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Woe is Lee – The Sound and Fury

Black In America

The Story

Lee Daniels recently posted a video ranting about his Emmy snub. Apparently his show Empire, despite its decade breaking ratings, did not receive its due. Daniels was infuriated and posted his video response with the hashtags: #canfinallypostthis #timetoberealagain #emmyniceguyoverit. But didn’t he go hard on Mo’Nique when she declined to “playing the game”?

Lee Daniels IG

The Problem

It isn’t Daniels’ rant or sentiments that grabbed my attention. Major awards snubs for Black artists is nothing new and has been making a comeback with a vengeance recently. However, wasn’t it Daniels who chastised Mo’Nique for her refusal to buy into the awards promotion hype during the Oscar nomination for Precious?

He went on a very public and vocal tirade about Mo’Nique’s reluctance to promote his movie and for not thanking him during her acceptance speech. Daniels’ was both arrogant and cocky in his condescension of Mo’Nique’s “not playing the game” and “reverse racism.” And it appears that it was he that started the rumors about Mo’Nique being blackballed by Hollywood after he rescinded several offers that he had made to her for upcoming productions (Empire being one).

There is a huge irony in the fact that while Daniels embraces his “sell-out” title, he keeps coming up short in the game. He knows the game so well that he can give Mo’Nique advice but it doesn’t seem like his tactics went over too well with the Emmy’s and now he’s upset (and he did follow up with a statement about how he was just joking to rededicate his life to the game).

The problem is that Daniels, like most of the members of the Black community who believe in “reverse racism” and never “play the race card,” are true believers in “the American dream.” They are so deeply colonized that their only allegiance is to the system because they believe that there is some action that can be done on their part that will reward them with the recognition and status that they desire. However, the American reality is that the game is rigged against certain groups. While we do what we have to do to survive – sometimes even playing the game, we should never persecute someone for their conviction to get it done another way.

The Point

We are at a point in this country where we have opened the door on America’s skeletons and we are doing what we can to force the collective body of Americans to admit to the truth and commit to change. This isn’t the time for a “play the game” speech. Especially when the only reward for playing the game is individual achievements. Daniels cannot offer his advice as truth or peddle his methods as an objective answer to the problem. In fact it only exacerbates the problem by disregarding it and allowing society to continue to pretend that the American dream exists and only the “lazy” do not make it. One would hope that his Emmy snub would teach him that in all games there are winners and losers and when you commit to playing the game, you agree to accept that you can at any time be either.


I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,


An Angry Black Man