• Cybrieme Hargrove

Protecting Black Woman

When I hear “Protect Black Women,” I ask myself if I’ve been doing so myself. Not just black women I know, or black women close to me, but black women. Also, what does it mean to protect someone? Why do they need to be protected? Who do they need protection from? When thinking about who black women need protection from the list goes on and on. The group that is on the list that shouldn’t be, are men. It pains me to say that as a black man, I see black men as a part of the list as well. I am caught in the middle of knowing what causes our men to carry themselves in the manner they do and knowing how we can display behavior detrimental not only to us, but those that look to us for protection as well.

2020 has been a year packed with controversial headlines. One that has come completely out of nowhere and still has much of the public scratching their heads is the Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez shooting incident. The shooting took place on July 12, and we still don’t have the full story. Initially, Meg was only listed as a “victim” and that she only suffered wounds from broken glass. She remained silent at first, only speaking to clear up what she felt at the time. She didn’t officially name Tory as the shooter until her Instagram live in August. Tory Lanez released a full-length album in which he “addresses” Megan and others who have been critical of him as of late. On one song, Tory raps the lines, “Gotta see a couple questions: how the f--k you get shot in your foot, don't hit no bones or tendons?” Tory went to Instagram Live to give his side of the story in October, months after everything transpired.

What did Tory do wrong in this situation? The way I see it, aside from what he allegedly did, the real problem is the lack of humility expressed in the months after the shooting. As the old saying goes, there are always two sides to a story. Though Tory was accused of a horrible crime, there was enough time for him to clear the air and give his side. Even Megan herself gave him leeway by not initially naming him as the shooter to the police. The public began to make their own stories as to what really happened, even going as far as ridiculing Megan and making light of her trauma. When Tory had room to clarify the role he played, he took that time to release music, which further fueled the fire. This move comes across as Tory using the controversy to push album sales. His silence, although most likely advised by his team, only further legitimizes people’s speculation. Also, the issues that he has chosen to address, being taken off of Kehlani’s album and his streaming numbers declining for example, further paint him out to be carrying himself as very arrogant and is dismissive of the problems that Meg and other black women like her have to face all the time.