Category Archives: Commentary
A little over two-weeks have passed since 17-year old Trayvon Martin was innocently, senselessly murdered by an on-duty neighborhood watch guard, 28-year old George Zimmerman in his father’s suburban, Orlando, gated community. George Zimmerman, a young college student, admitted to shooting Trayvon, however he has yet to be arrested. The all-too familiar scenario of young a Black man with limitless potential whose life is cut short by a white man whose racist ideology prompts an unwarranted trigger-pull, yet he walks free, played out again.
[frame_left]Yesterday I was shocked to learn of a video posted last week on the uber-popular XXL Magazine website. A video interview with rapper Too $hort became totally inappropriate when he advised and then detailed to young boys how to “turn girls out.” (The video has been removed, yet transcript of the ignorance remains courtesy of The Grio)
“When you get to late middle school, early high school and you start feeling a certain way about the girls… I’m gonna tell you a couple tricks,” Too Short said in the video. “A lot of the boys are going to be running around trying to get kisses from the girls… We’re going way past that. I’m taking you to the hole.”
Then, the 45-year-old rapper, whose real name is Todd Anthony Shaw, asks women off camera to “cover their ears” to avoid being offended. Short then describes a scenario in graphic detail. “You push her up against the wall,” he continued. “You take your finger and put a little spit on it and you stick your finger in her underwear and you rub it on there and watch what happens.”
While Shaw is giving his graphic “advice,” upbeat, child-themed music plays in the background.
Aside from the basic and horrific facts that $hort is permissibly advising young boys on how to RAPE YOUNG WOMEN, what writer/content editor would find it appropriate to submit such irresponsible filth? Imagine my utter disgust to learn the Editor-In-Chief is a WOMAN. Editor-In-Chief of XXL, Vanessa Satten, is being held responsible for allowing this promotion of rape culture into pop culture. Harpo, WHO is this woman?! Where is her “Sisterhood” pass? It should be revoked. A statement was issued (passing blame- what a shame):
“I do not see all content before it goes live. When I saw this video, I was truly offended and thought it crossed the line. I had it taken down immediately. I am disappointed that an employee decided to post it and I am putting internal procedures in place to make sure content like this does not go on the site. The video goes against my value system and represents poor judgment on behalf of the individual who posted it. XXL apologizes to anyone who was offended by the video and assures readers that the brand does not condone this type of content posting on the site and it is making internal changes to avoid any similar content being posted in the future.”
O. Well that explains it. *eye roll* The rampant and increasing levels of misogyny found within hip hop culture is no secret yet the XXL video felt like another kick in the face was given to women, many of which supporters and fans of the genre. Where is the protection and general decency for our young girls and ultimately women?! Where is the public backlash?!?! Sure the video was taken down, but it speaks volumes of the general attitude of the hip hop/pop culture community that few were aware or care about this passive-aggressive attack and reaction on our girls. *Fingers To Temple* It’s getting harder and harder to defend this bollocks. And I love hip hop.
Too $hort offered an apology as well:
“I want to apologize to anyone I may have offended with the XXL video interview I recently did,” $hort stated. “When I got on camera I was in Too $hort mode and had a lapse of judgement.I would never advise a child or young man to do these things, it’s not how I get down. Although I have made my career on dirty raps, I have worked over the years to somewhat balance the content of my music with giving back to the community. Just coming from a man who wants to see young people get ahead in life, I’m gonna do my best to to help and not hurt. If you’re a young man or a kid who looks up to me, don’t get caught up in the pimp, player, gangster hip-hop personas. Just be yourself.”
The reaction to such an offense, or the lack thereof, is indicative of the mentalities of many women of/in the hip hop culture that enable the disrespect and misogyny that permeates. Way to sell out the safety of sistahs in order to be a top-ranked site and gain “street cred” amongst a male populace that clearly don’t care about women. Enough is enough.
For Harriet is circulating a petition calling for Editor-In-Chief Vanessa Satten to step down from XXL. You can also send an email or call Harris Publishing to voice concern: Vanessa@harris-pub.com / 212.807.7100
In case you were in a coma over the weekend, Beyonce Knowles Carter and Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) gave birth to a little girl late Saturday night in a New York hospital. Yea! The child all of pop culture could not wait to view has finally arrived on the planet! Probably wrapped in the finest cashmere, and gifted with designer toys charged to A-list Black Cards, the princess is finally here. The way media (particularly social media) has swarmed around this story since learning of her conception as a fetus is rather…scary. Scary as there is no impact on the lives of us mere mortals so the constant coverage and speculation on every detail down to the name and C-section scars is pretty ridiculous. Blue Ivy (or whatever the couple named their Golden Child) will have no effect on your current student loan payment, mortgage rate, Cancer cures or world peace… so I wish everyone would have a collective seat. Immediately.
Aside from well-wishes of health, congratulations, and blessings, everything else seems wasted banter. That hasn’t stopped the hilarious false Twitter account creations, heated public debates on the origin and presumed connotation of the name (“but it’s so GHET-TO”-what does that even mean), or interruptions of every major news programs to promote the headline, “Beyonce Gives Birth” as though the child is indeed the second coming. It’s really weird to watch all the frenzy around a newborn only a select few will ever get to meet in real life Craig. *shrug* Just wish the world would keep it in perspective. They’re celebrities. Blessings to the Carter family, and wishing them a smooth transition into parenthood, away from the public eye and scrutiny.
It’s a New Year, and time to lay old thoughts and theories to rest. Particularly those about the “single Black woman.” Had to share this clever and timely video, “Death of the Tragic, Scientifically Less Attractive, Unmarriable, Single Black Woman Narrative” by online talk show host Ariana Proehl of KnowThisTv.
Find out more about her empowering movement on her site, and encourage others to bury the negative “single Black woman” conversation. We’re beautiful dammit. 🙂