On the day that rapper Tory Lanez is scheduled to appear in court on charges of shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Megan has written a powerful op-ed and posted a companion video called “Why I Speak Up for Black Women” in the New York Times. In it, she briefly addresses the incident, but primarily addresses the larger theme of violence and criticism toward Black women.
Multiple dynamics have played out in the weeks since the July 12 incident, details of which have been gradually revealed, primarily by Megan — who did not initially tell police that Lanez had allegedly shot her — over a series of social media posts. “My initial silence about what happened was out of fear for myself and my friends,” she writes. “Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment. The way people have publicly questioned and debated whether I played a role in my own violent assault proves that my fears about discussing what happened were, unfortunately, warranted.” Lanez faces a maximum penalty of 22 years and eight months in prison.
She made a strong “Protect Black Women” statement during her appearance on “Saturday Night Live” earlier this month, criticizing Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron for his role in absolving Louisville police in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. She elaborates on that and many other themes in this op-ed.
“In the weeks leading up to the election, Black women are expected once again to deliver victory for Democratic candidates,” she begins. “We have gone from being unable to vote legally to a highly courted voting bloc — all in little more than a century.
“Despite this and despite the way so many have embraced messages about racial justice this year, Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.”
She continues, “From the moment we begin to navigate the intricacies of adolescence, we feel the weight of this threat, and the weight of contradictory expectations and misguided preconceptions. Many of us begin to put too much value to how we are seen by others. That’s if we are seen at all.
“The issue is even more intense for Black women, who struggle against stereotypes and are seen as angry or threatening when we try to stand up for ourselves and our sisters. There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman.”