By Sean Yoes
AFRO Baltimore Editor
To be clear, the situation between Gayle King and Snoop Dogg is no laughing matter; it is tragic. Yet, it seems so emblematic of the 21st century media-social media fueled frenzy we find ourselves in.
So, if I attempt to inject some humor would I be wrong? I don’t know. But, I do know we all really need to step back and breathe. And I don’t mean just concerning this situation between King and Snoop; I mean maybe we all need to take a step back from this media-social media madness and just, B-R-E-A-T-H-E.
That being said, I did take a look at the interview King conducted with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, who was one of Kobe Bryant’s best friends. And as I anticipated King’s line of questions concerning 2003 rape allegations (charges that were dismissed when the alleged victim refused to testify in court) against Bryant I began to get nauseated. However, when I read the backstory of those rape allegations (I had honestly forgotten about the incident, until it was brought back up after Kobe and his daughter GiGi died), I felt even more sick to my stomach. But, perhaps what is even more sickening is ubiquitous social media beef between millions, tens of millions of Black people, Black men and Black women over public death threats, journalistic ethics, Lizzo, Tyler Perry and vegan fried chicken.
Given the fact people of African ancestry are forced to confront the very real rise of White nationalism globally, among other things, we all have got to have something better to do, right?
Honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to write a “conventional” column about King, Snoop, Leslie and Bryant; there are so many issues being unearthed connected to this public feud between King and Snoop. And I’m still trying to process the tragic and sudden death of Kobe and his beautiful daughter GiGi, two people who were so obviously filled with life. So, I don’t quite know what to think yet, about any of this.
But, I do have questions:
What should be Snoop’s punishment for posting what sounded like a threat on the life of a Black woman (“…before we come and get you,” is what he said specifically) on his Instagram page, which has like 39 million followers?
If I had interviewed Lisa Leslie, one of Bryant’s best friends who at the time of the interview was going through the grieving process over the loss of her dear friend, am I less of a journalist if I chose not to ask Leslie about the rape allegations, which were dismissed?
Why did CBS News post the question King asked about the rape allegations against Bryant to promote her interview with Leslie?
Ya’ll do know Snoop is a gangsta rap pioneer who has made many millions of dollars over his lifetime wielding misogyny as a cudgel, especially against Black women, right?
Why can’t we give Kobe’s wife Vanessa and their living daughters just a bit more space to grieve their husband and father, sister and daughter?
All of the major institutions of the so-called mainstream media, e.g., New York Times, Washington Post, CBS News, and others have all pushed back mightily against Donald John Trump and his war against the media. They have pushed back hard against individual attacks upon journalists. Why haven’t they said anything about King’s life being threatened via one of the biggest social media platforms in America?
Why did Gayle King feel compelled to ask Lisa Leslie about the 2003 rape allegations against Bryant?
Doesn’t Bill Cosby hate tweeting against Gayle King from prison(!) reveal just how foul Cosby has always been?
Ya’ll do know that Snoop gets high essentially EVERYDAY, right?
Why do we spend so much time “talking” to each other on social media, instead of taking time to speak with each other face to face?
Happy Black History Month ya’ll.
Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.