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The Gayle King Backlash Proves Black Women Still Need Protection

As #IStandWithGayleKing trends and death threats ensue, let's remember human decency.

Culture & Entertainment

"The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected woman in America is the Black woman. The most neglected woman in America is the Black woman." - Malcolm X

Before we begin, it's important to remember that no slander of Black men or women will be tolerated on this post. But it's important to know that If we don't learn from our history, we'll repeat it. So if you don't mind, let's take a trip down memory lane and examine how the past few days have had Black women f*cked up.

While I enjoy my regular dose of "Gin and Juice" as much as the next negro, I was pretty grossed out by the way some of my faves (see: Snoop Dogg) responded to a clip of Gayle King interviewing Lisa Leslie. (If you missed it, click here.) Let me recap: Last week, a snippet from a full-length interview about Kobe Bryant's legacy surfaced online where King asked Leslie about the basketball legend's 2003 sexual assault case, and all hell broke loose.

Despite the anchor's clarification of her intentions, celebs LeBron James, Lil' Boosie, and Ari Lennox adamantly expressed their disapproval of her questioning, and soon after, King's social accounts were bombarded with death threats and insults alike and the mess didn't end there.

In an aggressive live video, rapper Snoop Dogg expressed his opinion about the interview and opened the door for misogyny to roam free. While expressing his distaste for the CBS Morning News anchor, Snoop had a few choice words, including but not limited to calling King a "funky dog-faced b*tch." The comments have rightfully sparked controversy and backlash of their own.

While Snoop's comments may have shown his allegiance to his friend, they were also reflective of how easy it is for America to hate a Black woman.

After reports of death threats, #IStandWithGayle began trending on social. Celebrities and everyday people alike began to use the hashtag:

Kobe and GiGi's Bryant's deaths were a tragedy. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. Vanessa Bryant lost a husband and a daughter. Bianka, Natalia, and Capri Bryant lost a father and a sister, and the world lost an athletic icon.

This terrible catastrophe doesn't diminish the fact that King is a Black woman who deserves enough respect to not be called out of her name or have her life threatened. To say that you love women of color and call her a b*tch in the same breath is an undeniable contradiction that we as a community must examine---expeditiously.

Snoop has clarified that he doesn't wish harm or violence toward King, but his words stung all the same. A disagreement doesn't have to mean total disparaging of one's character---or taking things to the extreme of physical harm---and political commentator and professor, Marc Hill Lamont shared these sentiments in a social media post shortly after Snoop's comments went viral:

"The word for today is 'nuance'. You can have a critique of Gayle King—though folk should actually watch the whole interview—and hold Snoop accountable for the misogynistic way he engaged her. Shout out to all the #GirlDads from last week who are now trying to justify calling Gayle King a 'funky dog face b—-. I see you."

While you may not agree with the questions asked in King's interview, it doesn't change the fact that she's a Black woman and deserves to be protected at all costs.

Featured image by Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images.

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