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In This Latest Episode of Yeet the Rich

Whatever problem rich people are lamenting over could be fixed if they threw the rich person equivalent of three dollars at it.

Awards shows are oxymoronic.

On one hand, it’s “fuck ‘em” because they’re masturbatory celebrations of the rich, famous, and ideally talented. Conversely, morbid curiosity is built into these shows. If I must watch, what is everyone wearing? Who’s hosting? What are they gonna say? And did Black people even get nominated in any major category?

It’s an interesting conundrum, but one that gets shattered when, for example, you’re reminded that Australia is on fire and all of its animals and indigenous people are at risk.

This was a limp call-to-action from several celebrities that came up to accept their awards this at the Golden Globes. Several of them said something like “our hearts are with you Australia”, which…okay. Patricia Arquette managed to bring everyone back to reality by mentioning, and this is me paraphrasing, that: “hey y’all, in like 3204823094039284092 years, no one is gonna fucking remember this ceremony, but they damn sure will remember Australia being on fire”. Which…yes. Russell Crowe, who I hate by the way, was referenced by one of the announcers as not present due to helping quell the fires in Australia and even though I was replaying the visual of a fiery tree branch falling on his head and taking him out, I did find myself wondering:

Why the fuck is he the only one [per this ceremony] over there doing something?

Joaquin Phoenix, king of awkward and talented men, channeled this confusion for me when he came up to accept his award and added that it’s not enough to simply wish Australians well or hope that things don’t go left when it comes to climate change. That [as rich people], it makes sense for them to reduce their own waste by not taking private jets two blocks down the road and, I don’t know, actually do something tangibly helpful with their money.

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I nodded along because it was true. Whenever some potentially Earth-shattering natural or man-made disaster (be it on a state level or a global level) occurs, I am reminded about how like two rich people could put an end to it. People like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates could write one check to fix the housing crisis in America with their nigh-bottomless wealth, but that would make to much sense. And of course, all of the rich people in that room during The Golden Globes could have hopped on some private jet hypothetically and went to go help Crowe save Australia—if they must use their private jet anyway.

But none of this happens because humans are infected with the desire to wag their fingers at other humans from their ivory towers—while they themselves do the bare minimum.

That’s how we get calls from incessantly wealthy corporations asking us, the poors, for our one dollar at the checkout line to donate to whatever the fuck organization in the name of charity or philanthropy (a big, big scam by the way). That’s how we get rich people lecturing us about the dangers of plastic straws while disabled people choke on these same disintegrating contraptions and companies like B-fucking-P are dumping oil in our oceans in the background and pissing off planet Earth. And that’s how we get blatantly obvious declarations of climate change being “real” from celebrities like Kim Kardashian-West and then get follow-up tweets from her where she’s suddenly reluctant to share what she, a rich person, is doing to fight back climate change…even though she literally shares everything with the general public.

Sometimes against our will.

What’s the point in me saying all this? Well, I’m tired of being lectured to or talked at by people who have more money than God. Because whatever problem they’re lamenting over could be fixed if they threw the rich person equivalent of three dollars at it. But this is discouraged under a white supremacist capitalist system that encourages “individualism” or “self-determination” at the expense of altruism and any sort of “greater good”.

I’d end this by saying “eat the rich”, but really, in the very least, I’d like them to leave us the fuck alone so we can be poor in peace.

Clarkisha Kent is a Nigerian-American writer, culture critic, former columnist, and up and coming author. Committed to telling inclusive stories via unique viewpoints from nigh-infancy, she is fascinated with using storytelling and cultural criticism not as a way to “overcome” or “transcend” her unique identities (as a fat and queer Black African woman), but as a way to explore them, celebrate them, affirm them, and most importantly, normalize them and make the world safe enough for people who share them to exist. As a University of Chicago graduate with a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and English, she brings with her over five years of pop culture analysis experience, four years of film theory training, and a healthy appetite for change. Her writing has been featured in outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Essence, The Root, BET, HuffPost, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and more. She is also the creator of #TheKentTest, a media litmus test designed to evaluate the quality of representation that exists for women of color in film and other media. Currently, Kent is working on finishing a novel about a Black female outlaw and a TV comedy pilot about an immortal familiar.

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