Barbie and a Black Leader: How one celebrity used Black History Month for her own advantage

The month of February is supposed to be a month of celebration and honor of African-American history. Unfortunately the month has been outshined by the actions of Nicki Minaj, an intensive rapper who refers to herself as “Barbie.”

The grammy-nominated rapper is known for her sexually provocative and aggressive lyrics. Since her 2008 debut, she has continuously attempted to make every other female rapper irrelevant with her music and fashion. However, her music has taken a backseat and been upstaged by the new single cover for her single called “Lookin’ Ass Nigga.”

Minaj used a picture of Malcolm X peeking out of his window standing guard to protect his family to Klansmen setting fire to his home. The big shocker is that she associated him with the word “nigga,” a controversial word that the African-American community (and other communities) have deemed degrading.

After all, the African-American community is still trying to battle discrimination from society. Take the Michael Dunn case, for example. Dunn, a middle aged Caucasian male, killed 17-year-old African American Jordan Davis; it was suggested that Dunn killed Jordin over loud music. Dunn’s defense is the stand-your-ground law. If you ask me, that ground is a bit shaky.

He was found guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of firing into the vehicle. What surprised everyone is fifth count Dunn wasn’t found guilty of which was first degree murder. For those of you questioning, “why does this seem so familiar,” you’re definitely experiencing déjà vu. This case almost mirrors the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case.

So, Nicki Minaj should have never felt comfortable enough to reduce a forerunner to a derogatory term. Yet she does so for selfish gain to market her single. This selfish gain is evident in this statement she provided after receiving backlash for the image, according to Mesfin Fekdu of “It was never the official artwork [it was for promotional use].”

She does a great job at grabbing everyone’s attention, but her tactic was downright deplorable. Not only did she offend members of the African American race but she also added insult to injury by releasing the cover and single on Wednesday, Feb. 12. For those who aren’t aware, that is the founding day of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

My intent is not to offend fans of Nicki Minaj or demean all other races. The solution is not to stop supporting Nicki Minaj. My hope is that we can get back to the initial goal of Black History Month: to celebrate our race and not demean it by any means necessary.