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We Need to Confront Kobe’s Troubling Legacy

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How do we navigate respecting the legacy of deceased public figures while acknowledging some truly unsettling aspects of their lives? That is the question many find themselves asking as the nation still grapples with the sudden death of former NBA player and basketball superstar Kobe Bryant. 

Following the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others, the world saw men like Lebron James, Doc Rivers, and Tracy McGrady brought to tears over the accident. For hours Kobe was the number one trending topic on Twitter with heartfelt messages pouring in from all across the globe, but as the memories came in, many remembered the rape case of 2003 that divided his fans and forever complicated his legacy.

That year, he was charged with felony sexual assault following a 19-year-old woman’s accusation of a nonconsensual encounter between the two at a Colorado hotel. Initially, Bryant denied having any sexual contact with the woman, but as the case evolved, he eventually admitted to “the mistake of adultery” at a highly publicized press conference.

The District Attorney for his case said at the time, “it is alleged that he caused sexual penetration or intrusion, and he caused the submission of the victim through actual physical force.” While Bryant stuck with his first story of “nothing happened,” the victim has his semen inside her, vaginal lacerations, and bruising. Only when his attorney, who relentlessly shamed the woman, informed him of the evidence, did the basketball star admit having had contact with her. As a result of the brutal attacks not only by the attorney but also by the media, the victim stopped cooperating with police and refused to testify at trial causing the criminal case to be dropped. She later won a civil suit against Bryant. 

Many on the internet reminded the world of this troubling time in Kobe’s life. Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez tweeted a link to the 2016 article titled “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession” before being placed on suspension by the news outlet. Others declined to mourn Kobe’s death at all citing a sense of duty to the woman and to sexual assault victims everywhere.

Of course, death threats were hurled and comments of “it’s too soon” were inserted into the conversation. However, as the country still tries to make sense of his death, it is entirely appropriate to review his life as he himself chose to live it for the good and the bad. One reporter aptly said, “Nobody is telling you how to mourn or that you can’t feel sorry for the fact that he died or that it was a tragedy, because it is. But that should not therefore dictate the way others choose to remember him or what we want to say about his death.”

Those who loved Kobe Bryant will undoubtedly continue to grieve their loss, but can they reconcile doing so at the cost of the victim?

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Tiffany Haddish Does the Big Chop on IG Live

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Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish just took to Instagram Live to do the big chop for all to see! Recently she’s been teasing us with the idea of her chopping off her faux locs, something many Black women are doing in the midst of this natural hair renaissance.

In the short live session, which you can find below, Haddish reaffirmed her decision to cut her hair, and was even a little confused as to why folks were shocked she was doing this. “What is y’all tripping off of? They acting like this sh*t ain’t gonna grow back,” she said.

As she kept cutting, she reminded viewers that she had been toying with the idea for years and finally decided to do it. The actress snipped away as she told us all, “People be thinking I just be running my mouth. When I say things I means it. Who wanna buy a loc?”

Haddish always has jokes for us, even if they are problematic at times. Following rapper Kanye West’s announcement that he was running for President in 2020, she took to Twitter to announce her own candidacy for the office, in a total spoof of West’s tweet. Her running mate? Why, legendary comedian Dave Chappelle, of course.

Featured Image: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock.

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Rich Dad, Poor Behavior: 50 Cent and Lil Wayne Joke About ‘Exotic Women’, Daughter Responds.

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A video of 50 Cent and Lil Wayne has surfaced wherein Curtis talks about wanting an “exotic” woman and seems to express an urge to physically attack women who call him out on his “preference”.

If I’m honest, even the most ardent of wig-snatchers might have simply ignored the video, dismissing it as yet another 50 Cent super villain moment. Half-Dollar is in a near-perpetual hotseat for doing things like making fun of Power cast members and attacking his own son on Instagram. What makes this different is the company he’s keeping and the reaction the video elicited. In the video, you can see Weezy’s few remaining locs jostling as he giggles like a 12-year-old with a nudie magazine. Weezy has a daughter. She felt the need to respond.

Before I go any further, I’d like to commend Reginae Carter for what she’s done here. Black women should never feel the need to “take the high road”, but she does. More admirable is how she centers the uplifting of the women who may have been affected by her father’s actions. That’s an incredibly difficult thing to do when family is involved.

All that said, this is not an isolated incident. As I said, 50 Cent is constantly making remarks like this. Most days, he gets ignored. Weezy’s lyrics have always been misogynoiristic, colorist, and he himself has made it clear that he doesn’t have a desire to learn. There’s a long history of these things being ignored. Our community doesn’t do enough to protect Black women. Oluwatoyin Salue’s tragic demise is proof of that, so it feels especially sinister when we see the real-world affects of these sentiments in real time.

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Pusha T Pushes Young Thug’s Buttons with Drake Diss

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Your favorite rapper and investigative journalist is back at it again. According to Young Thug’s Instagram story, Pusha T, Gunna, and Thug did a track together, only for Young Thug to realize that Pusha T’s verse was a follow-up diss toward Drake. Young Thug claimed that he did not “respect” Pusha T’s verse, nor did he know what it was about, calling the whole ordeal “so gay.” (We’ll push past the casual homophobia, for now.)

I can only assume that nothing of interest was found in Young Thug’s family tree, because Pusha responded with yet another attack against Drake! In the span of four Story pages, he claims that Drake was the reason the verse, as well as another verse he did on Rick Ross’s “Maybach 6”, weren’t approved, that Young Thug was only on the song because Pusha demanded it, and finished it all off with the request that he be taken off of the deluxe version of Pop Smoke’s album.

Drake doesn’t seem to feel like he needs to respond, yet. He usually keeps his cards close to his chest. There’s also the fact that Pusha seems dead-set on calling Drake out with every chance he gets. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Pusha T had more information in his arsenal that could further tarnish Champagne Papi’s image. It could also be that Drake just doesn’t want to give Pusha the attention he’s desperately ordering.

It’s all very messy-boots, which the gworls over on Twitter seemed more than happy to eat up.

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