“So One-track Minded”: Black Women and Sexual Performance As Sport

On May 19th, 2013, Nicki Minaj performed on stage at the 2013 Billboard awards. This performance included Lil’ Wayne in a duet fashion performing the song “High School”.

 

“Hotter than a middle eastern climate, find it 20 mataran dutty whine it, while it, Nicki on a pit while I sign it, how these niggas so one-track minded but really really I don’t give a F-U-C-K” – Nicki Minaj, “Monster”

 

“Look at all that ass”

 

 

The overall performance was divided it into three acts:

 

Act one:

Nicki Minaj coming out and doing her solo verse, a slightly erotic gyration as she eases from bar to bar verbally and physically hypnotizing her adoring fans.

 

Act two:

Lil’ Wayne and Nicki Minaj piggy backing bars with Lil’ Wayne introducing his dull cliché of hypermasculine energy that has prevailed for much of hip hop’s history.

 

Act three:

Which is of course, my second favorite act, Nicki Minaj giving Lil’ Wayne a strip club style lap dance.

 

My biggest concern with all of this outside of the normal apprehensions that come when one thinks about all the young children that might be watching was Lil’ Wayne’s inability to let Nicki Minaj just have her moment. Now, it needs to be written, Nicki Minaj totally owned Lil’ Wayne on that stage when he was sitting in that chair and she kicks that right leg up, slides with a step to straddle and just goes into her popping. She embraces her physique’s appeal, a strip tease for the audience of fantasizing fans that have fetishized her gluteus maximus with her hands pulling teasingly through her legs. And just when she concludes with her Captain Morgan’s stance on the chair after dismissing Lil’ Wayne, her prop…her stage accoutrement speaks in its mutant language.

 

“Look at all that ass”

 

It was an embarrassing power transferal. I would not even call it that. The statement in that moment is better referred to as power dissipation, really. And it did remind me of a similar performance by Kelly, Michelle, and Beyoncé of Destiny Child’s.

 

The Stats of Destiny’s Child Catering Service

 

 

At the 2005 BET Awards Show, the ladies escort Magic Johnson, Nelly, and Terrance Howard out to the main stage area and sit them down in respective chairs. Michelle partnered with Magic; Kelly partnered with Nelly; and Beyoncé with Terrance Howard. It seemed as though poor Michelle needed a footstool to hurdle onto the lap of Magic, and once there she seemed completely out of her league by being on his lap! There is a natural power dynamic attendant to height, and even sexual prowess can be incapable of reducing it. Kelly completely overpowered Nelly. In parts of the tease we can see Kelly having to guide Nelly’s hands, it just looked like poor Nelly had completely been reduced to the proverbial putty in Kelly’s hand. Which makes Beyoncé’s grace look less than polished in that particular performance.

 

 

Of course, as the lead singer, Beyoncé immediately commands the attention of the cameraman, all the magnetic seductiveness of the others, but with one difference, Terrance Howard is slowly sapping energy from her magic. And he’s not doing anything but giving in. Unlike Nelly who has just given up, Howard’s creepy puppy dog look is more controlled, and Beyoncé knows it. Towards the end of the dance she is almost falling into his arms — the absolute contrast to what Kelly Rowland has caused Nelly to do!

 

‘In Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham first coined the term “politics of respectability” to describe the work of the Women’s Convention of the Black Baptist Church during the Progressive Era. She specifically referred to African American’s promotion of temperance, cleanliness of person and property, thrift, polite manners, and sexual purity. The politics of respectability entailed “reform of individual behavior as a goal in itself and as a strategy for reform.” Respectability was part of “uplift politics,” and had two audiences: African Americans, who were encouraged to be respectable and white people, who needed to be shown that African Americans could be respectable.

African American women were particularly likely to use respectability and to be judged by it. Moreover, African American women symbolized, even embodied, this concept. Respectability became an issue at the juncture of public and private. It thus became increasingly important as both black and white women entered public spaces.

