Wendy Williams has always had a knack for stirring up controversy when it comes to her comments about the personal lives of Hollywood celebrities. But this week, the controversy wasn’t about any particular celebrity. Instead, it was about Williams’ comments on race, specifically HBCUs and the NAACP, which she claimed could be offensive to White people.
The drama all began yesterday during her “Hot Topics” segment on her talk show. Williams addressed the backlash that actor Jesse Williams was experiencing from White audiences over his poignant and powerful speech at the 2016 BET Awards where he attacked White supremacy and spoke words of empowerment to Black people.
While discussing the speech, Williams claimed his speech was “poignant on one hand” and then she turned around and said that she understands why White people would be offended by Black establishments like HBCUs and the NAACP.
“On the other hand, I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically White college. We have historically Black colleges,” she said.
She continued, “What if there was a national organization for White people only? There’s the NAACP. By the way, what is the ‘C’ for? Colored? Are we still using colored?”
Although Williams’ in-studio audience is typically responsive to her rants, this time around even she noted that they were dead silent as she spoke about her thoughts on these pillars of the Black community. However, that didn’t stop Williams from continuing her rant.
“What I’m saying is racism sucks and we can all do better in our own households, educating ourselves, teaching our children to make it better. National speeches like this will always rub people the wrong way, just like White people might be offended because Spelman College is an historically Black college for women,” Williams said.
It’s sad that Williams criticized the existence of these Black institutions without acknowledging that they were created and still exist in response to the racism and White supremacy that has kept Black people from having access to the same education, justice and resources that White people have access to.
We can think of a lot of things about this rant and the current climate of race in this culture that are offensive, but Black people creating and maintaining institutions and safe spaces in response to White supremacy isn’t one of them.
What do you think of Williams’ rant? Let us know in the comments.