It was only a few months ago when a Dutch Magazine crowned Rihanna as the Ultimate Nigga Bitch… The backlash over the editorial gaffe– (and poor judgment in journalism) was palpable, as people across the Blogosphere and social networking forums were outraged by the offense, and rightfully so.

Rihanna took the embattled former editor of Jackie Magazine to task with a series of tweets, demanding that she acknowledge the racially insensitive nature of the article: “… your magazine is a representation of the evolution of human rights!” read a portion of one tweet, “That’s your contribution to this world! To encourage segregation, to mislead the future leaders to act in the past!” read another.

Around the same time she was taking the editor of Jackie to task, Rihanna also went on an expletive laden Twitter-rant about a racist hotel guest she encountered while in Portugal;  So it was with great disappointment that one of Rihanna’s more recent tweets seemed to find her regressing in similar fashion.

The pop star — who has been making waves across celebrity news outlets as of late for collaborating with her troubled former boyfriend, Chris Brown and for mocking a displeased fan’s appearance – tweeted a  picture of a bag of rice cakes, decorated with a pair of shades, large hoop earrings and captioned “Ima make u my bitch”… more than likely, a catty and bigoted subliminal dig at Brown’s current love interest Karreuche Tran, who is part Vietnamese and often photographed wearing large shades and hoop earrings.  It’s also important to note that “rice cake” is one of many racial epithets hurled at East Asians and is reportedly used to directly insult Vietnamese people.  On the “Cake” remix, which features Chris Brown, Rihanna also purrs:

“Remember how you did it? Remember how you fit it? If you still wanna kiss it, come and get it. Sweeter than a rice cake, cake worth sipping. Kill it, tip it…”

While the sociological answer to the question of whether or not Blacks can be racist, is usually applied when these issues arise; what Black and minority folks who engage in hateful rhetoric against other marginalized groups need to realize is, anytime they make crass, racially insensitive quips about other ethnic groups, they’re culpable in the perpetuation of White supremacy regardless of whether or not they have the power to oppress an entire group of people… I liken it to a drug dealer or gang leader, Kanye-shrugging away any responsibility for contributing to the destruction of his neighborhood and its people.

For all the protesting and rallying we do when people stereotype our community and call us hateful names, we can’t then turn around and use derogatory language and stereotypes to mock someone another person’s culture and then complain about oversensitivity when called out… which is another tactic used by White supremacists when they don’t wish to be held accountable for their behavior.

Rihanna did not like being reduced to a stereotype in Jackie:

“she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and displays that gladly, and for her that means: what’s on can come off. If that means she’ll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren’t like Jamaican ones, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink shizzle and everything that glitters. Now let’s hope she won’t beat anybody up at daycare.”

Or being publicly harangued in Portugal… So perhaps she should rethink her stance on mocking her ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend for her ethnic makeup.  Lashing out against racism and then perpetuating racial stereotypes as a minority is disingenuous and counterproductive, no? We can’t have it both ways or expect to be taken seriously whenever we call out instances of race baiting and racist propaganda hurled at our community.

  • Fantastic writing as usual, Coffey. I get the impression Rihanna isn’t nearly as wise and strong as she likes to make herself out to be. I hesitate to call her stupid, but…she comes across as flat-out stupid. Hopefully she’s just really immature and will grow up someday. Hopefully.

  • I’m not sure about this one, about 4 people wrote the song and I really doubt how much contribution Rihanna really had to it other than her goat like vocal styling and looking pretty. 

    This does go into dangerous water of expecting people to “get racism” all the time, a lot of times people of all races won’t get it until its hurled at them and some people only see it when its hurled at them. I’ve had white friends who were not empathetic to racism even after going to Asia and being treated like garbage for simply being white. They just came back with a distaste for Asians instead of aversion to racism itself. 

    I picked up on the lyric when I first heard the song and being Blasian was a bit miffed, but I also remembered that rice cake or dukk isn’t that sweet.  I also don’t know if Rihanna would be smart enough to make the double entente slur. 

    All in all are you surprised that a 23 year old with less than a high school education and a swarm of yes people said something stupid? 

