Rick Ross protests

A reader’s comment on yesterday’s article about the mounting protests geared toward Rick Ross after he boasted about committing date rape on the song, “U.O.E.N.O (You ain’t even know it),” made me flinch.

CLUTCH reader dippedingodiva wrote:

“I hate to admit it but this is what happens when white women get offended; they mobilize forces and go after what they want. I am glad that they are hitting Ross where it hurts.”

I have to respectfully disagree.

Black women have a long history of mobilizing and making our voices heard. From Harriet Tubman’s involvement in the suffragette movement, to our outspoken voices within the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Women’s movements—black woman have always been at the forefront of change.

And these days are no different.

Remember how much some of us hated C. Dolores Tucker and her crusade against rap? Or how about the thousands of black women who turned out in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and New York to protest the use of the n-word in rap a few years back? Or perhaps you remember the women of Spelman College and Essence magazine who were most likely responsible for the demise of Nelly’s rap career after that heinous Tip Drill video hit airwaves?

Black women were there. And we’re still here.

As our society has changed, sistas have continued to take our pushback of rape, misogyny, and sexism to the tweets…and to the streets.

Media literacy watchdog group FAAN Mail; the brilliant writers of the Crunk Feminist Collective; the dedicated members of Black Women’s Health Imperative; the political action group Color of Change; and DJ Beverly Bond’s Black Girls Rock are just a few of the many groups of black women who are actively advocating for change.

Moreover, it was black women who caused Oxygen to pull Shawty Lo’s “All My Babies Mamas” from its proposed lineup, and it has been black women who have continued to apply pressure to Rick Ross, and now his sponsors, about his rapey lyrics.

Despite our constant involvement in pressing for change, the mainstream media rarely picks up on the issues we have championed until much later in the game. Hence, the national attention Ross is now receiving. Had it not been for sistas (and our allies) refusing to let go and accept his non-apology, those outside our community may still be unaware of the issue.

While it’s unfortunate that our voices are often relegated to the margins until the mainstream sees fit to acknowledge them, it is up to us to continue to get involved and advocate for our concerns.

As always, our best weapon is action.

So join a group or start your own; sign or organize petitions; raise awareness and organize events (and lobby your local politicians) to make your concerns heard.

Because if you’re wondering why more black women aren’t speaking up, take that as a sign you should begin to fight.

  • Keshia

    Thank You!!! I said wtf and gave the stank face when I saw her comment lmaoo!! Like seriously a lot of what you said I said in reply to her comment. I’m happy somebody else felt some kinda way about the comment made.

  • Humanista

    Love this!

  • http://britnidanielle.com/ Britni Danielle

    Why not both?

    This isn’t an either/or situation.

  • Keshia

    I live in Chicago, and people march, go on the news, and have meetings every time there is a shooting. Unfortunately all of that is not going to stop the violence…there needs to be participation on both sides of the matter (criminal & innocent citizens).

  • millie

    Thank you for this!!! I attended Spelman College during the protest against Nelly and also the removal of BETs video program that showed those demeaning videos,the name escapes me. Black women all around the world have been mobilizing for decades!!!

  • Eva

    Thank you for this article!

    Also, please note that Spelman College is spelled incorrectly in this article.

  • LIL RAY

    Only people who will stand up for Black Women is Black Women and we will continue on doing so.

    I Love This Post.

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Clutch

    Fixed! Sorry!

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    black men will stand up for black women…

  • P

    This is my first time disagreeing with a Clutch article. I know it’s corny, but I am sort of excited . Majority of the time, I am in complete agreement or waving more on the same side. But for this topic, I am actually in complete agreement with dippedingodiva’s statement:

    “I hate to admit it but this is what happens when white women get offended; they mobilize forces and go after what they want. I am glad that they are hitting Ross where it hurts.”

    Of course as an advocate since I was a 10/11 years old lil girl, I will NEVER EVER take away the fact that black women has a history of mobilizing, raising our voices (one of the best in my opinion “Ain’t I a woman”), the forefront of change and PLEASE don’t forget – the BACKBONE. Not seen, but is always on the scene if it is a grandmother holding up the family, a wife soothing her husband’s stress after a rough day, or calming her children down. All of this is advocacy – not on the large scale – but it still is. I think the definition of advocacy is fighting for change to incorporate a better day. Black women have and are doing it every day – one can never say that we don’t.

