UPDATE — 3:19 PM EST, 10/24/2013

Nasheed reached out to Clutch Magazine and expressed concerns about this particular quote from my article:

“Nasheed is a man who normalizes sexual exploitation and human-trafficking through pimp tactics meant to teach Black men how to possess women, while denying the existence of the very male privilege he is so desperately trying to assert.”

He believes that I am saying that he is either a pimp or engages in human-trafficking. He also believes the statement to be libelous.

Both of those beliefs are false.

For clarification: Mr. Nasheed, to my knowledge, is neither a pimp nor a human-trafficker. It is my opinion that he normalizes sexual exploitation and human-trafficking via pimp tactics.

This is the synopsis of Nasheed’s book, The Mack Within:

The Art of Mackin’ was the first book of rules for players—from overcoming fears of getting dissed to spotting a stank dead on. Now the expert on mackin’ is back with the ultimate straight-up guide for every mack and mack-wannabe. Whether he’s after ass or cash, trying to spit game at a Benz-driving Diamond Girl or a street-tough Copper Chick, or if he’s just tired of being coochie-whipped, it’s time to open up this book and unlock the time-tested secrets of the pimp game.

Here are two further examples that led me to my opinion: Listen to Nasheed’s podcasts “Inside The Mind of a Trick” and “Interview With a Former Pimp: Rosebudd Bitterdose.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services says this about the Language of Human-Trafficking:

Media and pop culture has normalized the word “pimp” and made it into a common term, that to youth implies someone that is not explicitly exploiting others for economic benefit. It’s important for the facilitator to discuss the differences between what pop culture understands as a “pimp” and a person who is acting as a “trafficker.”

In the report, Human-Trafficking: Black Girls Are Still Enslaved, the following disturbing statistics are presented:

  • Sex trafficking victims are more likely to be African American (40 percent) or white (26 percent)
  •  Most of the confirmed suspects are male (81%), while 19% are female.
  •  More than half (62 percent) of confirmed sex trafficking suspects are African American.

The above statistics also further buttress fears of street harassment, which is the central theme of this article.

The report points to degrading language, imagery and music in pop-culture stemming from pimp culture as normalizing factors of sex-trafficking.

Again, to address Mr. Nasheed’s concerns, I have no knowledge of him being a pimp or a sex-trafficker, nor being engaged in any illegal activity, but I stand 100% behind my opinion that the pimp tactics he promotes normalizes the activities.


UPDATE — 3:00 PM EST, 10/22/2013:

After reading my article this morning, Tariq Nasheed tweeted me the following:


My response and a complete update follows the article.

When a Black man takes an issue as painful and pervasive as street harassment and twists it into an indictment on the loyalty and integrity of Black women, he has proven himself to be the enemy.

Before Tariq Nasheed‘s ignorant, misogynist and illogical statement on street harassment went viral in Black feminist spaces I had not heard of him, but it took only a matter of seconds and a simple Google search to peep his modus operandi. “Negro Bed Wench,” The Art of Mackin‘, and similar language points to a deep-seated hatred of Black women not conditioned to bow down and worship every, single move that Black men make. Nasheed is a man who normalizes sexual exploitation and human-trafficking through pimp tactics meant to teach Black men how to possess women, while denying the existence of the very male privilege he is so desperately trying to assert.


But street harassment is real and denial and deflection will not make it go away.

Silencing tactics meant to fuel guilt, fear and confusion in Black women who may feel as if they owe it to Black men to protect them from a White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy are also real and often effective – even as we are disproportionately raped and abused by the very men we are allegedly seeking to victimize.

Nasheed claims to be an intelligent man — though it’s difficult to tell, hidden as it must be beneath all of his “nigga, nigga, nigga” bullshit  — but he seems to be unfamiliar with the fact that 60 percent of Black women, many under the age of 18-years-old, have been victims of sexual assault.

In a study titled African American Women and Violence: Gender, Race, and Class in the News, Marian Meyers gathers powerful data that exposes the deflection that occurs in the Black community among the men and women who extol the virtues of patriarchy when stats such as the above are presented, writing:

A number of Black feminists have criticized the tendency within their communities to silence female victims of male violence while rallying around the men who abused them (hooks, 1981; Lorde, 1992; Richie, 1985; Smith, 1992). Lorde (1992) notes that the need for racial unity has made Black women ‘particularly vulnerable to the false accusation that anti-sexist is anti-Black’ (p. 500).

What Nasheed is spewing is neither original nor enlightening. He mocks educated Black women, while continually reminding his audience that he’s well-read. He attempts to sew seeds of division among Black women along the axis of class, struggling to paint the picture that feminists are miseducated, manipulative and overrated. We apparently are not just leading respectable (whatever that means) Black women astray, but also exploiting “hoodrats” while simultaneously creating grievances to put innocent Black men behind bars.

That is not keen insight into the motivations of Black feminism; that is clear insight into the pathology of male privilege and the paranoia of Black emasculation.

When Black women are seized with terror on sidewalks by the quickening footsteps of Black men behind them, or tremble as the catcalls and vulgar invitations assail their ears, it is not because of their over-active imagination, it is because some Black men take their feelings of societal impotence and rage and use them as weapons against the only people whom they feel do not have the institutionalized power to fight back —  Black women.

