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Calling A Nine Year Old A Cunt

Quvenzhane WallisI never did care to follow the satirical magazine The Onion.  I’ve always heard, read people referring to this publication as funny and/or clever and/or genius and/or witty and/or whatever.  I may have actually tried to absorb its comedy a handful of times.  But I’ve always come away from my effort with the opinion that I just wasted my time.  The humor of The Onion ranked right up there with the Doonesbury comic or the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson reruns.  It might be good for a half hearted chuckle, but whoever thinks this was class leading funny really has a strange sense of humor.

I was never under the impression that I was a member of the target entertainment market for the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson or the Doonesbury comic strip.  That kind of humor was primarily geared to white people.  And so I have to assume that The Onion is so geared as well.  How else would anybody take using Twitter to call a nine year old girl, a black girl caught up in the rapture that comes with being nominated for an Oscar, a cunt?  Then again, this is the kind of bullshit that passes for funny at The Onion.

Now maybe it’s just a coincidence that someone would use such a vile word that is used as a reference to a woman’s most significant sexual organ, a word historically used to demean the female gender, as part of a tasteless public joke about a totally inoffensive little black girl.  Maybe the author really didn’t mean to be so disgusting and thought that he or she was just participating in some clean wholesome fun.  It may have been just the type of thoughtless banter that appears anonymously on the internet.  But it’s also the type of thoughtless bullshit that should make people think twice about what type of company or agency or person or entity they give their blind support to.

What type of person would call a little black girl a cunt?  Why would somebody give such an offensive person a platform to spew such depraved slander?  Why would I want to associate myself with either?  Those are the types of self reflecting questions everyone needs to be asking of his or her self.

Instead, in typical “it happened to a black person so what does it matter” fashion, people came to the defense of The Onion saying that it was only a joke so we should all just forget about it.  And if that was true then we would just put it behind us.  But what if the joke was about one of the children murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting, would some of us be so quick to dismiss the offense with a nonchalant wave of the hand?  Some of us probably would.  But I’m betting that some people who weren’t the least bit offended about the reference to Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis would see the “joke” in a different context.  Are a bunch of dead primarily white children more deserving of respect and sensitivity than a single black girl winning an Oscar?  Those Sandy Hook kids are dead while Quvenzhane Wallis has to live the rest of her life with what happened to her that night.

There is little doubt that my comparison with the children of Sandy Hook will offend some.  Regardless of how much I might explain that I’m not trying to be rude to anybody but am simply trying to get people to expand their sense of compassion there will be people who will be greatly offended merely by my suggestion.  People will write comments about how vulgar and impolite I am.  I welcome the chance to enter an intelligent dialogue if somebody is willing to discuss, but I’m sure most comments will simply be deleted.

But the point is that if such people chose they will have an opportunity to confront the author, me, about what I wrote.  The writer of the original cunt joke hides behind a wall of anonymity with The Onion’s name written all over it.  The powers that be at The Onion may have apologized for the “joke”, but they have also made the decision to protect the identity of the joker like the hooded white sheet protects the identity of a klan member.  We simply should trust their word when they say that the joker will be appropriately disciplined.  They might keep their word, but there is really no way to verify it.

If The Onion wants to make sure the author is appropriately disciplined they should out the person who wrote it.  Let him or her apologize to Ms. Wallis first and foremost, let him or her apologize to their fellow employees at The Onion, and then let him or her apologize to the world for putting their sick little tweet out in the public.  Let it be known that The Onion truly doesn’t tolerate such loathing even it if was meant to be disguised as comedy.  Let The Onion truly take a stand for integrity and give people the ability to verify it.  Otherwise, this publication will continue to look like nothing anybody should be bothering to read in a useless attempt to find something truly funny.

Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts


  1. It is not imagination. Young Black Girls in North America are media targets because mainstream society are desperate for Young Black Girls to “learn their place” at an early age lest more of them become Quvenzhane Wallis, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama, Willow Smith, Gabrielle Douglas, Venus Williams, Serena Williams–or heaven forbid–First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Sasha and Malia Obama USED to be criticized like grown women until the President stepped to the media and said, “Not MY children, you don’t.” You don’t hear much sniping and complaining about those two very well-behaved girls any more.

