Diamond and Silk Are Stepin Fetchit 2.0

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Photo from the Alex Jones channel.

It pains me to write this, but I have to address the trainwreck that is “Diamond and Silk.” If you don’t know who Diamond and Silk (real names Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson) are consider yourselves lucky. Diamond and Silk are African-American sisters who jumped on the Trump train in 2016. It’s clear from their grammar that neither of them is well educated, and that’s probably why Trump’s simplistic message and catchphrases appealed to them. Their affiliation with Trump got them a lot of media attention, and they were featured on several national TV shows because they were black Trump supporters.

You can get a lot of money and attention by being a black person in the Republican party these days since there are so few of them. Whenever Republicans do a photo op, they turn to these Black Best Friends. If they want someone to argue that the party isn’t racist, you’re the go-to person. According to The New York Times, Diamond and Silk charge $50 per ticket and $150 for a picture on their “speaking tour.”

I don’t have a problem with people who believe in smaller government or trickle-down economics. They can believe in those ideas, even if they don’t work. But I do have a problem with people who can’t articulate a coherent argument. And that describes Diamond and Silk.

During the 2016 campaign, I tried to watch some of their interviews and I noticed that they couldn’t form a solid argument about why they were Trump supporters. Their answers were just a rehash of Trump’s campaign slogans. When quizzed about their political decisions, they answered, “He’s going to making America great again,” and “He’s going to bring jobs back.”

Neither of these things has happened. America’s reputation has slipped since Trump became president and he hasn’t brought jobs back either. But those are complex answers to simple questions. Diamond and Silks can’t understand this because they’re simpletons.

The pair has also made other well-published gaffes including:

  • Claiming they were not paid for their work on the Trump campaign during a 2018 House Committee Judiciary Hearing. However, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries produced documents showing they were paid $1,275 for fieldwork. The pair called the evidence “fake news.”
  • They also claimed their page was blocked by Facebook causing their numbers and revenue to fall. Facebook said there was no evidence of this.
  • They filmed a video supporting Paul Nehlen. Nehlen is a white supremacist, who frequently uses the phrase “It’s okay to be white” and has advocated machine-gunning illegal immigrants.

However, Diamond and Silk’s lack of intelligence is the secret to their success. Trump and his followers like them because they conform to their idea of what a black person should be — unintelligent, non-threating and entertaining. Diamond and Silk are coons. I don’t use that a pejorative insult. When a black person calls another black person a coon, it means they are playing the fool for the entertainment of white people. In a New York Times article on the pair, Bree Newsome called them “a modern-day minstrel show.”

If you watch Diamond and Silk on TV you would think you’re watching a performance, because that’s what it looks like. There’s eye rolling and neck working and one of the women does videos holding a wine glass. But this is who they are, and (mainly) white Republicans love them.

Their Facebook fan page has 1.7 million followers. A poster one of their recent videos attacking Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Oh girls you crack me up! I love y’all.” The video featured the pair calling Pelosi, “clueless.” Of course, they did this in a rap song.

But now some genius decided to give the pair a show on the streaming network FOX Nation. So Diamond and Silk, who couldn’t even get jobs as receptionists in Corporate America, now have a national platform to air their buffoonery.

Republicans love Diamond and Silk because they’re useful idiots. They’re also ghetto parrots, willing to repeat every idiotic catchphrase spouted by the GOP. They called the decision to remove statues of Southern Civil War heroes a “liberal plot” to erase history. That’s a talking point right out of the Neo-Confederate playbook.

“If these two women, the way they speak, the way they talk and act and behave, were saying anything that was contradictory to Trump, the Trump supporters who defend them would be the first to attack them,” said Keith Boykin, a Columbia professor and former White House staffer, in The New York Times.

Written by

Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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