Unlike those who've taken to social media to express their disgust over Cosmopolitan Magazine's crowing of the Kardashians as "America's First Family," I've failed to understand the big to-do about the headline on the cover of their November issue. In fact, I think it's one of the realest headlines the magazine has ever produced.
The key word in Cosmo's hotly debated proclamation: America. Love or hate them, the Kardashians embody what our country has come to represent to the rest of the world; vanity and excess. The U.S. has become the most unequal of all advanced economies, with the top 1 percent owning 40 percent of the country's wealth. Our main export is entertainment, and in addition to mass shootings and military defense funding, entertainment is where we lead. We aren't leaders in math, science or technology. Politics trump innovation. Women's reproductive rights are under attack. Voting rights are threatened and election victories are purchased. Our criminal justice system is broken. Our climate is in crisis -- and so on.
Yet, in spite of the fact that the Internet has provided access to more information than ever, the vast majority of Americans remain distracted from issues that affect their daily lives thanks to the vehicle of mass media and the bottom line. I've openly shared my views on (what I consider) these non-coincidental distractions, and I remain optimistic that situations will improve, if only for the sake of future generations.
The article "What Cosmopolitan's Kardashian Cover Says About Black Erasure in America" implies Cosmo has taken cues from a society that has often disrespected the first black President and his family.
While I believe the President and the first family have often been unfairly scrutinized as a result of the racism that is woven into the fabric of this country, it would be impossible to "erase" the Obamas or their significance in American history. Cosmopolitan Magazine certainly doesn't possess that power.
Remember, we're talking about a magazine whose objectives include informing us ladies on "The Secret To Getting Any Guy," "7 Facebook Habits Men Hate," how to be "His Best Sex Ever" or how to take the perfect "#Aftersex Selfie." Yes, this is the same publication known for airbrushing its subjects to ridiculous extremities and utilizing creative tactics to objectify their own target audience (women). They're no more in the position to erase America's (actual) first family than I am to bicycle to Mars and test the water.
Cosmo's Kardashian headline says less about black erasure in America and more about the state of America. Furthermore, no one should be accused of being "unpatriotic" for speaking to these truths. It's no crime to be critical of that which fails to live up to its ideals.