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Dear Black People: Stop Embarrassing Me

Though this website is mostly a people of color positive zone, every now and then I feel the need to vent a bit about my own people. It generally happens when I want black people to stop freaking embarrassing me!

First up, hip hop artist Plies. Yes, his name is Plies. It’s embarrassing enough to have a grown-ass man running around calling himself Plies, but he supposedly waxed poetical with Vibe magazine on why he chose such a moniker:

Vibe: “Plies is an interesting name for a rapper, how did you get that nickname?”

Plies: “Plies is a tool, You can use it to put the squeeze on things, like I’m doing to these niggas in the rap game. I got the squeeze on them real tight, they feeling the pressure, or you can use it to pull things out. I pull out all the bullshit and keep the real you feel me?

It also a word you can use in terms of things goin’ on in yo life, ya dig. You may hear something I say and say that it plies to me.”

Vibe: “I’ve heard of a tool called a Pliers and the term applies.”

Plies: “You know what I’m trying to say my nigga, just buy my album, I’m from the South my nigga, we don’t learn no grammer. My Album out August 7, 2007, cop three copies each, it’s Christmas in July fo’ real, ya dig?



Now, I say he ‘supposedly’ said this to Vibe because there is some doubt that this snippet is from a real interview. I’ve only been able to find it on message boards and blogs with no attribution link. It was supposedly on but isn’t there now. I’ve seen some other recent interviews with this ‘Plies’ person, so I don’t have a lot of trouble seeing this as real. But, it may not be.

If it is: PLIES, stop FUCKING embarrassing me! That is some straight ignant shit, yo! Plies is a tool, You can use it to put the squeeze on things — gah!

If it’s fake, I suspect a white conspiracy ;)

This second item, however, is not a product of the white conspiracy.

Did you know that The View now has two black co-hosts? They brought in Whoopi to replace Rosie, not Star Jones. They brought in Sherri Shepherd to replace Star. (No, I don’t know who Sherri Shepherd is, either.) Apparently, Sherri is a Christian. She says that she does not “believe in evolution, period.” As a follow up, Whoopi asked her if she believed the world was flat. Her answer? “I don’t know.”

*tires squeeling, cars crashing*

You don’t know?

“I’ve never thought about it,” she went on to say. “‘Is the world flat?’ has never been an important thing to me.”

See, this is the reason people make fun of Christians. This is the exact reason.

Sherri Shepherd, stop embarrassing me! I mean, come on. Is the world flat? is not a hard question to answer. And if you answer “I don’t know,” that says to me you don’t want to admit, on national television, that you really, deep down, think that it is. And if that is true, then you need to sail off the edge of it. Right now.

The whole conversation is here, if you can stomach it:

Check out the grin on Joy Behar’s face. She’s happy to have two black women going at it instead of one black woman going at her.

Maybe we should write a letter to these folks ala “Dear Black People” or stage an intervention.  Because, really, there is no need for this foolishness.

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41 thoughts on “Dear Black People: Stop Embarrassing Me”

  1. nojojojo says:

    I suspect a white conspiracy too. =P Seriously, though — why TF do people like this get so much of the spotlight in the media? Why does Vibe interview rappers with obvious mental deficiencies? Why does the View hire a woman who’s too stupid to live (and yet she soldiers on…)?

    I don’t really believe it’s a conspiracy, but I do think there’s a tendency on the part of some white folks in the media to go for what they consider to be “colorful” or entertaining black people, and historically that’s meant the ones willing to shuck and jive like Plies, or the ones who don’t realize (or care) that they sound like idiots like Sherri. It’s not like intelligent, articulate black people are hard to find — despite what Joe Biden thinks — but I guess they’re not as entertaining.

  2. Val says:

    Honestly, when I first began reading the post I smiled at the title.

    Then I wondered why a rapper would name himself after a ballet position.

    Once I realized what he was trying to say I HOWLED.

    This is just too funny.

  3. ncabrera says:

    I agree that these actions are embarassing, but I think it also highlights a strong societal double standard: people of color (POC) are representatives of the entire group while White people are judged as indviduals.

