Steve Harvey is more interested in taking care of his family and doing the best he can than maintaining his reputation within the identitarian community. Naturally, to people who see everything through the lens of race and victimhood, this is going to look like “selling out,” which is exactly what Harvey was accused of recently.
The trouble started when comedienne Mo’Nique told figures like Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry that they could “suck” her “d***,” if she “had one.” This naturally resulted in her being blacklisted by many figures for her disrespect.
Harvey, however, decided to have her on in order to have a conversation about what happened. Mo’Nique took the position of standing by her words, but Harvey called the move out as foolish, and that bringing herself down won’t help anyone she’s claiming to support.
“When you tell the truth, you have to deal with the repercussions of the truth,” Harvey told Mo’Nique. “This is the money game. This ain’t the black man’s game, this ain’t the white man’s game. This is the money game. We in the money game. And you cannot sacrifice yourself. The best thing you can do for poor people is not be one of them. You cannot help them, Mo’. You cannot help them like that.”
Mo’Nique fired back that her integrity comes first.
“Before the money game, it’s called the integrity game. And we’ve lost the integrity worrying about the money,” Mo’Nique said.
“But, Mo’: If I crumble, my children crumble, my grandchildren crumble. I cannot, for the sake of my integrity, stand up here and let everyone that’s counting on me crumble so I can make a statement. There are ways to win the war in a different way.”
The backlash for this was swift and heavy. Mo’Nique immediately began posting clips of Harvey speaking to her while comparing him to Roots character.
Harvey eventually apologized for the way he put things but maintained that the way Mo’Nique is going about things is wrong according to People.
“I shouted out and it happened, I regret it, but I want young people, the kids that come to my camps, the young people that I mentor, the fans that really respect me, to know to just charge that one to my head and not to my heart,” he said. “Because in my heart, that is not what I have asked anyone to do. I have lived my whole life as a man of integrity, and I will stand on that, but I was really just talking about the method that they went about doing what they did, and that was it.”
While I agree that integrity is important and I can admire that, I do believe that being truthful and being amenable can go hand in hand. Mo’Nique spit in the faces of others when they criticized her for not playing the Hollywood game of advertising your own movie for the Oscar. While playing that game can be stupid, campaigning for the Oscar is part of how Hollywood has worked for eons.
Her difficulty to others will naturally make others not want to work with her in the future.
But more egregious to everyone were Harvey’s comments about helping the poor, as The Atlantic’s Jamele Hill tweeted.
To me, the most disappointing thing Steve Harvey said in that entire exchange was, “the best thing you can do for poor people is not be one of them.” Truly one of those statements you make when you have lost touch.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 14, 2019
But has he lost touch?
I can understand being a moral influence within a community, but at some point in time money will play a factor when it comes to growth. If you want facilities that can help the poor or disadvantaged, the funds have to come from somewhere. Integrity is great to have, but it won’t pay the bills.
Being poor is, if we’re being honest, undesirable. Socialists, who target the poor more often than not, are successful in their message of “fairness” because of their claims to eliminate poverty through wealth redistribution. Journalists, celebrities, and politicians who exalt the poor and condemn the rich often do so from positions of wealth themselves.
If you’re trying to bring people out of poverty, being impoverished yourself will not help others. Attempting to denigrate the idea of becoming wealthy doesn’t help either.
Harvey isn’t out of touch, nor is he a sell-out. He’s doing what needs to be done in order to help himself, his family, and others. His statement is absolutely correct. Achieving wealth is a great way to help those who don’t have wealth. If Mo’Nique wants to keep her “integrity,” of which she has a shallow definition, then fine, but don’t immediately accuse those not telling others to suck their junk that they’re race traitors.