…The prevailing interpretation suggests that the politics of respectability undermined the rigidly scientific nature of racial categories, but generally tended to reinforce status distinctions within the African American community. These distinctions were about class, but they were defined primarily in behavioral, not economic, terms. By linking worthiness for respect to sexual propriety, behavioral decorum, and neatness, respectability served a gatekeeping function, establishing a behavioral “entrance fee,” to the right to respect and the right to full citizenship…’

 

– Gatekeeping and Remaking: The Politics of Respectability in African American Women’s History and Black Feminism, Paisley Jane Harris

 

Without delving too deeply into the politics of respectability, I do want to say that there is a difference between what Nicki does and what the Women of Destiny’s Child do. And I do not want this to get bogged down in the class (behavioral) discussion, because I feel Nicki could have done the exact same performance without the guy that used to strike a pose kissing his “daddy” and it would have been extremely powerful. Lil’ Wayne was at best a prop. However, there is a nuance that separates “seductive” from “sexy”, and I do believe Nicki Minaj falls into the later category. Sure, from my hetero masculine eyes, it is easy to fetishize Nicki in the same manner that White men have been fetishizing the Afrikan feminine anatomy throughout their records of history.

 

And without having to dance around the ring in any polemic bouts, sure, there is an objectifying quality here. But, sexual appreciation is often objectifying. Yet, I fully respect and honor the SHE of Kelly Rowland as she effortlessly causes Nelly to slide into trance level state of consciousness with her body movements and allure. While objectifying her in his head, she’s turned him into not much more than an object! And honestly, so has Minaj. While Little Tunechi is looking for a role to play, he settles for the shallowest pebble in his mind, the obvious look at Nicki Minaj’s derrière and locker room puerility of a 17 year young seaman recruit receiving his first lap dance. Little absorbs the collective psyche of 15 year old White boys in the United States and says what they wish, while Howard does to Beyoncé only what Jay seems to have, or at least I am hoping for Jay’s sake.

 

“How These Niggas So One-track Minded”

 

It is the childish expression that Little chooses out of his bag of mental marbles to display that causes me to wish Minaj had not done the performance with him. I can handle the raunchy. It was intentional. Destiny Child is singing a ballad catering to the men, some feminists may be adverse to that, but it was the song. I refuse to attend the outrage of anyone upset that heterosexual women are singing heterosexual songs. Minaj is rapping with Little– although their verses are asymmetrical– about a tryst between a man and woman. Nicki Minaj’s verse discussing how a woman helps a man to see the finer things in life after he has been incarcerated, Little’s concluding verse a batch of controlling banter that happens to be highly sexual. I expect Minaj to pay homage to Choice, Lil Kim, Trina, Salt-N-Pepa, Oaktown 357 and that sort of style of dancing and presentation because that is the genre in which she is in, and her entire career has been in homage to that particular posture developed by those women. I did not feel as though she was distasteful, in fact, I thought it was tantalizing. Her moves need polish, but so did Beyoncé’s moves.

 

Ultimately, I never want to write anything that would ever be deemed as me reducing any woman’s, or group of women’s power to “ass shaking”. For one, I would never reduce the herstories of Women globally to sex, there is too much pain in an Assata chapter for that. Nor would I ever reduce what Nicki Minaj, Michelle, Kelly, or Bey did as “ass shaking”. From belly dancing to ghost dancing, there is an extensive human art, science, and politic to the kinesiology represented in dance. I would just like it if niggaz let women do their thing, and if there must be power transference, let it be the gracefulness of a stare held too long cascading into the personae unmasking itself on stage in laughter.

 

Politics Of Sex & Sport

 

“An argument might be made that part of what it means to be a male athlete is to remain, emotionally at least, at the developmental level of many adolescent boys.” – “Studs, Tools, And The Family Jewels: Metaphors Men Live By” Peter F. Murphy pg. 80

 

“When sex becomes a contest, a means for domination and conquest, male-female relationships are reduced to a game in which there are “winners” and “losers.” The question, “Did you score last night, Steve?” represents an extension of male competitiveness in which “females are often perceived as opponents and various strategies or game plans are developed to get them to submit”. Men feel comfortable on the playing field, where they know the rules of the game and can maneuver a victory. This may be part of the reason many men avoid smart women. In addition to having their sense of insecurity about their own intelligence exacerbated, men may also fear losing. A woman who understands the rules of the game may be too much of an opponent, and male identity may be too invested in being the winner.” – ibid, pg. 85

 

 

That being typed, I think this comparison is an interesting study in how certain power dynamics operate. Without having to lean too heavily on my patriarchal socialization, there are spaces where sex is sport. And there is a space where the choices of conduct that deem us as quick witted are sport. Sport in the United States, is traditionally a male dominated social area. US professional sports define “equality” by the idea that no woman is physically capable of competing with male athletes. Even trying out for a position on a professional team where men compete is scoffed at (although that as a hiring practice in any other domain would be illegal). This fundamental notion is extended beyond race and class. In the Black community the male intellectual is relegated to the position of patriarch(like the pastor of one’s church, think Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson), and the woman athlete is relegated to social statures that are familiar as well: the “tomboy, the “stud”(or “want-to-be male”), or a hobbyist at best.

