The national media is reporting that Comedian Steve Harvey met with president-elect Donald Trump. In a brief clip, Harvey explains that he was brought in by both transition teams to "bring some positivity to the inner cities." Harvey goes on to name drop President Barack Obama and shift responsibility saying he was "only doing what he was told."
I could be petty and say that all Harvey is gonna be able to bring to "the inner city" (which is code for The Blacks, btw) is excessive buttons on some loud ass suits... instead I want to have a discussion not centering how much I dislike Steve Harvey but how much I dislike the systems that build the Steve Harveys of the world.
In order to have our discussion we have to learn some terms we might not know or use otherwise.
- homosocial- the interactions that happen between people of the same sex, particularly menfolk.
- phallocentric- a literal or symbolic focus on the phallus or penis as a means of domination and power.
- commodify- transform an idea or person into an object
- fuckboy- the worst kind of dude (see also Steve Harvey)
What is happening with Steve Harvey is nothing exceptional. Steve Harvey's history of homosocial bonding in order to advance a phallocentric capitalistic patriarchy tells us exactly what to expect from his work with Ben Carson (ew). Black women do not need to lead the march in defending Harvey, though I am sure if history holds true we will be. Black women have a longstanding history of defending the Black men who would rather trade us for access to white patriarchal capitalist domination. Harvey is exactly that type. Steve Harvey has weaponized his Blackness and his masculinity against women when he suggested that how we should "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man". You don't have to spend too much time reading his trash book to extrapolate his message. He believes success is found in the garment of masculinity. He asserts that there is something powerful in thinking like a man. Harvey commodifies our vaginas and sexuality by imploring womenfolk to "protect our precious jewel". Harvey's words evoke images of women walking around with precious jewels rife with social and monetary value between our legs. Our vaginas are dark caves full of value just waiting to be mined. Mined by whom? Men of course. They are all treasure hunters, after all. Harvey's phallocentric violence has manifested through sexism, misogyny, and his emphasis on male domination through performance respectability. He is a spectacle and I don't like his mustache.
Steve Harvey acts out phallocentric patriarchal masculinity in performance of whiteness so often that it shouldn't surprise any of us that High Commander Hateful drafted Harvey as another cog in his world destruction machine. Black men are often used as weapons against themselves and their communities. Where these weapons are found, so too is found the Black woman who will defend the weaponization. Those of us who have internalized white supremacy and patriarchal domination often forgo a stance of revolutionary political conscious in favor of access through proximity. We believe we can get a come up through protecting Steve Harvey's proximity to whiteness and capitalist power.
Conservative (read: respectable) Black voices have always been used to shape and even cull Black rebellion. The respectable Black person parades around in white spaces as an ally to conservative whiteness. The presence of the respectable Black is a cue to white power that the Black person is available to be weaponized against more radical Black resistors of white supremacy. The ultimate irony: when Blackness is weaponized to further harm and dominate Blackness. Most often these "respectable" Black voices also have a level of socio-economic power in order to convert and bring along those within the Black community who still cling to the belief that financial success will elevate them from the grips of racist domination.
How can he free The Blacks in the Inner City when he cannot free himself? Steve Harvey isn't even fit to deliver something positive to the inner city as he promises. Why not, you ask? Answer: Steve Harvey protects the power of white capitalistic phallocentric patriarchy and masculinity to the detriment of Black folks. To put it plainly, Steve Harvey is a fuckboy and is down with Trump because they are both rich and have dicks. As long as he is using his Black identity to advance the white agenda, he is harmful to Black folks. Fuck him.