    This is where I support dipp’s statement – when white women or white people in general are offended, they do not HESITATE and the will go straight to where it matters to ENSURE that change is made. They won’t talk about and half of the time you don’t see it coming. From my experiences mostly with the education system, employment sectors, restaurants, and retail. In comparison to white women, if wronged, they will not tell everybody about it, they will proceed within a hush manner and then take the issue to the person who can make a difference or where it will affect their pockets. I think often times BW will allow their emotions to take precedence and as a result, much isn’t accomplished. We have to do more research (including myself) to find out where to mobilize to obtain the most impactful results. Examples:

    Education System — wf and bm both suspended from school for the total of 10 days for oral sex on campus. White parents complained to the Superintendent of district (wf days reduced to 3); black parents complained to other black parents that school is racist – results? Son still expelled for 10 days.

    In Restaurants/Retail – poor service or harassment / don’t go to the manager. Write letters, complaints, and survey (submit an article to the local newspaper) with a bad review or get the people fired. White women do this, but black women/people will complain and vent.

    We all know how problems in the employment sector are handled. A meeting will be made with HR and the managers and employee will lose THEIR job. Mostly b/c a ww word is gold. Nevertheless, bw will complain and say God will take of it (which he will); but still take the next step and get HR (EEOC ) involved. We often times will have more to lose or may not act out of fear, but this is one of the reason why discretion is vital.

    I think white people in general will have a problem and will not execute in a [small] way. Have you all ever heard the term “white people play dirty”? Some do. I think this was said because if a person does something wrong, there entire livelihood is in jeopardy. Rosa Parks just couldn’t stop riding the bus, they had to fire her. Michael Vick dog fighting, now can’t get his book signed. OJ (had to use him) — found not guilty, but then tried for wrongful death? Still don’t understand that one.

    In a nutshell, I’m not saying bw/bp don’t mobilize, but WW/WP hit more where it hurts. This statement also reminds me of the mother trying to protest against Barbie to make “black” party items for her daughter. I support that 100%, but I personally think we need to as black people stop buying Barbie dolls. Hit the doll markers in the pockets, then take that revenue and create our own. It is more efficient this way rather than twisting their necks. They may stop making the dolls after our complaints stop.
    By no means am I saying for us to stop mobilizing, we have to keep on, keepin’ on. I just cannot deny these facts.

    Just do this one execise the next any of you go out to dinner, notice if a white person experience bad customer service. They won’t say anything or discuss the problem amongst each other – after dinner – go straight to the manager – complain – and that server may or may not there the next time you go back. Remember white people (not all) embezzle, they don’t steal. They protest pretty much the same way – get’em where it hurts (capital).

    I think dipps was head on with this one.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Dede @ Clutch

    I have to agree with you and dippedingodiva. I know we as Black women mobilize + petition and I am very proud of that. I see it everyday on Clutch.

    I think in this situation, Rick Ross was not expecting a rally/boycott like this and I am so happy it happened! I wish we would have known about it.

    I have seen when WW get upset about a cause or issue – be it education, music, image, a statement — they go and make a stand. Not saying that we don’t – but we do it in other forms that let’s people know we are mad – but it’s usually not enough.

    We do it in petitions, emails, but we don’t go “show out.” Not showing out by acting a fool but making a stand in person and in a group united saying “this here is not going to happen”. We hit the artist, show, etc (which we should) but we don’t go after and show our concerns where not only the artist but the whole company and brand looks bad.

    The Spelman boycott was great, but we should have had 30 more by now and just not by students but all ages. We can’t continue saying well we do mobilize! Or have done it in the past and we petition. But, we have to collectively and actively do this as soon as something happens that we know is damaging.

    As a member of Clutch/Founder – I know I rarely comment but – I truly wish the publication had the time, sources and manpower to mobilize these type of events but running a website with 2 people per day we can only do so much.

