The P.I. in the A.P.I.

By Guest Contributor Scot Nakagawa; originally published at Changelab

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month has me pondering the question of Pacific Islanders and where that group fits in the Asian-Pacific American coalition. I’ve wondered about it because I fear that by using that term, we too often tell a story about Pacific Islanders that contributes to their invisibility.

There’s a certain amount of invisiblizing, if you will forgive my grammar, that goes on when we use the term “Asian American.” After all, Asian Americans are a mash-up of 40 or so ethnic groups from nations often at odds with one another within a region of origin that only thinks of itself as “Asian” because of being cast as such by Europeans. But, Asians are regarded as a race by the Western world, and with very real consequences that can’t easily be addressed without acknowledging that reality.

When the term “Asian” is lumped together with “Pacific Islander,” though, we start mixing up politics, regions, and race in a way that is potentially damaging.

For instance, the people of Polynesia first became known to the Western world as “discoveries” and then as colonial subjects. Polynesians were regarded by the West as childlike, “primitive” peoples, and as savages. In order to take possession of independent nations like Tahiti and Hawai’i, the French and the U.S. toppled governments and installed colonial oligarchies justified in part by the racist and self-serving notion that Tahitians and Hawaiians were incapable of self-governance in the complex context of international trade and “development.”

These racist notions continue to prevail. Polynesians in the U.S. are profiled by law enforcement as lazy, prone to criminality, and lacking self-control. It’s no wonder Native Hawaiians are less than a quarter of the population of Hawai’i but more than 40 percent of those in prisons. Polynesians in general are overrepresented in prisons in the U.S. Meanwhile, Asian Americans, and East Asians in particular, are profiled as “model minorities,” and underrepresented in U.S. prisons.

Among the main issues of concern to Pacific Islanders is the high incidence of diabetes in parts of that population. Asian Americans tend to be more concerned with issues of refugee resettlement, immigration policy, language access, and bullying. For many Native Hawaiians, resisting assimilation and gaining political independence from the U.S. is a primary issue, while for many Asian immigrants, assimilation and citizenship are goals. But many of us continue to rely on a single story when talking about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

When we reduce the complex experiences of diverse people to a single, totalizing story, we too often fail to see how our diverse stories intersect.

The single story of my childhood in Hawaii was the story of the rise of Asian Americans. This story begins with the first successful farm worker strike in U.S. history in 1946, and it was shared with me in order to teach me that risk, hard work, sacrifice, and looking beyond differences among people to find common ground were keys to a better life.

My parents and grandparents lived in plantation housing, shopped at company-owned stores, and participated in sports leagues designed and sponsored by plantation bosses in order to foster competition between workers who they segregated into ethnic work camps. The plantations were the foundation of the economic and political system of territorial Hawaii, which was governed by a Republican oligarchy ruled by Hawai’i’s white minority.

But regardless of violence and manipulation of inter-ethnic resentment on the part of elites, sugar workers were able to create a class union that brought the oligarchy to its knees. By 1954, a coordinated campaign of general strikes, civil disobedience, and non-violent protests caused a minor revolution in Hawai’i politics. In the territorial elections of that year, the Democratic Party, a multi-ethnic, people of color and working class majority organization, finally overthrew the Republicans. Democrats have controlled the Hawai’i legislature ever since and led the way to statehood in 1959.

It’s a great story. Remembering it still gives me goose bumps. But we should always be suspicious of history told to us as a single story.

The story of Asian uplift in Hawai’i excludes Native Hawaiians. It doesn’t address the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government, nor the landless and impoverished state of the Native Hawaiian people. As a result, it fails to acknowledge the fact that the strikes and statehood didn’t really break the power of white American elites in Hawai’i. They lost absolute power, but continue to be the deciders on the major questions of politics and the economy in Hawai’i in no small part because they own so much of the land.

Today, sugar has left Hawaii. But because the old elites still control trade and land, diversified agriculture hasn’t replaced sugar, leaving Hawaii too reliant on expensive imported food. Instead, tourism dominates the economy, producing mostly insecure and low wage service sector jobs.

