Written by Saran Lawson
One thing that irks me is black people who make excuses for their prejudiced behavior. It’s funny because we have a long history of being oppressed. Even today, we still struggle with racism in this country. You think that we, if any people, would understand what it’s like to be judged on site. You think we all would understand what it’s like for people to make assumptions based on what you look like or who you are.
Comedienne Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore issued an apology statement. She made IG video’s in regards to Sikh men boarding her flight. Newsweek said, “Instagram Comedian – Jess Hilarious born Jessica Moore – has been getting major heat on social media after allegedly getting four men in turbans kicked off her flight Saturday for making her ‘nervous’. The irony is in recent events with white women calling the cops on innocent black people. “N****s know I’m never f***ing racist, but I spotted something and I put it out earlier and we just got evacuated from out plane”, she said in the story, “”F*** y’all , if I’m scared, I’m scared…y’all mad at me because I don’t side with every black person.”
What was her fear based on? Was it their turbans, and that they were boarding her flight? Seeing a turban and becoming fearful, is like seeing my skin and grabbing your purse. It’s two fears based on stereotypes. I know people who are pulled out of line by TSA every time they go through security at the airport. Not because of how they’re dressed but, because of their names. This is something I can identify with. I had a roommate’s mom in college tell me that she was scared when she heard my name. It was about 4 or 5 years after the attack on the twin towers. They were given my name by the apartment complex so that they could get to know their new roommate. She assumed because of my name, that I was Arab (Google was a thing then. I don’t know why she didn’t check). I apparently was a threat because my name suggested I could blow an apartment up. She told me this to my face after she met me because she discovered afterward I was black like her. I disliked her immediately. I didn’t find it funny. I found it offensive.
“Why? Why were we evacuated? Y’all are going to listen to Jess one day, ‘cause my news is real.” she said according to Newsweek. Having been removed from an area isn’t proof that you are in the wrong. It happens to innocent people every day. “I’m sorry for my former #deleted post!! #Sorry but ya’ll blame [me] for being scared. I saw four people of that caliber and I just revert back to the past, s**t if I’m scared, I’m scared!!!” She has since apologized for her comments on an Instagram video where she has made a statement. “I know the situation that I’m in now… I’ve been choked up about it. It’s been bothering me that there is being a picture painted of me like, that I’m a xenophobe or I’m racist prejudice. So, I wrote a statement, um, and I wrote this myself. Sorry, I didn’t hire a publicist to get me through this or write it for me. But, I felt like nobody can say what I wanna say like me. I don’t need nobody talking for me.” To summarize: She says, naturally, in her previous post she was defensive. That happens when you don’t take the time out to know what’s transpiring. To understand the error of her actions, she has to first acknowledge rooted issues; like racial profiling based on appearance. She apologizes to everyone who has seen her video. She would also like to contact the men escorted off the plane to personally apologize. Sadly, she insists, she wasn’t aware of the events that occurred in New Zealand. It opened her eyes to the ignorance that invokes hate. She goes on to affirm, Sikhs have reached out to her to educate her on who they are, what they stand for and how they help the world.
I can appreciate a heartfelt apology, and it’s a move in the right direction. A publicist would have helped to edit the part of her statements that shifted the blame to her youth. It would have also made for a much stronger apology, but I understand her wanting to write it herself. It shows that she didn’t want to manufacture a blanket apology. I only wish it didn’t take people to risk losing money and sponsorships to see their ignorance.