Already underpaid, overworked, and disrespected, McDonald’s employees then begin to prepare for a flood of customers who expect them to deliver not just the Saweetie Meal itself, but the “Saweetie Meal Experience” that has been crafted. While many in the “diversity economy” created around the meal receive a material benefit (even if crumbs) from their participation in the event, the workers see no change in their material condition. . . .
Universalizing Blackness as a flat experience allows Amazon to proclaim #BlackLivesMatter, create a Black-owned business page but crush the unions organized by its Black workers. It allows the NBA to paint BLM on its hardwoods, highlight Black business during the NBA finals but pay its predominantly Black and temp workers dirt wages. Universalizing Blackness distorts Blackness itself. It is decorating at its worst. . . .
Rapper/actor/entertainer Ice Cube has worn many hats throughout his professional career. He started as a so-called gangsta rapper with the impactful group NWA in the late 80s. Then, he joined forces with Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad and the Nation of Islam to become a hardcore Black nationalist rapper in the early 90s. That phase devolved into him making several high profile records with Mac 10 and WC as the “Westside Connection.” Records that were part gangsta, part party animal. Finally, he moved into mainstream motion pictures. Most recently, he rotated back into the struggle for African self-determination with many public . . .
The liberal anti-racist economy is fundamentally unwilling and ill-equipped to grapple with this and racial[ized] contradictions of capital(ism)—the likes of which Black radicals of the Black radical tradition have theorized and highlighted on for decades now. . . .