In recent weeks, the titular star of Mama June: Family Crisis has been promoting the new season. Or trying to, at any rate.
The thing about promotional tours is that you end up answering a lot of questions. And not everyone is prepared for that. Not even famous people.
June Shannon found some of the worst ways imaginable to defend the unsightly age gap between daughter Alana and Dralin Carswell.
In addition to sounding downright racist, she also seemed to forget how old one of her other daughters is. In other words, she rewrote history and threw Lauryn under the bus.
Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson is 17 years old. She will turn 18 in August of this year.
Meanwhile, boyfriend Dralin Carswell is 22. The two began dating a couple of years ago, when Alana was still 15. At the time, Dralin was 20. Their age gap is just four months shy of being five years.
June says that she doesn’t think that the backlash is over their ages. She thinks that it’s an excuse, and that the real beef is about race.
Racism lurks in every corner of our society. And it is malevolently common for Black people, including children, to receive the treatment and perception of someone older.
But June’s way of expressing all of this is … a little horrifying.
For one thing, when she talked about interracial relationships, she cited having several relatives who are “that way.” What?
“There’s a lot of chocolate vanilla swirl in our family,” June unfortunately said. “There’s been chocolate vanilla swirl in our family for multiple years.”
She added: “I have two sisters that have been that way, a niece. [Alana] should not get hate for that.”
Unfortunately, the cringe does not stop there. The explicitly dehumanizing language about race does, at least.
“I feel like Dralin is not on the maturity level of a 20-year-old because he is very childish. I mean, very childish to me,” June recently told In Touch Weekly.
(Dralin turned 22 a month before this interview, but June’s grasp of people’s ages gets much worse from here)
“They’re still kids,” Justin Stroud chimed in. “It ain’t like he’s 28, 29 years old. He’s still a child himself, so he’s not gonna get everything right at the beginning. You know, just like none of us did. We had to figure it out as we go.”
Even weirder were June’s comments about Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon and husband Josh Efird.
“[Lauryn] was 15 and Josh was almost 20 [when they got together] … y’all didn’t have a problem with that,” June accused. “They have been together almost eight years…”
Actually, no, that’s not the truth, June. Lauryn and Josh are about 3.5 years apart. That’s a high school classmate age gap. Also, plenty of people had a problem with their relationship — especially when Lauryn became a teen mom before shewas old enough to vote.
“[If she] chooses to be with him for the rest of her life, then that’s fine,” June said of Alana and Dralin. “If not, then hey, it was her teenage fling.”
We do have to remember that, by Alana’s age, June was already a parent. Her life story remains unthinkably, unimaginably sad.
But that doesn’t excuse June’s weird comments about race. Don’t dehumanize people by comparing them to food. It’s not as positive as it sounds in your head.