I hate when people play “The Blame Game.” The Blame Game is when somebody messes up, knows that they did, yet still find a way to place the blame on somebody else. As a kid, I often owned up to my own faults and was quick to call out other people when they didn’t own up to theirs. I’m still that way today. Even now if I mess up in front of my students, you’ll hear me tell them, “Ms. Franklin messed up; she isn’t perfect.” I usually throw something sarcastic in here, like, “shocking? I know,” then proceed with, “Do you forgive me?” And they forgive me every time. You know why? Because human beings aren’t perfect. And if middle schoolers can understand that, then I know grown folks can, too.
I believe accountability and adulting go hand-in-hand. We are not robots. As we grow older, we are all bound to make mistakes in school, relationships, on our jobs, and in life in general. We were not made to be perfect. How boring would that be? There would be no ‘that-time-I-almost-died’ and ‘my-most-embarrassing-moment’ stories, which would make office Christmas party chatter even worse than it is now. The process is quite simple: you mess up, you admit it, you say sorry, everyone moves on with their lives. It’s not that deep.
Because I feel so strongly about adults taking responsibility for their actions, there is nothing I hate more than when we make excuses for celebrities. Black people are especially bad about this. We go to extreme lengths to prove that our athletes, singers, and actors are innocent when faced with opposition. I’m not going to call names, but I have witnessed my people make excuses for alleged (and not so alleged) cases of rape, child molestation, domestic abuse, and drug abuse.
Lately, for random reasons I can’t explain, I’ve been thinking a lot about Lamar Odom’s brush with death last year. Somehow, the blame for him suffering strokes and kidney failure after becoming comatose due to overdosing at a brothel was magically placed on his then wife, Khloe Kardashian. Enter the Kardashian Curse. The Kardashian Curse is a theory of some sort that suggests that the men who become involved with the Kardashian women encounter some twisted turn of fate that ultimately damages their lives or careers. A few cases include:
- Kris Humphries becoming the most hated man in the NBA after he and Kim K’s 72 day marriage
- Scott Disick bouncing in and out of rehab
- Tyga and Ray J….well, being Tyga and Ray J
- Kanye West suffering the meltdown of the year
Last fall, I remember sitting in my car waiting for my evening class while listening to The D.L. Hughley Show. This was during Lamar’s overdose situation. The question of the hour was, “How responsible are you for another person’s addiction?” Now, I myself have admittedly joked about the Kardashian Curse and I’ll throw shade at them with a quickness, but in this situation, I, and many other listeners, were team Khloe through and through. It was unfair and absurd for us to try to blame the “Kardashian Curse” on Lamar going to a brothel, loading his body with drugs, and having to practically restart his life after a miraculous healing. No! That was all on him.
Sadly, Lamar had a history of substance abuse before ever getting involved with Khloe. Did the limelight and attention of being married into that family potentially have a negative effect on him? Probably. However, the fact still remains that he had issues that should have been addressed and dealt with before Khloe, so why was the blame placed on her?
The same could be said for Kanye West. Somehow, the cause for his meltdown last month was pinned on his wife Kim Kardashian. Again, no! Many want to say his erratic behavior over the past few years has stemmed from his ongoing grief over his mother’s death nine years ago. As someone who lost a parent nine years ago, too, I get it. Grief will make you do odd things. However, the fact that Kanye never got help to properly deal with his issues has nothing to do with Kim.
Here I could get into how black people need to rid themselves of the stigma attached to counseling and professional help or how we need to stop undermining the importance of mental health, but I promised this would be quick. It boils down to this; maybe we should stop creating scapegoats, address our issues, and straight up deal with them. Let’s start creating conversations and being accountable. All we have is us; but I’m just saying.
X’s and O’s