2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

As expected, MTV’s Video Music Awards 2015 brought out stars of pop culture importance in their Sunday best — whether that meant wearing shimmery gowns, jeans and bomber jackets, or in host Miley Cyrus’ case, a bejeweled frock that left very little to the imagination … and faux locs.

The latter echoed a long-held grievance for Black communities and seemed to set the tone for the night — the irresponsible cultural appropriation of Black culture was not only being regurgitated once again by a young woman who largely leaned on co-opting a subset of Blackness to change her squeaky clean Disney image, but it was being celebrated by Viacom across a handful of stations, including BET.

It seems that Cyrus, previously called out for using Black women and Black culture as props, has learned nothing from the critique of what her White privilege provides her — an opportunity to appropriate Black hair to be beautiful or trendy, while Black people who have traditionally styled their hair in these protective crowns are excluded from the conversation.

Further proof that Cyrus doesn’t quite “get it” were comments she made in a New York Times piece last week that suggested Nicki Minaj be polite when discussing her frustration with systemic oppression, race, and European beauty standards that prevent diversity from being celebrated on platforms like MTV. Nicki’s response to Cyrus, a VMA first that you can watch here, will more than likely be touted across media headlines as Nicki attacking the pop star without proper context that Cyrus’ comment was initially violent in nature. Suggesting that Black people approach race politely to be validated is diminishing their justifiable frustration with 400 years of oppression.

But hairstyles and antics aside, what was arguably the most insulting and racially charged moment of the night was when comedian Rebel Wilson presented the Best Hip-Hip Video award dressed as a police officer.

From The Huffington Post:

“I know a lot of people have problems with the police, but I really hate police strippers,” she said, dressed in a police uniform, before taking it off to reveal a bodysuit reading “F**k Tha Police Stripper.” She then went on to joke about getting a police stripper for her grandmother’s birthday who wouldn’t “feel her up.”

“I hate this injustice,” she joked, “hence the shirt.”

The tasteless joke shocked many viewers, who then took to Twitter to explain how making light of police brutality is a clear jab at the Black Lives Matter movement…and the many men, women, and children who have died at the hands of police officers in America.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

 

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