Sigh. Where do I begin? I'll start here: Yesterday, nobody's favorite rapper, Slim Thug, best known to me as the "dude that used to be with Letoya Luckett" decided to express his uncensored feelings about Black women. Without re-posting them in their entirety, I offer you the intentionally offensive highlights. (And note: I call it intentional because this was purely said as a marketing strategy. You think it's coincidence he says this when he's got an album, "Tha Thug Show," dropping soon? Uh, no.)... Here's what you had to say: Brenda commented: "I say we all steer clear of both him and his music. Next!" Blackbeauty wrote: "Ms. Lucas you spoke for all of us real Black women."
Sigh. Where do I begin? I'll start here: Yesterday, nobody's favorite rapper, Slim Thug, best known to me as the "dude that used to be with Letoya Luckett" decided to express his uncensored feelings about Black women. Without re-posting them in their entirety, I offer you the intentionally offensive highlights. (And note: I call it intentional because this was purely said as a marketing strategy. You think it's a coincidence he says this when he's got an album, Tha Thug Show, dropping soon? Uh, no.): * "It's hard to trust a Black woman [sometimes] because a lot of Black women's mind frame is that the man gotta do everything for her -- he gotta pay for this, he gotta pay for that..." * "I have a brother that dates a White woman and he always... saying, 'Y'all gotta go through all that [sh-- but] my White woman is fine. She don't give me no problems, she do whatever I say.'" * "My girl is Black and White. I guess the half White in her is where she still cooks and do all the sh-- that I say, so we make it. She just takes care of me and I like that." * "White women treat they man like a king and Black women feel like they ain't gotta do that sh--. Black women need to stand by their man more." * "It should be a fair exchange in a relationship period or eventually somebody is gonna feel like they're getting f---ed over whether it's the woman or the man. I think that will help Black relationships out a lot." You know, as a writer there are few things that make us happier than ginormous missteps. It's an opportunity to whip out every illustrious turn of phrase we can dream up and fashion it into something witty and wide and sharp that pierces down through the layers of the epidermis until we get the white meat. This here? Oh, it's prime fodder for going in, but surprisingly, I have no inclination to do so, even though this story is all over the blogosphere and everyone is weighing in. Let me ask you this: Can you recite a verse by Slim Thug? What about a chorus? Do you have a desire to date a man who looks like him, a man who wears cornrows in 2010? Did you ever think about dating him? For those of you outside of Houston, did you have more than a vague idea of who he was before today? Exactly. So why should I -- or you-- remotely care what he thinks about Black women? I'm not getting bent out of shape -- and neither should you -- over the comments of a "man" who can't form a sentence without cursing. Nor will I for a guy who upholds "doing whatever I say" as one of the virtues of a girlfriend. If I was writing this for my personal blog or for any other Black forum than ESSENCE.com, I'd just say it, but for ya'll, I'll clean it up: negro, please. (You know what I wanted to say.) Slim Thug's whole rant makes no sense. And I'm so confused. He's saying that Black women want a man to do everything for them. Pause. I thought the stereotype was that we were all angry and running around independent saying we don't need a man. Where was I the day this new stereotype was voted in? Somewhere shopping for Loubies? And if any Black men are under the delusion that White women are better. I implore them to run as fast as they can in the direction of the nearest natural blonde. Don't do me, a Black woman, any favors by staying on this team out of pity or forced loyalty. Deuces, dude. The team will go on without you on it. I can't even address the part about the White half of his girl being the side that makes it work. But I do wonder why or if her Black half is going to stay with him after he's clowned her in a national forum? What do you think? Oh, and Black women need to stand by their man more? It's a concept so laughable, that I just can't address it. And better, I don't have to. Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill was quick on the draw to respond to that nonsense. He blasted back with stats (gotta love an educated Black man): Since slavery, Black women have had to withstand rape, torture, and humiliation (from both White and Black men) in order to sustain their families. Now, in 2010, 1 in 3 Black men between 20 and 29 years old are incarcerated or otherwise under criminal supervision. Every day, Black women are raising children without men in the house, working multiple jobs (for less pay!), and supporting brothers as they finish their prison bids. With Black male unemployment as high as 50 percent in some cities, sisters are often holding down households without child support or other financial assistance. Black female incarceration rates are skyrocketing, partly because Black women are "riding" for their men, hiding guns and drugs, operating as mules, and refusing to snitch to authorities. In addition, Black women are the group most likely to be victims of domestic violence and the least likely to be married. Still, in spite of all this bad news, Black women are less likely to date outside their race than Black men. How much more "down" do you want Black women to be? Exactly. We can't get riled up about this, ladies. Save the energy for something, someone who actually matters. This here? It's Slim Thug, a man who presents himself to the world as being thin (though he may have been once, he is no longer. And that is not a shot, but an factual observation), and as Common once defined "thug" as "a lost man in disguise." What really are you expecting from him? A dissertation on "Paradise Lost"? A definitive interpretation of the ending to Ellison's "Invisible Man"? (Is it hopeful or pessimistic? Who knows?) The WASP translation of Ghostface's complete discography? If so, you're expecting too much and giving too much credit and attention to the rant of a clearly misguided soul who doesn't seem to value women (by the way he speaks of his girl), his mama (a Black woman, no doubt), even himself or his talent. People who value themselves at least try not to make public spectacles of themselves. And truly talented people don't have to rely on marketing gimmicks to move units of their upcoming releases. Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE Magazine. Follow her on her personal blog, ABelleinBrooklyn.com or on Twitter.com/abelleinbk. Stay tuned for her upcoming dating advice book, A Belle in Brooklyn (Atria 2011.)