After his history of leaning into Black stereotypes and actively dismissing Black heritage in the Latino Community, J Balvin won the African Entertainment Music Awards award for Afro Latino Artist of the Year on December 26th. He’s not only exploited the Black culture, but also recently demonstrated misogyn through a hideous representation of Black women in his music video Perra. You’d think at this point he’d learned the lesson.
We don’t know what’s more unsettling, the fact that he’s a white Latino being recognized as an Afro-Latino artist, or the constant denial of his leverage of Black culture that he built his successful career on. Mabiland, a Black Colombian musician, expressed her disapproval in watching white Latino men take up space where they don’t belong.
Hombre blanco Latino Desubicado y apropiador, vos Jose @JBALVIN, con vos hablo, \u00bfhasta d\u00f3nde est\u00e1s dispuesto a llegar para obtener reconocimiento ? \u00a1Nea no m\u00e1s! Basta de esta mierda.https://twitter.com/Mabiland/status/1475327590613368833\u00a0\u2026— Mabiland (@Mabiland) 1640583530
Of course, we’ve got to recognize that the committee that chose Balvin shares just as much blame as Balvin does in accepting it. Even though they’ve stated that nominations aren’t based on color, awarding a white Latino with a history of disparaging the Black community shouldn't be an award candidate. Their explanation:
Balvin, however, should’ve recognized that as grateful as he probably was for being nominated for his contributions to the reggaeton genre, he’s not the best candidate. Several people are pointing out there were better ways to redirect that much-needed attention to Black Latinos representing the genre.
1. The @AEA_USA don't have Black Latinos in their committee\n2. Balvin missed his opportunity to reject this award\n3. Balvin should've used his voice to speak on why he should've never been nominated OR pass the mic to a Black person (who knows how to speak on this)\n4. I'm tired— REGGAETON CON LA GATA (@REGGAETON CON LA GATA) 1640615087
Many aren't okay with this, understandably so. They’ve stated that he has the power to decline the award and instead redirect attention on talented Latino artists.
j balvin, a white latino, shouldn't have accepted this award over actual afro-latine artistshttps://twitter.com/TheJosieMarie/status/1475302288403148803\u00a0\u2026— Lucas Villa (@Lucas Villa) 1640581940
this was an opportunity for jbalvin fake ass to reject that award, check them and point them to actual black latino artists. but since hes a racist opportunist piece of white shit. he accepted it like that shit was made for him.— not his peace, hispanic (@not his peace, hispanic) 1640573379
Even though Balvin continues to apologize after every single terrible choice he makes, those apologies always come after facing severe backlash and they obviously don’t stop him from making even more terrible choices.
J Balvin was walking black woman on leashes in a music video this year and then just won the Afro Latino award?!— META SNACKS (@META SNACKS) 1640582438
Reggaeton continues to be whitewashed and artists like Balvin continue to exploit Black culture without acknowledging the influence actual Black Latinos have had on the genre. Will he ever learn the lesson? Will this go on? At what point does the community stop supporting him as an artist? Let us know your thoughts on our twitter @luzcollective.