The debate over whether certain people [read: Black people] value material items more than being culturally enriched exploded on social media early Monday morning after Amanda Seales all but poured gas and threw a lit match at it. Only unlike in the seminal scene from “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” when Angela Bassett struts away triumphantly from the inferno she ignited, the actress more popularly known as Tiffany on “Insecure” decided she would stick around and watch her blaze burn slowly.
Exactly who got burnt was open to interpretation after Seales used some down time while in a Paris’ airport to invite her more than 96 thousand Twitter followers to “have a QUESTION TIME!” with her. When Seales, who recently took a trip to Africa, was asked about her “most enlightening moment in the Mother Land,” the comedienne who gained popularity as an MTV personality didn’t mince her words.
If that wasn’t clear enough, she decided to follow up that tweet with a series of others to emphasize the point she was trying to make.
While she went on to clarify her position several times, accusations were flung at Seales for being an elitist who was ignoring the current soci-economic power structure in the U.S.
Seales tried to move on by answering other, unrelated questions — like what she planned to do while in Paris — but most of her followers were hung up on the implications behind the “Jordans and Nike Suits” tweets.
The debate is far from a new one, as Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas reminded us in February. “As rational and empowering as it seems, this argument actually exists in an invisible morass of anti-Blackness, as it ignores the multitude of socioeconomic factors contributing to our collective lack of wealth,” Young wrote any the time. “And it implies that the appreciation for depreciating goods is a uniquely Black pathology.”
Seales, who has a history of getting people into their feelings on Twitter, recently told BET that she thought social media users were way too sensitive.
“I think there’s a sensitivity, but I think it’s also just, like, a higher awareness and I think a lot of times the sensitivity is rooted in an intention to not hurt people, so you have to commend that, but I think sometimes when we are kind of hypersensitive, we hurt ourselves by not allowing ourselves the opportunity to make fun of ourselves, to find levity in situations, and reality is there’s a lot of f**k s**t going on, so you’ve got to learn to laugh,” Seales said.