Fixing Lives or Ratings Grab?
OWN Network host, author, and relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant is in Baltimore this week, she says, to help heal the city. But Black Twitter isn’t buying it.
Vanzant traveled to Ferguson, Missouri last year following the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. At the time Vanzant said she wanted to help fix the city, but when she arrived with cameras in tow to record a special episode of her OWN series, “Fix My Life,” detractors accused her of profiting off the pain in the wake of Brown’s death.
So now that Vanzant is in #Baltimore, Black Twitter is in an uproar. If she goes there asking about fathers and equates fatherhood with civil rights and freedom, social media might just go ballistic.
The death of Freddie Gray — the 25-year-old West Baltimore man who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in police custody — “pulled off the Bandaid for something that required open heart surgery,” said Empowerment Temple pastor Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant. Bryant’s church is holding a series of events this week that serve as “group therapy” for people to discuss economic oppression and violence, among other issues, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun. Vanzant, an an Upper Marlboro resident, volunteered to host the sessions.
Let’s step back into Storify and see if Vanzant will learn from #Ferguson? This is not a game. Don’t roll up into Baltimore talkin’ about fixing lives if you won’t also point out fixing abandoned buildings, empty lots and institutionalized white supremacy via police brutality. And don’t ask Marilyn Mosby, Esq. to hold hands and sing, neither!