I’m pretty smug about the fact that I had no idea who Jessica Leandra was yesterday. To be fair, I’m not exactly her target market.
Today I’ve read 3 of her Tweets (below) and her public apology, and I feel I know everything I’d like to know about her.
Conclusion: She’s even less interesting than she is important. And I can’t stress this enough: She’s not important at all.
Before we get into this, I should probably clarify that when it comes to racial issues, I’m a bit of an idiot.
Looking at my pre-school class photograph when I was in varsity was the first time I realised I was the only child of colour in the entire school.
It still takes me a while to notice that I’m the only person of colour in most rooms. When someone tells a joke with the word ‘Indian’ in it, it’s quite some time before I notice that I’m the reason the rest of the room is uncomfortable.
This isn’t because I consider myself impervious to skin colour. It’s just that I’m that oblivious. I won’t notice if you’re wearing the same shirt as me either.
I’d also like to think it’s the most fantastic off-shoot of 1994 that we now have a super-spoilt generation that actually finds the issue of race… kind of boring. Boring! Imagine! How nationally evolved is that, hey?
Some young people are lucky enough to be that far removed from facing the original struggle ourselves, that we can actually be indifferent towards it. That has to be the ultimate revolutionary success, surely? Not raging on either end, but neither?
No one should be shocked by what Jessica Leandra had to say last night. If you are, it means you assumed she was bright and insightful because she’s pretty. But models are not academics, or lawmakers. They’re rarely any of the things we project onto pretty girls and boys.
And it’s possibly a chief tenant of our time that we’ve payed, and will continue to pay, far too much attention to idiotic pretty people.
And this one in particular has revealed herself to be… not very clever or enlightened at all. Because clever people don’t find themselves dropped by two international brands in a matter of hours, because of what they thought about a cashier.
But whatever Jessica Leandra is, she definitely isn’t worth getting too riled up over.
The apology Jessica Leandra has issued (and Tweeted) explains that, and allow me to paraphrase here, she said what she did when she was angry. And you’re allowed to do anything you like when you’re angry, aren’t you?
By that logic, one can only assume that apartheid was the result of a black dude holding Verwoerd down and going “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?”
She also says that we can’t judge because we don’t know exactly what happened. Although surely, if the circumstances around what happened would clear up all this mess, wouldn’t you take your public national apology as a chance to mention them? Or is it perhaps that you have the vague understanding that you’re talking out of your sponsorship-free ass on this is one as well?
But maybe, just this once, let’s be cool about a racial issue. Let’s maybe not reveal the worst of ourselves in comments sections and social media. Let’s be impervious. Let’s not generalise, and rally to pit races against one another every time someone scratches the surface.
I mean, I know very little of worth, but I know South Africans are cooler than that.
[Tweet images from the lovely folks at 2oceansvibe]