I was 19-years-old when I faced my most severe instance of street harassment. Cruising down Peachtree St. in Atlanta with my girls with the convertible top back, enjoying the night air, we looked over to the right lane when a car full of men pulled up beside us. When their flirtatious smiles and calls to “pull over” went unanswered, the driver spat a venomous, “Well, fuck you, then” and threw a glass bottle at my head. Furious, we followed them as they sped off, hoping to get a license plate number, but they strategically turned down a quiet side street. The anger over being assaulted quickly gave way to the fear of being raped, so we kept driving until we reached the relative safety of our university’s campus.

Unfortunately, my story is not unique. And Black feminists and womanists will continue to speak out about the victimization we face when attempting to navigate a space free from intrusion that we are told to be “grateful for” because it is our right to do so. It is our responsibility to do so.

While misogynists such as Nasheed contextualize the narrative as “Negro Bed Wenches” tattling on Black men to “massa,” the underlying hatred stems from the fact that there is a “massa” at all. And while I emphasize with that pain, becoming that which one despises does not shatter systematic oppression, it perpetuates it.

Black women are unwillingly stopped and frisked by Black men daily across this country.

Perhaps Nasheed should put down the pimp cup long enough to teach that lesson instead of pretending that the reality doesn’t exist.


Follow Kirsten West Savali on Twitter at @KWestSavali.


UPDATE — 3:00 PM EST, 10/22/2013:

After reading my article this morning, Tariq Nasheed tweeted me the following:


My sincerest apologies to Mr. Nasheed. The meme so perfectly encapsulated the silencing tactics employed in his misogynist, illogical rant on Black feminists who created the “crock of bullshit” that is street harassment to “attack the Black man” so that he is “punished” and “subjugated” by the “White male power structure” that we believed it to be yours.

Though the legal terminology “Stop and Frisk” is not used, Nasheed says: “A lot of these Black feminists couldn’t use sexual harassment thing, so they did a bootleg version and said, ‘We’re going to charge people with street harassment. I get harassed in the streets, not in corporate America, but in the streets, because that’s where all these Black guys hang.’

My apologies for not quoting him in full. Please read below for Nasheed in his own words. The segment on street harassment is also contained within the video posted after Nasheed’s words. Just skip to 19:00 — past the parts where he tells a caller that his woman is “disrespectful” for not “sucking his d*ck”:

The concept of street harassment is a term I’ve been hearing lately from Black feminists. This whole Black feminist thing is coming out a lot now and I’m hearing a lot of Black feminist terms, especially online. A lot of these sisters are trying to rally around something that is going to seemingly protect them. And they think Black feminism is going to be the answer. Again a lot of people are too intimidated to tackle racism [and] White supremacy head-on, so they deflect into these other topics.

So I’ve been hearing a lot about this whole street harassment term. And that’s a Black feminist term. The concept of street harassment is basically a bunch of Black feminists talking about how it’s so difficult to walk down the street because there is an onslaught of Black men harassing them as they walk down the street. And I’ve discussed this before and that is a crock of bullshit. That is a whole crock of bullshit.

And the reason why a bunch of these Black feminists are coming up with the whole street harassment thing is because they’re trying to mimic White feminism. They’re trying to mimic White feminism, and remember that everything that White feminists do, Black women will try to follow suit, they try to emulate that. But a lot of things they can’t really emulate directly because it doesn’t apply to them.
And street harassment is a bootleg version of sexual harassment.

So the thing is, Black feminists, they want to emulate a lot of stuff that the White women do, they couldn’t use the whole sexual harassment thing. Black women couldn’t really use that. And they don’t want to use that; it’s very rare that they do use it. Because they couldn’t use that term against Black men.

Remember Black feminism is all about attacking the Black man. They try to deny that, but at the end of the day, when you dance around in circles with them, their whole thing is against the Black male, the so-called ‘oppression’ that the Black male is committing against Black women.

Again, there is no systematic oppression of Black men against Black women; If Black men do something negative against Black women, Black men get punished. So there is no systematic oppression of Black women by Black males.

But that’s their whole ideology. Because a lot of Black feminists and Black feminism wants to side with the White power structure. I’ve said this a million times.

If you look at a Black feminist website and a Black feminist Facebook page, they all love Scandal.

They want to get next to the White male power structure. And they know what the White male power structure like, they like to see the subjugation of Black men. This is why Black feminists, they always attack the Black male. And that’s where that whole street harassment thing came from. A lot of these Black feminists couldn’t use sexual harassment thing, so they did a bootleg version and said, ‘We’re going to charge people with street harassment. I get harassed in the streets, not in corporate America, but in the streets, because that’s where all these Black guys hang.

[This article published by a Black feminist publication in 1981] tried to make it seem as if there was this epidemic of Black men running the streets, harassing Black women, not letting them walk in peace and basically that’s not true and it’s not true now.

You can’t have it both way. See in one breath, a lot of these Black feminists will complain that Black men aren’t dating within their race. They’re dating all these other races of women. These Black men don’t want to be with Black women. And then they complain, ‘Well these Black men are harassing Black women. They won’t let Black women walk the street.’ So which one is it? You can’t have it both ways.

Skip to 19:00 to hear the segment on street harassment:

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  1. Youngblackmale

    My heart is saddened to see my people fight like this. Such hatred towards each other. I have seen a lot of good points from both sides in these comments but they are ignored and missed because we have to put each other in check. We need to grow as a people and stop chopping each other down. Black men and women need to wake up and grow together otherwise we’ll just become more irrelevant and end up in the history books as a race with so much potential but never realized it.