BRB Gone Viral, Pop Culture

Don’t Play Yourself: Cam Newton gets his NAACP card revoked

Also playing are The Wire's David Simon, Anthony Weiner, Melissa Villasenor, and Jesse Williams.

Welcome to another edition of Don’t Play Yourself, a weekly column dragging the rich and famous for embarrassing themselves. Every Friday, I’ll collect this week’s players and decide how thoroughly they played themselves.

After watching people fall over themselves to end up on this list last week, this one was turning out to be a bit of a let down with only David Simon thinking The Wire meant he could say the N-Word and Anthony Weiner doing what he usually does except worse. But then the heavens opened and Cam Newton became determined to have his NAACP card revoked, new SNL cast member Melissa Villasenor forgot to delete a few tweets, and Woke Bae Jesse Williams started (maybe) peddling conspiracy theories.

Cam Newton

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A photo posted by Cam Newton (@cameron1newton) on

Huh?

First of all, what the fuck is this font? Why are you typing this Uncle Tomfoolery in hieroglyphics? It would have taken less time, and not have strained my eyes, if you just typed “All Lives Matter” in Times New Roman, Cam.

Now that we got the Wingdings out of the way, it’s clear that Cam Newton, the highly publicized and highly criticized Carolina Panthers quarterback, is trying to walk an unwalkable line between remaining palatable to Kate Upton and other white people and being likable to his fellow black folk. But this line is, as I said, unwalkable. Because Kate Upton and her ilk are the same ones who criticized him for dabbing on the field, the same people he identified as likely being unnerved by a black quarterback. The point is: there’s no pleasing them. But Cam is trying. Between this and declaring America “past racism” and demanding black people “do right by ourselves,” he’s determined to gain white approval by having his NAACP card revoked.

Well, you got your wish, Cam. We’ve snatched your card, cut it up, and thrown it into several different disposal sites so you can’t try to piece it back together. To apply for a new one you’ll need to undergo an evaluation at the front office by Colin Kaepernick, Richard Sherman, and the entirety of Black Twitter.

There’s something deeply sad about Cam learning the hard way that there’s no way for him to be everyone’s favorite quarterback, but if his solution is implying that we, the people being brutalized and murdered, share equal fault with the people brutalizing and murdering us, I’d rather he just do right by himself and shut the fuck up.

Did Cam Newton play himself?

David Simon

Okay so there used to be a show called The Wire about the drug dealers, drug users, and cops in Baltimore. David Simon was the creator and showrunner. Full disclosure: I’ve yet to see The Wire. It came out back when we didn’t have an HBO subscription and the internet barely existed, and now you can’t stream it anywhere but HBO, and I’m not paying for that. So I’ve never seen The Wire, but I’ve heard about it. Over and over and over again. The cast was incredibly talented and incredibly black (Idris Elba was in it!), and loving it convinced white people (like David Simon) they had an in with black people.

Which leads us to these stupid tweets, Simon’s attempts at criticizing Sean Hannity moderating a town hall with Donald Trump on issues important to the black community (yes, it’s absurd). These tweets were about as counterproductive and nonsensical as that townhall, another something supposedly being done in the interest of black people, much like Simon publishing these tweets. Except when Simon was informed the N-word wasn’t his to use, he explained why it was. To black people. He tried to explain the N-word to black people because he’s black like us, you know. Maybe blacker because he created The Wire.

Here’s a tip: If you unsubscribed to the mailing list before the “Non-Black People Can’t Say The N-Word” newsletter went out, you’re not cool with us.

Did David Simon play himself? White nonsense always plays itself.

Anthony Weiner

Is Anthony Weiner alive if he’s not getting caught sexting somebody? The answer is clearly no since the man can’t draw breath without landing in the news for sending pictures of his penis to women. Less than a month after getting found out again (really, I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve talked about this man’s need to photograph his penis and send it to people), The Daily Mail reported that Weiner knowingly had a months-long sexting relationship with a 15-year old girl. 

This requires no more explanation. Let’s just get to it.

Did Anthony Weiner play himself? Apparently he’s unsatisfied with embarrassing his wife and family on the national stage, but now he wants to embarrass them and upgrade his bad habits to criminal. #FreeHuma

Melissa Villasenor

By now we all know that when you start a new job, as Melissa Villasenor soon will as SNL‘s first Latina cast member, you gotta scrub that Twitter feed. Now when EYE scrub mine I’m just going to be removing some steamy ruminations on celebrities I don’t know but would like to sleep with, lots of F bombs, and other people’s Vines. Oh hell, I’ll just leave them. Gives me character. This isn’t the case with Villasenor, who first drew some side eyes when two thousand tweets suddenly disappeared from her timeline following her casting announcement, and then ended up being dragged on Twitter when these very racist ones were discovered. 

Now, I am offended by these tweets (the one about Beyonce is nothing short of blasphemy), but these were posted five and six years ago. I can personally attest to being a very different person five years ago. Present day me would have hated five years ago me, trust me. No one comes out of the womb woke, no matter how much we may wish we had so there’s a decent chance that Villasenor’s changed and learned better over the years. Not that her response of blocking everyone who calls her out and simply deleting the offending tweets is very promising.

That being said, why would you delete some of your tweets but not all of them, Melissa? Thousands of tweets disappeared but these got left behind? Girl, what did you delete and why didn’t these make the cut? Did they just slip your notice? How many racist tweets did you have? Or did you just think these weren’t that bad (they are)? 

Did Melissa play herself? Yes. This is poor strategy. For one thing, you can’t be all offended at being called out for this. Really, the BeyHive is gonna follow you with that (straight garbage!) Beyonce statement. At the very least, if you’re gonna delete tweets, you need to delete tweets

Jesse Williams

Okay, so what are you talking about? You’re on Twitter, sir. Twitter is all Cliffnotes. You can’t tweet a vague ass maybe reference to Birth of A Nation‘s Nate Parker PR troubles being a conspiracy and follow it up with another vague ass tweet, that may or may not be referring to the first, almost 24 hours later.

Look, Grey’s Anatomy is back. I’ve given this show almost half of my life, and now every time I see Jesse’s pretty face I’m gonna think, “Wow, does this dude think Nate Parker raping a woman is part of a conspiracy?” I don’t have time for Shondaland to be tainted like this. I want to give Woke Bae the benefit of the doubt (he is Woke Bae: Hollywood Edition), but “they” have been referenced by many seemingly woke baes since the rape allegations against Parker surfaced, as a malevolent force interested only in keeping the black man down. Nevermind Nate Parker’s own role in risking his prospects.

I have no doubt Jesse Williams is aware of the conversation around BOAN and I’m equally convinced he knew, or should have known, what a vague tweet about “they” would sound like (a lot like “Bill Cosby was about to buy NBC”). So why say it? And if it was a misstep then why not just say that? And if we misinterpreted why not just say that? This ambiguity is not good for me, Jesse Williams. Not good at all.

Did Jesse Williams play himself? Not sure yet. I’m gonna need Jesse to tell us what the hell he’s talking about, and if he’s played himself right off his Woke Bae mantle, I’m just gonna turn my full attention to Colin Kaepernick, Woke Bae: Football Edition.