When I learned of the latest tirade from Oscar winning actress, comedian, talk show host and author, Mo’Nique, all I could think was “Girl, don’t!”
I thought about the damage she was doing to her career and persona. How can she bounce back from the horrific berating of Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Lee Daniels? She must’ve lost her mind.
Suddenly, I put myself in her shoes: Was she right to demand what she’s worth? Yes. Was it necessary for her to speak in that manner? No. My mother used to say, “Gina, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.”
Mo’Nique is entitled to her opinion. She also has the freedom of speech. I applaud her for taking a stand, and speaking out. However, I don’t condone how she made her statement. Was this her way of seeking attention?
If her intent to speak out about being treated unfairly or “Blackballed” by Hollywood was truly about bringing light to an issue that happens far too often with African-Americans, then I applaud her for doing what many of us haven’t done and should have done a long time ago.
Instead, we remain quiet, afraid that if we say something, we will be ostracized. We live in fear of losing our jobs, homes and materials things we’ve acquired; the things that we think validate us. They don’t. True validation comes when you’re not afraid to speak and stand for things other’s won’t. It is when we know who we are and what we’re worth. We own our true beliefs and not fall victim to the pressures of society.
Let’s be honest, Mo’Nique is hurt by the betrayal she’s faced from those she thought she could trust. She’s also fed up with the lack of support and unity from her fellow African-American colleagues. She’s frustrated with the challenges of being a black woman; and the struggle of being a black woman is very real, trust!
We work hard, get paid less, and lack support; it feels as if we have to fight tooth and nail to have a seat at the table. It isn’t fair, yet it is reality. There are actors and actresses who are far more demanding than Mo’Nique. They’ve said and done things that made you say, ”Wow, really?” Charlie Sheen is a prime example of said antics. The difference between the two is obvious: he’s a man, and he’s white. Being a white man in this country allows you to do and say whatever, with little to no penalties.
It’s not fair, but it’s reality. When this happens more often than not, people begin to react. They behave in ways that are considered abnormal. This is when we have to stop and simply say, “Girl, don’t!” As women, we need to have a support system that’ll allow us to express our true feelings, concerns, and hurt.
As black women, we need to unite. Oftentimes, we’re too busy competing, and scrutinizing one another. This shouldn’t be the behavior we display toward our sisters.
Mo’Nique, I understand your hurt and pain. However, I don’t agree with the delivery of your message. Stand your ground. Speak out, but do so with dignity, integrity, and respect.
Until next time, continue to soar!