Lady Gaga

This past week folks have been talking about Lady Gaga’s moving performance at the Oscars. Gaga’s nominated song “Till It Happens to You” is about rape and she shared the stage with survivors of sexual assault. I thought it was great that such an important issue was being spotlighted at the Oscars. But then I came across a poster who pointed out that Gaga worked with R.Kelly and did that undermine her current anti-rape culture stance?

Ah, yes. I had forgotten about that. The two singers collaborated on the r&b tune “Do What U Want” back in 2013. I guess it can be argued Gaga didn’t know about the statutory rape allegations against R.Kelly, but that is highly unlikely. The allegations/”jokes” have been swirling for years. Also, I’m sure celebrities have access to what goes on in the industry more than the public will ever know. So, it is curious that Gaga had no qualms working with R.Kelly. Does she not care about the victimization of black girls?

I did notice it was mostly white survivors on stage in clips I saw from the show. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Or perhaps Gaga, working from a white woman’s perspective when it comes to sexual assault, doesn’t know how to outreach to women of color on this issue.  Gaga, like many white female celebrities, have been speaking out/supporting singer Kesha. Kesha accused a popular music producer of sexual abuse, but has been forced by the courts to continue working with him. I wonder if these same celebrities would be so quick to speak up if it were a black female singer in the same situation.
Lady Gaga and R.Kelly


Black and Missing Part. 2

One of my favorite websites to stay informed about missing black people is Black and Missing But Not Forgotten. I follow this organization on their Facebook page.  They do a really good job of posting quickly about the latest case of a missing black person/updates if that person has been found, etc.

It’s on their page I learned about the disappearance of Dr. Teleka Patrick and the death of  Avonte Oquendo. Both of these cases highlight that our community needs to take better care/support of those struggling with mental health issues or developmental disabilities.

I am also alarmed at the many cases of missing black teen girls. Many tend to be found as runaways, but many more are victims of kidnappings/assaults/murder. Black children/young adults are more likely to be exposed to violence:

“Compared with other segments of the population, victimization rates for African American children and youth are even higher. Evidence suggests that Black youth ages 12 to 19 are victims of violent crime at significantly higher rates than their white peers.4 Black youth are three times more likely to be victims of reported child abuse or neglect, three times more likely to be victims of robbery,5 and five times more likely to be victims of homicide.6 In fact, homicide is the leading cause of death among African American youth ages 15 to 24.7”

Teen dating violence also makes black teen girls more vulnerable to becoming a missing victim. As well as (and probably more so) older men in the community preying on/”dating” teen girls.

It’s important our community is educated on the issues of mental health, the violence many young people are subject to,  and kicking the R. Kellys of the community to the curb. It could help to prevent some of these missing cases…

Dr. Teleka Patrick
Avonte Oquendo
The latest case from Black and Missing But Not Forgotten…missing teen Shirdyn Toe