As predicted, Sweet Brown has become a viral video star. The Internet meme machine went wild last week after an Oklahoma TV station interviewed Brown about a devastating fire at her apartment complex. In “Move over, Antoine Dodson! The Ironically Racist Internet Presents Sweet Brown,” I worried that rather than appreciating Brown’s out-sized personality, many viewers, particularly non-black viewers, were laughing at her due to their own race and class biases. Well, last week Sweet Brown spoke about her new-found fame:
It is the height of condescension to take away someone’s agency–to imagine you know better than they how they should be and are perceived. So, if Sweet Brown digs her fame; I love it. I did note that in her more subdued follow-up interview, she says: “I don’t really like looking at myself like that, because I look like a joke and I was really serious.”
For the record, I never thought Sweet Brown was a joke, but I am wary of how eager the media, including new media, is to make blackness the object of ridicule.