Friday, August 26, 2011

When Black Women Sell Out: "It's Free Swipe Yo EBT"

The following video was uploaded to youtube last Friday and has currently been viewed 56, 044 times.  It is so hideous that I actually paused and thought about the extra exposure I am giving it by taking the time to write about it. Chapters describes the video as follows:
Keywanda is having the time of her life. Her job is raising her family of 10 children while dealing with the drama and stress of the childrens fathers. Thanks to the great state of California, Keywanda can support her lifestyle of having fun, getting "Turnt Up" and the kids can even get to eat from time to time.


Transcript
(A woman walks down the street with a child on her hip) Girl what restaurant accept the EBT card for the hot food?
(a woman in a room with around ten children answers) Jack in the Box, KFC, Subway, Rally's Burger, El Pollo Loco, the doughnut shops, the burger stand, woody bbq, all the fish market, some of the beauty supply stores on Crenshaw, and Rainbow on Lebran. You can buy you some clothes.  How much you got on yo EBT card? Girl I got enough to get it tanked up. I done took the kids to the babysitter. Which liquor store take the EBT card.  Where you all get that (indecipherable) last time?

Public service announcement this is where the tax payer money goes.

It's free swipe yo EBT
It's free swipe yo EBT
It's free swipe yo EBT
Free swipe yo EBT
You have me to get it all
(free)
You have me to get it all
(free)
You have me to get it all
(free)
You have me to get it all
(free)
State of California we need to warn ya, free health care, free dental, free food.
Mama say she can send we to school
Why am I hungry when we get free food?
Free healthcare, free daycare, free clothes
This where the the taxpayer money goes
Eww a booger in my nose
We all share tonys and socks
Then mama check come in the mailbox
All you have to do is fuck, then nine months late you get the big bucks
All you have to do is fuck, then nine months late you get the big bucks
All you have to do is fuck, then nine months late you get the big bucks

All you have to do is fuck.
It's free swipe yo EBT
It's free swipe yo EBT
It's free swipe yo EBT
It's free swipe yo EBT
It's free swipe yo EBT
You had me to get it all
You had me to get it all
You had me to get it all 
You had me to get it all
California wake up, if they don't that money they gonna kick your butt

Okay, there's more, but I trust that have caught the drift of this by now. This entire song is about shaming Black women who are on welfare.  I have never seen a better illustration of Ronald Reagan's welfare queen speech.  If that were enough, on her website it says:
"Chapter is a new R&B Pop artist who combines her music and poetry into a truthful experience of life. Her message within her art is real and if it happens to offend people that is not her intent. Her intent is to create a thought, or feeling which can break you out of the fear, box, life which makes you unhappy and inspires you to move. Empowerment to all, men, women and children, of all races all over the world. With love."
I want to know whose truth this woman is speaking?  The very idea that people living on welfare is the kind of classist message that conservatives and libertarians love to spout to insight the flames of the ongoing, much under acknowledged class war.  Even if this song was about her lived experience, which btw I highly doubt,  she framed it as true of all Black women all welfare and that is absolutely false. I don't even know how she can claim to call this hateful shit art.  It's more offensive than words can possibly express and I find it hard to believe that this was not her intent when she has images like the following in the video.

What you are looking at is nothing more than the internalization of sexism and racism.  This is what being impressed and exploited does to a person.  And if it's ugly, it's because living a life where you are continually devalued is ugly.   My heart breaks for this woman, because she so clearly does not love herself, but at the same time, I cannot but be angry, because I know that her actions will reflect on all Black women.