Side-Eyeing Daniele Watts
Daniele Watts, a black actress who was in Django Unchained, was recently detained by police officers in Los Angeles (Studio City) and wrote a Facebook message about it. Her boyfriend also wrote a statement. Both were alleging that the cops thought she was a prostitute simply because she was with a white man. That’s a valid complaint. Many black women have stories of white (or other-race) men assuming they are prostitutes no matter where they are or how they’re dressed. That’s disgusting and men really need to start respecting women again because things are just getting worse and I don’t know how this can improve now aside from men taking responsibility to stop their bull crap.
The Internet was aflame with support for Ms. Watts. Many thinkpieces abounded in cyberspace places hither, to, and yon. Black women tweeted and wrote on Facebook about how white men done did them wrong assuming they were prostitutes in their past. And these stories and sharing are all valid and need to be told and shared.
When things like this happen today (as revealed by TMZ), we need to look at how quick we are to defend our own when we accuse someone else of racist tactics. Like Solomon said in Proverbs 32:17, “Trust, but verify.”
For Daniele’s story, I first thought, “Well, multiple people called the police on Daniele and her boyfriend Brian, so…is this really mistaken identity?” If it was one person, sure, I could see that. However, multiple people called in reporting indecent exposure…in Los Angeles…where I’ve seen naked people walking down the street (which is illegal, I think, but no one seemed fazed)…in Studio City…in the Valley…which is like the porn capital of the world…so maybe, just MAYBE, something more was going on than Daniele’s original story of simply kissing on the street with all of her clothes on.
According to the TMZ pictures, there was a whole lotta carnal shaking going on in that Mercedes Benz with no bumper. (She couldn’t get a white man who had a bumper on his Benz? SHE’S DOING THIS WHOLE DATING A WHITE MAN THING WRONG. Because honey, lemme tell you. What you SHOULD BE doing is at least getting a white man with an intact luxury car. At the very least.) They were screwing in the car, then got caught and she probably got embarrassed and thought she would lose her job (she was outside of the studio lot) if this got out, so she had to frame the story as a racism story to exonerate herself. I do not support this.
Racism is real and the more we interject it into conversations where it does not belong, the worse off it becomes for us to prove it. We can’t keep crying wolf over racism for everything where none exists. We also tend to blame the wrong people when leveling accusations of racism and take part in a witch hunt (e.g. – blaming Iggy Azalea for appropriating black culture but never ask T.I. why he’s guiding her that way; blaming Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry for hating black and Asian people, but seem to be okay with pretending that they’re in charge of their careers and music video direction).
We can’t keep painting all white people as our enemies and saying that they overall don’t understand or “get” racism in situations like Daniele’s original story. We also can’t support Daniele’s story now, nor does this still open up a larger discussion for assuming black women are prostitutes. That is something to discuss, but it can’t come from Daniele’s story any longer. We lost this one, my people. Just take the L, distance yourself from a woman who had sex on a busy street in broad daylight and was assumed to be a prostitute because she was indeed doing something prostitute-y on a busy street in broad daylight on the other side of the wall where she works. Like…GIRL. No, really. For real. GIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLUUUUUUHHHHHH. And yes, I’d say this to any man or woman who had a privileged job working in Hollywood and did the same thing.
Do you still support Daniele Watts or are you already over it? Were you shocked or saying, “I wondered when or if more would come out about this” like I did? Let me know in the comments.