Tamera Mowry’s “White Man’s Whore” Account Proves We Aren’t Post-Racial

tamera-mowry_Ever been called a whore by perfect strangers? Ever had someone insinuate that you were a prostitute or that you at least should be? Many black women have. Why? Well, because we’re black and women.

An example of this is Tamera Mowry. The actress we all fell in love with on the nineties show Sister, Sister – where she played her twin sister Tiagave a vulnerable and teary-eyed account of the horrible racist epithets she has received. Most were vocalized to her in reference to her marriage to a white man. Being biracial (black and white) herself, she was especially hurt by the cruel comments about her being the “white man’s whore” and “giving it away for free” when a black woman used to cost $300.

Seething yet?

“Post-racial” has been a buzzword this decade. President Obama’s historic election is often wielded as evidence of it. Many people (most of whom are white) claim that if we all hold hands and simply choose to look beyond race, racism itself will magically disappear. They claim that it is our desire to see racism that induces it. They come up with other perceived logical explanations for our lived experiences. All the while, the hurt those experiences cause festers in the lives of people of color. Our real lives are thereby minimized. And we, the victims, are forced to bear the burden of the racism which harms us.

The dehumanizing racism Mowry has experienced underscores our need to face race head-on in this country rather than sweep it under the rug.

Post-racial America? No. I don’t think so.

Do you think we are post-racial? Why do you think this idea has been pushed for so long? Will we ever be beyond race altogether?

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Jenn M. Jackson

Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief
Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

7 Responses

  1. Dionne says:

    I couldn’t make it through the video without tearing up. It so sad that she has to go through that. I notice that when I lived in a homogeneous neighborhood (LA), and everyone looked like me, I recognized race and racism less. I’m sure my age had a lot to do with my ignorance too. However, when I moved to my current neighborhood (the OC), I notice racism and [you called it] micro-aggressions more. Perhaps when people don’t integrate friendship circles, or if they live in very homogeneous communities, they really don’t have a schema with which to marry experiences with racism. They’re more likely to see Tamera’s experience as unique, or as a deviation.

  2. GreenInOC says:

    Their accounts of what was said make me think that the people who say these things to them are people they know and know well (people who know their parentage, know whom they are married to and then share their lengthy opinions). While hearing those things in any context would be awful, if they are indeed coming from people they know I can only imagine that it amplifies the pain.

    @Dionne, I live in OC and I think you are right on. There is a pervasive attitude that if they don’t see something it isn’t real.

  3. Dionne says:

    @GreenInOC I don’t think the “white man’s whore” comment came from someone Tamera knows. Since both sisters are public figures, I could definitely see something like this appearing in a comment feed of a Twitter/FB/Instagram account.

  4. GreenInOC says:

    @Dionne, I hadn’t even thought about that, I’m sure you’re right. Of course, now I think that’s even worse in the sense that it’s written and can be re-read & re-read and so much harder to try to distance yourself from the pain by trying to assume that someone meant something else but it came out wrong, etc…

  5. Dionne says:

    Agreed. Either way, their both very hurtful scenarios.

  6. Shawna says:

    I saw this interview when it first aired on OWN. It was truly heart-breaking. As a fan of the reality show, Tia & Tamera, and Sister Sister, it wasn’t the first time I’d seen them share candidly about their experiences living the public life their celebrity brings. But, it still hurt to the core to hear the racism they endure, particularly, Tamera, in this case.

    My daughter brought home an assignment last week where we were asked to write down our dreams, as parents, and the students would add their dreams, in honor and celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I wrote that I dream of a world where people treat everyone well and where people don’t hurt each other with their thoughts, words, or actions…I am dreaming that for Tamera and all of us in the struggle.

  7. Law Wanxi says:

    Wake me up when that whole “post-racial” thing happens. Meanwhile, so not holding my breath.

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