why I fully respect Nicki Minaj’s callout at the VMA’s

Admittedly I am a huge media leech. I try not to be because I understand how troublesome and fake the media can be sometimes and how much they will try to control what you see, however thanks to Twitter, Tumblr etc I tend to find out about latest things happening with celebrities. This morning I had the fun of waking up to read about how Nicki Minaj had absolutely “dragged” Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMA’s the previous night (or day? timezones are confusing to my small brain).

Now first of all what makes me feel conflicted is seeing every media outlet or even young fans on social media going “Nicki Minaj clawed Miley Cyrus last night”, “Nicki Minaj attacks Miley”, “yes Nicki drag her”. In my own opinion, yes I was mentally cheering Nicki on much like that last sentence, however it’s smart to see there’s already a problem with media calling it a “drag”/”insult”/”attack”. The word we need to use is “call out”.

When you “call out” someone, it tends to mean that you point out verbally and make someone aware of a mistake they have made or something in their actions/behavior that inflicts badly on them or others. Recently Miley Cyrus had the whole topic of Nicki’s tweets talking about the racism the industry is giving out to black/POC artists right under everyone’s noses. For some reason Cyrus didn’t understand what Nicki was talking about, and decided to go on to say that Nicki’s attitude was ‘angry’ and that she was getting upset over not winning an award.
First of all to anyone who is questioned about a colleague or other person’s stress about something is to not make assumptions – when I started my current job, my supervisor gave us the advice “Making assumptions makes an ass out of you and me.”, quite cliché advice but someone should definitely tell Miley it.

As a white young adult, I cannot repeat Nicki Minaj’s strong Twitter speech about industry sexism and racism as I do not understand it or live it deeply as she and other POC artists do. I can only encourage others to listen. However Miley’s attitude just reinforced what Nicki was saying in her rant – white artists who do not educate themselves and instead shut down POC artists are contributing to the industry’s racism. When Nicki Minaj called her out with that amazing line – “Miley, what’s good?”, Miley had the cheek to shut her down with “yeah we’re all in this industry, we all know they manipulate sh*t”.

Miley needs to realise, if she knows deep down how much the industry ‘manipulate sh*t’, what good did she think would come from ignorantly discussing another artist’s views in an interview without knowing anything about what Nicki was talking about. Miley has used so much tone policing towards Nicki Minaj during these couple of days and the fact that she even continued to act all innocent and the ‘voice of reason’ when she was called out was kind of appalling.

Nicki Minaj is one of the music industry artists I look up to, a lot of the media will not show how she told her female fans “don’t you be out there depending on those snotty-nosed boys.” or how she invited Taylor Swift to join her on stage to express their reconciled friendship after being caught up in the media. Or her Instagram post showing her love for fellow artists Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Britney Spears. I see Nicki Minaj as a great follower of “do no harm, but take no shit.” and that’s why if anything her call out towards Miley Cyrus is amplifying my respect for her.

Miley Cyrus is not ignorant. She constantly appropriates black culture, which was extremely noticeable at the VMA’s when she wore blonde dread extensions in her hair. Let’s not forget the times she has used POC dancers as background props essentially and has stolen the ‘twerk’ dance move claiming it as her signature move when twerking is a dance move originating from West Africa. She is in the wrong here, however if people don’t wake up and understand the respect Nicki deserves for this call out, the media is going to continue reinforcing the stereotype of ‘angry black woman’ on Nicki, which is completely untrue.

So that is my view on it, Miley Cyrus really needs to wake up and educate herself.

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x

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