So I was watching an interview of Steve Stoute and was like ‘WOW this dude id brillaint’. ‘He is so smart’. So I went on and googled him to know more about him and then … UGH! yUCKKK!
Steve Stoute is one of the money men who engineered and is engineering the commodification of African American culture or how he would probably explain it, make black culture cross-over. Which is nonsensical since we know that sub-cultures DO NOT cross over (on their own), they get appropriated and exploited by the dominating culture which detains the power.
This guy sold a cultural identity as an ACCESSORY - whose only value is linked to its ’cool factor’ - to the world and by doing so, took it away from its originators to throw it like a simple rags at the feet of Fortune 500 companies. He is the guy behind Jay-z and G-Unit deals with Reebok.
Also Steve Stoute, who is dark-skinned btw, is notoriously color-struck. He was for a long time one of the big names of an industry - the music industry - who unapologetically hates dark-skinned black women and has been erasing us from the media, EVEN WHEN IT PERTAINS TO ‘BLACK CULTURE’!!! He is also behind Carol’s Daughter’s move to publicly disown black women - a group of women who made that company - by launching a campaign with only racially-ambiguous and light-skinned women to represent the ‘diversity’ of their demographics and go after a ‘poly-ethnic’ market. I know they are bitterly regretting it today, especially since Solange left! In Steve Stoute’s perfect world, dark-skinned black women would not exist, I guess.
Basically Steve Stoute is one of those people who think that racism can be ended by selling brownness and blackness to white people as disposable objects of consumption. Yeah racism can be ended by the capitalistic exploitation of minority groups’ identities. I am not even kidding; he had a show called the ‘Tanning of America’ (¬_¬)! This is not the first time I hear something like that. I remember watching Jay-z - you know, that dude who was selling Occupy Wall Street t-shirts to get his pocket fatter off a movement protesting against the excesses of capitalism (-_-” )- saying something similar on Oprah. And I am certain that Russell Simmons would agree with him.
What is interesting to note, is the fact that though the cultural exploitation and appropriation of African American culture ultimately benefit white-owned Fortune 500 companies, behind the scene, they are engineered by African American money men who get idolised for their ‘success’. I don’t want to have a simplistic and moralistic view of this because well, we all live in a world where ‘success’ is seen as something to aspire to and is tied to one’s position on the hierarchical capitalistic and exploitative machine. So I cannot blame people from an oppressed minority for trying to survive by embracing the values of the oppressive group. What I find interesting is the ease with which capitalism absorb EVERYTHING!! Even things that are in essence against it. Henceforth, if we need to sell ourselves to the money God, one of the many god of white supremacy, can we ever escape from it? I guess this is why all black movements of resistance around the world embraced Marxism early on. After the collapse and failure of the Soviet Union, is it reasonable to think that capitalism, with its phoenix-like abilities, can ever be defeated by all the brown people whose exploitation it feeds off, or our attempts to resist are doomed to be phagocyte by and destroy by it?