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Stacey Dash’s breakthrough came nearly 20 years ago in Clueless. But that's not what she's most famous for now. Once a treasured pop culture relic, Dash is now a professional crazy lady, a right wing troll willing to say anything so long as it contradicts some "liberal" orthodoxy. And it's time we started ignoring her completely.
Dash abruptly emerged as a conservative during the 2012 presidential election, and last spring, she joined Fox News as a contributor, where she’s right at home as a vacant talking head. Dash recently appeared on The Meredith Veira Show to address actress Rita Wilson's skewering of gender inequality. Lending her expert analysis, Dash contended that the wage gap between men and women is "an excuse" during a remedial take similar to her criticism of Patricia Arquette's comments about wage equality following her Oscar win in February.
Citing John F. Kennedy's Equal Pay Act of 1963, Dash suggested that Arquette "do her history." However, she failed to acknowledge that women still make 78 percent of what their male counterparts do—a colossal 17 percent increase since the Equal Pay Act. Worse, black women like Dash make just 64 cents on the dollar compared to their white, male colleagues. But anyone upset at her latest display of ignorance should find solace in knowing that the moronic statements precede her days as a conservative pundit.
Dash expressed her support for Mitt Romney in the fall of 2012, seemingly out of the blue. The announcement was met with widespread condemnation, which she responded to with over 1,300 words of justification. But nearly a year later, she admitted on Fox News that she only voted for President Obama in 2008 because he was black.
"I didn’t know anything about [Obama] when I voted for him in 2008," she confessed to Sean Hannity. "Naively, I thought he would be the right person for the job but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way."
While she’s free to align herself politically with whoever she chooses to, it’s worth noting that, just a year before, Dash acknowledged that her move to publicly endorse Romney came from a "slightly naive place." While the public took to lampooning her with a new fervor following her display of that naieveté, it was simply one of many asinine statements Dash has made.
Paula Deen was indefensible following her admitted racism and the subsequent cancelation of her Food Network show. But in June 2013, Dash became the bold crusader who rushed to her aid.
God does everything for a reason @Paula_Deen Only God can judge your heart BTW my daughter loves your show (only way she can get me to cook)— Stacey Dash (@REALStaceyDash) June 25, 2013
Defending someone who responded to a deposition question about using the word "nigger" with "Yes, of course" doesn’t make you look very astute. Moreover, Dash may have raised the "Only God can judge" flag while throwing on the cape for Deen, but doesn’t practice it herself.
For example, take her waving a condescending finger at Oprah for comparing Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till.
If You aren't careful, The newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed And loving the... http://t.co/QVsHLFRA8i— Stacey Dash (@REALStaceyDash) August 16, 2013
The invocation of that Malcolm X quote—"If you aren't careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing"—is ironic. If you replace "newspapers" with "media," does that not apply to her current employer?
Fox News’ announcement of Dash’s hiring noted that she was tapped to lend "cultural analysis and commentary" to the network’s array of programming. The problem is that her commentary lacks a certain analytical perspective and air of intellectual curiosity. During a December appearance on Outnumbered, she called government assistance the Democratic party’s variant of "slavery."
When asked how she would respond to opponents arguing that some children might actually be in dire need of such programs, Dash’s response was hollow. "You educate them," she said. "You support them and you give them a certain amount of time, you don’t just keep giving it to them." As if the playing field is level for everyone.
Her argument against government support is support—but only for a limited duration. Considering her criticism of the Obama administration’s "immoral" decision to sue the state of Louisiana over its school voucher program just a year before, you’d think she would be more adept at connecting the dots. But this occasional tendency to make Don Lemon look like W.E.B. Du Bois makes you question why Fox News would put her on the air in the first place. Oh wait.
this occasional tendency to make Don Lemon look like W.E.B. Du Bois makes you question why Fox News would put her on the air in the first place.
It seems painfully obvious that Fox executives believe they can capitalize off the novelty of Dash’s celebrity (and, let's face it, her race) more than they feel she has anything insightful to say. She's a black woman (a beautiful and semi-famous one at that) who gives them cover for all of the anti-black, anti-woman things they'd like to say but don't have the complexion or body parts to get away with. They are literally banking on viewers being content with a gorgeous face spewing nonsense, or being so outraged by that nonsense that they won’t stop promoting the network by discussing it. This opportunity is a two-way street, as it gives Dash a new platform, and, more important, a new source of income.
In addition to the extra revenue stream, the endeavor offers Dash some degree of present-day relevance. Take a gander at her IMDB page—the zenith of her career came playing a teenager two decades ago. Even her attempts to make fun of herself have been met with general indifference. So is she honestly foolish enough to think Fox News and the GOP care about the opinion of the single black mother she touts herself as? Possibly, which is sad, but perhaps being a semi-prominent black woman willing to take shots at Obama and other women is all she can do to remain pertinent in 2015.
Stacey Dash been gone since Kanye dropped her off at the airport— Shepard (@shepardsounds) April 30, 2015
Stacey Dash is good for roughly one stupid comment each month. For this reason, her getting it wrong about women's rights, faulting rape victims for being violated, or claiming blacks feel "worthless" and are "uneducated" under the Obama administration should come as no surprise at this point. Her obliviousness is longstanding, which is all the reason to disregard her. It makes even more sense to do so when considering that Fox News hired someone who lives in a bubble to provide acuity to the masses.
As Stacey Dash slowly morphs into Ann Coulter just before the celebration of her career's apex, the Clueless jokes will continue to write themselves. Moving forward, everyone should just tune her—and her Fox News colleagues—out.
Julian Kimble remains unsurprised. Follow him on Twitter @JRK316.