The demographics of Hawai’i are changing. People of color, especially Native Hawaiians, are being forced to leave Hawai’i to seek employment on the U.S. mainland. As they leave, they are being replaced by wealthy whites and white retirees, causing Hawai’i politics to drift in a more conservative direction. Government employment, one of the vehicles people of color have ridden to middle-class status in Hawai’i, is shrinking. Tourism and development have created an ecological crisis in Hawai’i, with more species going extinct there everyday than in any other place on earth.

This is what we blind ourselves to when we understand history as a single story.

 

Issa Rae, Jaleel White tapped for Hansberry biopic

If you are among the folks not feeling Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone, perhaps you’ll dig the High Priestess of Soul as awkward black girl. Shadow & Act reports that a biopic about the legendary author of A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry, is in the works, featuring none other than Awkward Girl creator Issa Rae as longtime Hansberry friend, Simone, and Jaleel White as James Baldwin. Billed as a nontraditional biography, the film is being developed by Hansberry’s grand-niece, Taye Hansberry, and Numa Perrier, and cast by Will Stewart, casting director for Scandal.

Above: Nina Simone sings “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” her 1970 song in memory of Hansberry, whose posthumous play by the same name debuted in the late 1960s.

The Racialicious Entertainment Roundup: Welcoming in June

Child’s Tonto costume, via. the Disney Store

By Kendra James

Halloween’s gonna be a doozy this year.

Instead of just selling the usual generic “Sexy Native Princess” or “Indian Brave” costumes, Disney  gets to go a step further! We have the upcoming film The Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp‘s portrayal of Tonto –complete with styrofoam crow– to thank for that. You can find this child-sized costume online for order here on The Disney Store website, along with several other pieces of questionable taste. The movie hasn’t even opened yet, and I can only imagine this is just rubbing salt in the wound for those who have openly addressed Disney with their concerns over the film.

While Tonto’s costume is available in full, you can only buy The Lone Ranger’s hat. I guess a blue shirt and a black mask weren’t exotic enough for the studio merchandisers, who are probably banking on sales to bolster a film whose production supposedly went way over their $250 million budget.

Unfortunately I don’t think merchandising is going to help Will and Jaden Smith’s After Earthwhich opened in a disappointing 3rd place this weekend with a domestic box office of $27 million. Personally, I don’t think the film didn’t look all that interesting or complicated. Professionals agreed, and the film led Adam Thompson of Shadow and Act to question Smith’s apparent aversion to controversial roles:

What’s surprising then is the lack of “risky” roles in Mister Smith’s nevertheless glorious resume. The nineteen films he’s starred in have grossed a total of almost six billion dollars, but only one of them – to my mind, at least – can be considered controversial. Six Degrees of Separation (photo above) based on a John Guare play – itself based on the antics of real-life con man David Hampton (with whom I share a birthday) – introduced Smith as a serious dramatic actor who could sink his teeth into a nuanced role. Stockard Channing got the Oscar nod but it was “Big Willie” who stole the show.

Despite the opportunity, Smith refused to kiss (in character) another man (fellow thespian Anthony Michael Hall).  Instead, the two actors were filmed at an angle that implied a kiss. Smith’s reasoning, later blasted by Sir Ian McKellen as “the disease” of homophobia, was that his kissing another man would “gross out” his fans. Smith wasn’t the first actor to “go gay” for a major film role (think Al Pacino in Cruising); in fact, playing a homosexual while being straight nowadays can actually up one’s acting cred  – you’re welcome, Jake Gyllenhaal. (It should also be noted that Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the duo behind Independence Day, specifically cited Six Degrees as the reason they picked Smith for the breakout role of Capt. Steven Hiller.)

I’m not saying Mister Smith or any other actor has to play it grimy for accolades, but it’s a shame that the star of Pursuit of Happyness hasn’t at least tried to take on more risky roles. Besides Six Degrees, the only other “controversial” movie I could even point to would be Ali, and even then only with regard to past issues of race in America and concerns about historical accuracy. All the great actors have played against type, showing the range that the truly talented chameleons are blessed with. If Smith counts himself among them, I implore him to consider going in a direction opposite that of a Hancock or Robert Neville or Agent J. In other words, don’t turn down another Django!

