Raven -Symone: "Some People Just Look Like Animals" (Sigh)

Raven-Symone has lost her damn mind. I knew someone Black was going to come to the defense of former Univision host Rodner Figueroa who was recently fired after he compared First Lady Michelle Obama to Planet of the Apes. I guessed Don Lemon, maybe Stacey Dash.  They’ve both made a brand out of going right when all the other black people go left. It gets them more attention. But you know who else is starting to do that too? Raven-Symoné.

Yesterday, she visited The View as a guest host. And when the topic of Figueroa’s comments about FLOTUS came up, Raven-Symoné, wondered if he was actually being racist in comparing the First Lady to an ape, an allusion with historically racist implications.

“But was he saying it ‘racist-like?’” Raven-Symoné interjected, as if there is anyway to compare a black woman to an ape that’s not racist. “Because [Figueroa] did say he voted for [Obama] later and I don’t think he was saying it racist.”

Huh? Is this like the Oklahoma SAE frat guy who sang about lynching black folk to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, and when he was called racist, he posted a picture of a black girl he took to the frat’s dance one year? Because, you know, a date with a black woman at any point in history automatically cancels out any possibility of ever being racist, even when doing something blatantly racist, right? Is Figueroa that kind of not racist?

Things got more confusing as Raven-Symoné kept on. “Not Michelle…but some people look like animals,” she added. “I look like a bird, so can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?”

Um… last I checked there were no historically racist implications about African-Americans and the bird on the Fruit Loops box. And while Raven-Symoné may be under the impression that she looks like a beloved feathered friend— I disagree, but she’s entitled to think what she wants about her appearance— Michelle Obama doesn’t look anything like anything like a damn ape. So what does Symoné thinking she looks like a bird have to do with anything at all?

From most black folk, this would be a brain fart, like the time Sherri Shepherd couldn’t make a solid call on whether the world was flat, or round. But Symoné—not to confused with cute “Olivia”, who she played on TV over two decades ago—is starting to show a pattern of ignorance when it comes to race (and sexuality). And she’s starting to seem deeper in the Instagram memes of “Olivia” than she does in actual grown-up interviews.

In October, she had a sit down with Oprah where she just sounded utterly confused. “I don’t want to be labeled gay….I’m a human who loves other humans. …I’m American not African-American.  I don’t know what country I’m from in Africa, but I do know I have roots in Louisiana. I’m an American, and that’s a colorless person.”

To who? Don Imus? Paula Deen? The Ferguson PD? The NYPD? George Zimmerman? Or…


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RHOA's Kandi & Mama Joyce Visit The View.... Nothing Gets Resolved


I finally watched The View segment from yesterday featuring Kandi, Mama Joyce, and Todd—note the order there. I tuned in because I find this whole conflict fascinating. Usually this story plays out with a guy whose mom thinks her son is her man. Never seen it play out -- at this level-- this way and for so long.

The segment accomplished absolutely nothing for the conflict —we need Iyanla to fix this one—  but I'm sure it brought in good ratings.

Two parts that stood out to me:

*Aunt Whoopi told Mama, “let [Kandi] make the mistake if she’s going to make the mistake… you can’t do this for her.” Mama didn’t have a chance to respond to that or it was edited it out. I would have checked the idea that my man is a" mistake". But Kandi, as expected, didn't speak up for herself or her relationship. Again.

*Mama Joyce has a man. Who knew?


Mama's latest round of complaints is Todd is lazy because as a freelance producer, he took two months off in between jobs and used his savings to support himself. She's also back to talking about her concern for Kandi's daughter because when Todd appeared on WWHL, he didn't mention Kandi's daughter when he was talking about people affected by the family drama. Host Andy asked Todd what he thought about the accusations that Mama made about him and Kandi's best friend, Carmon. Todd talked about how it affects Carmon’s son and didn’t mention Kandi’s daughter. I’m unclear on why Mama thought he should have brought up Kandi’s kiddo in this response.

If Todd was living on Kandi's money during his break, I would get why Mama was concerned, but not at the level that she is. But he had SAVINGS and that is an indication of a responsible adult who prepares for a rainy day, and makes enough money to stash some away. Mama Joyce—and many from her generation— doesn't get that one of the reasons you become a freelancer is so you can do things like not work sometimes, enjoy some life, and still be able to support yourself. Working as a producer, you move from show- to- show and HUSTLE for work. Sometimes there are gaps. This is the nature of his business.  Todd said on The View that he recently started his own production company and landed a show. That’s not a lazy man. And even if he was lazy, like Aunt Whoopi said, that's for Kandi to deal with. Not her Mom.

Let’s cut the crap.  This isn't about Todd's work ethic, just like it's not about the accusations of him cheating, just like it's not about him not having Kandi-level money, just like it’s not about concern for Kandi's child. Mama's issue is she feels threatened and insecure by Kandi having another priority in her life, one that, when/if Kandi and Todd marry, is supposed to trump Mama’s reign in Kandi’s life. Mama wanting to be forever and always number one is how we got to the mess she's been pulling.

From what's been shown on the show-- very important to note-- this all started when Kandi wouldn't let her mother move in the guest house. If it were Kandi and  daughter only, Mom would be in there chilling. Todd's also a priority in Kandi's life and among other things, Kandi considered how Mama moving in would affect Todd, so she said, “no.”  Mama is used to hearing “yes”.

Kandi has let this go on for far, far too long. She doesn't seem to get that her silence isn't respecting her mother, it's disrespecting herself and her happiness. It will be tough to unravel this issue that both women have without the help of a therapist.

What makes this situation even harder is the mom is playing up a very real issue in front of the media, and let’s be clear, for attention. I'd like to think that Mama  wouldn't have tried to fight a woman 30+ years her junior in a bridal shop or left that crazy message on Carmon’s voicemail if cameras weren't around. As someone who's subjected their life to reality TV cameras, the lines between what's real and what's done for TV can make people quite difficult to read and navigate. And maybe that's why Kandi's not stepping up like so many want her to.

I adore Kandi, but the way this is playing out in front of the camera-- important to note—it seems she's enabling her mother and participating in her own downfall with the continued silence and by not drawing a line with her Mom. Todd's already told Kandi that he isn't sticking around if this drama continues. And he said it again on The View that everyone has a breaking point. Both of Todd's statements should have been a wake-up call. *Rings Belle like Dap Dunlap*

Last thought about Kandi and her mama: what you won't do while I'm holding the purse strings is disrespect me and mines continually, and in public. Her mama got some huevos like I've never seen.

Based on what you’ve seen on TV, how would you handle this situation if you were Kandi?