    I have yet to hear a White person cringe because Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew “represent them”; however, there are plenty of POC pleading with mainstream rappers to please keep their mouths shut as they are an embarrassment to the community.

    Ms. South Carolina was not seen as a representative of White people when she bumbled something incoherently about education in South Africa and Iraq (, and this is the essence of White privilege.

    The ultimate irony is that mainstream rappers recieve their air play because White, suburban kids are buying their albums.

    For some reason, they are drawn to the worst our people have to offer (ignorant, inarticulate, womanizing, drug dealing, thugs… or, studio thugs).

  4. Angel H. says:

    [sighs] our people…

  5. Michael says:

    cabera?…I assure you the entire white race cringed at MS South Carolina and that idiot Johnny Knoxville..and let me name a few others that I would gladly cast out.

    – Vanilla Ice
    – Matt Lauer
    – Brtiney Spears
    – Paris Hilton

    And we are smart enough to know that this person does not represent POC. It has nothing to do with “priviledge”, being a dumbass is the true equalizer. Can we all agree on a planet to dump these embarassents on :-)?

  6. Antonio says:

    The rapper is just hilarious. Sherri Shepherd is a bit more troubling.

    As far as why’d they choose someone like Shepherd for the View, I don’t watch the show but I had I found a lot of the online discussion during the Star Jones and Rosie debacles interesting. At Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi frequently came up as candidates that the fans liked. Even Gayle King was mentioned. So it seems that a lot of the best candidates for the spot were black, which many of the (presumably) white commenters had no problem with. The only likely white candidate that I can recall was Kathy Griffin, but some felt she was too edgy. Plus she’s pissed off a lot of celebrities with her antics.

  7. Delux says:

    I’m rather in agreement w/ nojojojo. If vibe wanted to interview a rapper, they could have spoken to Tim’m West, but who wants to deal with a rapping black man with two graduate degrees? Certainly not them!

    Ditto the View– there’s articulate, camera-ready Christian black women who work in the sciences. Come *on*.

  8. jenn says:

    I’ve been a reader of this blog for a while now and this is the first time that I just had to chime in. This is some funny sh*t!
    I laughed at that “Plies” stuff ’til tears were running down my face. I know we got some “ig’nat” folks among us but this is just too much!

    As for that View stuff, I was thinking about it since I saw the clip last night on Keith Olbermann’s show. Damn, that is one stupid woman. I thought that blonde girl was going to drive me crazy. Now it seems that they found someone even dumber than her. My people, My people… (picture me nodding my head in shame)

  9. Chase says:

    “I’m from the South my nigga, we don’t learn no grammer.”

    Nor do they learn much of anything else. Does graduating “plies” to any of these people.

    And, girlfriend from the View, if she wasn’t eating all of her son’s food, she wouldn’t have to “worry” about feeding him. Maybe she doesn’t beleive reading books “plies” to her.

  10. Luscious Librarian says:

    Did you know that your boy Plies has four years of college under his belt?

    Somehow, that pisses me off even more. He’s exploiting his people and shuckin’ and jivin’ for a dollar, and I say that because he knows that what he’s perpetuating is a lie and yet he doesn’t let those who don’t know any better in on the joke.

  11. SakuraPassion says:

    Plies? PLIES?! I’m going to leave that one alone.

    And The View?

    “I don’t know. “I’ve never thought about it,”

    Yep, you’re right ABW, this is the reason why people think Christians are stupid.

  12. Saladin says:

    Either it’s the product of a very witty but very racist anonymous internet writer or it’s some hilarious-but-depressing real-life shit.
    “Plies is a tool”! I read it ten times and cracked up each time.

    So why does Vibe cover ‘hip-hop’ ‘entertaners’ like this as opposed to actual hip-hop artists? Because it’s a CORPORATE entity that has no interest in Black people other than seeing them as a market. Here’s a comically revealing photo gallery of the people that actually own the various Vibe enterprises (Vixen, etc.):

    Oh – and well said, ncabrera.

