Cardi B Is A Political Activist, Whether You Like It Or Not

Give Black women the complexity they deserve.

On Tuesday night, Cardi B went on Instagram live with Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) (whom she affectionately refers to as “Uncle Bernie,”) where they discussed a plethora of political issues, like prison reform and the handling of COVID-19. The heart of the discussion was when Cardi asked about Sanders’ endorsement of Joe Biden, which reflected the thoughts of many young, Black liberals.

“A lot of people like the youth, they don’t rock with Joe Biden, because he’s conservative,” Cardi said to Sanders. “I want you to explain to my platform, why are you endorsing him?,” Cardi asked. But even though Cardi B has proven to be an intelligent woman with a sincere interest in the inner-workings of America, she’s still painted as ignorant by racists, and those with internalized misogynoir.

“I don’t know what was more confusing for me,” wrote former professional baseball player and Trump supporter Aubrey Huff. “Trying to figure out what the f–k @iamcardib was saying. Or how the hell she can affectively wipe her ass with those nails.”

Unfortunately, African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and acrylic nails have a history of being bogged down by stereotypes.

“Cardi B sounds so ignorant when she talks about politics,” another Twitter user wrote this morning.

When a Black woman looks and speaks in a way that’s associated with the ghetto, she’s viewed as less than — it doesn’t matter if she’s politically and socially aware or not. That’s actually fuel for an attack, as she’s seen as trying too hard, or not “staying in her lane.” Black women are labelled before people get to know us, because of racist and classist ideas of what a Black woman from a certain background should be interested in or capable of articulating.

White people, and those who adhere to respectability politics, are put off by Cardi B, because they realize that they’re no longer the smartest people in the room, and that they possibly never were. Since they’re conditioned to receive information from a source with a certain “look,” they are being forced to reconcile with the fact that news and political information aren’t just for the elite. Everyone, including Black women who don’t fit a mold of respectability, is entitled to speak on the future of America.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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