    Venus and Serena Williams, if not for their father (who the media HATED for not letting them “get at” his girls), would have been chewed up in the sports media meat grinder. Some of us recall when the girls got booed and called racist names by North Americans when they played doubles or singles overseas.

    Amanda Steinberg became the target of her own Twitter attack by ignorant, illiterates and racists who expressed repulsion at the thought of a Black female scifi hero.

    Gabrielle Douglas heard side commentary from her own teammates about the width of her nose and got called a “flying squirrel.”

    I’ve also seen nasty commentary against Willow Smith for being the privileged child of wealthy, powerful actors in Hollywood.

    Little Black Girls are TARGETED. It is not your/our imagination. Mainstream society wants Little Black Girls to know their place is not first, second, third, or even fourth. They want to do enough psychological damage to convince Little Black Girls that their place is last, that they mean less, that they are worth less. That no one will defend them when White males and/or females of privilege attack.

    Thank God Quvenzhane Wallis has the self-confidence, self-worth, and self-knowledge, the bravery and the class to look grown rich White male idiots of privilege with media power and dominance straight in the face and let them know that SHE KNOWS WHO SHE IS and who she is not. These patriarchal racists–writers at The Onion, writers at SNL, writers at The Academy Awards–attempted their very best to marginalize Wallis with C-Bomb, Little Q, Miss Q, “Annie” and she did not allow them to call her out of her name or maintain any social or cultural power over her. Now that’s a child well-raised.

    By the way, if Hollywood can say Schwartzenegger, then they can say Quvenzhane or continue to reveal themselves as the racist illiterates and social misfits they likely are anyway.

    And I did notice that none of the blue-eyed blonde female child actors–Ashely and Elizabeth Olson, Abigail Breslin, Dakota Fanning–received the level of contempt, loathing, disrespect, and “satire” thrown Quvenzhane’s way. Certainly, Jennifer Lawrence did not. Harvey Weinstein would have fallen upon The Onion like a ton of bricks if she’d been C-Bombed either before or after receiving her Oscar. Lawrence’s magic night and Lawrence herself remained apparently undisturbed by the disrespect shown her fellow nominee.

    I truly wonder whether any of these women recognize their White privilege granted by their White male protectors, but I doubt it. Everyone seems color-blinded by all the “satire.”

    The only two Black females at the Academy Awards with any camera time–First Lady Michelle Obama and Quvenzhane Wallis–received vituperative commentary for daring to show their brown faces and daring to breathe the rare air of that White-dominated world.

    Hollywood and mainstream media have revealed themselves time and again as purveyors of racial hatred and misogyny.

    I love the way not only First Lady Michelle Obama, but also Quvenzhane Wallis refuse to bow down. These two wonderful role models know and understand that their place is wherever they want it to be and the White patriarchy in North America need to get with that program.

    Comment by Donella | Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | Reply

  2. I’m a white, middle aged woman, and I am appalled that anyone – ANYONE – would refer to any nine year old girl with one of the most truly vile words ever invented in any human language. Period. Sir or madam, whomever you are, and which decided to soil yourself with such a legacy, you are a disgusting pig. Shame on you! Your parents must be so proud.

    Comment by kelly | Monday, October 28, 2013 | Reply

  3. PS: As a white woman, I voted for a black president – twice. I’m relieved that the better man won both times. My parents taught me to see beyond the color of skin, religion, or other differences that set people apart, and keep them apart. I’m teaching my son the same, and I’m pleased to say it’s been effective. Maybe if we all do that, in a few generations such animity can be abolished for good. Maybe I’m a dreamer – but it’s a dream worth believing in and hoping for. As I recall, a wise, noble man once said, too, “I have a dream”.

    Comment by kelly | Monday, October 28, 2013 | Reply

  4. Donella, I like the way you think and the way you write.

    Comment by William | Saturday, November 2, 2013 | Reply

  5. Thank you for that, William. I stopped by to report that The Onion has ceased its print publication due to a lack of advertising dollars. Good riddance because they’ve published about 8 articles also mocking Sasha Obama.

    Comment by Donella | Thursday, January 2, 2014 | Reply

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