Written by Penelope Farthing
Important Author’s Note:
As I’ve referred to before, I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of writing burnout lately. Not writer’s block, mind you, because the ideas, they are a-flowing. Plus, with every new day, black women give me new content to write about. What was once a fun part of my day, writing for BB&W, has become somewhat of a chore. My words get misconstrued, the nuance is lost, and the message I hoped to convey is ignored. As such, I have not been writing very much at all (I only posted 6 blogs in January, the lowest I’ve ever done), and have focused on the administrative tasks that Christelyn has bestowed upon me as blog editor-in-chief.
Given that this topic is likely to be contentious, let me say a few things before I get started. Christelyn has turned over the day-to-day activities of the blog over to me. She is booked and busy, and as such, I am in charge of publishing posts, and she checks in every so often in between her busy schedule. Christelyn has not written a full-on blog post for some time; when she posts, it is as a video accompaniment piece. So let me be absolutely clear that it is I, Penelope Farthing, writing this post. There are several writers on this platform and Christelyn kindly allows us to write so our varying viewpoints can be heard. This does not mean she agrees with them, or even sees them. This does not mean we agree with each other. Therefore, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I direct you to our new and improved Spot.IM comment section below and we can have a chat about this post.
I would also like to add that I am intentionally not referring to the deceased by name here. His death was absolutely tragic and his legacy quite complicated. But he has been elevated to god-tier status, so in the interest of not stirring up anger from anyone, I am only speaking on the aftermath of his untimely passing. Not the man himself. Additionally, since many people were saying any and everything that was not praise and worship was “too soon”, I have deliberately waited until both the funeral and memorial was over. Hopefully this is the appropriate time to discuss some important topics. If not, once again, please find the comment section below for continued discourse.
Now that that’s out of the way.
I have been intentionally very quiet about the Gayle-Snoop furor. In fact, the reaction to all this has been what contributed majorly to my burnout. I could not believe my eyes when I saw so many black women embrace the bottom bitch archetype in defense of Snoop of all people. It’s hard to describe the feeling I felt, but I guess it could be characterized as despair. I despair for black women because we are truly, madly, and deeply screwed in the head. We are collectively doomed. And I think we are so far gone that any sort of redemption is simply out of the realm of possibility. Individually, yes. But collectively? Not gonna happen. This is not about swirling, or black love or any of that anymore. The misogynoir is coming from inside the house. Black men collectively don’t like black women, we already knew that. But I’d go as far to say black women really don’t like each other, either.
This is about how black women will take the side of a literal pimp over the image and archetype of herself. Black women not just allow, but encourage the disrespect of fellow black women by not having any kind of line in the sand about what is and is not acceptable. This is about how black women will collectively cheer for the downfall of another black woman, and actively wish her harm. What is wrong with us? What has gone wrong in our brains that makes us behave in this way?
All of this was kicked off as the result of an interview Gayle King conducted with Lisa Leslie. This was followed by further vitriol extended to her by Snoop, who went on Instagram in a profanity-laden drag-fest. One quote in particular that has gained steam is “funky dog-headed bitch”, with a side of thinly-veiled threats. He has since made some follow up remarks, in typical fake apology fare, like you see when the threat of a check drying up is at hand. And he wrapped up this Apology Tour on the main stage of the Red Table Talk, which looks like it’s gaining a reputation for questionable black males to “share their side”, all while absolving them of any shred of accountability.
Hopefully people are paying attention. From his discography, we already know that Snoop famously said he doesn’t love them hoes.
He marched black women on global stage in scanty outfits and leashes and collars.
He has been hit with cheating allegations during his marriage. And I repeat: he was a pimp! It should come as no surprise that a male who made his millions in part by pimping and whoring the image of his mama and his sister has no respect for any black woman, much less one he is not related to, who is seen as a mark. And that’s what Gayle is – a woman, no husband, older, and worst of all, black. All things that point to no first line of defense. Easy target. But look at how the black women reacted – saying things like Gayle is lucky that they didn’t have a platform to give her the tongue lashing they felt they deserved.
