On Denzel & Kim: Why Their Comments Hurt

Recently Denzel Washington and Kim Burrell are in hot water for some controversial comments they've made.

In an interview with BET promoting his latest film Fences, when Denzel was asked about colorism and its effect on dark-skinned in Hollywood he stated:

"One of the best roles for a woman of any color in the last, in a good good while or at least any movie that I've been in, a dark-skinned woman has in this film. So as long as you're being lead by outside forces or just being reactionary then you won't move forward. You have to continue to get better." Going on to add "You can say, 'Oh I didn't get the part because they gave it to the light-skinned girl, or you can work, and one day, it might take twenty years, and you can be Viola." He continues, "The easiest thing to do is to blame someone else, the system. Yeah, well, there's a possibility, maybe, that you're not good enough, but it's easy to say it's someone elses fault. But there's a possibility that you're not ready and you can still blame it on someone else instead of getting ready." - Denzel Washington 


If that wasn't a mouthful to take in Burrell recently came under fire for comments she made in a homophobic sermon towards people of the LGBTQ community. In her sermon she proclaimed: 

“I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused us pain on the body of Christ,” said Burrell.
“You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted… You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”-Kim Burrell 

Media: GIPHY

For so long I've admired the work of Washington and the spiritual tunes of Burrell. However, although they indeed are entitled to their opinions, let's not act like these opinions are NOT HURTFUL, DETRIMENTAL, & OUTRIGHT WRONG. Let's start first with Denzel:

I've always told my mother, " I am a woman, I am dark-skinned, and I am Black. That's three strikes against me because I am well aware of the systematic powers that be, who don't are not fond of little ole' girls like myself".  In Hollywood I know this to be no different to dark skinned actresses like Washington's Fences co-star Viola Davis whose experienced this challenge and talked about the battles of colorism in the industry. It's not to say it's easy to blame the system but if it looks like a duck, smells like a duck and walks a duck, then it must be a duck!!!! We cannot invalidate others experiences just because we feel like the resolution is to work harder. Although I do understand Washington's point, there's a reason why Black folks have to work harder, why Black women are speaking on colorism in Hollywood and why Denzel is the only African-American male with two Academy Awards #enough.

Now on to Burrell...

I'm tired of people, more specifically members of the Black church who feel like being gay is the ultimate sin. You can argue, you can feel some type of way but please remember that no sin is weighted over the other. SIN is SIN. Since individuals want to go condemn and make hateful remarks to the LGBTQ community, let's also condemn the liars, adulterers and those who lust for human flesh. Dammit, let's condemn everyone who engages in the seven deadly sins as much as we condemn our LGBTQ folks #ILLWAIT. All I know is that God is love, and ain't nothing loving about beating, and preaching that someone dies because of their sexual preferences (start the video below at 0:17)We are so quick to call out being a gay as a sin as if the other 95% of sins we commit on a daily basis don't matter. This is disappointing.

Ultimately, there's power in what we speak, and words do hurt.They can be detrimental to our communities because it undermines our systematic struggles, and for Mrs. Burrell reinforces the reasons why we just don't say BLACKLIVESMATTER, but ALLBLACKLIVESMATTER. Not to mention it questions the role of church leaders, conformability between Christians, and "problems with the Black church" (that's a whole other story.....)