    But, I can say that it is a goal of Clutch to do more than just talk about it. Because we all SHOULD be doing more than just talking and reporting.

    Even if it’s finding out what organizations are doing what and how we can help pull us all together. It’s something that all should be doing more of – Clutch and myself included.

  • No_chaser

    Great, but WHY cant we mobilize to come together for our children that are being killed by EACHOTHER at an exorbitant rate on the streets, in “our” neighborhoods.
    Where were these enraged people when that young girl was shot down in Chicago?

    Why does it take a huge media-fed incident for people to speak out. How about the other rappers who infect our airwaves with their trashy misogynistic and violent lyrics?
    Tonight, Friday night, on the streets of every ghetto in the nation, drugs will be dealt, BULLETS will fly and people will die. WHO WILL SPEAK ON THIS?!

  • p

    I’m learning everyday as well. I personally think you guys (the Clutch family/posters) do a great job! Have a nice and blessed weekend.

  • No_chaser

    THANK YOU!! And how about fighting this “no snitching” sentiment that flows through the veins of our violent neighborhood? People just love a bandwagon. And when he (deservingly) gets dropped by Reebok. Then what? Life will go on and more ghettos will crumble–without him.

  • dbsm

    i see a major problem with your suggestion on a practical basis: white people are the power holders, they make up the “system” so when white people complain, they generally are complaining to their white peers. however, due to black history in this country, we risk involvement at the legal level (such as getting arrested, having to be defended in court, etc) that could topple our community resources.

    i’m not saying that fighting at any cost isn’t worth it (civil rights movement); however, we live in an individualistic, capitalistic society where many choose to, or are forced to, look out for themselves and their immediate needs. short-sighted vision as a defense mechanism.

    we can do more, but we have to have die hard people involved who may be willing to go to jail and/or support our families in our absence. we have to become a part of the system, too, without losing ourselves so that we can work to undermine and destroy it.

    did that make sense?

    *sigh

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Dede @ Clutch

    Hi dbsm,

    I agree with you. That is why I hope to find more of our own organizations, community leaders who are equipped with an “how-to” to legally and successfully to do these things. I have no clue. I know it has to be done in order for more change. I know the organizations, non-profits, community leaders are out there, but they are all scattered and some of us know them some of us don’t. I just hope to see (and help create) a easy to find collective of resources, where we can find our place and voice and help our causes and issues.

    I hope this explains :)

    Dede

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Says the old man who blamed black women for being harassed by black men on another article.

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    To commenters wanting to know about organizations where they can take action for issues important to their communities:
    In San Francisco area – http://www.peopleorganized.org/
    East Coast – http://www.righttothecity.org/index.php/about
    Virginia new majority in va

    I know there’s a ton of groups in the south as well.

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    And actually – here’s some national listings
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    On the faith-based side, gamaliel foundation serves both as a network of local orgs, but also provides leadership training and advocacy opportunities.
    http://www.gamaliel.org/OurWork/BuildingCommunities.aspx

  • Millie

    I was going to say that as well. Glad its fixed.

  • dippedingodiva

    Thank-you for expressing what I couldn’t. i am a loyal Clutch reader, I love this site and did not mean to offend anyone with my comment. If I did offend anyone I am truly sorry.

  • dbsm

    Yes, Dede, I understand and agree

  • Wong Chia Chi

    @ moon in the Sky

    Yes. Thank you for pointing that out.

  • Beks

    Amen! saying bw don’t organize reflects more on your level of connectedness than our collectiveness!! great article!! #outorganizing

  • http://britnidanielle.com/ Britni Danielle

    Hey Dippedingodiva,

    No worries, sis. I just flinched when I read that because I know SO many sistas who are actively working and mobilizing for change. :)

    Thanks for being the catalyst for this discussion.

  • Beks

    we keep on moving on like we always have. on to the next one!

  • Gina Wild

    «Or perhaps you remember the women of Spelman College and Essence magazine who were most likely responsible for the demise of Nelly’s rap career after that heinous Tip Drill video hit airwaves?»