 

“Since their earliest manifestations in pre-Greek civilization, sports have grown out of a society’s need to be proficient in war. Hunting, wrestling, running, horse racing, and fencing gave warriors a means to improve crucial components of the limited military resources they had at hand. Ideologically, sports have been used domestically to reinforce class differences and to encourage men to become soldiers.” – “Studs, Tools, And The Family Jewels: Metaphors Men Live By” Peter F. Murphy, pg. 60

 

Hip hop, as many will explain, has as one of its many roots, the battle rap. This is art as sport, music as competition. For Nicki to be privy to the space she holds– a Woman successfully navigating a space of sport in the US– is a feat in and of it Self. Dance also has competitive space, with dance competitive companies. Dance as competition has emerged to the degree of suggestions of pole dancing as an Olympic sport as Pole competitions is a professional sport. So, none of this is far-fetched. The space Michelle, Beyoncé, Kelly, and Nicki Minaj find them Selves in is not new terrain in the psyche of the viewers. Yet, like most things where Women, especially Black Women, have an advantage, the status of the event is tampered with to appease male insecurities.

 

“The relationship between sports and war in U.S. history illustrates the role of athletics as an instrument of oppression and animosity. Gorn and Goldstein trace the subtleties of this association, beginning with the American Civil War which “provided a well of memory, a master metaphor for the belief that conflict between individuals, classes and nations lay at the heart of human existence”. As a moral equivalent of war, “athletics offered an opportunity for young men to get their first taste of glory, and for older men to renew the tingle of heroic combat”.” – “Studs, Tools, And The Family Jewels: Metaphors Men Live By” Peter F. Murphy, pg. 61

 

 

Nicki Minaj, one of the only Women in professional Hip Hop in 2013 with the degree of her success, can surely be taken to task for certain, um, added physical accessories. But so should Lil’ Kim, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, and a host of other Black Women with national media coverage throughout history that alter body parts for cosmetic purposes. Sure, is there a pornification of Hip Hop? There has BEEN a pornification of Hip Hop since back when Salt-N-Pepa got on a stage in those black skintight outfits and told the world to “Push It”. I think it is dangerous to immediately run to the old standby of sexual lewdness as deleterious when it is women, or specifically Black Women, that command the power of the sexual act being portrayed.

 

Hip Hop dance, as well as sexual performance in the art of dance, is a fairly Woman dominated sport. An aside here could easily be that the competitive forms of dance dominated by men such as tap dance, break dance, and Capoeira as dance are more popular and acceptable in mainstream. The portrayal of Little, Magic, Nelly, and Howard as submissive instruments for the extension of Black Women’s exhibition is not a role men, especially Black men of stature, are commonly associated with. Yes, Nelly got the treatment, and showed it, and he was supposed to! Little was worked like the uneven bars in a Gabby Douglas set. Unfortunately, for Nicki, after she was done with her presentation of prowess, the damn balance beam wants to remind the world why it was supposed to be the inanimate object to begin with!

 

 

“Historically, as form of resistance to the negative stigmas and caricatures about their morality, African Americans adopted a “politics of respectability.” Claiming respectability through manners and morality furnished an avenue for African Americans to assert the will and agency to redefine themselves outside the prevailing racist discourses. Although many deployed the politics of respectability as a form of resistance, its ideological nature constituted a deliberate concession to mainstream societal values. The self-imposed adherence to respectability that permeated African American women’s lives, as well as African American culture, also later impacted African American activism and the course of scholarship in African American Studies. This strict adherence to what is socially deemed “respectable” has resulted in African American scholars’ confining their scholarship on African Americans to often the most “heroic,” and the most successful attributes in African American culture; it has also resulted in the proliferation of analyses which can be characterized as culturally defensive, patriarchal, and heterosexist.”“Examining the Politics of Respectability in African American Studies”, Kali N. Gross

 