But Snoop is no paragon of virtue. We know this. As one of the males who elevated the pimp archetype to new heights, it should be more surprising that he didn’t say something worse. But take a look at any comment section on any thread on any platform when it comes to this Snoop-Gayle mess, and observe what the black women are saying. Black women are largely agreeing with Snoop’s actions. Some have even said that he should not have apologized. But think about it. Gayle is a wealthy black woman with well-connected friends and a global reach. If she, with her power and connections is not safe from the collective wrath of the community from both sides, what do you think the community feels about the everyday black woman? The black woman not insulated by position or proximity?
This latest event has been truly eye-opening to me, and I want to share some lessons I’ve learned in my typical fashion.
Now we all know that at the table of men, black males sit firmly at the bottom. Even the ones with wealth and the means to do something positive and long-lasting sit around on social media in a bonnet shit-talking an older woman instead of building. It is what it is. We as black women need to come to terms with the fact that much of the time, we birth failures and monsters. You only need to look at a few stats to see the depth of it. This is a sad state of affairs, but it isn’t news.
But Snoop, and many like him, have showed their utter cowardice. Grief will make people do and say horrible things. But funnily enough, the black community was only up in arms following what Gayle said. Meanwhile a white comedian, Ari Shaffir, said far worse about the decedent, literally hours after his untimely, tragic passing, and Snoop had nothing to say. Ari’s comments were met with backlash, but not by who you’d think. Abigail Disney, yes, from those Disneys, went on a 24-tweet rant saying a lot more than what Gayle said. And there was silence from Snoop and the rest of his peanut gallery friends. Charles Barkley even weighed in, but of course since he is both black and male, his opinions are inherently more valid, and again, the silence was deafening.
Because collectively black males are cowards, they pick their targets with intention and ease. The only way they can exert any modicum of power in this world is over black women and girls. As such, Snoop and all the other vocal idiots, male and female, had nothing for the other people who said something following the fateful crash. Because they know that they would face actual consequences going up against nonblack men and their women. But what do you get when you aim to incite hatred and violence against a black woman? An invite to a talk show spearheaded by other black women, of course!
Had it not been for Oprah, Susan Rice and very few people on social media, who would Gayle have in her corner? For all the talk we say about unity in the community, the only unity displayed was against Gayle. People will side with a rapper, whose former occupation was to sell women for sex and profit from their labor, over a distinguished journalist. This display has shown that it is not only acceptable to disrespect black women in a public forum, but it is even encouraged, with black people competing with each other to determine who can come up with the most creative insult in many a comment section.
Look how comfortable people are with such public disrespect! If a black woman had said even half of what Snoop did about a black male, there would be fire in the streets calling for her head on a spike. But that certainly wasn’t the case here. As such, there is no unity in the community, and there never will be. And it’s not all because of the males, either.
I never thought the day would come where a pimp would have more credibility, and get more benefit of the doubt, than a journalist. This pathological loyalty to black males at any and all costs is a sickness. I don’t get this. The only requirement black women have is to be black and male. That’s all that matters. Previous “occupations” have no bearings. Hurtful lyrics, at black women’s expense, mind you, means nothing. Very little of this compassion is extended to other black women, for reasons I cannot explain. But this one-sided loyalty rears its head time and again, because I guarantee that had everything been reversed, this would all play out very differently.
Black male protection is sorely lacking
Snoop said he did this to “protect” the widow. Meanwhile his own daughter was dealing with colorist remarks apparently all alone. No protection there, eh? How does verbal assault and threatening of a black woman constitute protection, anyway? And what is it about this situation that triggered this so-called protection-instinct in Snoop? The grieving widow, while no doubt completely distraught, does not need the words of an aging rapper on Instagram for protection. Snoop needs to worry about the protection in the Broadus household, like protecting his wife from his own actions of alleged cheating (again, he is a PIMP!) or his daughter from cyberbullying.
