T.I., a notorious rapper turned “black elder and pundit” decided to open his dutty, stank, rancid, ugly fat trap once more to announce to the world that he goes to the gynaecologist, with his daughter, annually, to ensure that hymen is still intact. (For those of you who need a refresher on what a hymen is, please click here.) For some reason unknown to the majority of mankind, he thought that was an appropriate story to tell Nazanin and Nadia, the hosts of a podcast called Ladies Like Us, released on November 5th, 2019. Um, what?! There is no word strong enough to articulate the anger, incredulity and shock that I feel. Every time I think I have heard it all, something comes out of the woodwork, as if to say, “Hold my drink.” The audio has quickly been yanked from the Internet, save TMZ, but transcripts are available (…and, we know what we heard.)
I do not think that I need to remind you of all the times when T.I. has *allegedly* cheated on his wife, Tiny, she cries to the internet, the internet drags TI’s behind, he apologizes and buys her an extravagant gift, and she runs back to “hold down her man.” I know that many black women have been in the same toxic relationship, so I will do my best not to drag her through the filth. I do have a few questions though, “How long are you going to let that man make you look like Bozo the clown? Are the apologies, gifts and makeup sex really worth it? Do you not think you deserve more?” Alas, this is not about the downward spiral of TI and Tiny. This is about their daughter Deyjah. (Another writer has done an excellent take on this situation, so please read her article as well. I just had to add my thoughts.)
Hypocrisy is never okay
I recently mentioned in a post that I despised the hypocrisy between male and female sexuality. Black men can go around and have sexual relations with everything that moves, but once a black woman has sex one time, she is a Jezebel, a slut, a female dog, a whore, a hoe, a thot, a daughter of Babylon – everything but a child of God. I have never heard TI open his mouth and state that his sons have equal treatment in this case, but we need not look further than his example. According to his actions, it is okay for him to ignore every marriage vow that he has ever made to the mother of his eight children, pleasure everything (except his wife) with a vagina and a pulse, but his daughter must be subjected to an annual vaginal exam so that he is assured of her virginity. Are we living in medieval times? Is this Afghanistan? What is honestly going on here?! When people like to ask black women why we are so angry, this is one of the reasons why. (I swear, we need our own Joker movie.)
Instill the Lessons Early
According to TMZ, “T.I. claims that he is simply exercising his right as a parent to steer his daughter away from what he considers to be bad decisions. “I think that most kids in hindsight, looking back, they always thank their parents for now allowing them to damage themselves as they could have.”” While I can understand that parents want their children to grow up and do better than they did, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about this. Invading their privacy, even to the point of exerting control over their bodies, makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Black people love to throw out comments like, “I brought you into this world, I’ll take you out,” and,“If you live under my roof, you obey my rules.” While there is validity in honouring the authority of parents and those above you, there is value in creating a culture of respect and healthy accountability with your child. Speak to your children. Have a conversation. Take the time to teach and impart your wisdom onto the next generation. Challenge them to live a life that they can be proud of.
Establish trust in your relationship
Your children should be able to come to you for advice and support. You, as parents, are the first people that you children should trust. If you create a culture of fear and obedience without question, there is no trust there. I am not a parent, but I would be so disappointed if I found out that my child was in a difficult situation, but chose to go to someone else for help. Your children will not always be perfect, but, then again, neither will you. Grace must be extended on both sides.
Allow Children Some Level of Agency
I understand that there is authority to consider, but let us remember that children are people too. These children will be our future parents, leaders, and influencers. The point is to training them in a way that the they can take over from your instruction. What lessons do you want them to impact? What understanding of boundaries do you want them to have?
If you think that heavy-handed monitoring is going to keep your children on the straight and narrow you are mistaken. You may raise children who never learn healthy boundaries, because they are used to the treatment inflicted on them. They may turn into sneaky people, who have one face for you and one face for everyone else. They may do the right thing for now, and wait until they are independent before engaging in foolishness. Who knows? They may actually turn into functional human beings, but do you really want to play Russian Roulette with your child’s future?
I’ll conclude with a message to T.I.: If you think for one second, Clifford (T.I.’s birth name) that we are ever going to accept your bum basic imitation of black Civil Rights leaders in the modern era. You are sadly mistaken. You may want to try and lecture the rest of us about how we live our lives and conduct our behaviour. All I have to say to you is, “Physician, heal thyself. Take the log out of your own eye before you come for the speck in ours.” In other words, do not tell us how to clean our own homes when yours is sky high with dog feces. That is all. I bid you good day.