "racist experiences" throughout her life, raising questions about Sharpe's ability to handle more sensitive topics.

Seales asked Shannon "Does that suffice as racist to you, or would you want to call it something else? Is that just kids being mean?" Shannon responded by saying "they're kids." He went on to say "Two things can be true. Kids can be kids and not function as an adult and things can be wrong." The interview only got worse, as he continued to dismiss her experiences.

Later, Sharpe, Arenas and Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson actually vilified Amanda Seales for being too educated and having standards when it comes to men.

In Sharpe's recent interview with comedian Gary Owen, Owen made Black women the butt of multiple jokes as he sat there on that couch, and Shannon said nothing, not even when Gary called Shannon out for not protecting Black women. All Shannon did was laugh. Profusely.

In a society that continues to undermine and undervalue Black women, it is crucial that we lean into our own strength, resilience, and unwavering spirit.

Our existence is not defined by the narrow perceptions perpetuated by individuals like Arenas and Sharpe but by our tenacity, intelligence, and boundless potential. Black women have been the backbone of numerous movements, catalysts for change, and epitomes of grace under fire.

As Black women, we represent a tapestry of diversity, brilliance, and unyielding determination. Our stories, experiences, and voices matter, and it is imperative that we continue to uplift and empower one another. Despite the disparaging remarks of a few ignorant voices, the collective strength of Black women remains unbreakable, unwavering, and unstoppable.

It is high time that we dismantle the antiquated stereotypes and unrealistic expectations that seek to confine and diminish Black women. We are not monolithic; we are multifaceted, complex beings deserving of respect, admiration, and equal treatment. Our worth is not up for debate, and our voices cannot be silenced by ignorance or bigotry, regardless of what gets thrown at us.

We already know that no one is coming to save us which is why we have always saved ourselves. We have to remind each other that we are a force to be reckoned with. Our voices matter, our stories are important, and our presence is invaluable.


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