A place to interrogate the norms, gain insights, and get inspired


On Sunday, CBS aired the Grammy Awards. Per usual, there was great controversy around who received nominations and of course many thoughts on the eventual winners. The Recording Academy like the rest of the entertainment associations has not been above criticism when it comes to their lack of diversity as well as general disregard of the contributions of Black artists to the culture. I learned long ago to not expect much there. However, in recent years, there's been a trend in white artists telling Black artists they deserve an award more than they do and I need it to end.

This year it was Billie Eilish to Megan Thee Stallion. In 2017, it was Adele and before that, there was Macklemore. In the time following the earlier instances, neither artist has done anything meaningful in eliciting change in the system that led to their recognition in the first place. While I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that their intentions in the moment were good, without any action to back it up, it only serves to alleviate the winner's guilt.

False humility makes the situation uncomfortable for everyone while serving no one. What does it mean if you feel someone else is more deserving, but are still keeping the award? Or even further, not utilizing your status to push for better representation within the academy or simply calling out your white privilege for what it is. If spending your privilege is too much to ask, then just be quiet. Not every person is about doing the work and that's fine. The very least you can do is take ownership of your discomfort and leave the rest of us out of it.

Unrelated, but related: I cannot get over the fact that CBS is the same network that was part of blacklisting Janet Jackson for an accidental nip slip in 2004, broadcast a performance where Meghan thee Stallion and Cardi B simulated sex on stage. I'm forever here for those two, but #JusticeforJanet is equally important.


Many of us have been socialized to associate productivity with goodness, and even further, our worth. That is a scam. Sometimes existing is enough.


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