What Meg Said
Saturday Night Live is one of my favorite shows – has been since I was a kid. The season premiere took place with host Chris Rock and musical guest Megan the Stallion. She took the opportunity of her platform to address a couple of serious matters.
During the performance of her popular hit “Savage,” an excerpt of Malcolm X’s infamous 1962 speech in which he calls Black women the most disrespected people in the United States was then played. The words appeared on the screen:
The most disrespected, unprotected, neglected person in America is the Black woman. Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair, the color of your skin, the shape of your nose? Who taught you to hate from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?
Megan also incorporated an excerpt of activist Tamika Mallory’s speech into her performance that addressed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s announcement that a grand jury decided not to charge the police involved in Breonna Taylor’s death with murder.
“Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery.”
Cameron, a black man, is a supporter of Trump and has received stark criticism of his handling of Breonna Taylor’s case.
“We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women,” Megan Thee Stallion said during her performance. “Because, at the end of the day, we need our Black women.”
“We need to protect our Black men and stand up for our Black men,” she added. “Because, at the end of the day, we’re tired of seeing hashtags of our Black men.”
Watching her performance, I thought to myself that it was a statement of power – not only against injustice but for herself. In July 2020, Megan was shot in both feet following a party at the home of Kylie Jenner. She was hospitalized and underwent surgery. She finally named Tory Lanez as the shooter, and social media ganged up on her like the plague.
Social media’s reaction to the shooting is a problem. People began with the victim-blaming and actually making light of the situation. Celebrities, including 50 Cent and Draya Michel, chimed in with ignorant comments and jokes. Even Lanez deferred any responsibility for his actions.
The entire incident highlights a disturbing but extremely widespread problem: on the Internet and in the media, violence against Black women is often made light of – if it is reported at all.
It’s disturbing to know that at some point, Megan wanted to leave the vehicle her and Tory were in. And the thought that this Black man shot in her both of her feet to prevent her from leaving – prevent her from walking away from him – prevent her from having her freedom – is disturbing but not surprising.
There has to be greater support for Black women. Violence of any kind should be eliminated, not to mention the fact that we are disproportionately affected by it. Just as we ask White people to abolish systemic racism and oppression, we need people, including Black men to stop violence against Black women.
Many people have pointed out the tremendous social media posts about Breonna Taylor. These posts, drawings, and quotes do not actually celebrate her life or advocate for any justice. Rather, they erase her life and reduce it down to just retweets.
Just like the jokes about Megan, they make light of brutal violence perpetuated against Black women that is often ignored. It makes it easy for people to just carry on with their lives. And they do.