zoe-saldana-cover-shoot-03-editedActress Zoe Saldana has been inserting the proverbial foot in her mouth in recent weeks. The “Colombiana” starlet has been media blitzing for the upcoming “Star Trek Into Darkness” film and leaving a trail of disrespect in her wake. A fellow Clutch editor, Yesha Callahan, thinks Saldana needs a dictionary and a clue. I concur and also think she needs to enroll in an Introduction to Critical Race Theory course ASAP.

During an interview with BET, Saldana candidly discussed how she views race, alleging “there’s no such as people of color.”

When asked how she racially-identifies, Saldana responded:

I find it uncomfortable to have to speak about my identity all of the time, when in reality it’s not something that drives me or wakes me up out of bed everyday. I didn’t grow up in a household where I was categorized by my mother. I was just Zoe and I could have and be anything that I ever wanted to do…and every human being is the same as you. So to all of a sudden leave your household and have people always ask you, “What are you, what are you” is the most uncomfortable question and it’s literally the most repetitive question. I can’t wait to be in a world where people are sized by their soul and how much they can contribute as individuals and not what they look like.

She wasn’t done retorting.

I literally run away from people that use words like ethnic. It’s preposterous! To me there is no such thing as people of color cause in reality people aren’t white. Paper is white. People are pink, it’s a bit ridiculous when I have to explain to a human being, that is an adult like I am, that looks intelligent but for some reason I have to question his intelligence and explain to him as if he was a two year old, my composition in order for him to say, “Oh I guess I can chill with you, I can work with you.” I will not underestimate a human being and I will not allow another human being to underestimate me. I feel like as a race, that’s a minute problem against the problems we face just as women versus men, in a world that’s more geared and designed to cater towards the male species.

That is a situation that, I spend time thinking about, and working towards ending that, I guess we could talk about that.

Saldana’s decision to accept the role of Nina Simone as a labor of “love” makes her view of race and racism all the more puzzling. It appears as if donning Blackface and depicting Simone has done little to connect the actress with the crooner’s spirit. You can’t portray Nina Simone without realizing how intricately race was intertwined with her life and career.

In fact, communities of color must contend with race and racism daily, from the school-to-prison pipeline to the slow siphoning of resources from our schools. But I guess for women like Saldana, we’re post-racial, Simone’s legacy be-damned.

Maybe the ultimate fixer, Olivia Pope Kerry Washington, can hip her fellow thespian to the truth about post-racial fantasies.



  1. Betty

    I appreciate you writing about this. Her comments do not surprise me. It is apparent how she identifies and that was prior to her making these convoluted statements. I am happy to hear that within her own family she was not ‘ reduced to a color’. I assume this means that her family did not practice distinguishing between shades of brown and continuing the cycle of hate of our African heritage. However, as soon as any person of color walks out the door you are spotted classified and tagged. This is a global phenomenal. America is obsessed with race because the murderers and thiefs who came from,Europe to settle here established and continue that process today. This country was stolen built maintained by using enslaved Africans. This is how corporations where built here. Period. In addition, the ‘obsession’ to color is still within the murderer colonists offspring GLOBALLY. It has not ended. For instance, in all countries you see whites in positionsof ‘power’ and Africans not having the same level of ‘power’. There are European companies in Africa still striping the land and resources and putting locals in positions of negotiating land into their hands with no say. Things are “better”, we own homes, we are lawyers doctors engineers, writers journalists etc. Yes, we are. When you are moving within an established predetermined (captives never fully give up ‘power’ just shift it, re organize) bowl things at times appear to be ‘better’. For example, globally (United States, Brazil, Hondorus, Haiti, Etc etc etc etc, everywhere Africans were enslaved) colonists first said enslaved African could not celebrate anything, they forced their choses religion on them, then later upon seeing that the enslaved Africans ACCEPTED colonist doctrine they then shifted their rules by ALLOWING enslaved Africans to celebrate, on their own in DESIGNATED places, once per week. The African were still enslaved. I notices that K.Washington is shown her as well. Her role as Olivia is heartbreaking. In the beginning I watched due to (she’s an African woman, intelligent, powerful, an African woman as writer and director) her being a ln example of most women I know who look like me, family, friends. I never liked or rooted for the object of her affection in that show. As the first and second season continued I became ashamed, hurt and horrified.,There were several episodes which clearly portrayed the dynamics of barbaric white male abusing an African woman at all means. Haven’t watched since then. Won’t, ever again. In reality i saw that at least one of those episodes was written by a white man. It is congruent with what I have (i.e. coworkers/classmates/ friends you’ve told me stories of dating white men) experienced.

Comments are moderated, please be respectful. View our policy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

More in yesha callahan, Zoe Saldana