When Essence editors chose to put Reggie Bush on the cover of their February 2010 “Black Men, Love & Relationships” issue, I’m sure they thought they were just giving their readers a little dose of sexual chocolate eye candy (those abs!), but instead all hell broke loose!
The Essence.com boards are flooded with seething comments from people who can’t understand why a magazine geared towards Black women would make the NFL player who is dating a non-Black woman, Kim Kardashian, the cover choice for an issue that celebrates Black love.
Here’s a sample of the backlash:
“Why is there a white supremacist on the cover of Essence magazine? Because any person who thinks white women are better is indeed a white supremacists. Having this man on the cover is beyond offensive to me as an African American woman. He is just another crude reminder of all the black men who perpetuate racism against black women, by rejecting them and showing the utmost disrespect by choosing to date non-black women, Reggie Bush is even more offensive since his mate is nothing but some white trashy woman. I suspect those of you you do agree with this mess are either Aunt Jemima’s or products of an interracial relationship.”
“This Brotha don’t dig us, so why, pray tell, do we have to see his face staring back at us, on a magazine that celebrates US? This disappoints me. It’s an insult! Later for Reggie Bush and all the other Brothas who turn their back on the black woman once they are successful.”
“Why put a man who clearly prefers the bottom of the barrel of white women than a good black woman on your cover? Clearly, he has no love for the sisters. This magazine is supposed to empower black women not remind us of the disadvantages that we face in today’s society. Please don’t insult our intelligence.”
(There are dozens more comments along the same lines, but you get the point)
The February issue featured 10 black men, including Idris Elba, LL Cool J and Lance Gross in the cover story so they could’ve easily picked another one of those men as the first image you see on their Black love issue, but is it really that big of a deal or are people just making an issue out of nothing? What do you think?