Why The Business of Black Pain Has To Stop Being The Preferred Currency For Clickbait

We need a Time Out!

Ezinne Ukoha
Jul 19, 2018 · 5 min read

Recently, a writer from the esteemed Washington Post wrote extensively about an article that was not only more than a year old, but the main source, Clickhole, was quoted throughout the piece, which indicates a terrifying lack of knowledge, or resources for fact checking, that will most likely not haunt the Post for too long.

The reason why this perfect mess is newsworthy is based entirely on the genesis of Clickhole, and how its ability to thrive under what we have to now admit are enviable conditions — sets up the desirability of this gawk-worthy calamity.

Most people are probably not familiar with The Onion’s most clickable offshoot, or its operations manual, and thanks to the snafu of the Post, that status will be remedied by a substantial increase in curious visitors, who need to pay homage to the satirical outlet that single-handedly demolished the reputation of a “truth-bearing” publication.

At least for an hour or two.

Nothing is considered catastrophic anymore, because our brain cells have been wired to absorb and shit out — almost at the same time. The key is to deliver the goods as fast as possible, and if you happen to tweet out the photo of a dead cinematographer with a caption about the White terrorist in custody — no worries!

Nobody will notice.

However, there’s a major issue that has been brewing for a while now, and the time has come cut the shit — mainly because the national crisis of Black pain and the bodies that felt it before dying — and the ones that are about to feel it — can’t and shouldn’t be the polished bait of low grade outlets, that never gave a damn about race relations in America — until the clicks baited them.

I mean get a load of this crap:

First off, who are the fucks with the “likes?”

Secondly, The Independent, is a British online newspaper that only tackles racial topics for the relevancy of exploiting the era of “wokeness,” that encompasses the discipline of scouting recycled items, that gloriously serve as evidence of how Black pain is still actively trending.

These publications reach out to “woke” writers like me via email to test exactly how silly we are when faced with the assignment of producing essays about “Black” topics that are out of reach to the all-White staff.

But, thanks to the climate of White versus Black, and the never ending spinning cycle that showcases realtime videos of White people freely harassing Black victims with an assortment of contemptuous fare, pubs like The Independent don’t have to beg Black writers for words of authenticity.

The web has become the surfer’s dream come true, with more than enough racially-themed content to entertain White people all over the world at the expense of the dignity of targets, who may very well turn up dead at a result of all that exposure.

Black pain has become the preferred currency for clickbait, and the business model was drafted under the pretense of utilizing the powerful medium of videos as a way to shock us into a reality that has turned into the worst reality show that ever was.

When two Black men were escorted out of Starbucks back in April — there was a collective sigh from viewers who couldn’t get enough of the maddening footage that once again proved what we already know about the temperature of race relations in America.

Hours after the news broke and the circulating video became the darling of viral city — the web began to host similar fare with rampant enthusiasm. The frenzy of outlets to outpace competitors with the most recent and most offensive encounters was and still is stunning to behold.

It was never about shaming perpetrators, as the round the clock the vigilantes, who are determined to fight the injustice of a White woman terrorizing a Black child for indulging in an activity that White kids are highly praised for — or putting pressure on law enforcement in an effort to challenge the nonchalance that permits the rising cases of assault on the Black community.

It’s the addiction to watching Black people bleed out after being shot while strapped to the seat of their vehicle. It’s the normalization of images that cast Black children in abominable circumstances that should horrify White mothers — but instead they share it with glazed motives that make you wonder how they can summon enough emotion for the poor migrant children.

It’s the incessant headlines that add more value to the leverage of Black pain and the tragic way in which inspired hashtags are doing more harm than good.

The religion of worshipping the click and shares that abound from postings of how Black people are trapped in the hell that White people are creating with viral fervor — has taken us into the orbit of astounding and symbolic negligence.

Heaven forbid that conscience and empathy direct newsrooms into the path of exploratory themes that delve into the psyche of how and why the basic rights of Black citizens are being ceremoniously threatened.

Of course it’s too much to ask to consider the emotional toll of the hourly reminders of how and why Black people don’t matter, and how the casual deposits of these celebrated items are only helping to devalue a narrative that’s essentially keeping flailing pubs afloat.

Trump’s allegiance to White supremacy is one thing, but the endorsement of this highly-charged climate that seems to be making a mockery of a deadly tradition by choking us with piles of incidences, that eventually leaves us emotionless and bored with familiarity — is absolutely saluting the rhetoric we claim to abhor.

How many more of these tales of woe that star White people in the leading role of villain and White cops in the supporting role of badged instigators — are we supposed to stomach before we finally take the final bow, and move on to the plot that empowers Black people with the right to scare off their harassers into jail cells?

We’ve earned a mandated time out from the goriness of how Black pain can’t ever be horrific enough to inspire editorial activism as opposed to shameless gluttony — at the expense of those who’ve died under the banner of what has transformed into a delectable staple.

It’s time to get out of this business, and stay out!

Ezinne Ukoha

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say, so bear with me. https://medium.com/membership

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