    Most rappers stay hot for about 3-4 albums, so I highly doubt that Essence magazine and Spelman College have anyting to do with the “demise” of Nelly’s career. Typically rappers don’t stay hot that long, controversy or no controversy.

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    Thanks for stating this. We are fighting with people instead of problematic tropes concerning women in our society.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    Uh I believe people did rally against Hadiya’s death. But, if you’re not hearing any voices on something that is important, maybe you should start something.

  • Erica

    Your points are vaild! We all need to uniformed in our morals, standards and ethics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tamikaadair Tamika Adair

    This always happens because a majority of black people are so caught up in their own personal soap operas that they inherently put on blinders and don’t bother to dig deep when others of us are out here trying to make it, provoking a change, or simply standing up and saying “Hell No!” when the collective status quo in the public and private sector continually step out of line and try to shovel ignorant-laced shit in our mouths, then have the audacity to call us ignorant. You want to know why they do? Because a lot of black people still are ignorant.

    That’s the complicated part of the legacy passed down to us from the days of slavery. Too many black people are so wrapped up in the past days of when they had to fight blatant oppression, survive hate crime, and endure pervasive prejudice and ignorance from the majority that when the minority of black voices chose to go against the grain and share a more objective, logical perspective than the loud, angry, emotionally-driven one, they call us ignorant. No no, boo boo. Who’s the pot calling the kettle black?

    We are all black. And we all are ignorant about something or another. The distinction between them and us is the level of ignorance that we chose to cultivate. Ignorance is a mindset, not an IQ benchmark. Too many in the narrow-minded educated set refuse to acknowledge this because they rather cling to their comfort zone of intelligence because they’re afraid to be humbled, challenged and learn something new. What’s so bad about choosing to be different, yet open and compassionate to other voices, while still rocking your “you” flag? There’s nothing bad about it at all. People rather hold on to their fear of the unknown and their ‘I’m an island’ than be one of the world. That’s fine, but I rather be a part of the set provoking a change in the conversation because I’m tired of the same ‘ole, same ‘ole.

    The old guard of black people are the main ones who continue the cycle of ignorance. They half-read books and half-watch documentaries because they don’t dig deeper to understand the subtext or context of a given topic, and then have the nerve to call themselves smart. They claim they’re in-the-know about current events, politics, and social issues (from all mainstream news sources that typically marginalize their coverage against anything going on in the fringes, which is where most of the black hustlas live until their hustle pays off), yet complain that black people aren’t doing anything for the cause. They preach to the top of their lungs that black people need to get off their asses and do something from the safety of their self-righteous armchair activism, yet don’t actively support nor even try to look for the black people who are making positive, productive, and highly influential strides on the local, regional, and national levels, yet still under the radar.

    My prayer for black people, in general: open your mind outside of what you typically know, dive deeper into your reading or self-discovery and compare the knowledge to differing perspectives in the quest to find real truth. Not the truth you found reading one type of perspective over and over. You’re just fueling your own ignorance and don’t even know it. Help out the black people who you see are going against the grain because those are the very ones who will be influential in the future.

    The black race must evolve from within before we will see change from without. Everybody got hoodwinked by Obama’s party line on change and still hail to a leader who has yet to do anything to inspire or uplift black people other than get elected as POTUS. It’s gross.

  • marston45

    Just want to point out how WW will stand and protest with BW when it comes to defaming other black people but not when it comes to defaming other WP. Case in point when quvenzhané wallis was called a cunt, NO women groups outside of the black community spoke out against it. Where were the feminist groups then? It was ONLY black people speaking out. When that womens basketball team were called nappy headed hoes, where were the feminist groups? It was only black women speaking out, no white groups. When Adria Richards was fired none of these white feminist groups said a THING. In fact a few of them were in defense of the white guys who made the obscene gesture which she reported on. But when black people are in the wrong, theyre right in the front lines protesting.
    Eminem has been calling women sluts cunts etc and can drop a platinum album today. Will you speak out then? Will you rally then? I pray you do.

    Understand agenda, what it is, how it works, and when its used.

    With all that said watch who you align yourself with and understand their motives for doing so.

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