Snoop is out here protecting the legacy of a dead man, meanwhile his own legacy, fraught with a visceral hatred of black women, is up for debate. Not because he has a black wife means he doesn’t hate black women. His entire body of work, and his treatment of his black wife, shows this. This is the same male who apparently doesn’t have a will, because “I don’t give a fuck when I’m dead. What am I gonna give a fuck about?”. The widow here is fine and does not need his lackluster “protection”, especially when his own house (as of 2016, anyway), doesn’t seem to be in order.
But then again, on the topic of protection. How come Gayle was considered the most imminent threat, rather than Shaffir or Disney or Barkley? I’m struggling to determine what parameters Snoop used here. What about Gayle was so dangerous that Snoop had to swoop in with such righteous fury? Someone let me know in the comments.
And then, who was to protect Gayle? Even if you don’t agree with her line of questioning, did that merit the vitriol and bile directed at her? Every time an argument criticizing black manhood is brought up, women flock to the comments stating how much they disagree, because their “daddy/uncle/brother/cousin/grandpa is a good man”. For all the declarations of how good everyone’s family members are, there sure was a lot of black male silence when it came to defending Gayle online. So forgive me if I don’t believe if your kin isn’t as good as you purport.
Same song, different words
Remember what I said just a few weeks ago in my Terry Crews post that these things have a pattern? Let me quote myself.
“Black man does dumb thing. Outrage follows. A weak apology is issued. All is forgiven. Rinse and repeat.”
Tada! Formulaic and predictable.
Methinks that Martha Stewart or Tostitos or one of Snoop’s sponsors caught wind of the growing backlash, and the apology was made to protect his bottom line, rather than any form of sincerity. But since black women weren’t even angry with Snoop in the first place, there is not really much to forgive here. We twerk to his music, we let his poison lyrics be the soundtrack to our commutes, and have done so for a decade or two. So don’t be surprised when the next black male with a platform and a beef says something sideways and no one bats an eye.
What is it specifically about the grieving widow that needs such protection? I have my own thoughts but I’m curious to see what our readers think. Do you think if Gayle was anything but black, this would have happened? Snoop’s work bestie Martha Stewart has been in the industry a long time, just like Gayle. Would Snoop dare to say even a quarter of what he said about Gayle to her, or any white woman? No he wouldn’t, because white and nonblack zaddy has set up a patriarchy where actions have consequences. So when you besmirch his mother, his sister, his wife, more often than not, retribution is swift and punishing. But when you publicly insult and threaten a black woman, you get the opposite. You are commended for “speaking the truth” and defending the honor of the race, you are applauded for your imagination in insults. That is because we exist in a world that does not value our womanhood, and the collective of black women partakes in the denigration of it.
How embarrassing is it that in the month where we’re supposed to celebrate the positive achievements of black people, we get this. We don’t have to worry about others tearing the community apart. To quote another black man in the news lately, we “can do bad all by ourselves”. The permanent underclass has arrived, folks, make no mistake about that.
Snoop, in his silver-tongued pimp power he has rendered the black female collective as his bottom bitches. Contrary to what a few rappers have said, pimping is in fact quite easy, when you pimp black women, that is. And that’s what all this is. Black women are so blindly loyal to the sons of the community, and believe that his word is law, no matter how harmful or threatening the words are, and by cosigning it, the collective are bending to the will of the pimparch. In our desperation to let the world know that the fruit of our wombs is just as good as the fruit of other women’s, we side with him no matter what, when that unfounded, unreciprocated, and unmerited loyalty only further cements us at the bottom. There is no sisterhood, at all, and if you sided with Snoop, you are definitely no sister of mine.
What are your thoughts on this debacle? Do share in the comments below. And if you have something to say to me specifically, make sure you address me (not Christelyn) in the comments.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Penelope, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.