It seems like every time we look, Raven is in a new headline with an off the wall comment that she made. Her comments have attracted so much attention that there is a petition of over 135,000 signatures wanting to get Raven kicked off of The View. She was never in the headlines until recently and she kept a semi low profile unlike the other teen stars of the mid 2000's. Raven broke barriers for young black girls with her hit TV show on Disney Channel and successful brand. Before there was a Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez or Ariana Grande, there was Raven-Symone, paving the way. Raven was our friend in our head. Raven was thought to be the perfect fit and representation for this day time talk show. Being a black celebrity and having a platform on a daytime talk show, we had high expectations for Raven.
The issues arose when it seemed like Raven is using her platform to stereotype black people and spew idiotic ideation. As we know black people put our race on our backs-sometimes unintentionally. So as a black celebrity, by default you are in one way or another expected to represent and be a voice for the race.
If you don’t believe that black people hold their race on their back, let me ask you this:
If you are in a public place and there is only you and one other black person in there, the other is loud, obnoxious, ignorant and tacky, how do you immediately feel? What is your initial response? Embarrassment? Ashamed? But why are you embarrassed? You don’t know this person; they aren’t your friend, family member, or acquaintance. They are a complete stranger to you, yet you still feel a sense of responsibility for them. It is the innate feeling that one black person represents all of us.
[This feeling originates from being a minority and relying on that other black person (stranger or not) to have your back and relate to you because we all share this experience of being Black that other races do not].
So when you are in that public place, you think to yourself “Oh boy, here he/she goes…making us all look bad”. You might even feel the need to distance yourself or overcompensate to show that you aren’t like them, or that you don’t know them (because don’t all black people know each other). This reaction of embarrassment and disappointment whether you are aware of it or not, is what also makes black people want to revoke Raven’s black card and get her kicked off of The View.
There was an expectation and a false idea of who Raven is; being a young successful black celebrity. As she hosted The View, made her opinions and shared her thoughts, more and more people are thinking
THAT'S SO NOT RAVEN!
That is not the girl who we thought was intelligent, and would bring another black voice to the panel. That isn't the Raven that we thought she was. She isn't defending black people. She isn’t advocating for black life. She isn't representing us well. She isn’t doing her job.
Don’t get me wrong, I think a panelist who defends black rights, has black pride, and supports black people is imperative, but I do not think it’s fair to have relied on Raven for that.
What I want to point out is, as a people, let’s stop with the assumption that EVERY black person's job is to be our representative. Because that isn't even realistic. There are too many variations of black people for ONE person to be the voice to account for all. Every black person’s resume does not look the same; every black person has different experiences, education, and references. Some quite frankly do not apply and are not qualified for that job. Raven is the prime example for this. Raven was doomed from the start because it is impossible for her to do a job that she never even applied for.