  13. Hoodstar415 says:

    Them Suburban white kids will listen to anything the white media puts out for them.. Most of the rappers that make it mainstream are hella weak.. Hip-Hop has lost its soul.. We gotta bring it back to the 80’s-Early 90’s :)

  14. daisydeadhead says:

    hahahah–now you know how southerners feel: Dear Dixiecrats, please stop embarrassing me! I’ve been thinking this MY WHOLE LIFE! :P

    Great piece. And BTW, Star Jones is now on COURT TV every day at 3pm! It’s wonderful to hear her now without interruption every other sentence!

  15. Julia says:

    ncabrera–I agree that white people don’t think of people like Ms South Carolina as “representing” other white people necessarily. She made me cringe inside, but not because we’re both white. I think it had more to do with horror at the educational system that produced her and at the way she personified the stereotype of the dumb but pretty girl.

    Speaking personally, I think the only times I’ve noticed a tendency on the part of white people to judge other white people as representatives of the group have been in racially charged situations such as Don Imus’ comments or the response to Hurricane Katrina.

  16. Alaya says:

    Holy crap. Is the WORLD FLAT!!!???

    I can’t believe that someone could honestly act like anything but “of course” is some kind of reasonable position. Like, “I’m an agnostic on the roundness of the earth, I don’t think all the evidence is in yet.” Completely bonkers.

    As for Plies…yeah.

  17. funambulator says:

    “And, girlfriend from the View, if she wasn’t eating all of her son’s food, she wouldn’t have to ‘worry’ about feeding him.”

    Chase, I’m not sure what you’re getting at with this…

  18. jessica says:

    im mad they spelt “grammar” wrong in vibe….

  19. ldfarah says:

    please, please, please make a t-shirt out of the title! i’ll order 25. i promise!

  20. nojojojo says:

    And, girlfriend from the View, if she wasn’t eating all of her son’s food, she wouldn’t have to “worry” about feeding him.


    OK, backup. We’re talking about what Sherri said/believes. You’re not adding anything to the conversation with cracks about her weight. Just stop.

  21. the angry black woman says:

    Yes, what Nora said.

  22. thembi says:

    Sherri Shephard is the essence of mediocrity. I also saw the video where she backpedals and explains that she was flustered and is not an idiot but it didn’t really help…
    Also do we really expect Vibe to cover talented hip-hop artists or simplistic and popular ones – the two are almost mutually exclusive these days…

  23. the angry black woman says:

    idfarah, ask and you shall receive:


  24. Chase says:

    First of all, I respect ABW and her readers. And, I fully understand the impact insults play in a rational dialogue.

    In my previous comment, I only implied that Shepard might have been eating her son’s food, which lead to her “worries”. In this comment, I would like to make myself perfectly clear.

    Let’s consider the fact that Shepard attempted to fraudulently amalgamate herself into the category of a struggling mother, who is worried about where the next meal for her son will come, with the fact that she has “extensive work in television commercials” and a steady job now, not to mention the amount of money she makes as a TV personality.

    Let’s also consider the thousands upon thousands of mothers in the American ghettos and the millions upon millions of millions of mothers in the ghettos around the world; Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Darfur and other parts of Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Brazil, Malawi, Somalia and Haiti; who not only can’t feed their children now, but haven’t feed them in weeks. Now, tell me that you are in agreement with Shepard’s phony endeavor to be a “Struggling mother.” Not me, I’m not buying it.

    Therefore, I’d like to represent the real struggling mothers by expressing my ANGER and making myself perfectly clear about Shepard. It’s not that she can’t afford food for her son. And, if her son isn’t eating it, then who is? The fraud Shepard is attempting to perpetrate is a FAT one. Hence, it’s a FAT FRAUD, Shepard. If you really want to see a struggling mother, I can show you hundreds who know how to feed their children for a week with less than a dollar.

    Now I’m really angry! Put down that turkey leg and pick up a book, sista. The earth is not flat and you are not a struggling mother!

