life as a creative

Why I Feel For Damon Dominique

*Please note that this article is my personal opinion which I have a right to. This is by no means a definite representation of Damon Dominique or Jo Franco.

For the past year, everyone has been asking Damon Dominique what happened to DamonandJo and why Jo Franco wasn’t featured in his “Red Wine Talks”. Recently he addressed everyone’s concerns in a video and admitted that they were no longer friends and no longer working together. Many people had been fans of DamonandJo for years and took the separation with as much diplomacy as they could. There fortunately wasn’t much controversy caused by the admission. I was one of their fans ever since they featured on Shameless Maya’s channel and recently followed both of their personal channels, but eventually, I unsubscribed to Jo as I didn’t like her content while routinely watching Damon’s channels as they spoke to me more as a creative. This is the bias that I want to set aside before I talk about my perspective on the entire breakup. And to cut it short, I’m rather disappointed in Jo.

Jo has got the support of the black female community and then some because people seem to be viewing the issue as a race issue. She was given an opportunity to work with Netflix which meant she couldn’t work with Damon for a specific period. People seem to zone in on this aspect of the story and completely ignore everything else. The main perspective was that you can’t expect a black (cough mixed cough) woman to give up an opportunity for her privileged white friend. Which in essence is true, but that’s not the issue here.

As someone who has been in situations where a friend has unceremoniously dumped me for what seemed like a good opportunity at the time. And I was the darker-skinned black friend who had been dumped by lighter-skinned/mixed women, middle-eastern women, and white women. Women who are technically higher up on the privilege spectrum. If Damon had been a dark-skinned black woman there would have been a bit of an uproar in the form of people protesting that yet another mixed person was climbing up the ladder of success on the backs of black people. Which is not being objective about the entire issue. The real issue to me is not one of race and one of loyalty and friendship.

There’s a platitude that goes “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold, ”. Your friends that have stuck by you and grown with you are priceless treasures. And any friend who is a good friend would never fault you for taking an opportunity for yourself. But a friend can fault you for how you take the opportunity. Part of growing up means outgrowing certain things and certain people. This is a hard thing to do and most people are unable to do it diplomatically but how someone does it can also be a reflection of how much that person respects you and their level of maturity.

It was evident from the time before Jo created “Brazindians” that she was no longer feeling the friendship. Perhaps as she grew and survived a bullet wound she felt like she wanted her own identity outside of Damon and branch out by herself. Which is a phase that most of us will go through as adults and we see many celebrities also do who have been linked to someone else (ie Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen/Tia and Tamera Mowry). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If she had communicated that she wanted independence and Damon had reacted like a spoilt, entitled, and pretentious white boy then her actions would be justified. But she didn’t. It wasn’t until the Netflix deal that was offered to her that everything came to a head. Damon seemed not to mind her taking the opportunity but leaving him to start from scratch was NOT a nice thing to do. What was even not nicer was how things went about splitting assets they had built together went.

When someone who you thought was your friend screws you over it is bad regardless of race, especially where finances are involved. As someone who’s been in a similar situation, I feel for Damon. Not because Eurocentric socio-psychological conditioning has brainwashed me into being more compassionate towards white people but because it just sucks to be betrayed by someone you considered your friend and thought had your best interests at heart.

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