After Earth certainly wasn’t going to rock any boats (unless you count the rumblings that it proves the Smith family’s Scientologist leanings, mentioned in almost every major review), and this desire to blend in and stay bankable seems to have been a desire from the first ‘Big Willie Summer’. His Independence Day co-star Vivica A. Fox had this to say at the NYC premiere of After Earth: ‘“Will Smith told me years ago when we were doing Independence Day to become colorless to people. Yes we are African-American… that is who we are. But when people internationally can love you, trust you deliver a good film, trust you to save the world, it’s a good day.” 

If by ‘colorless’ he meant ‘one of the blandest Hollywood careers of our time,’ then Smith is golden. If not, well… international superstar status aside, the color of his skin hasn’t changed and judging from that appearance on The Graham Norton Show, plus the nonstop world promotional tour for After Earth  international love isn’t too much of a problem. It’s understandable that as a Black man in Hollywood, Smith treads and plays the game carefully, but it’d be nice to see him pop up in a small indie or Sundance film. Something unexpected– the proverbial Magnolia, if you will, before his next summer action blockbuster.

I’m not sure if Forrest Whitaker’s casting as Martin Luther King Jr. for a new Paul Greengrass flick is anymore of a risk, but I’d lay down good money that it’ll be a better movie. More interesting is  J. August Richards‘ suddenly being on the television come up again. He’s been cast as lawyers in a few cancelled shows since Angel ended it’s run, but this year he’s involved with S.H.I.E.L.D  as we discussed here beforeand now there’s a rumored involvement (thanks to a series of tweets between Richards and cast member Sarah Paulson) in the new season of American Horror Story. Between Richards, Angela Bassett, and Gabourey Sidibe consider my interest piqued.

'American Horror Story' Twitter Exchange

Tweets between Sarah Paulson and J August Richards via International Business Times.

And I’d be remiss to let you go without mentioning the News Of The Weekend brought to us first via. Bleeding Cool: Matt Smith won’t be joining Doctor Who for an eighth season and this year’s Christmas Special will be our last outing with Eleven. The crossed fingers for a Twelve who’s not a white male begin now. Arturo will have more for you on Wednesday, but for now my two favorite tweet suggestions on the matter:

 

Race + Film: A Black Johnny Storm: What Happened to Color Blind?

Actor Michael B Jordan and The Human Torch.

By Guest Contributer TajRoy Calhoun

There was a rumor that actor Michael B. Jordan was in the running for the role of Human Torch Johnny Storm in the up-and-coming reboot of the Fantastic Four. The response was deafening.

A blog on entertainment website IGN – which, through a good amount of traffic, managed to make it to the front page of the site (I say this to note how much interest – from both sides – has been generated by this topic) – described it well:

“I thought the Internet was going to explode […] I’d like to think that the support was enough to overshadow the retorts, but it wasn’t.”

The problem: Michael B. Jordan is black. And Johnny Storm isn’t (or, possibly, wasn’t).

I’m not going to call racism – hang my head and lament the continued existence of racism in America and the excessive amount of it in nerd culture. I”m simply going to ask: why is this casting choice a problem?

Johnny Storm has previously only ever been portrayed as white – but that does not mean he is defined by that portrayal. Until 2001 whenDavid Oyelowo portrayed Henry VI, no black actor has ever portrayed an English king in a major Shakespearean production. There is a first time for everything.

Like the characters in Shakespeare, who can be played by actors of any race because their identities exist beyond such base and socially-constructed aspects such as race, nothing about Johnny Storm’s identity hinges on him being white.

“What if Storm or Black Panther were played by white people”, you will hear some say, in defense – but these characters are different; their race does factor into their identity. Similar to Shakespeare’s Othello, unique in the Shakespearean pantheon as being a character whose story centers on the fact that he is of a different race than those around him – to make the Black Panther anything other than black would be to fundamentally change his character and his story.

Johnny Storm is no Othello. He is Romeo. He is King Lear. He is Hamlet. He can be played as easily by the white Laurence Olivier as by Oyelowo.

Another thing you will hear people say: in an attempt to deflect accusations of racism, you will likely hear people, rather than saying “Johnny Storm isn’t black, he’s white”, say something like “he’s blond-haired and blue-eyed, which Michael B. Jordan isn’t”. The idea being that, “it’s not that we don’t want a black actor – we just want an actor who accurately embodies the character as he is portrayed in the comics.