  25. nojojojo says:


    …And here you rationalize the same BS. ::sigh::

    Ad hominem attacks are a digression from the argument at hand, pointless, and just plain silly. If you do “fully understand the impact insults play in a rational dialogue”, then you know they don’t belong in a rational dialogue, because they’re inherently irrational. It’s as if ABW had said, “Free the Jena 6: discuss.” And you replied, “They’re ugly and their mommas dress them funny! Also, there are starving children in Africa!!11!” Not only is it off-topic, it makes you sound like an idiot.

    Again: stop.

  26. Chase says:


    What’s your point? Do I have to really break it down to you that, although I understand the impact, I’m angry! I think I made it perfectly clear by repeating my disgust toward Shepard.

    Rationality usually doesn’t have a role to play when you’re angry. Simply ask the Jena Six; they exhausted all rational means. Are you suggesting I beat up Shepard?

  27. Chase says:


  28. nojojojo says:


    At this point, you’re acting like a troll. So I’m suggesting, again, that you stop before you end up banned.

  29. Chase says:


    “Ad hominem attacks are a digression from the argument at hand, pointless, and just plain silly.” You also said, “because they’re inherently irrational.”

    I think I made my point.

    You don’t have to ban me, I choose exile.

    chan dtong bpai laew, kup (I have to go now-please) pop-gan mai, kup (See you later-please)

  30. the angry black woman says:

    ……. what?

    This is off the topic, so I’ll just say it and let that be my last statement on the subject. Chase, while I recognize that you’re angry and angry people sometimes say dumb things, I also truly think that one should try, even in anger, not to make sweeping prejudicial remarks that play on society’s acceptable demons — like fat people. In many situations it’s perfectly acceptable, when dogging someone out, to make a joke about their weight. Just ask Rush Limbaugh. However, I don’t think this is a good thing.

    What I see happening here is that, in the midst of your anger, you dogged Shepherd out because of her weight. When other people called you on it, instead of just saying “Yeah, that was stupid of me” you tried to rationalize what you did. My suggestion is: don’t do that. It’s hard to admit that you’re wrong. When I’m wrong my first instinct is to try and explain how I’m not. It doesn’t make me any less wrong. It is perfectly understandable to say “I was angry and it made me lash out.” No one can fault you for that as long as you admit it wasn’t really the best thing you could have done.

    So. You don’t have to go away forever. but really, let’s not have anymore not admitting you made a mistake.

  31. Arm Jerker J. says:

    Wow. I’m late on this one. Yea. I find it funny that they needed to get two black folks to replace Rosie. I really don’t think Sherri is replacing Star. But I do think they are hoping that double the black, double the controversy they got from Rosie. They hope the two of them will get some really hot seat shit brewing but instead they get this crap.

    And Plies needs someone to plies give him a dictionary and rap about that instead. And why do we have to own “my nigga?” That just makes it worse.

  32. FannieLouHamer says:

    Wow. “Plies.” Now the funny thing is, I bet a conference room full of suited and booted white music executives had to keep a straight face on that one. Or they thought, hey, we’re marketing to black folks, and they’ll buy just about anything.

    As for Sherri Sheppard — what was she thinking? Since when does Christian have to equal stupid? That reminds me of an anecdote T.D. Jakes related on NPR. He said that one of the members of his congregation was telling him that she had to have surgery, but that she felt good because her surgeon was a Christian. Rev. Jakes said to her, “Yes, but is he a good surgeon?”

    Faith and intellect are not mutually exclusive.

    This Sherri Sheppard thing makes me miss Lisa Ling even more. At least she was intelligent, even though she often got shouted down by Barbara and the View Crew.

    BTW, why can’t Latinas get a shot at being on The View? I think America is a bit more diverse than black, white,and Asian.

  33. Brittany says:

    Wow, I am pretty pissed about that Plies interview. He is really fucking us over by thinking that its ok to talk like that because he is from the south. Thats really not cool.

  34. Trula says:

    Sherri Shepherd…LOL. I’ll be back to write my comment after I stop laughing, ah ahahahahaha hah ahahaha ha ha ha!!

  35. Trula says:

    FannieLouHamer wrote: Or they thought, hey, we’re marketing to black folks, and they’ll buy just about anything.

    most people who actually buy rap are white American males ages 16-24. So they were probably thinking hey this just reinforces stereotypes our buying/target market feels about black people.

