For the past week, people like Skai Jackson and others have been exposing racists online, both normal people and celebrities. I tend to believe that Skai is getting some tips or requests for some exposures too. On June 5th, “Skai Jackson Stan” posted this video clip from 2016, featuring Alia Shawkat dropping the n-word like it was nothing:
— skai jackson stan (@skaijackson54) June 5, 2020
First of all, her comfort with dropping that word is startling. This didn’t happen years and years ago, and this didn’t happen when Alia was some dumb kid. In 2016, every non-black person knew well enough to NOT use that word. And Alia was 27 years old when she said that. YIKES. Well, Alia released an apology for the video:
“I am writing this to address a video that was posted of me quoting a song with the n-word in it as part of an interview from 4 years ago,” her statement began. “I am deeply sorry and I take full responsibility. It was a careless moment, one I’m ashamed and embarrassed by, but vow to continue to learn from. I regret using a word that carries so much pain and history to black people, as it is never a word to be used by someone who is not black. I have been learning so much about what it truly means to be an ally. The voices black people must be amplified and heard clearly.”
“As an Arabic woman, who can pass for white, I’m working hard to process this nuanced access I’ve been afforded, and I realize how important it is to be hyper vigilant in the spaces I exist in,” she expressed. “I have been trying to understand the real definition of the word ally. It is more than simply believing in equality but to be willing to act with and for the black community. I aim to fight against these injustices and remind myself that this isn’t about a title but an action to work against these systems that have protected me but not others.”
“I am sorry that my ignorance has led me to this moment. I will continue to support the black community as best as I can and learn from this,” she said. “We as non black people must all take responsibly for the inactivity we’ve been comfortable to sit with for so long- that has gotten us here. Silence is violence, and so are the words we irresponsibly throw out. I plan to stay engaged and learn from my friends who are helping me understand,” Shawkat concluded. “And to take on this fight for justice with an active minds and open heart. I thank you for reading.”
Eh, it is what it is. I’m not saying Alia is forgiven or cancelled because I’m not the arbiter of that and it’s not my place to adjudicate it. It reminds me a bit of what we heard about Lena Dunham and her crew of wealthy hipsters – people who have worked with or associated with that group have described the kind of casual racism that permeates around those people. That’s what Alia’s video reminded me of, especially the way she dropped it so casually. How many times did she say that word privately in her group of friends for years?
— Alia Shawkat (@ShawkatAlia) June 9, 2020
Photos courtesy of Getty, Backgrid and Avalon Red.