As one person put it: “Unlike literary figures, where they only exist in our imaginations, comic book characters are visual represented. We grew up reading and looking at comic books. By changing a characters’ appearance, they are no longer the characters readers grew up seeing in comic books.”

This would be a sound argument – if the people that used it stuck to it; if, in all cases, they defended it as fervently as they do now. But that is not the case. One need not look any farther than Chris Evan’s portrayal of the character in the 2005 adaptation. If you want to bring up the fact that Michael B. Jordan isn’t blond – well neither is Evans, at least not in that portrayal. Yet there was no such rabid complaints about his inaccurate portrayal. And this is true for a great number of comic book characters portrayed in film.

Aside from their race, most actors don’t look like their comic book counterparts. With some exceptions I don’t believe we’ve gotten a single Bruce Wayne in cinema who looks like the comic book Bruce Wayne – black hair, sharp-featured square face, broad-shoulders, pale skin – Michael Keaton was the closest. Yet we haven’t heard criticism of these actors not accurately representing the characters we grew up with. Likewise, there has been no criticism of the casting of the fair-skinned Henry Cavil as the habitually olive-skinned Superman.

File:Spider-Man actors.jpg

Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man

And the two actors we’ve gotten to play Spider-Man look nothing alike aside from their race. Different build, hair color – hell, they even have different skin colors (though both are racially “white”) – and neither looks exactly like the comic book Spider-Man. Most fans adore Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker for more accurately representing the spirit of the character (I too am a fan) but with the exception of his build, he (arguably) looks less like the comic book Peter Parker than Tobey McGuire (I say arguably as it can be hard to measure what the “definitive” image of a character is in comics, as some of the more subtle features can change from artist to artist – this brings in the argument that, owing to this fact, the image of comic book characters are naturally malleable, and not only do they need not be held to hold, but cannot be – though I will not go further in that argument here).

With certain exceptions (Hugh Jackman, Robert Downey Jr.), fans have had to make due with casting choices that failed to capture the image of the character they grew up seeing – and yet no complaints (or, at least none of such volume and fervor as today) have been made – because as different as those actors may be to their character, they were at least white.

As I have stated above – the recasting of a black character such as Storm or the Black Panther (or, I have seen someone bring up – Django) would be a completely different subject, as these are characters whose race informs and is an integral part of their character – these character’s race influences their portrayal, their actions, their stories – you could not tell story of the Black Panther, as it is in comics, if he wasn’t black. To change his race, it would be necessary to also change his story.

And I do not make this argument for one-side either. I would argue that Captain America (the Steve Roger’s Captain – though I would love to see an Isaiah Bradley film) is a character that should only be portrayed as white – I believe his race is integral to his character. Same for Bruce Wayne – a man from old money, raised in privilege, forced to confront the darker and bleaker aspects of life. To change their race, I argue, would also necessitate the changing of their character.

Image of Johnny Storm via Deviant artist DoOp.

With Johnny Storm, however, we have an example of a character whose race does not inform their character. And, again, I am not arguing for one-side either, when I say that there should be no problem with Johnny Storm being cast as black. Although I would bemoan the loss of an opportunity for a colored actor to have a role, if my argument is to hold any water I must also say: if there is a colored character whose race does not inform his identity, it should be alright to cast color-blind.

But at the same time, if those on the other side wish to cry foul of color-blind casting for Johnny Storm, they must also cry foul when color-blind casting is used to place white actors in traditionally colored roles. With that being said – where was the massive fan outcry when the white Tom Hardy was cast as the Afro-Latino Bain? Or having the “Indian” Khan portrayed by the white Benedict Cumberbatch in the newest Star Trek.

Though many – understandably – did, I, personally, did not have a problem with these casting choices (outside of bemoaning the loss of an opportunity for a colored actor to have a major role in a blockbuster Hollywood film). As much as the thought of a Latino or Afro-Latino Bain gives me goosebumps (the good kind), Tom Hardy did fantastic as the character – and there was, really, nothing keeping him from giving a full, accurate portrayal of that character. Although the character of Bain was based on Edmond Dantes from Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo - a character who, despite almost always being portrayed as white, was based on Alexandre Dumas’ own father, French general Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, who was black – Bain, like Johnny Storm, is a character whose race does not intimately define his character. It is merely a detail – like the color of Bruce Wayne’s hair, or the exact shade of “white” of Peter Parker.

