Every few months, Jeffree Star is trending because he and one of his okay-with-an-open-racist-until-it-doesn’t-benefit-me squad members are beefing and want to pull out “receipts” that he is in fact what we’ve always told you he was: a racist. And we go through the same cycle of events. He gets exposed; he “claps back” while never actually acknowledging or apologizing for the very credible proof that he is racist; he and his fans try to act as if his being gay and dressing in drag or having worked with a person of color is proof that he believes people of other races to be just as valuable as white people; he never loses a follower, a fan, a sale or a brand deal, and in a couple of days the dust settles and the industry that shows time and time again that it doesn’t care about black people, with its performative diversity and disingenuous, half-ass attempts at inclusion, is still embracing someone who also doesn’t give a fuck about black people.
This cycle got reignited a few days ago, when hairstylist Daved Scissorhands got on Twitter and Instagram and started to share screenshots and video of text conversations he had over the course of his friendship with Star that show him using the N-word and referring to YouTuber and makeup artist Jackie Aina as a “gorilla.”
To these “receipts,” I say: is this supposed to surprise me? In the video he posted, Daved Scissorhands says he is “disgusted and embarrassed” of himself for letting the things that Star said slide and not speaking up in the moment. Why didn’t you?
I have no interest in reading Jeffree Star because I don’t give a fuck about a man who has a long and strong history of being unapologetically racist or convincing him to see otherwise. For calling Jackie Aina a “rat” and “gorilla,” calling Makeup By Shayla a “rat,” and for continuously using the n-word, you are forever trash and can go to hell. However, this will be every bit a read of the people who support him then fall-out with him.
To the Manny MUAs, the Gabriel Zamoras, the Nikita Draguns, the Laura Lees, the Daved Scissorhands, and the rest of you former posse members, you don’t get to parade around on Instagram and Twitter and SnapChat and go on about how great he is, or support and promote him and his brand, be silent when he is loud and racist in public AND in private, then when y’all inevitably fall out, get on the same social media you stanned down for him on and show us, the black beauty community, the “proof” of what we have always said, then give an insincere apology for GASLIGHTING us for years about whether or not this person is in fact racist. You can’t expect us to get up in arms on your behalf, fight with his white followers who want to come all up and through our mentions with explanations and excuses for why a thing ain’t a thing, to help you ease your conscience and create a way for you to remain in the industry while absolving you of the fact that you are sympathetic to racists, tolerant and accepting of racism, and therefore are in fact racist yourselves.
At this point his ”stans” are no different than a Donald Trump supporter in my world. It doesn’t matter what is said, done or half-assed, they will believe in the existence of fake news, accept a video marketed as an apology with no such thing in it. Suddenly words don’t matter and we’re the sensitive ones; they will use any feeble excuse to absolve him of the title of racist, because it’s always worse to be called a racist than it is to actually be a racist in their world. At the end of the day they too couldn’t care less about black and dark-skinned people, our struggles or our feelings. Jeffree Star will continue to be systematically celebrated and uplifted by the beauty industry that continues to work with him despite these repeated offenses, while creators of color and our white allies get systematically punished for calling out instances of blatant disregard and disrespect of black and dark-skinned makeup users and companies. Star will continue to be loved and supported by his fans because he has people like Shane Dawson to ease their conscience about supporting a racist by rewriting history to erase the trauma that people like Star inflict on people of color with “documentaries” that paint him as misunderstood.
Like other scandals, this controversy will soon die down and yet again Star will face absolutely no consequences, but it will get brought back up eventually when someone else decides to pile their “receipts” on to the already enormous mountain of proof, and when that time comes I beg that you keep it to yourself. EVERYONE knows he is a racist. His fans are fine with it, and we are tired of the reminder that y’all just don’t give a fuck about us. Don’t dangle proof in front of us in hopes that we will get angry and come to your aid and bring this person down for you. It’s not black folk’s job to get even for you. It’s not even our jobs to undo the system of white privilege that allows him to continue to find support and success and people to defend and protect him. Leave us out of it.
It is frustrating to watch everyone but Jeffree Star be held accountable for their words and actions, and defeating to know that someone can be this unapologetically and consistently hurtful and hateful while those that are honest and respectful, struggle to get a fraction of the recognition and support.
As followers, subscribers, and, most importantly, consumers we have the power to uplift the ones who work for ALL of us, especially those of us who are disenfranchised, by putting our money into brands and companies who are consistently respectful and making room for us at the table as opposed to throwing us a bone, and giving our likes, shares, follows and energy to the creators who put out consistent, respectful and creative work.