So far, US history has shown us that Black Women are going to be lambasted as “whores” and morally deprived for simply being the interests of male concupiscence. If it is Black male concupiscence, there may not be an interruption in the game, but if it is in command of White male concupiscence, then you can almost guarantee a flag on the play. Madonna comes out on stage in a teddy to be received as queen and is not even performing, Beyoncé is attacked as being ‘too racy’ and ‘trampy’ for energizing an audience with spectacular use of technology, choreography, and enchantment. As a Black man and a media analyst, I have to toe the line of observer, voyeur, historian and critic. There is a history of competition between Black women and White women that reflects a delicate history where White men could glance, hawk, and rape Black women almost like hunting as Thomas Jefferson does Sally Hemmings, and then returns to the bed to place his White wife trophy on the well sculpted pedestal. The hard-fought battles of women like Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mary Bethune-Cookman, Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, and countless others were not waged alongside White Women in the manner some feminist writers might misleadingly inject. The need for the protection of the “chaste” image of White Women remained a bloody timeline, while Black Women had to navigate a desirability that historically marked them as libidinous, a justification for the centuries of rape by White men, and also one that was anchored in centuries of caste positioning them in a psychological strata below White Women even in the minds of Black men.

That any Black Woman is able to capture the appeal of audiences in a seductive and sexy fashion without it being labeled in some manner as “animalistic” or “less than ladylike” is to confuse one’s Self with the implements of strategy. There is power in the sport of art and that power is economically viable, and psychologically impacting. We are not discussing subjective qualifications alone here, this is practical and utilitarian. Sport is the peacetime version of war, and there are gains to be had by the victors. Those gains will not be silently and calmly transmitted.

 

“The sports hero embodies this sense of control for the fan who vicariously lives out his fantasy world through the superathlete who has it all: money, fame, and beautiful women. Spectatorship emerged concomitantly with the rise of a consumer society and came replete with myths of the superathlete created by a burgeoning profession of sportswriting for an audience that sought “a sentimental sense of community, not new information or good writing”” – ibid, Murphy, pg. 76

 

Since sport is the peacetime preparation for war, it also contains elements of power and conquest. As a man, the sport of mating is a dog pit where my emotions and position as patriarch is the booty while I am tasked with getting…well, the booty. Beyoncé and Minaj are not just seen as artist in that sort of dynamic, they are looked at as champions. But there is a social dynamic of White supremacy that even in the most quantifiable of topics will place some quality of White involvement in a more worthy position than any other participant, as well as reduce the role of those non-white participants. It is a part of the game. What we call “shyt talking”, or “bad mouthing” on the court or the field of game is the propaganda of the war monger. As such, those competitors that are not the Beyoncé’s, the Michelle’s, the Kelly’s, the Nicki’s or a host of other celebrated Black Women whose entertainment puts them at the level of champion will be attacked, maligned, and antagonized like Jordan Crawford insulting Carmelo Anthony. Which makes me disdainful of Little and his immature response to what was a powerful play. It is proper to note here that Gabby Douglas, the first US Black Woman, and subsequently the only US athlete, to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics was not celebrated for her status but demeaned for her hair.

 

Black Men: Ball-hogging and Lack of Team Loyalty

 

“Racism finds a counterpoint in the sexism and misogyny of sports. Despite the impressive growth in the number of women participating in athletics, sports continue to evolve as an expression of a male culture that keeps women in their place even while on the playing field.” – “Studs, Tools, And The Family Jewels: Metaphors Men Live By” Peter F. Murphy, pg. 78

 

 

In the same vein that I felt insulted that Shawn Carter had to refer to Beyoncé as a “bitch” in his song with Kanye, “that’s my Bitch”, I felt like Wayne fumbled a ball on a fourth down pass right at the in-zone. If a Black man of Carter’s stature can pay homage to the stereotypical older White patriarchs with his suit and ties and tumblers of brown liquor, can he not also extend the image of a team mate to the Woman that got him the Oprah interview? I cannot demand anyone treat their wife without verbally abusing them, wait, that’s not true, but, I am not going to do it now. It would be nice if Black men could show the same degree of loyalty to the team that Black Women collectively have shown throughout our genesis in the US. Nicki Minaj is helping to establish your brand beyond the place she found it. Regardless of what the uninitiated might think or type, proper training in team sports holds that if your teammate is about to score, the least you do is get out of the way and let them, if you can’t block or defend them. The proper show of appreciation in most sport cultures in the US is to grasp hands, nod approvingly, hug, or slap arse. You don’t have to open your mouth to the adoring fans in the stands. Champions walk off the stage of sport with the thunder of applauding fans as the background music of their life without needing to speak or allude to their win. Not because they are arrogant, but because they have been there before.

