Honestly this whole story has made my mind short-circuit this am. I’m in a tiny bit of an emotional/mental meltdown over this. Toure is a smart guy and I have really appreciated his example of how an educated brother can treat news and music such as hip hop and rap seriously in the media eye. Until now.

Gina McCauley has been leading the charge over at What About Our Daughters to push MSNBC to make a statement regarding Toure’s poorly advised conduct on Twitter. Here’s Gina:

HAPPY PHIL GRIFFIN DAY! You can wish him well at MSNBC President Phil Griffin at 212-664-4444. and ask him when he’s going to be issuing a public statement about his contributor chortling about Black women being systematically raped during slavery. […]

That’s unacceptable. Nor should MSNBC find it acceptable for one of its contributors to make such misogynistic statements in a public forum and then LIE about making them, by blaming the statements on his “cousin” using his Blackberry while he was at yoga.

Then later confessing to lying about his cousin making the statements and then DELETING the confession from his tweetstream. So even if Phil Griffin thought the whole “making light of women being raped” thing was “appropriate”, he should still be concerned he has a MSNBC contributor who is a bold face liar.

The Root has also been tracking the story with this update today:

Initially, Touré deleted the tweets and tried to blame his “cousin” for commandeering his Twitter account, but eventually he reportedly apologized. At the not-so-gentle urging of the blog, What About Our Daughters, MSNBC, which employs Touré as a part-time contributor, just released a statement distancing the network from his comments.

The Root article quoted above is actually an interview with Dolen Perkins-Valdez about “Wench,” her recent historical novel about enslaved mistresses. Warning — it also made my head spin a little since it’s based on a true and deeply disturbing story. Made it spin like the Exorcist.

It took 3 weeks to get MSNBC to make a statement and a lot of reader phone calls. Honestly, it seems like the network was willing to give it a wink and a shrug. I find Toure’s comments offensive in the extreme, especially coming from a brother in an interracial marriage. Any woman who has to barter her body feels a sense of desperation and entrapment, NOT liberation nor heroism. How heroic did Sally Hemings feel giving birth to child after child by Thomas Jefferson, only (reportedly) to have to beg him to free his own children from slavery on his deathbed. From the Wikipedia:

According to biographer Henry S. Randall, Jefferson’s daughter Martha, roused to indignation by Irish poet Thomas Moore‘s couplet linking her father with a slave, thrust the offending poem in front of him one day at Monticello. Jefferson’s only response was a ‘hearty, clear laugh.'”[18]

Toure should know better, far better than to promote his sexual fantasies under the guise of black power. And I think he owes sisters in particular — a heartfelt apology.

But that’s what I think. Only love that is given between two free people can be called such. What say you? And many thanks to What About Our Daughters for their leadership on this.

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