Jermaine Reed, MFA is a college professor and writer from Chicago, who creates fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. Please join Jermaine’s email list to get notifications on new blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get his recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here. Follow J Reed on Twitter @jreed913 . Check out The Reeders Block Podcast and subscribe there to hear more.
Fresh and Fit Podcast Hosts Fresh and Myron Gaines, who are Black, have made headlines, after woefully disrespecting African American women, calling them “Shaniquas”. As for dating Black women, the two argue they “don’t dabble in the dark.” They said they would probably be romantically involved with a “redbone” — lighter-skinned African American women — but Black women are generally not their “preference”. Are their statements a matter of preference or a symptom of self-hate unfairly projected onto Black women?
When defending their statements about not dating African American women, they did what most prejudice cowards do: they hid behind the word “preference”. Dating preferences are fine. No one should dictate who another person loves, but Gaines and Fresh show their bias when referring to Black women as “Shaniquas.”
Collectively calling Black women “Shaniquas” shows how careless Fresh and Gaines are and reveals a certain level of contempt of Black women. Though unsaid by the two, one walks away feeling the underlying message from these two is, Black women lack diversity in personality and uniqueness that set them apart from one another. Gaines and Fresh’s statements are ruled by gender and race, without taking into account any Black woman’s individuality.
For instance, according to ThoughtCo., African American women “are the most educated group in the U.S.” Moreover, Black women are “among the fastest growing entrepreneurs,”noted Forbes. These things considered, Black women bring education, financial discipline and spiritual wealth, wherever they go. With all these facts being true, what is the issue with the statements made by Gaines and Fresh?
Although Black women saw the ugliest parts of slavery — rape, child abduction and worse — they have constantly had to battle popularized stereotypes about their personalities, attitudes and social usefulness. The statements by Gaines and Fresh reinforce these false ideas.
Also, when Gaines and Fresh say they might date a “redbone”, they boost the idea that light skinned Black women are more attractive than darker skinned Black women. This assumption is based solely on skin shade and gender and nothing else. It also upholds the disproven theory that lighter skin is somehow better or more attractive than darker skin. Mixed with ignorance, misogyny of Black women and a terrible understanding of the socially negative effects of these statements, Fresh and Gaines spread a disdain for Black women.
Before hearing of these statements this week, most people probably didn’t know who Fresh and Myron Gaines were and didn’t listen to their podcast. These two have nothing to talk about, other than spewing ignorance against African American women. Their statements are cringeworthy and offensive. Those who support their statements are just as much the problem. Fresh and Gaines don’t deserve an audience; they need an educator.
Subscribe and share. Be sure to leave a comment or question. Thanks for reading.