Why Raven-Symoné’s Problem Is Bigger Than Her Ignorance

raven ignoranceWell, isn’t this so Raven…

Raven-Symoné has come under fire for comments she made on the popular daytime television talk show, The View.

During last week Thursday’s segment, the show’s hosts were discussing a new UCLA study that showed a tendency among white people to discriminate against people with “stereotypically black names.” In response to the study Symoné, a black woman herself, agreed with the findings.

“I am very discriminatory against words like the ones they were saying in those names,” she laughed. “I’m not going to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen.”

Symoné added that the racial bias towards people with “black” names was not racist but “discriminatory.”

This isn’t the first time the actress has found herself in hot water over public comments she’s made. Before being given a permanent spot on The View, earlier this year as a guest host Symoné publicly defended the Univision host who compared Michelle Obama to an ape.

“Michelle, don’t fire me from this right now, but some people look like animals,” she said. “I look like a bird- so can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?”

Symoné has also been criticized for refusing to identify as black. In a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, she said she was “tired” of labels and saw herself as an American and not African-American.

I’m convinced there is something very, very wrong with Raven-Symoné- but her ignorance isn’t the biggest issue. Rather, it’s her refusal to accept herself, her people and her culture, that I find most concerning.

I don’t know when it happened, but at some point adorable little Olivia from The Cosby Show grew up and changed. She forgot her roots, her humble beginnings and the very people who gave her a pedestal on which to stand. The young woman who once spoke out against racial discrimination on her own TV series That’s So Raven has now become too good for rest of us “black folk.”

Suddenly, the unnecessary acute accent in Symoné’s own name has become better than the apostrophe seen in many other black names.

African-American women like Raven-Symoné (yes, African-American) are problematic as they indirectly make it okay for others to mistreat us. Symoné’s latest comments manage to justify the racist views of others that all too often keep black people from achieving social acceptance and equality.

If we can’t find acceptance among our own people, how can we find it within other racial groups?

While Symoné has made some cringe-worthy comments over the last few years, this is definitely the last straw. Her insistence on throwing stones from her own glass house has put a bitter taste in my mouth for the final time.

What were your thoughts on Raven’s comments?

  • ToyiaForever

    I hate to consider her the voice of the “black people.” Just because she can get on tv and have a mic doesn’t mean she speaks on behalf of me. I know her a other promiment black actors represent us but she is just one voice in the large crowd. It’s a shame she doesn’t think of others when she says her opinions. But it’s her opinions nonetheless.

  • ToyiaForever

    As much as I love Raven Symone’s acting career I think people confuse who she potrayed on television with who she is. I’m agreeing to her opinions, on the contrary I find them odd. I am proud to be an African-American, but I’m not caught up in the race and color. I perceived it as Raven was trying to unit every race together under the common thing: We are from the same country and we share the same streets so let’s just be Americans and not focus on our own personal life background. I believe focusing on race and color has caused so many problems today. People need to be proud of their heritage, embrace differences, and not look on color and see the soul of a person. So if they have a “ghetto” name then so be it. If they are black, half-black, or 1/3 chinese, it shouldn’t matter. I should see you for who you are regardless of what culture you represent

  • I hope someone in her camp helps her understand that people aren’t just hating on her for voicing her opinion. People aren’t mad because she has opinions they’re upset because she’s become (or maybe always has been) blind to the reality of African Americans in the United States. As a child actor she had a completely different upbringing than the people she continues to refer to and talk about. I’m hoping that one day she’ll recognize the errors in the comments shes making, but I think its going to take a long time or something rather unfortunate to happen. And lets really hope its not the latter.

  • Tieara

    If anything this is extremely concerning as she isn’t just the voice for “black people” but the voice of our generation, her ignorance reflects on all of us and insinuates we’re all this ignorant, does she not realize her name is “Raven Symone” that’s a “black” name, I really just wish she would stop and think before speaking or better articulate herself and speak more matter-of-factly and eloquently, if she just wouldn’t be so reckless I wouldn’t be so upset. :-(

  • I totally agree. Honestly, I am not even mad at Raven. I feel for her. Like you said, something must have happened in her life that have sparked these outbursts of anti-black sentiments.


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