In the opening of last Sunday’s Soul Train Music Awards, R&B artist, Erkyah Badu made a joke about Hip Hop artist, Iggy Azalea. Erkyah Badu joked about Iggy Azalea by saying “What you doing is definitely not rap,” to a crowd of thousands of people. She received a lot of backlash for her statement including from Iggy Azalea herself. However the feud between Iggy Azalea and Erkyah Badu is irrelevant due to the fact that not many people stand up for the livelihood of Black women.
Here is a picture of Erkyah Badu to the left and Iggy Azalea to the right
Even though both Iggy Azalea and Erkyah Badu are going back and forth on Twitter, I believe that this feud is trivial and not important. What irks me about Erkyah Badu is the fact that she is male identified and seems to identify with pseudo conscious, pro Black politics. Instead of standing up for the little Black girls and refusing to take the stage with R Kelly, she said that applauded R Kelly. She said that R Kelly has ”done more for Black people than anyone”. So a talented musician who uses his power and wealth to allure teenage girls to have sexual relations with him has done more for Black people than abolitionists like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass? Please. Erkyah Badu should have stood up to R Kelly and tell him how deplorable his actions against young girls is to his face.
Erykah Badu isn’t solely responsible for standing up for Black girls but I believe that more Black people need to stand up for the livelihood of young, Black girls . She should have stood up for these young, Black girls who were sexually abused by R Kelly. Erkyah Badu should have shown the audience members that his actions were wrong by calling him out and refusing to take the stage with him. I know not all Black girls are beaten, raped or emotionally and physically abused but many Black girls have experienced such abuse and neglect. More people need to hold men like R Kelly for their actions and protect them from such predators.
Statistically speaking, over sixty percent of Black girls have experienced sexual assault by their eighteenth birthday. It is an open secret in the Black collective about the sexual abuse many Black women have experienced from men in their families, male friends and acquaintances and even their lovers. Unfortunately, there is little outrage over such happenings. Black women are also murdered at 2.5 times the rate their Caucasian counterparts are. 94% of Black women knew their murderers and 93% of these murders were intra racial. Worst of all, the number one killer of African American women between the ages of 15 and 35 is homicide in the hands of a current or former romantic partner.
What can we do to solve this problem?
I suggest more Black women reporting incidents of rape, emotional abuse, physical abuse, street harassment, sexual harassment and domestic violence to the police. Unfortunately, African American women are less likely to report such incidents to the police. For every 1 White woman that reports their rape, 5 don’t; for every one Black women that reports her rape, 15 don’t. Many African American feel like they can’t trust the police because of the fact that many police officers unfairly target African American men. Many African American women feel that if they report these incidents to the police that they are betraying their community and trying to ”make a Brotha look bad”. Hence the reason why many African American women don’t such incidents to the police.
More Black women should also find ways to defend themselves by taking self defense classes to learn how to defend themselves. It is important to learn how to defend one’s self against those who want to use and take advantage of you. Especially if this abuser is a romantic partner. When many Black women learn how to fight off such abusers, more Black women will be able to find ways to run away from such people.
Men who rape, murder and beat Black women should be held accountable for their actions. Instead of sweeping these issues under the rug, these men should be called out for their actions and punished for them. The R Kellys and Daniel Holtzclaws of the world should be incarcerated for their actions against Black women. These men should be made of an example to not target or prey on Black women.
Most of all, Black women need to build a support system. By having a support system to fall back on, victims of domestic violence and abuse can find healthier ways to build themselves up. Having the support of other Black women helps deter other Black women heal from such traumatic experiences and heal.
Are all Black women disadvantaged and abused by their men?
Many African American women do suffer abuse and hardship at the hands of the men in their families, their lovers and male acquaintances. There isn’t any doubt about this however not all African American women live this way. I know many African American women who are in healthy relationships with their significant others and love one another. I also know many African American women who have graduated from college, live in a nice area and are well established in their careers. However, I do believe that the lives of the disadvantaged African American women should be addressed.
Ultimately, there isn’t any isn’t any use for an online feud between these two musician artists. Erkyah Badu meant her statement towards Iggy Azalea as a joke and shouldn’t have been taken seriously. A frivolous feud shouldn’t take place to the fact that many Black women being murdered, raped, sexually assaulted, harassed and street walked without any acknowledge to their plight. Thus I believe that the lives of Black women matter and should be protected at all costs.
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