Nicki Minaj’s feud with Taylor Swift over the nominations for Best Music Video of the Year makes me wonder whether there is room for everyone.
According to Minaj, who was not nominated, “If your video celebrates women with slim bodies, you will be nominated for Video of the Year… when the “other” girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination.”
In her subsequent tweets, Minaj presents her confusion over not being nominated for the award. In a reply to a follower, she says “I’m not always confident. Just tired. Black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it.”
Whether she was throwing “shade” or not, we can all admit that her comments resonate with other discussions of racial equality happening all over social media and news outlets right now. Are all races equal? Where do we go? Who is to blame? Who is responsible for fixing the problem? These are just some of the questions that people are attempting to answer.
There is room for everyone.
Racial differences, social tensions, and everything in between are topics of conversation. The debates about musical accolades, whether “All Lives Matter” or “Black Lives Matter,” controversy over the recent Supreme court decision on equal marriage rights, and the never-ending daily personal, relational, career competition all make me wonder whether there truly is room for everyone.
Throughout history, humans decided to pursue what they thought was best for survival and success. Unfortunately, this repeatedly meant the exploitation of one group for another group’s gain. Our history is filled with competition, domination, conquest, class wars, enslavement, subjugation, racism, ethnocentrism, and sexism. The bad and good news: We create and perpetuate it which means we have the power to change them.
We are all responsible for these issues in our society. There was a time when equality was illegal, and that still exists today. Differences are despised and buried beneath the voice and power of the more influential, the more armed, or the majority. But, our history gives us valuable information about what NOT to do to create a more peaceful society.
We need to learn to love and embrace the commonalities among all humans and accept there is room for everyone.
Our hearts don’t have a limit on love. If someone of a particular race, group, or class has slighted you, please don’t assume that there is nothing left inside of you to love other people of that same group. You just have to be willing to do it. We all need each other to move society forward for the benefit of all humanity.
We need more of “your culture, identity, customs, and language are just as equal and cool as mine” and “you being on the same level doesn’t take anyway from my awesomeness.” What I have to offer this world is just as important as what you have to offer this world.
It is from these connections and encounters among ideas and cultures that we make great progress. Maybe viewing each other as human beings, becoming more empathic, embracing all races and racial identities, and actively supporting and promoting equality for everyone are the important steps we need to break down the walls of hatred and prejudice lurking in us all.
Creating room for everyone does not mean we should be “colorblind” to race and racial identity. Colorblindness means that you don’t see cultural differences which is the very beauty and power of humanity. We need to adopt color appreciation and advocacy. Appreciation is to actively notice the differences in others and to embrace them as equally beautiful. Advocacy is to actively support and champion the freedom of every group and the opportunity to achieve success without discrimination.
Everyone regardless of race should have the opportunity to attain any position and live out any dream they want to within our society. The only way all these will ever happen is if we conclude that we all need every group to play an active and equal role in our society.
In my opinion, all lives matter, black lives matter, and [insert your group here] matters too. Straight hair is just as beautiful as curly hair. Big bodies are just as cool as smaller ones. One artist can be just as awesome as another artist. One religion has the right to believe what they want, just as another has the right to as well. Your career is just as important as mine. Your talent is just as unique and cool as mine.
I really want to know, do you think there is room for everyone?
Read Part II: There Room for Everyone: Success and Competition