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Essence Does a Hit Piece on Amanda Seales

This Op-ed from Essence is unfortunate. Essence seems interested in cutting down Amanda Seales, one of the most powerful and important black political and entertainment voices today.

Here's an illuminating quote from the article:

"Personally, while I enjoy thought provocation in theory, I’m not sure I’d be able to work alongside someone who seems committed to exhaustingly agitating the establishment, even when they have really good points and even better intentions."

In the present context of large-scale societal absurdity, dangerous half-truths in the media, and political turmoil ... this quote is flat-out goofy. Through clever language, "research" and insinuation, the article intends to groom its audience on how to behave. It offers a concise logic for being accepted by the employer and leadership classes, even in the midst of widespread inhumanity and manipulation.

As the Essence article title suggests, the myths of American meritocracy and corporate competency have never been more obvious. Essence readers (Black American people) are being taught, through this article, that career advancement is contingent on being liked; described in the article as "pleasant", "agreeable".

... and here I thought the whole point of success was freedom?

At several points in the article, the author veers away from Amanda Seales altogether to give the reader direct life advice/career coaching, with the tone of a LinkedIn article.

"All of this begs the question, how important is it to be liked over being perceived as competent in your career?"

- Essence Opinion Writer, Jasmine Browley

  • Maybe this is why planes can't keep their doors on - everyone's too cordial.

  • Maybe this is why our corporate news media is in shambles - the Journalists are too friendly with the executives, and too chummy with the clowns.

  • Maybe a large number of our political and social afflictions have something to do with the laissez-faire tendency toward personal relationships, patronage, familiarity over competency & decency.

I LOVE and value Amanda Seales' heart and her humor. Her creative genius, political acumen, and her moral leadership at this time. I know that she's inspired hundreds of thousands of her followers to speak and BE more authentically, more honestly. Amanda's brilliant example, voice and principled clarity exists for Black people's benefit, and for EVERYONE'S benefit. Who doesn't want to work with that?

It is an unfortunate projection from the author to assume that Amanda is "committed to exhaustingly agitating the establishment". What if - instead - Amanda's valuable work is driven by her deep love for humanity, and her commitment to Truth.

Sometimes that does mean agitation, and not for some short period or performative stint. It means stepping into your power as a human; a localized expression of what is. Employing your best skills and resources in a way that clarifies Truth. Thank you for that commitment, Amanda.

What else is there that we should be committed to?


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