 

 

And Why Should We Be Alarmed At Lil’ Wayne’s Sacrilege?

Not always sure about the word “perfect”. I am even less sure about terms like “sacred” and “sacrilegious”. And yet, although the abstractions leave me in an abysmal wonderment when framing practical application, from time to time in my life, those words have hit me hard as the only practical solution for certain situations.

I guess it was sometime last week, the #Her(oh, yes, I do love how we imbue our significant others with these simple titles), Bri, and I were in a discussion, and in mid-sentence, she evokes the qualification,”although I don’t want to be charged with sacrilege, Harriet Tubman…” and she continued her point. Often, it can be missed that our most sacred ideals do not have to fall from the imaginary scope of myth, and although there is a legend surrounding the personage of Harriet Tubman, given what we do know as objective history about the saint savior of our ancestors, her name does deserve a spot in our cerebral reservoir held in honor for that which is best noted as, “sacred”. In a world where even my most light-heartened critiques of President Barack Obama or Beyonce or Jay-Z are received with a snarl and a defensive reaction, it worries me that our most responsible group of Blacks to carry the future, our youth, do not quite understand the necessity of honoring those that through physical courage and moral indignation carried us to these moments we now refer to as “the present”. And yes, the abstract notion held within the symbol of the term, “sacrilege”, even for a seasoned black media analyst, can immediately open up debate mostly grounded in semantic foray. Yet, when she paused to consider my reaction to her evoking the name “Harriet Tubman”, I understood. I am glad that she has the sensibility to hold our ancestors in that regard in a time when popular Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has decided that Harriet Tubman’s legend is too much for him to chew, to the point where he has written an article for “The Atlantic” entitled, “The Myth Of Harriet Tubman”. I suppose somehow the numbers are just too much for the writer, not sure how that might have hurt him, but whatever.

While I was a member of an organization whose job it was to host guest speakers in a prison facility, one of the leaders was upset by the lack of consideration given to the clean up process and duties of other leaders and active members. As we both walked around the staging area after the guest speakers had left cleaning up, he made a statement,”Sometimes, somethings, have to be treated as sacred”. I was in or around my earlier 20’s at that time, but even then, he did not have to lecture me on the principles or delve into some lofty explanation. I understood him. Although, yes, the term “sacred” holds its own voluminous weight, and easily leads to those sorts of circular debates mentioned in the last paragraph, in that extremely practical context, I was able to grasp his meaning in seconds. In a world where any shortsighted error of action, or lack thereof, can cause the best things to be infringed upon, it is the better choice of action to treat that which you enjoy with a degree of evaluation worthy of such appraisals in real time.

Growing up in a culture that has often taught me to place twenty dollars above the respect I have for an elder, I have learned that our dollar signs– or our belief that we can accrue in some ways more dollars behind the dollar signs written upon our balance sheets–tend to be the only understanding of value we have in this society. As much as I would love to lambaste any person that does not hold sacred those same ideals that I do with regard to race and ethnic origins, I do understand how easily we are socialize to put the child of a White woman and Kenyan man raised light-years away from the Black community above those thinkers and leaders that took police knee and dog bite building Black organizations decades before even the first “Black president”, Bill Clinton(who initiated measures that contributed to the most vast building of prisons to incarcerate an imbalanced number of Black men), was ever elected. The esteem given to such personages, did not make it surprising to me that Lil’ Wayne would vocalize his lack of understanding of our collective sacred space by rapping,”I beat that pussy up like Emmett Till” over a DJ Smallz produced remix of Future’s “Karate Chop”.


And why should we be alarmed?

The majority of Black men in the USA felt Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” was redemptive. This means that a fictional character with very loose connections to anything historical was capable of making Black men feel as though they no longer had to defend or fight for the legacy of psychological trauma, economic inequality, social injustice, or even political disenfranchisement that came as the impact of US Slavery and is significantly highlighted by the slaughter of Emmett Till. Does not take much to appease these niggaz, right? If US Slavery as an institution cannot be held to the utmost critical assessment when adapted by White people for monetary gain, where do those that obviously do not understand the degree of sacredness it should be held in learn to hold it in such esteem?

