White People Embarrassing Themselves.
Taylor Swift, star of the LVIII Super Bowl, this year’s Grammys and a crackpot Fox News conspiracy theory that she’s a government PSYOP, is also the winner of my award for “Least Embarrassing Way To Attach Yourself to a Black Person When Accepting an Award.”
For the uncouth among my readers, modern etiquette dictates that:
1) Black people win all awards; and
2) When that is absolutely impossible, the white winner must somehow latch onto a black person, stressing how fond he is of black people.
In Taylor’s case, she recently made history by becoming the first musician to win four Album of the Year awards. This was despite her being, as The New York Times put it, “white and thin and blond in a world that continues to privilege whiteness and thinness and blondness.”
Thus, according to protocol, Taylor had to attach herself to a black person. This she did by becoming part of the show when Tracy Chapman reprised her 1988 hit “Fast Car” at the Grammys. Taylor rose from the audience, like a mushroom popping up amid the moss, and sang along for the entire song.
Boffo publicity! Twitter instantly exploded in gratitude and admiration for the Grammys champion. The media hailed Taylor’s performative tribute to Chapman as if she’d orchestrated the Peace of Westphalia. (The Times: “Taylor Swift singing along to Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs performing “Fast Car” is some kind of apotheosis of 2023 in music.”)
Embarrassing, but nothing like Adele’s speech at the 2017 Grammys after she’d won Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year for her work, “25.” She was up against Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” also a smash hit. (Stats: “Lemonade” sold 485,000 copies in its first week; “25” sold more than 3.38 million. “Lemonade” debuted at No. 1 in the U.S.; “25” debuted at No. 1 in 32 countries. “25” went on to become the fourth best-selling album of the 21st century.)
After some brief throat-clearing, Adele quickly got to the point of her acceptance speech:
“I can’t possibly accept this award. I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious, but honestly, my life is Beyonce.
“The ‘Lemonade’ album, Beyonce, was so monumental, so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-bearing. And we all got to see another side of you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that. And all us artists here, we f-ing adore you. You are our light.
“And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering, and you make them stand up for themselves. And I love you. I always have. And I always will.”
(Sorry for such a long quote; I figured you wouldn’t believe me otherwise.)
But Adele’s performance was still not the most mortifying example of a white person using a personal triumph to affix himself to a black person.
That honor goes to Novak Djokovic, who, upon winning his fourth U.S. Open title, incomprehensibly turned it into a tribute to Kobe Bryant, a professional athlete in a different sport, from a different country, who’d died three years earlier.
In anticipation of his shining moment in the sun, Djokovic had even made a T-shirt, with his and Bryant’s faces surrounded by the words, “MAMBA FOREVER.” It would have been weird if he’d done this with his coach’s face, his father’s face, his wife’s face (all who also had something to do with his success). Bryant was an American basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers, having nothing to do with professional tennis.
That wasn’t the end of the sartorial tribute. Djokovic also donned jacket with a “24” patch, which — as he explained to the audience — was Bryant’s number with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Naturally, the bulk of Djokovic’s victory speech was about his black friend — a “close friend,” with whom he “chatted a lot.” Congratulations, Novak! You had a black friend. And now that he’s gone, there’s only the memory of having once had a black friend.
The whole production was so absurd, it seemed like a Borat sketch of a vulgar foreigner who’d never met a black person.
Probably kicking himself for not having thought of mocking up T-shirts of himself and a black friend, actor Tom Hiddleston instead used his acceptance speech at the 2017 Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television to drone on about … Sudan.
In case you were wondering, the TV series for which he’d won, “The Night Manager,” was not about Sudan. It was a spy caper based on a John le Carre novel. But Hiddleston thought it was important for everyone to know that he’d recently visited Sudan with the United Nations Children’s Fund.
He told the audience that in Sudan, there was a “terrible situation happening for children.” But on the bright side, the people there loved “The Night Manager”! This he found deeply gratifying: “The idea that we could provide some entertainment and relief to people … who are fixing the world. I dedicate this to those out there who are doing their best.”
The dedication didn’t involve actually giving anyone anything, mind you. It was more in the way of a verbal acknowledgment because he’s such a great guy.
At the 2022 Critics Choice Awards, Best Director winner Jane Campion — translucently white — spent much of her speech praising random black people in the audience, such as Will Smith, Venus Williams and Serena Williams. They weren’t even “close friend[s]” who “chatted a lot,” like Djokovic and his black friend.
Thinking she was really connecting with black people, Campion said, “Venus and Serena, you’re such marvels,” adding, “however, you don’t play against the guys, like I have to.”
Recriminations and heartfelt apologies followed.
In one of the earliest “I love black people” exhibitions, Adrien Brody skipped subtlety at the 2003 Academy Awards. After winning Best Actor for his performance in “The Pianist,” he grabbed the black presenter, Halle Berry, and passionately kissed her in a smooch that went on so long that by the time he was finished, the “get off the stage” lights were blinking.
Berry later said the only thing going through her mind during the cringe-inducing kiss was, “What the f**k is happening right now?”
What was happening was this: A white actor was making damn sure everyone knew how much he liked black people.
Originally found on Ann Coulter’s Substack. Unsafe