  • I was more concerned about Rihanna’s irresponsible tweet and budding Twitter beef with CB’s girlfriend. My point is, she can’t go on a rant one month, about racism and her personal experiences with White Supremacy and then turn around and hurl a racially insensitive epithet at another PoC another month. Anytime *we* do stuff like this… I feel like we are complicit in helping perpetuate racism. How are we going to rail against race-baiting against our community when some of us have no awareness or respect about and for other ethnic groups? I wasn’t expressing surprise by a young celeb’s lack of intellectual prowess or awareness, as much as I was calling out her hypocrisy and racially insensitive quip that she tweeted.

  • Thanks! And She’s definitely old enough to be more aware. I think celebrities often get a pass for their crass, unsavory behavior because they live in a fish bowl or because folks will believe they don’t have “proper handlers”. I’ll be the jerk and say she was dumb in tweeting what she did.

  • Well, one issue I have is … do we know that this was really directed to her? I mean we can speculate , we can assume but in all truthfulness seeing as the wasn’t sent directly to the gf  and is quoting a lyric of her song  and was actually twitted after someone mocked Rihanna looks with no mention of CB or his GF.  I’m not sure, especially because the type of rice cake tweeted in the pic is not of Asian origin. 

    Also , another elephant in the room… does Rihanna consider CB girlfriend to be an Asian.  I’m West Indian and Blasian.  Generally most people from the islands do not see me as anything but Black. I’m not a “real” Asian.  So, we would have to first have a situation where Rihanna can other this girl before we can speculate anything. 

    I get what your saying, people should be held accountable for ignorance but the thing about that is they do not know.  While this makes for a great headline grabbing spot of gossip.  I’m not going to assume anything. 

    I mean you say “more than likely” a tweet to the other girl but what do you base this on? 

  • Timeure

    Let’s be real. 1. Black people (as a group) can be bigots, but not racists. 2. Black people are the ONLY group (including Latinos and Asians) that are insulted on a regular basis by all segments and facets of society, in the US and abroad. It’s about time Black people start hurling racial insults instead of constantly being chided to protect the feelings of other groups, especially whites. I agree with white folks, political correctness SUCKS, especially when Black people are held to a standard to which no other group is held.

  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that you raise some good points, but I don’t think it’s overreaching, considering Rihanna’s propensity for tweeting subliminal and pointed digs at people via Twitter and particularly since she and Karreuche Tran have reportedly been taking subliminal cheap shots at one another via social networking sites.
    I would like to think that she is better than that… considering her own brush(es) with racial insensitivity.
    I wrote “more than likely” (as some folks carefully insert “allegedly” whenever they’re speculating about something) because I *don’t* know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the quip was about Karreuche since she didn’t directly @ her… When Chelsea Handler tweeted a pic of a can of grape soda at Nick Cannon, she didn’t out-and-out call him a racist epithet, but we all knew the underlying implications of her insult.
    But alas, subliminal tweets are not direct “proof”… despite what I (and many other folks) suspect to be the case.

  • So your solution and way to cope with White supremacist behavior, is to act like White supremacists? o_O Oh. Okay. Sometimes we make racists’ job so easy, don’t we?

    I don’t recall stating that Black people (or other marginalized groups for that matter) should lay down and allow folks to oppress and antagonize us with racist language… or “protect” anybody…
    What I *do* find somewhat amusing and sad is how marginalized groups will advocate against hate speech, racism, and bigotry, but will turn right around and commit the same infractions against ANOTHER PERSON of COLOR… including within our own community.
    And “Political Correctness SUCKS” is the same myopic argument White supremacists use and like to proclaim whenever they want to be able to use hate speech openly and freely… anywhere, time, or place… against brown and Black folks. Just saying.

  • Timeure

    White folks were BORN with the mentality that they should always be first. Black folks have had little effect on that mentality. And that mentality is constantly reinforced and defended by society’s institutions. White folks use political correctness arguments AGAINST the Black community. But they use everything against the Black community. After the Michael Richards NIGGER rant recently and how Santorum and Gingrich have behaved in the Republican primaries, all bets are off. In my opinion, niceness and pacifism only works when it’s provided as a choice vs. whopping that ass. Black folks are rarely provided a platform for airing our grievances against white supremacy and bigotry. The “high road” has only led us into deeper frustration and never-ending slurs by these white boys, who MEAN BUSINESS. They have no respect for us unless we show them to what extent we want our liberation. We don’t love our children any less than they do. We want the same constitutional guarantees of liberty and life. My point: a swift kick in the ass will make your point a lot quicker than a blog post or a prayer breakfast.

