FIRESTARTER HOTSHEET: DaBaby & The Rest Of Us

Toxic masculinity is killing the Black community.

I am aware of what DaBaby said at Rolling Loud, and to be honest? I am not surprised. As one that grew up with Eazy-E, LL COOL J, Nas and Eminem, I am well aware of how misogynistic rap music can be. At the age I am now, I don’t even listen to half of what is being passed off as music now. Yet, I still recognize stupid when I hear it.

It’s not just the fact that he was on this public stage spouting this homophobic madness, it is compiled by the fact Clifford “T.I.” Harris thought enough of himself with all that he has going on (get your kink like you want, but what he accused of doing is too much!), that he said if Lil Nas X can live his truth, then he can say his truth.

The problem with this is goes into what I saw on TikTok earlier today: The right to say what you want, is not the same as, cannot be equated to, the right for someone to exist! While watching Funky Dineva (Quentin Latham) on YouTube, he spoke about this further. As a queer Black man–whom as access to cis-het Black male spaces–he said it more eloquent than I can, or could. In this particular video, he spoke about how comments like this make him feel like even though he may see value in his life as a cis-het Black man, he sees no value in his own as a queer Black man. Yet, when tragedy happens, when police brutality occurs, ALL members of the Black community as supposed to assemble like Sam and Bucky to SAY HIS NAME.

At this point, I am tired of being outraged. I am tired of being told that men like him ‘just need to be taught’. I am tired of being expected to be the ever-present teacher, mammy, and the one–as a Black woman–to clean up the glass from all these windows that toxic masculinity keeps breaking! I truly believe when these public mouth diarrhea episodes happen to me like DaBaby, like T.I., they rush to defend them because they see themselves in him!

THEY SEE THEMSELVES IN HIM!

In the space of these problematic people, places and things, it is so easy for Black men like DaBaby to say all they need is help, support and understanding. But yet, will go out of their way to humiliate, belittle an abuse Black women for doing less than half of this! In this video, Quentin said exactly what I thought. If all Black men need is to be preferred, supported, exalted, and loved to the point that they attain this equality which will make them equal to white men–then what? They would go through this door forgetting everyone else whom helped him to get there. Now, I believe this–no, not completely. Yet, I do believe that too many men whom act like DaBaby would go through this magical door forgetting everyone who needed to get in! Or who believed that by helping him, they were helping themselves, improving the lives of the people around them!

I don’t want to believe this, Torches. But yet, we as a Black community have a decision to make: either we are all going to go, taking all of us as we climb, or none of us can go. We already have the answer to that though: we are stronger together. Teach the willing. Leave the liabilities and we edify and climb! We don’t have time to keep stopping for people who desire to be lost, taking other people with them.

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