Protect Black Women At All Cost… Except for Meg Thee Stallion
Why does it feel like Meg has to defend her honor, when she was the victim of harm?
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Artist: Meg Thee Stallion
Producers: Shawn Source Jarrett, Hitmaka, Omar Grand, Rob Holladay.
Vocals: Meg Thee Stallion
Assistant Engineer: Not Available
Writer: Meg Thee Stallion
Spoiler Alert: This essay aint really about the song, I just felt compelled to write about this interview. We’ll be back to the regularly scheduled programming next week.
On July 12th, 2020 recording artist, Meg Thee Stallion was shot in the foot, it was later revealed that rapper, Tory Lanez was believed to be the one who did it. A year and a half since that incident took place, the public debate about ”what happened” and “who was in the wrong” is still not settled. Well, that’s an overstatement. Most reasonable people understand that something happened, and no matter who was involved, people (actually, only Meg got shot) were hurt. Unfortunately, as large as that grouping may be, it is being drowned out by the voices of “professional” podcasters, Hip Hop “Journalist” ” and “content creators.” They don’t believe that Meg is telling the truth. As a result, and partially in response to some of those critiques; Meg did an interview with Gayle King to tell her side of the story.
The interview is short, but gives us a front row seat to watch a Black woman relive trauma while critics pick her apart. During the interview, Meg cries multiple times and shares that she now struggles to “open up to people” and suffers with anxiety. At one point while sharing her account, she swears to Gayle that she didn’t “raise her voice” or get “violent'' with anyone, as if she could have done something to deserve to be shot at. This interview, and the commentary that has occurred since has led me to a question. If Black Women are “magic”, and we must “protect them at all cost” where was Meg’s protection?
Since rumors began to swirl that Tory was the shooter, the Canadian rapper has used the gossip for an album roll-out, been accused of pushing a “behind the scenes” smear campaign to disavow the accusations against him, and then began “mysteriously” showing up to venues where she was scheduled to appear. Despite this, there is an overwhelming majority of people who not only believe the pint sized rapper, but defend him. The arguments in Tory’s favor are usually grounded in some perceived issue with Meg. She’s “Too manly,” she was “Jealous of her friend, and that’s who shot her,” or she’s “making this up for clout.” None of these arguments are grounded in facts.
Others argue that it’s “hard to know what actually happened, because “everyone’s account of what happened is different.” That is also a reasonable thing to say, however, I have a counterpoint… So What? The facts are clear, a Black woman was shot and injured, and instead of “protecting her” like everyone is always promising to do through social media, T-Shirts, and empty platitudes, the timeline is being flooded with clips of YouTube personalities debating whether she and Tory had sex. The reaction to all of this has consistently been shocking, and disrespectful. For those who claim to be approaching this from a neutral perspective, and “Just want the facts” why is her sex life up for debate, why are people on social media questioning her sobriety, or her ability to stay in a relationship. Why is any of this currently on the table?
Meg is one of the biggest artists in the world, and in a time of great vulnerability she is seeing the worst treatment society has to offer. But Meg is rich. Most Black women do not have the social or financial capital to pull themselves out of these situations. Unlike Meg, they aren't famous rappers, and aren’t well known. So when harm like this happens there are fewer people paying attention, and even less who care. That was the whole point for protecting Black women, so that those with the least amount of power could also be safe and free. But if Meg, one of the most well known Black women in this country, can't be believed, what hope do we have for the Black trans woman being harassed in her neighborhood, or the Black woman who is getting stalked by the ex that everyone knows is a little “problematic” but they still hang out with him? If we’re questioning Meg, what’s to stop us from questioning them? What will it take for us to have their backs?
I have no doubt that people truly want to protect Black Women, but we’re struggling to live up to our own slogan. Thankfully, we can begin to break the cycle. The first thing we must do is make the effort. Every Black woman has a story to tell and an experience to share. And the more time you put into learning about these stories and experiences, the easier it will be to see what we have in common, and appreciate who they are. The next step in this change process is simple, but takes daily practice. We must treat every Black woman with dignity and respect. We must offer that treatment with no qualifications, whether she be rich, poor, gay, straight, transgender, “nice” or physically attractive. We must be willing to treat them with honor and respect. If we can do that, there may be some hope for us.