Since 2006, Black Girls Rock, Inc. has celebrated the personal development of young African-American women and embraced those who make invaluable contributions to their communities. However, not everyone was feeling the love during the annual broadcast of the star-studded celebration on BET Networks Sunday night.
Using #WhiteGirlsRock, some users clapped back at the trending #BlackGirlsRock hashtag by characterizing the event as racist in itself.
“It's funny that if this hashtag was #WhiteGirlsRock instead of #BlackGirlsRock it would be considered RACIST,” one user tweeted, as shared in a scathing rebuttal written by Huffington Post blogger Olivia Cole on Monday.
Cole, who is white, dug into the issue of the lack of diversity in television, movies other media forms, calling for detractors to open their eyes to the grim reality around them:
“Let me tell you something, white folks. From one white person to another. You are in everything. 99 percent of Hollywood movies feature your faces. 99 percent of magazine covers are covered in you. The Emmy Awards and Oscars are almost entirely you. If you Google "beautiful people" the screen is covered in white faces. Black girls (and boys) are taught from birth that there is one version of beauty, and it is you.
Many Black girls go their entire lives thinking they are ugly, thinking they need to be lighter, straighter, whiter in order to have value. Everything that you see every day that reaffirms your whiteness; every commercial that has a nice white lady embodying the perfect "mom;" every magazine that has blue eyes and bone-straight hair; every Hollywood blockbuster that has a leading lady with skin never darker than Halle Berry... all of these things are reinforcements of your identity that you take for granted.”
Fueled by Cole’s piece, #WhiteGirlsRock was still dividing audiences on the social media site by Tuesday afternoon.
Did you catch Black Girls Rock!? Check out the full show below.
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(Photo of Beverly Bond: Brad Barket/BET/Getty Images for BET)