    I am still laughing over Sherri Shepherd, LOL!

    but she doesn’t represent me and neither does Plies. People, seriously, there is enough room in our culture for everyone to be themselves. and we have got to quit worrying over what racist white folks think, and thinking that anything we do or don’t do has any kind of effect on racist white people. We could all be proper-speaking, well-educated, clean-cut, ‘perfect’ black people and you know what? They would not stop being racist.

    Let’s focus more on ways we can make positive changes within the black community.

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  38. Afrodyte says:

    Dear White People,

    The beliefs expressed by Ms. Sherri Shepherd do not reflect the consensus of Black people. Please do not ask us if we all think the world is flat.

    Black People

  39. littlem says:

    First, what Afrodyte said. (But not just to white people. To, like, the world. I’m less worried about what American white people think than what, say, the Chinese think. Learn your Mandarin now, y’all.)

    Second, I thought “plies” were something we used to warm up in ballet class.

    But of course, I’m one of those WOCs who “talks white”.

    Give me strength. I also can’t deal with this mess happening on my birthday. I love Whoopi, but I won’t watch the View.

    Plus, IMO, the REASON we have to send Afrodyte’s email is because Perception Is Reality.

    I know some here would prefer not to believe it.

    I believe most here believe it SHOULDN’T be that way.

    But the Jena 6 case SHOULDN’T have come to court, either.

    Perception is Reality. If not necessarily for you, for the people you deal with (which can and will boomerang back into your life).

    Believe it.

    And can we get that ignorant Sherri girl off the air, please?!? What, they had to have a Mammy figure to replace La Star after she got thin?


  40. abw says:

    I am from the South,my nigga, we don’t learn no grammar.

    If you really said this, Plies, please speak for yourself. Alot of us “N’s, no black folks, paid attention in school in English class!!! The South may not have as much as every other region in the U.S. but we have at least the basics like schools that teach roughly the same curriculum as everyone else, bruh. Nothing wrong with Southern drawls, Ebonics, and out and out slang at times and many places(the streets,the clubs, the neighborhood,hip hop magazines like Vibe and anywhere else outside of church,school, and work), but some of us grasp at least the rudimentary elements of Standard American English if not the kings English.

    As for the View, I have not stayed up on it. I am not all to sure she is ignorant in every issue but the Christian one is admittedly a sore spot.

  41. Geraldo Jenkins says:

    depressing as hell…….My biggest concern is when life as we know it…meaning our current lifestyles, values, etc. are wiped off of the planet and the next humans (if the race is fortunate enough to sustain itself long enough) are researching what (particularly black) people were doing during the time surrounding the second millienium. It would be extremely unfortunate for the next wave of intelligent life to stumble upon quotes from the majestic Sheri Sheppard and scriptures from the all knowledgeble “Plies” and then piece together an image of what our life used to be like. scary…yes…. As for the conspiracy theory, im sure it exists to some extent, but white people seem appeased by things that don’t challenge the ongoing cultural schemata. For instance, it’s much more fun to proliferate the sub-standard vocabulary of a southern dingbat who is clearly a poor representation of people from the south, then to spread knowledge of certain facts like how inventions such as the refrigerator, the hair comb, shoe lasting machine, toiltet flush, stop lights, etc. were created through the ingeniousness of the black mind. It’s like Styles P said, “They focus on the negative attention, do something positive and never get mentioned”. But in addition to the white conspiracy, there are also black decision makers who allow this type of shit to fly (in regards to shit hop). ever see BeT at night? it’s pretty contradictory to the message sent through its gospel members. As for Sherri…………shit……….

  42. abw says:

    Laughs!You funny Geraldo! But it is a given that they are going to have the unfortunate opportunity of stumbling across some stupid behind stuff. Sherry Shephard stuff though-as questionable as it is at times is the tip of the iceberg! It is the other foolishness that far worse that crosses the line that we need to be vigilant of! I feel the irritation made by some of the things Sherrie Shephard says but ignorance of some of US and other Americans reaches no bounds!

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