Of all the pieces I’ve written and short documentaries I’ve put together, this, a piece that I technically didn’t even write is what really got my name out (smh). Some of my best work includes interviews with overlooked and underrated femcees, talk about black women dealing with eating disorders, funny stories about how I run away from men trying to holla, video celebrations of Queen Latifah and Mary J Blige (for reaching milestone numbers with classic albums), but no one cared about that stuff. However, this, an as told to story with Slim Thug where he expressed his ignorant opinion that generalized black women is what gets my name out. Wow (and ouch).
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Here are 11 things I learned from the incident.
1. Celebrities don’t back up the dumb shit they say if it backfires. The mantra is, if all else fails, blame the media. I have been working for magazines, websites and newspapers for over five years (more if you count college). I’ve seen people’s quotes completely rearranged at some “reputable” establishments and sadly, now that the Internet reigns supreme, it happens a lot more than it should. HOWEVER, it doesn’t happen as much as you think. But you know what happens a lot? Celebrities, especially rappers (no offense if you are a rapper, but it’s more often true than not), say dumb shit. If they don’t get a favorable response, the easy scapegoat is the media because it’s what most people will believe. Slim Thug’s comments were taken out of context thanks to blogs that took bits and pieces of what he said and sensationalized so that their websites can get hits, but he played himself by saying–in an interview with Big Tigga–that I didn’t include everything he said, insinuating that the stuff I left out some how drastically changed his words. Trust me, it didn’t. And yes, I did leave stuff out because, one, we talked about various things and two, that’s what happens when you edit–you trim the fat and get to the meat. If you don’t understand that process then shut the fuck up! Again, there was nothing left out that would have made anything he said sound less misguided. This is why I’m glad Vibe posted the original audio at his request. (But how many people are really going to listen, smh?) The only thing that will be different is that you can hear him speaking as opposed to reading a toneless piece. Other than that, same stuff.
2. The people with the most to say usually are the dumbest, most presumptuous and 99.9% of the time they don’t have most of their facts right. This is why that old adage says you shouldn’t argue with fools. But in this age, it should be ammended to incorporate something about especially not arguing with dumbasses online. Either way, it will keep going in circles until you stoop to their level and look just as…[insert politically incorrect “r” word here].
3. I’m a lot tougher and smarter than I thought and wouldn’t be a bad lawyer if that was something I wanted to do. It was fun pointing out inconsistencies in peoples’ arguments who somehow thought what Slim Thug said was my fault and in one case “trying to bring the black man down” (oh yes, someone actually said that to me) and in another case, telling me they felt embarrassed for me. (Um, I wasn’t embarrassed and furthermore, how can you feel anything for a stranger? See what I mean? Just dumb.) The piece was an as told to, meaning, I asked the questions, he answered and never pleaded the fifth. But if you’re reading this then you’re one of the smart people who comes to my blog who doesn’t need an explanation.
4. More people than I’d like to think are way too sensitive, emotional and irrational. After only reading snippets of what he said on other blogs that sensationalized what Slim Thug said (somehow the blog went from “Slim Thug Says Black Women Should Stand By Their Man More” to “Slim Thug Hates Black Women”) people were quick to attack him, me, Vibe magazine, and call us all kinds of names, which was really ridiculous. A lot of that had to do with Internet courage. Gotta love desktop goonery.
5. A scary amount of people aren’t thorough at all (continuation of point # 4)–to the point where I can see why grave errors like the BP oil spill or surgeons accidentally leaving their tools in patients, or mismanagement of important paperwork happens all the time. I have never EVER taken anything someone told me at face value. I have always remained alert and did my research before reacting. It was disturbing that people only read headlines and snippets of the few sentences posted on other blogs, and took that as the Gospel truth without first reading the whole original and taking it all in before jumping to conclusions. Reading is fundamental, but so is comprehension. (Thanks 8th Light!)
6. People don’t communicate well. We will never advance in society if we don’t open up more discussion. Slim Thug voiced his opinion based on his own experiences and while some people intelligently opened up dialogue and discussion with well thought out rebuttals, most people just took the low road and again, attacked Slim Thug, myself, Vibe magazine by calling us names like this is kindergarten. How sophisticated and intelligent smh.
7. People like drama. They pretend they don’t want it, hence running around saying things like “No more drama,” but they really do. Whenever something positive is posted it doesn’t get picked up by any blogs at all, and there are usually no comments. If Thugga had said that he loved black women and that we were the Queens of the Earth, the discussion would have ended there with no positive re-enforcement from lurkers typically trying to find something wrong with everything.
8. Sensationalism is king. Integrity is dead. Always will be, especially online.
9. Attention spans are short. This “scandal” raged for about two or three days. By Monday no one will even talk about it.
10. I have no faith in man’s ability in…anything, especially not communication. I’m officially a misanthrope.
11. I wasn’t offended by Slim Thug’s commentary because it was his opinion and not one that represents me. Yes, he generalized black women. But I am an individual. I represent myself and I don’t fit into anyone’s stereotype. The best way to beat a generalization or stereotype is to be who you are. If you know you’re not anything like the popular opinion then just continue to be you. If you lead by example then anyone who takes the time to get to know you will recognize that and see who you are. If they choose not to then so be it. You can’t force someone to not think a certain way, it has to happen organically. I lead by example. I’m a fly black girl who loves herself and there are millions more like me. For every one man with a fucked up opinion about the general group there are ten more who see the good.
“If you don’t define yourself for yourself then you will be crushed into other’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.”â€”Audre Lorde