And why should we be alarmed when they do not?

Comic turned Civil Rights spokesman Dick Gregory felt it necessary to attack Spike Lee for depicting Malcolm X in a zoot suit in the eponymous film production. Spike attacked no one in his interview explaining that he thought it would be disrespectful of his ancestors to watch Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”. Mr. Gregory, however felt it was a tarnish on the image of Malcolm to accurately detail the accounts Malcolm asked Alex Haley to scribe in the only authorized account of Malcolm’s life. Yet, Mr. Gregory thought that “Django Unchained” was redemptive and Spike Lee worthy of epithets for not wanting to watch it in honor of his ancestors. If the elders cannot get it right…

And why should we be alarmed?

In a country where Barack Obama can be toted as the “first Black President” with no previous connections to the Black community before his romantic relationship with Michelle Obama…

In a culture that has a difficulty asking Barack Obama to stop his manipulative and incessant evocation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who took the US Government to task for its involvement in the destruction and imperialistic measures in countries such as North Korea(where Barack Obama as head of the US Executive Branch is NOW presently sending more US soldiers outside of the border in South Korea in preparations for war) and the US Government’s failure to address the unfair compensation practices of its own Black workers(while Barack Obama has consistently since before he was even elected as President of the United States given Billions of dollars to rich corporate and banking interests while making lightweight gestures and nods at raising minimum wage to a measly nine dollars an hour)…

In this sort of social sphere, where in the hell do we expect Lil’ Wayne to know that his words are not only offensive, but work to damage the power of the culture he him Self is a direct representative of?

This is not to defend Lil’ Wayne. It is to take all those upset with him to task. Emmett Till, murdered, beaten, eyes plucked, shot, tied with a barb wire to a cotton gin fan, his body tossed into the Tallahatchie River with what can only be assumed where hopes of his body never washing up. Emmett Till, who came from Obama’s political stomping ground(although, I’m sure Emmett did not have the same support from the Jewish Community as Obama!) to Mississippi, his only crime whistling at a white woman that probably looked much like the mother of EVERY US President that has ever been, including the one dubbed, “First Black President”. Emmett Till, whose mother, in sheer socio-political strategic elegance, decided that, when her son’s body had finally been returned to her, to have an open casket, a decision that allowed the human atrocities of the US Black Holocaust(naw, “holocaust” ain’t strong enough of a word to describe our historical plight in the USA) for not only the world, but for history to see. Emmett Till is a US Black prophet. But in a world where Black academics are paid to urinate on the names of our prophets for their own self-aggrandizement, who are going to be the teachers of those that apparently do not know?

And why should we be alarmed when they act out of that which they do not know?

Why should we be alarmed at the disgustingly misogynistic lyrics of Lil’ Wayne when Michelle Obama, the first Black woman to have sexual relations with a US President and it not be a rape or adultery, answers the question of “who is the one person in the world she would be if they could trade places”, it would be Beyonce? Beyonce’s who’s husband’s first public response to their nuptial arrangement is to call her a “bitch” at not only her performance but on his shared track with Kanye West, “That’s My Bitch”. According to some feminist ideologues, this is the empowerment of Black Women, and it is not my place to speak to who one chooses to empower them, but do not ask me to suspend my local logical ability to overlook glaring hypocrisies. A movement saturated in ideological doublespeak and even more contradictory actions where it is more important to justify sexual indulgences than to ask Florida why Marissa Alexander cannot defend her life from an abusive spouse or why Obama has not seen fit to introduce a bill less reformist than the Lily Ledbetter Act probably cannot be asked to address the layers present in the socialized psychology of a celebrated figure such as Lil’ Wayne.

And why should we be alarmed?

Why should we think what Lil’ Wayne has presented to history as his sexual prowess in hyperbole is so disgusting when we attack Lupe Fiasco for ‘policing the sexuality of women’ when he pens a piece discussing his understanding, no matter how limited, regarding the contextual presentation of the term, “bitch”, specifically as it is used in the phrase, “bad bitch”, and yet we proffer a proverbial ghetto pass to 2 Chains(whose “Birthday Song” which contains the lyrics,”All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe” and has as a guest on the song the same guy that is on the Jay-Z song calling Michelle Obama’s fantasy personage a bitch, Kanye West)? Where is the logic? When does the thinking find some sort of cohesion, let alone coherence? When do our demands on one another begin to makes any sense? When we place more value in celebrity and defend those we deem as highly touted beyond the realm of our most principled display of integrity, we open the door for anyone to trample over our sacred rooms.

