Rick Ross protests

A reader’s comment on yesterday’s article about the mounting protests geared toward Rick Ross after he boasted about committing date rape on the song, “U.O.E.N.O (You ain’t even know it),” made me flinch.

CLUTCH reader dippedingodiva wrote:

“I hate to admit it but this is what happens when white women get offended; they mobilize forces and go after what they want. I am glad that they are hitting Ross where it hurts.”

I have to respectfully disagree.

Black women have a long history of mobilizing and making our voices heard. From Harriet Tubman’s involvement in the suffragette movement, to our outspoken voices within the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Women’s movements—black woman have always been at the forefront of change.

And these days are no different.

Remember how much some of us hated C. Dolores Tucker and her crusade against rap? Or how about the thousands of black women who turned out in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and New York to protest the use of the n-word in rap a few years back? Or perhaps you remember the women of Spelman College and Essence magazine who were most likely responsible for the demise of Nelly’s rap career after that heinous Tip Drill video hit airwaves?

Black women were there. And we’re still here.

As our society has changed, sistas have continued to take our pushback of rape, misogyny, and sexism to the tweets…and to the streets.

Media literacy watchdog group FAAN Mail; the brilliant writers of the Crunk Feminist Collective; the dedicated members of Black Women’s Health Imperative; the political action group Color of Change; and DJ Beverly Bond’s Black Girls Rock are just a few of the many groups of black women who are actively advocating for change.

Moreover, it was black women who caused Oxygen to pull Shawty Lo’s “All My Babies Mamas” from its proposed lineup, and it has been black women who have continued to apply pressure to Rick Ross, and now his sponsors, about his rapey lyrics.

Despite our constant involvement in pressing for change, the mainstream media rarely picks up on the issues we have championed until much later in the game. Hence, the national attention Ross is now receiving. Had it not been for sistas (and our allies) refusing to let go and accept his non-apology, those outside our community may still be unaware of the issue.

While it’s unfortunate that our voices are often relegated to the margins until the mainstream sees fit to acknowledge them, it is up to us to continue to get involved and advocate for our concerns.

As always, our best weapon is action.

So join a group or start your own; sign or organize petitions; raise awareness and organize events (and lobby your local politicians) to make your concerns heard.

Because if you’re wondering why more black women aren’t speaking up, take that as a sign you should begin to fight.

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  • Erica

    Your points are vaild! We all need to uniformed in our morals, standards and ethics.

  • This always happens because a majority of black people are so caught up in their own personal soap operas that they inherently put on blinders and don’t bother to dig deep when others of us are out here trying to make it, provoking a change, or simply standing up and saying “Hell No!” when the collective status quo in the public and private sector continually step out of line and try to shovel ignorant-laced shit in our mouths, then have the audacity to call us ignorant. You want to know why they do? Because a lot of black people still are ignorant.

    That’s the complicated part of the legacy passed down to us from the days of slavery. Too many black people are so wrapped up in the past days of when they had to fight blatant oppression, survive hate crime, and endure pervasive prejudice and ignorance from the majority that when the minority of black voices chose to go against the grain and share a more objective, logical perspective than the loud, angry, emotionally-driven one, they call us ignorant. No no, boo boo. Who’s the pot calling the kettle black?

    We are all black. And we all are ignorant about something or another. The distinction between them and us is the level of ignorance that we chose to cultivate. Ignorance is a mindset, not an IQ benchmark. Too many in the narrow-minded educated set refuse to acknowledge this because they rather cling to their comfort zone of intelligence because they’re afraid to be humbled, challenged and learn something new. What’s so bad about choosing to be different, yet open and compassionate to other voices, while still rocking your “you” flag? There’s nothing bad about it at all. People rather hold on to their fear of the unknown and their ‘I’m an island’ than be one of the world. That’s fine, but I rather be a part of the set provoking a change in the conversation because I’m tired of the same ‘ole, same ‘ole.

    The old guard of black people are the main ones who continue the cycle of ignorance. They half-read books and half-watch documentaries because they don’t dig deeper to understand the subtext or context of a given topic, and then have the nerve to call themselves smart. They claim they’re in-the-know about current events, politics, and social issues (from all mainstream news sources that typically marginalize their coverage against anything going on in the fringes, which is where most of the black hustlas live until their hustle pays off), yet complain that black people aren’t doing anything for the cause. They preach to the top of their lungs that black people need to get off their asses and do something from the safety of their self-righteous armchair activism, yet don’t actively support nor even try to look for the black people who are making positive, productive, and highly influential strides on the local, regional, and national levels, yet still under the radar.

    My prayer for black people, in general: open your mind outside of what you typically know, dive deeper into your reading or self-discovery and compare the knowledge to differing perspectives in the quest to find real truth. Not the truth you found reading one type of perspective over and over. You’re just fueling your own ignorance and don’t even know it. Help out the black people who you see are going against the grain because those are the very ones who will be influential in the future.

    The black race must evolve from within before we will see change from without. Everybody got hoodwinked by Obama’s party line on change and still hail to a leader who has yet to do anything to inspire or uplift black people other than get elected as POTUS. It’s gross.

  • marston45

    Just want to point out how WW will stand and protest with BW when it comes to defaming other black people but not when it comes to defaming other WP. Case in point when quvenzhané wallis was called a cunt, NO women groups outside of the black community spoke out against it. Where were the feminist groups then? It was ONLY black people speaking out. When that womens basketball team were called nappy headed hoes, where were the feminist groups? It was only black women speaking out, no white groups. When Adria Richards was fired none of these white feminist groups said a THING. In fact a few of them were in defense of the white guys who made the obscene gesture which she reported on. But when black people are in the wrong, theyre right in the front lines protesting.
    Eminem has been calling women sluts cunts etc and can drop a platinum album today. Will you speak out then? Will you rally then? I pray you do.

    Understand agenda, what it is, how it works, and when its used.

    With all that said watch who you align yourself with and understand their motives for doing so.