    I am, in essence, defending Rihanna, or any other person of color to rant in any way that she feels because she’s human and has just as much a right than any other individual, magazine or politician of any color.

  • Mzdameena

    I agree with you 100%, great writing Coffey!

  • Passionate argument however, what does it have to do with BROWN FOLKS being bigoted towards OTHER BROWN FOLKS, and mimicking that behavior to further denigrate EACH OTHER? Moreover, how are any of our grievances against WHITE SUPREMACY supposed to be taken seriously when we say stupid, bigoted shit to EACH OTHER?

  •  Thanks for reading!

  • Timeure

    Because the moment you put yourself in the position of “policing” utterances of Black people (without simultaneously pointing out and castigating the most hateful speech coming from white folks), you are, in actuality, siding with them. At the very least, provide a context for Rihanna’s “racist” tweet. My God, she was called a NIGGER BITCH by a magazine! If I were Rihanna, I would have gone berserk on Twitter, unapologetically.

  •  Lol. Ok.

  • Goofy_girl319

    Thanks for shedding light on this. In general, I think some minorities here often forget
    they can be racist or that their remarks can be considered racist because we’re used to seeing, hearing or associating racism with situations that involves whites. Racism (or a racist) is someone who doesn’t like or accept someone because of their race. Racism can exist between different ethnic groups, and a person of color “can” be racist. I know enough people of color who are, and most of them often use the race card inappropriately or the argument of being a minority or some other excuse to protect their own racist behaviors.

    However, narrow-mindedness OR arrogance occurs here when some of these people actually believe they or their race can not be racist because they’re stuck on the idea that racism is only a “real problem” when a white person or group is doing the hating. Part of this is societies fault for not discussing this enough and allowing racial slurs or jokes like this to fly from people of color and not holding them accountable when they need to be, which instigates acceptance for this behavior – so THANK YOU for writing!!!

    Like Rhianna did, if you make derogatory terms or comments to describe, attack or stereotype someone’s race or culture, you better believe you’re setting yourself up to be viewed as being racist. In this case, I just think Rhianna was stupid, childish and offended due to what Chris Brown was doing and she let her emotions get the best of her. When immature people feel childish, threatened or offended, they can stoop very very low and not think about the consequences of their actions.

    In regards to the song, I don’t care how many people was involved with the writing or production of the song, the fact of the matter is, she still “sung” the lyrics. I worked in the music industry and see enough singers walk away from a song they didn’t like or want to sing. She is old enough to know what she is doing, even if she isn’t mature or wise yet. Plus, the whole tweet incident is too much of a coincidence for me to have any sympathy towards her here, so I don’t buy her innocence in this case. Some times some people just have to learn the hard way.

  • Agentdominate7

    There is no such thing as racism. It is just a symptom of power struggles. The key component is power. Race is the fuel to transmit battles of power. If everyone where the same “shade” we’d still have the exact same bigotry in a different form. Gender, hair length, head shape , dick size breast size….There is only one problem in the world. its WHO has the power to change other’s lives. Racism is just a means to an end and it can be some other form or conduit to express that.

  • Agentdominate7

    in its true essence , my point is that discussing symptoms of something greater is really quite meaningless when you think about it.

  • Agentdominate7

    The true deep core of this entire issue is that Rhianna wants CB back and is having an internal power struggle against the gf. She uses the “racist” comment as you say just as a conduit to express her REAL issue which is control the power she possesses or lacks in this situation. PERIOD .

  • JessicaRabbit

    KILL WHITEY!!!!!!!

  • JessicaRabbit

    Who created racism, white people. Me personally I could care less what white people think. Black is the most beautiful race and no matter what they do, enslave us, burn us and hang our children with a rope, it wont make God stop loving us. We are what God created and God does not make mistake. everyone is born equal but with very different lives. And I thank God that I am black, the whites are the leaders of war crimes hate crimes and genocide.

  • Mean!

    That is so mean! Niggerbitch! mean! mean! mean!

  • jonathan machado

    te amo

  • Barbados

    Whats wrong with calling a nigger is a nigger? A pit bull is a pit bull, a nigga is a nigga

  • Barbados

    If you, niggers where working as hard as the white people, my god, there will be no problems! You are just fucking parasites. Like fucking jews. But brainless. Jews have some basic brain activity about how to fuck the goy, but you niggers, you are just about to steal or kill. Fucking animals

  • How insightful. Feel better now that you’ve got that out of your system?