J. Cole Clearly Didn’t Read the Room With Black Women
The song he released doesn’t demonstrate the support we so need right now
Recently, a 19-year-old woman with twists around her head and a sweaty face spoke into a microphone during a Black Lives Matter protest in Tallahassee said, “I’m gonna die by my f — — — skin” as a way to exude pride in her Blackness in spite of how much she’s been profiled. In spite of the rounds of applause, she continues to speak about the White Tallahasseeans who target Black locals, including her brother, who was “run over.” Her name was Oluwatoyin Salau.
An activist, Salau tweeted just several days prior to this moment about a sexual assault before she had gone missing. This past Monday, her body was found on a road and the suspect now in custody is a Black man. Her untimely murder sent shockwaves throughout the internet. Salau was a dark-skinned Black woman who was also home insecure. She deserved more. But before we had enough time to grieve, there were other dark-skinned Black women who may not have died but suffered a social kind of death in that their humiliation became fodder on social media.
In Washington, D.C., a Black woman was tossed into a dumpster and cried amid the filth while a group of Black men laughed and recorded on their phones. In Harlem, where I live, another Black man smacked a girl with a skateboard for allegedly refusing his advances. She lied on the ground motionless while the attacker’s friends laughed.
This week isn’t over yet, and we’ve seen three examples of Black women’s autonomies, lives, and bodies be destroyed or violated. But the worst part of this soul-draining episode is that instead of us having heartfelt yet well-trodden discussions about misogynoir within our own community, a renowned rapper by the name of J. Cole decided to interject with a new song that exposed the recklessness with which Black men act and react without doing the necessary labor first.
In “Snow On Tha Bluff,” J. Cole raps about a woman who is more intelligent than him who is trying to spread consciousness to other Black people though not in the manner that he likes. He thinks she acts holier-than-thou (“Instead of conveying your holier than thou/come get us up to speed) and that she should be more…