This is the same for Khan – though it goes further than him simply, again, being an example of a character for whom his race does not inform his identity. While in his backstory he is described as being from India, he was originally portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán, who, despite his great skills as an actor, did nothing to try and disguise the fact that he was Mexican. Thus, from day one a precedent had been set for the raceless casting of this character, and thus I see no problem accepting Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of this “Indian” character. To do otherwise would be to say – while neither Montalbán or Cumberbatch are Indian, Montalbán has greater right to the role simply by virtue of not-being-white. And I believe that is wrong.

Just as wrong as saying that any other non-blond-haired-blue-eyed actor has greater right to the character of Johnny Storm than Michael B. Jordan, simply by virtue of being white. There should have been just as much outcry for the “racebending” of Bain and Khan as there is now for Johnny Storm  But there wasn’t. Because there has never been a problem with racebending – while there are many who, unlike me, are adamantly against the casting of white actors as Bain and Khan, their voices were, unfortunately – and like the voices of many who wish to discuss race in America – largely unheard outside of niche media. Hell, I’m still confounded by the relative lack of outcry for the racebending of the actors in Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. I cannot make this statement with certainty, so I do apologize – I am not relying on hard statistics, merely my own memory and experiences – but I believe that more attention, and a greater vocal outcry, has been generated by the controversial over the rumors of a black Johnny Storm then by the entire cast of that movie - and the racist remarks made by some of those cast members.

But – with the exception of those sadly niche places like Racialicious and Racebending and Afro Punk, for whom discussions of these order are their market – the world was strangely quiet.

And in many places the casting was defended. Not due to the “racelessness” of these characters – as I argue was the case with Khan and Bain, and here and now Johnny Storm – but with an argument for color-blindness. I do not wish to talk about color-blindness – just as I did not wish to talk about racism. I simply wish to ask: what happened to that color-blindness?

Now they are making the same argument that only people of color (and our allies) were making before: a vocal argument against racebending. And its getting attention. It might even have an impact.

Because now that “racebending” is happening to white characters it is suddenly a problem. And whether the voices are in greater numbers or just louder, or simply the ears listening more attuned, everyone can hear their cries.

Tyler Perry Hates Black Women: 5 Thoughts on The Haves and Have Nots

The Have And Have Nots

The cast of OWN and Tyler Perry’s The Haves And Have Nots

By Guest Contributor Dr. Brittney Cooper, cross-posted from Crunk Feminist Collective

Welp.

I watched the premiere of  Tyler Perry’s latest train wreck on OWN last night for two reasons. A.) Morbid curiosity and B.) I didn’t wanna hear negroes’ mouths about how I didn’t give it a chance and was therefore uninformed and unqualified to speak on his show (despite the 12 or so movies and 2 stage plays of his I’ve paid to go see and time I spent watching episodes of his existing tv shows that I can’t get back.) Anyway. Here are my thoughts.

1.) Tyler Perry is a cultural batterer:  the cultural equivalent of an unrepentant wife-batterer. Why, you ask? Well, let’s see. In under 15 minutes of episode one there were three Black women: Hanna, a maid, who speaks like she just left the plantation; Veronica, a rich black lady bitch, who throws her coat and hat at the maid; and Candace, the maid’s daughter, a scheming, conniving prostitute who tells people the mom is dead, later can be seen raising her hand to her mom, has her own son who is God knows where, is allegedly in law school, but paying for it by questionable means, and ultimately by the closing scene of episode two can be seen raping the white patriarch/politician.

The fact that Mammy, Jezebel, and Sapphire, along with their remixes (Bad) Baby Mama, Golddigger, Freak and Hood Bitch showed up in under 15 mins is surely a new world record.

A few caveats: no knock to domestics who speak in Southern dialect — I am from the deep, rural South, love the cadences in our voices, and have a beloved, and dearly missed grandmama who cleaned white folks’ houses well into her sixties.

(But I know a fucking controlling image when I see one.)

No knock to sex workers, who I think should have rights, benefits, and legal protections. Black women sex workers in primetime is a whole different deal representationally, though, and we need to OWN that.

