LOUD Girl Movement takes serious issue with anyone who attempts to control the voices of Black women and girls.
Enter Katy Perry, who – like an eager young rapper desperate to drink Erykah Badu teas in Texas – thirstily sat down for an interview with Baltimore Native and Activist DeRay Mckesson, this past Summer.
During the interview, Perry sat Indian style with her head leaning down like a turtle, in an attempt to appear docile and kind. She told a sympathetic Mckesson that she “has made several mistakes” regarding cultural appropriation; insisted that she didn’t know that her actions were offensive; and that she could never truly understand the struggles of Black women.
With a frail voice, she then responded to critics – who had called her on her B.S. as an “appropriator” – by saying, “it’s hard to hear these (critiques) when it’s a clapback.”
Her half-assed apology and attack of critics, most of whom were Black women, was glossed over by her playing victim and racializing our voices as “clapbacks.”
This is not new. When it comes to the practice of the racialization of Black women for entertainment, she follows full stride in the footsteps of Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and many others.
After Mckesson pointed this out, she responded by suggesting that her “critics” should say it “out of compassion and love;” a courtesy Perry completely lacks in her interactions with others.
The main issue we at LOUD Girl Movement have with her (and there are many), is her reckless attempt to control the voices and expressions of Black women by telling them how to respond to her when she’s the hot mess on deck.
Her efforts to control Black women’s voices are problematic; yet, they are as American as her parents. People like Perry wash and repeat the process of racializing Black women in America constantly. They do something greasy to us, and when we respond in any way, they play victim and juice the racist “angry Black women” and “loud Black girl” tropes that play into the continued suppression of our voices. It’s a strategic way to deter from their racist and ignorant actions that have worked for centuries because of the negative stereotypes about the identities of Black women.
We can’t say it enough, it’s best if Katy Perry and friends – in their assumptions, and otherwise – just shut up.
-LOUD Girl Movement Editorial Team