In recent days a lot has happened that has kept the issue of rape and rape culture in the forefront.. It ranges from two female social commentators/ bloggers Zerlina Maxwell and Adria Richards being threatened with rape after speaking out against sexual assault and inappropriate sexist jokes to massive rapes in the military to recent fights and resistance that proceeded the passing of the Violence Against Women Act..
Most recently its come in the form of former law enforcement officer turned rapper Rick Ross, kicking lyrics in a new song that advocates date rape…. At a time where one out of three women globally are sexually assaulted and almost half of Black and Brown women in the US being sexually assaulted, Ross’s words are beyond wack. They’re dangerous, irresponsible and reflective of a corporate business culture that has hijacked cultural expression to plant seeds of poison.
The other day long time Hip Hop activist and former Vice Presidential candidate for the Green Party Rosa Clemente responded to Ross with a stinging rebuttal that she posted on youtube.. It was a stark reminder of whats at stake in terms of whats at stake.. Clemente ask for men in Hip Hop to step up draw lines in the sand and protect the culture and the women around them..She calls upon people to put an end to rape culture and uplift the humanity in us all..
Long time industry vet Dee Dee Cocheta stepped up and penned a heartfelt open letter to Rick Ross that appears on All Hip Hop..
I am writing you a letter because I have sat back and observed long enough. I am coming to you as a ‘sister’ of the human family we all belong to. WE are connected! AND you my brother, I am tired of hearing negative things about you and now I am mad at how you are treating yourself. So please do not take this wrong or feel I am coming at you to scold or beat you up with my words. I am coming to you because I CARE and LOVE YOU!
What brought me to the point of writing this open letter was after reading ALLHIPHOP.com Hip-Hop Rumors on your new song, “U.O.E.N.O.” (you ain’t even know it) titled: YOWZA! New Rick Ross Lyric Will Upset Smart Women! So yeah I’m a little upset and rightfully so as the lyric you wrote about refers to ‘date rape’ and is exactly how I lost my virginity; someone STOLE it at the age of 14 before entering in high school. I take responsibility for being at a party I had no business being at but I want you to know how scary this now 41-year-old woman felt to wake up to blood on the sheets with an aching pain and empty feeling, that your heart is sunken where you feel you lost something. Well I did, I lost the right to choose whom I wanted to share that special moment with because I was knocked out and taken advantage of. See William, your lyric doesn’t educate it only further glamorize what fools like that man did to me 27 years ago. I happen to believe in karma and I know that man got his without me having to lift a finger.
You can read the rest of this letter at http://allhiphop.com/2013/03/25/open-letter-to-rick-ross-from-a-music-industry-vet/
To further demonstrate the extent Rape Culture has encroached upon us, here’s a panel discussion we did last year for Free Speech TV dealing with the topic..