Michael Arceneaux, EBONY.com contributor and Master of Shade, calls out five of his biggest gripes from the past week. Rejoice and be read. Follow Michael @youngsinick.


1. Next Time Say “My Bad,” Beloved: I often enjoy CBS News Sunday Morning contributor Nancy Giles’ commentary, but she stepped into the feces buried under the oppressive snow stuck on New York City sidewalks for months when she mistook Jay Smooth for a white man.

During their conversation about Starbucks’ #RaceTogether initiative on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, Giles said, “I can’t not tease Jay about the kinda like ‘brotha way’ he was trying to talk, like, ‘Hey,’ with the rap music in the background, and, like, down with the people.” She went on to discuss the notion of him co-opting Black vernacular.

After Smooth let it be known that he, too, is a Negro, Giles proceeded to dance around the a-ha moment, making a comparison about how people think she “talks white.” Yeah, that was the moment Giles should’ve been like, “Yo, my bad.” I’m so glad my folks are Creole and I love Mariah Carey because I’ve yet to fail at spotting one of my own, no matter how light.

2. You’ll Be Alright, White People: Heaven forbid a school go out of its way to actually teach a child about what’s actually happening in the world around them. In a segment that aired on Fox & Friends, two parents – only identified as Charles and Rebecca – said they were concerned after their eight-year-old child described a Black History Program event that mentioned #BlackLivesMatter. You see, Charles is a deputy sheriff so hit dogs will holler. Rebecca ultimately let her daughter stay, only when the some of the other students started introducing themselves as Michael Brown, Rebecca noted, “I immediately realized that this was not something that was a good idea for my daughter to be seeing.”

Why? Because she’s being reminded that the world isn’t fair? That some people – maybe not her father, but his law enforcement brethren – may not be doing good things to people that resemble his child’s darker skinned classmates? I don’t want to go outside and worry about me and or someone like me being shot in the head; Rebecca doesn’t want to be awakened by reality. Who has it worse off? I rest my case.

3. You’re Still Wrong, Raven-Symoné: She may be rich and famous, but when it comes to race, Raven-Symoné knows about as much as a third grader suffering from dementia. She proved this with her comments about not wanting to call herself Black last year, but she’s since stepped in it further by defending the Univision host who compared First Lady Michelle Obama to an ape while guest hosting The View.

Never knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, Raven stood by her guns, telling The Daily Beast: “I can’t—I’m not going to back down from what I believe in. We should bring up the fact that on Instagram people do that every day. They post one picture of a celebrity and an object or an animal right next to each other. ‘Doesn’t this look like that?’”

Only an immature person would use the “If they do it, I should be able to do it, too” retort.

As for the Planet of the Apes reference: “He didn’t understand that that word is hurtful in some communities because of the connotation of it. I understand that. But also I think that there’s some people that look like animals. I look like a bird. Everybody’s not racially angry. Calm down.”

As Rosie Perez pointed out, he as well as others in the Latin community and beyond, are very much aware of the connotation. Put down your cape, Raven.

4. But, Rihanna: While promoting her new film, Home, Rihanna touched on her ever-changing style and said, “The more we respect ourselves, the more men will respect us. I have both sides to me and I think most women do. We are strong, but they are very vulnerable as well.”

Self-respect can often be subjective, and while Rihanna is free to think whatever she wants, I do worry when people of her influence put the onus of respecting women on the women. Sexism, misogyny, patriarchy and the like are symptoms of the disease – and clothes could never be there cure.

I love you so much, though, Rih-Rih even those all those Home soundtrack cuts are ballads and I’m ready for you to give me a bop. You sound amazing, though.

P.S. Men are garbage.

5. Don’t Get Braces Done In Someone’s Apartment: Facebook and Instagram tend to be Nightmare on Elm Street for me. Case in point, me being alerted to the news that a 20-year-old is hooking up people’s braces in her place. Now, normally, I wouldn’t knock the hustle, but this reminds me of those women who get cement injected into their butt cheeks. I know the crooked smile struggle, but come on, y’all. There’s got to be a better way.