A few weeks back, chart-topping emcee Megan Thee Stallion revealed via Instagram that she was shot in the foot on July 12 “as a result of a crime committed against [her] and done with the intention to physically harm [her],” despite early reports that she stepped on glass during a night out in the Hollywood Hills. Musician Tory Lanez, who was with the “Savage” rapper during the night of the incident, was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle: a felony. Days later, speculation circulated that Lanez was the person behind Meg’s shooting.
Despite the severity of shooting incidents, instead of thoughts and prayers for her recovery, a largely male majority of the internet population resorted to jokes and memes about Megan and Tory’s rumored relationship, the reason behind their alleged altercation, and how they would have consoled an ailing Meg. (I personally saw a meme about grabbing her ass while hugging her at the hospital, which disgusted me.)
Some of the music industry’s most notorious trolls, such as the *always pleasant* 50 Cent, also got in on the “laughs.” The rapper posted a meme on his Instagram page of Megan running from Tory’s car in a Photoshopped still from Boyz In The Hood, as well as a photo of Tory’s face Photoshopped onto the gun-wielding body of “Mini-Me” from the Austin Powers trilogy. The posts have since been deleted.
On July 27 via Instagram Live, Megan bravely spoke about her experience getting surgery to remove the bullets from both of her feet. She also discussed how she’s dealing with more emotional trauma than we realize, which makes the jokes at her expense all the more painful to bear. She also reminded followers that at 25, she is already an orphan who continues to grieve the death of her mother and “best friend,” who died from a brain tumor in March 2019, as well as the death of her grandmother, who died that same month.
“Thank God that the bullets didn’t touch bones, they didn’t break tendons,” a tearful Megan said on the nine-minute Live chat. “I know my mama and my daddy and my granny had to be looking out for me with that one because where the bullets hit at, they missed everything—but they were in there.”
Despite an uptick in Black support and the amplification of Black voices in recent weeks, Black women continue to be treated with a pitifully low amount of support. It shouldn’t take a Black woman speaking up about her trauma for people to listen to what she has to say. We’re always expected to remain pillars of strength and to put others’ needs in front of our own, but when we’re hurting and need someone to be the pillar for us, we seldom receive it.
I’m sure I can speak on behalf of other Black women when I write that our trauma feels much worse when it’s not only ignored but perpetuated by our own community. Black women and other minority members of the Black community (such as those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, etc.) often rally behind Black men with overwhelming shows of support when Black men experience traumatic events or are under threat. Yet, when it’s the other way around, it’s painfully quiet.
I’ve never been a fan of 50 Cent; in fact, I think that he was the first celebrity I ever blocked on social media. As someone who was infamously shot nine times, it’s disturbing that he had the sheer audacity in his spirit to think making fun of a shooting situation in any way was cause for chuckles. It’s disturbing that only after a Black woman voiced her disappointment in those who cracked jokes during a distressing time in her life he would apologize, especially knowing firsthand how painful and scary it is.
I’ve seen a few men working to support Black women and Black members of the LGBTQ+ community, and I’m grateful to witness it. But what really needs to occur is offline work, not shows of support for likes in order to show that you’re “different.” Hold the Black men in your life accountable for the fuckery they may perpetuate face-to-face so that the support is reciprocal from screen-to-screen.
That being said, not every woman’s thoughts on the situation have been well-wishes for Meg. Reality star Draya Michele is alleged to have lost her endorsement deal with Rihanna’s Savage Fenty lingerie line, after saying that being shot by a man is a true testament to how much he likes you during her appearance on the Wine & Weed podcast.
“I want you to like me so much that if I’m trying to get out the car, and you’re like, ‘No, sit your ass in the car,’ and I’m like, ‘No nigga, I’m getting out the car,’” Draya says in the clip. “[He’d say] ‘No you’re not!’ Bam-bam!” Megan collected her on Twitter after her comments went viral, calling her a “dumb bitch.”
Women being abused in any way by a man she is romantically involved with is vile, disgusting and degrading. To me, romanticizing that abuse speaks volumes about the healing the person who is romanticizing the abuse needs to do within themselves. From Chris Brown “stans” saying that they would allow him to “punch them” to Draya’s nasty comments, there is nothing “cute” about giving people a pass to treat you like shit because you have a relationship with them.
This all goes back to the way we ignore the cries of Black women, in particular. As we see with Megan’s situation, we should feel compelled to show them support when they’ve been abused in any way. It goes even further than this, though: We often hear the stories of Black mothers who’ve lost their lives due to not being believed or understood when complaining about their pregnancy or delivery complications. This year, Black women have also died at an alarming rate from COVID-19 due to not being believed. The case of Breonna Taylor continues to make headlines, and larger sentiments about Black women’s erasure from police brutality conversations has been a focal point in her surrounding story. However, much of the focus is still on her case because of memes about her tragic situation continuing to circulate.
Black women are not a punchline. Black women are not to be ignored. Black women are people, too, and it’s time the world started treating them as such. As Thee Stallion put it in a tweet dated July 17, Black women are “real-life hurt and traumatized” every day—and it’s time people started caring about the ones who care so fervently about them.
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