Right about now, there’s a petition going around to stop this wannabe Stillwater-looking band (tired, Almost Famous reference, but whatever) that decided it would be real cool to name themselves “Black Pussy” from playing at venues across the U.S.
So far, their shows in Raleigh, North Carolina and Winnipeg, Canada have been cancelled.
The lead singer of the Portland, Oregon band, 41-year-old, Dustin Hill claims his naming choice was “sexy” and “70s.”
Hill further claims that he didn’t consider the fact that someone would take offense to the name in an interview because, he’s so different:
“I sit in a very isolated spot compared to [the rest of] humanity,” he says. “Words do not offend me.”
If you take a look at the band’s Facebook page, it’s filled with all sorts of gems:
Right from the Facebook page:
Black Pussy does not condone or endorse any sexism, racism, ageism, violence, or any other douchebaggery that has been spoiling the party since the party started. If you are offended by the band’s name, please refer to the following videos…
Don’t you just love when outwardly offensive individuals proclaim how non-racist/sexist they are by directing your valid anger to 3 YouTube links of white comedians shaming you for being offended? How does that work? How Sway?
Oh and if you thought that no one told this Hill to change the band name, they did. However, Hill simply is just too “committed” to it.
“I’m not going to change the name because I’m afraid it’ll hurt my project. I’ve committed to it, because that’s what artists do: They commit to an idea. It’s not about trying to be successful or trying to make money, it’s about the idea. We build on the idea, and if it fails, it fails. But I’m not going to change it because a tiny percentage of the population has an issue with it.”
He’s a young Andy Warhol in a sea of Monet impressionist critics or something… Oh woe is me and countless other black men, women and consequently other non-black people who are offended by your “art.” Highly doubt that’s a “tiny percentage” of the population. Heck, I’d be willing to bet there are more signatures on the petition than there are album sales for this band.
Furthermore, it’s a bit of a coincidence that the band’s name is the same as the original working title of The Rolling Stone’s 1971 song, “Brown Sugar.” This too has been brought to Hill’s attention. If you’re unfamiliar, the song fetishizes slave masters raping black female slaves. Here’s a preview of the lyrics:
Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in the market down in New Orleans
Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing alright
Hear him with the women just around midnight
Brown sugar how come you taste so good
Brown sugar just like a young girl should- ah hum oh..
Literally, can’t finish reading this song without gagging profusely, but if you need to read the rest, be my guest. Can’t really figure out why Hill would think a shoutout to this song in particular would alleviate him of any offense.
By no means are Hill and Black Pussy the only offenders. There’s also another band out of Richmond, VA named “Black Girls.” Their reasoning behind the name:
“…I think this one time we were showing some stuff to some friends, and they asked if we had gotten a trio of black girls to come in and record backing vocals. So that was kind of flattering and we thought, “Hey, not a bad name either.”
Not a bad name? Try again, bros. There are tons of awful names you could pick from that don’t disrespect black female bodies.
However, since these individuals don’t give a crap about amplifying their ignorance, I find the suggestion one commenter left on the interview put it best:
Given that Dustin Hill isn’t bothered by what other people might find offensive, he could just rename the group “White Privilege.”
A little history lesson for Black Pussy from the editor:
Rape was a tool of oppression used habitually on black women even after slavery. In a NY Times article entitled Pay Tribute to the Black Women Who Spoke Out About the Sexual Violence Stanford history professor Allyson Hobbs details the sexual violence black women endured during Reconstruction;
Similar to their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, African-American women experienced political and economic terror. But these women also endured sexual violence at the hands of white men determined to restore the sexual codes of the slavery regime. When the federal government called for congressional hearings to investigate the Ku Klux Klan in 1871, hundreds of black women came forward.
As historian Hannah Rosen has documented, Frances Thompson testified that seven white men broke into the house that she shared with Lucy Smith and demanded dinner and “some woman to sleep with.” When Thompson declared, “we were not that sort of women,” the seven men raped the two women. Harriet Armour testified that two white men raped her because they were angry that her husband had been a Union soldier. Rebecca Ann Bloom stated that an intruder got into bed with her, and “violated [her] person” at knifepoint. These were not the actions of “a few bad men,” but rather were systematic attempts to exert control over black women’s bodies and to cancel a black woman’s chance of being regarded as chaste and respectable.
Such testimonies were limited. They were suppressed by the humiliation of speaking publicly about rape in front of disbelieving white officials and by the physical pain and the psychological wounds that these assaults left behind. It is remarkable — and it must be remembered — that during Reconstruction, hundreds of black women publicly condemned white men for sexual crimes.
Sound off! Do you think the boycott is the right approach?