Black women deserve better.

2.) Tyler Perry can only represent Black men positively by throwing Black women under the bus. Since dude’s plotlines are so simple a 13 year old could write them — no disrespect to 13 year olds–, there are of course 3 Black men to balance out the 3 Black women. They include the husband of the rich lady –he’ll prolly be comparable to Scandal’s Cyrus, or at least Tyler prolly thinks that’s what he’s doing, lol; his son, a drug counselor (respectable profession); and the son of the maid, a Shemar Moore lookalike and all around good guy, whose sole aspiration in life is to — wait for it — drive a tow truck. So 1.5 solidly good guys out of 3 ain’t bad. Why 1.5? Because of course the rich drug counselor is on the DL, which in TP’s world makes him a sexual deviant. We’ll see how this plot line develops, but since TP outs dude by way of terrible slow pan shots, meant to simulate not-so-secret longing after the buff white dude, I am not optimistic.

Black gay men deserve better.

3.) I feel some type of way that Oprah would be in league with such foolishness. And that is because I AM NOT AN OPRAH HATER. And I have little patience for people who are. The chick is doing her thing, and I’m proud of her.  And I really want to see OWN do well. That aside. I like to think she has been duped, hoodwinked, and bamboozled. But I know that ain’t the whole truth. Really, OWN is struggling. And when networks struggle, they pimp the “urban demographic” for ratings and money. And once they are set financially, they bounce. The Fox Network did it: Living Single, Martin, In Living Color. The WB, UPN, and the CW all did it. So I see what O is doing, and I resent it.

Why?

I know she and Tyler  share that nouveau-riche-Black-southern-abuse-survivor-started-from-the-bottom-now-we-here connection.

BUT

Oprah doesn’t seem to understand, that a rich, independent, college-educated chick like her, who shuns traditional marriage, is in Tyler Perry’s world the DEVIL, a veritable, conniving bitch, who hates babies, men, and old people, needs Jesus, plus a good slap from a sexy Black man, and will still probably catch AIDS and live in misery because she chose not to conform to the dictates of Christian respectability.

Why Oprah doesn’t get this is beyond me. It seriously is.

OWN deserves better.

4.) On his best day and her worst day, Tyler ain’t even in Shonda’s stratosphere. This whack-ass mashup of Deception + Scandal + The Help in no way compares to anything Shonda Rhimes is doing. I can already hear the brothers now, talking about how Candace’s character is comparable to Olivia’s character. They are comparable in only one way: they both sleep with white men. Comparison over. And that is how you know that Black men’s primary issue with Olivia is not her moral choices, but her racial ones.  (But Edison was a good guy even though he didn’t get chose; and Harrison — well let’s just say I’m #teamGingham all the way.)

I digress.

My love of Scandal should be a clear indicator that my problem with TP is not about respectability politics. In other words, I am not advocating for positive representations. I’m advocating for complex, human representations. TP doesn’t complicate Black women; he demonizes them.

Candace is not just a sex worker, but a sextortionist and a rapist. A predator. She does not merely have mother issues, but she nearly slaps her mom and can’t account for her baby’s whereabouts.

We don’t hate Liv, because while we might reject many of her choices, we identify with her as a human being with needs, emotions, and as a person with the ability to do good in the world, despite the bad she also does.

Tyler Perry just thinks Black women — other than maternal domestics– are bad. That’s why he can’t complicate his analysis. But they have therapists for that, and I wish he’d see one. Posthaste.

And this brings me to my final point:

5.) Tyler Perry is dangerous. He has made Black women mistake hate for love. When his heavy-handedness is still not enough to chastise and discipline us for being independent, driven, and sex-positive, he will resort to straight up distortions of history, and assume that his working class audience will miss the sleight-of-hand. Case en point: that rape scene! Because of course history is replete with poor Black women raping rich white men. Not.

And the fact that he would traffic in such an utter fiction — a fiction that is the very basis for centuries of brutality against Black women on the grounds that they are by nature un-rapeable, a fiction that drove the creation of the culture of dissemblance and the politics of respectability — makes his cultural production not merely bad but despicable.

And that is why I titled this essay: “Tyler Perry hates Black Women.” How can he not?