Yes, I tuned into what the Rickey Smiley Show billed this morning as the “SuperBowl of Ratchetness,” last night’s reunion episode of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” ready for the tomfoolery that is this cast of misfits, wanna-bes and deeply confused and troubled women who air out their dirty thongs for checks. I was all set to laugh and teach—I let my teenager watch “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” as a cautionary tale on how not to conduct yourself with men, friends and in a business—but within the first five minutes of the show, I just found myself pissed, thanks to K. Michelle’s nasty, base attack on the ages of her cast mates, whom she referred to as “old ass Harriet Tubman bitches.”
Marinate on that. Old ass Harriet Tubman bitches. And as if invoking the name of one of the proudest, most heroic black women in African-American history to insult a fellow woman’s age and looks wasn’t enough, K. Michelle went on to say that cast member Karlie is old enough to have “marched with Martin Luther King back in 1968,” and that she has a wrinkled neck. I’m not even going to get into what that girl said about Karlie’s lady parts. Or how she later again reached into her bag of ageism insults to attack cast member Rasheeda when they got into a tousle over friendships, allegiances and lying.
This morning, the Atlanta Black Star took the words right out of my mouth:
The line was shocking in its ignorance—first, believing that she would be insulting another black woman by calling her Harriet Tubman; second, by using Harriet Tubman’s name in describing a woman that she is trying to call old and ugly, Michelle has reduced a woman who is legendary for her courage and perseverance to a superficial representation of female unattractiveness. It’s the kind of line that should reduce a parent to tears were you ever to hear it coming from your child’s lips, because it would show you that you have failed your child in so many ways.
What has become clear watching the ridiculous proceedings of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” is that these women have no conception of what it means to realize they represent their mothers, their families, their communities, their race whenever they walk out of the house—regardless of whether they are television stars or just regular girls on the block. There’s just no escaping this fact. Apparently nobody ever told them that.
Clearly. And that K. Michelle made a point, as ABS pointed out, of “dragging the show down deep into the garbage-strewn waste waters of gutter television” with her ridiculous digs at women’s age just took this 43-year-old mother of three all the way over the edge.