And why should we be alarmed?

Why should we care when we continue to elect a president that has shown more concern for Zionist Israel than he has for Inner city Chicago? Israel knows how to hold every nanometer of neurological strand of every brain across the globe regarding the White western Jewish presence historic or otherwise as sacred to the point of demanding that the US and its Allies be held responsible for its holocaust against Palestinians because of the holocaust in Germany. What the West pejoratively refers to as “Arab spring” was further ignited by a Christian making a straight-to-Youtube movie handling the image of Prophet Muhammad in a less than sacred manner. US White media will protect every one of its young men who kill en masse under the auspice of “bullied”, “troubled youth”, and the like, but if one Black man is even thought to have behaved in a minuscule fraction of that, he is labeled as a “domestic terrorist” and hunted by man and predator drones.

But why should Blacks– who love to announce just how much of a monolithic people they are not while every other group of nationalized peoples on Earth is loyal to a common heritage and represents a diverse yet unified conglomeration– care? Why should US Blacks be so alarmed, now? Where was this collective angst when Tarantino called you “niggers”, when Ted Danson showed up at a date with Whoopi Goldberg in blackface, when the killers of Amadou Diallo where given promotions, when…wait…when the hell have you all ever really protected your sacred spaces?

So, why are you so damn alarmed that one of your celebrated did what the world showed him he could?

My Love/Hate Relationship With Twitter

It’s official—I hate Twitter again.

 

For quite some time I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Twitter, manic tweeting one minute, closing my account the next. I’ve been trying to figure out why I hate Twitter since early 2012. I think I may have finally figured it out: Groupthink.

While I cannot say Erykah Badu is the originator of the concept, I can thank her for this word’s rise in popularity; but maybe this is also why the act of “Groupthink” is also at an all-time high, especially on Twitter. With the “13 Holy War,” and the perpetually repetitive and depressing topics discussed via #BlackTwitter (amongst the many other volatile exchanges happening daily), it’s no wonder why I’ve left a shell of an account on Twitter. It’s all starting to remind me of church….and I cannot stand the concept of church (although I’ll visit if the mood calls for it).

 

“Don’t say that!” “You should speak on or fight for this cause.” “That’s too abrasive!” “You shouldn’t feel this way.” Really? How should I feel? Should I feel like you? Would that make you feel better about yourself, to have someone agree with your thoughts? Perhaps this is a form of insecurity, the desire to have others agree with your logic.

 

There is no longer room to just breathe and be on Twitter. Everything one says can be twisted, turned against a person, and is up for debate. But here’s the problem…I don’t feel the need to debate, nor do I feel the need to “explain” my feelings. I am beyond explaining myself to motherfuckers who are so offended and filled with anger that they wouldn’t understand my explanation anyway. I’m over it. I’m over the obligation Twitter, especially Black Twitter, places on people to be an “example,” a role model, and all of the above. I am no damn saint, I am no one’s role model, I am no one’s teacher, mentor, spokesperson or any of that shit.

 

Yes, you’re a Vegan, but you’re still an asshole.

In possession of a degree or two? Congratulations! You’re still an asshole.

You can spell, and must constantly prove your prowess by correcting the spelling and grammar of others. The only thing this proves…is that you’re an insecure asshole.

Yes, you have thousands of followers, but guess what? You’re still an asshole…a closed-minded asshole with dingle berries hanging from your anus.

And please, tell me, does being an asshole via Twitter pay well? I certainly hope so.

 

Ever feel that pit in your stomach when someone on Twitter starts a beef with you and calculate how long it takes to let that “upset” pass through your system? THAT angers me. Allowing a person on Twitter—who I’ll likely never meet, who hasn’t bought my music, supported my business, and may be a degenerate, little dicked dweeb or a low-budget crack whore in person—to have an effect on my mood angers ME more than anything, because then I am wasting energy and time trying to get back to my happy place, talking myself down with “it’s just Twitter.” But it ISN’T just Twitter! It’s people, from all over the world, clinging to your every word, adding meaning where there is sometimes none, and wanting to lecture you on how you should express yourself; and there is nothing I hate more than people trying to control my self-expression. Like I said, I don’t do church.