Ari Lennox won’t let social media trolls gain the upper hand. When Jermaine Dupri dismissed female rappers, Lennox aimed an Instagram freestyle at him to prove him wrong and when her dismay at losing out on a Soul Train award led to attacks on Lizzo, she stood up for her fellow artist. But the latest social media troll against her led to her most impassioned defense yet as she stood up for not only herself but also for all Black women being held to unrealistic beauty standards and disrespected for their looks.
After a tweet comparing Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor to Rottweilers went viral on Wednesday, Lennox addressed the contempt for Black women during an Instagram Live session. “I’m not with that sh*t at all,” she declared. “How people hate Black people so much — how Black people can sit up here and say, ‘That’s not my problem,’ or ‘She does look like a Rottweiler…’ You want to talk about how, ‘Oh, people are so sensitive, they want to cancel freedom of speech.’ Why is this your speech? Why are you so comfortable tearing down Black women?”
Y’all got Ari Lennox fucked up pic.twitter.com/BOH4kEYiYa
— ee-MAH-nee (@imanimlewis) January 2, 2020
She furthered her point by noting how rarely she sees similar attacks against women from other ethnicities. “When are Hispanic women ever compared to dogs?” she questioned. “When are white men doing that to white women? When are Hispanic men doing that to Hispanic women? They’re not doing it. They’re not.” Lennox also addressed the how she apparently gets compared to the outspoken but belligerent Azealia Banks when she stands up for herself. “That is real freedom of speech being threatened,” she said.
Her video generated plenty of response once it migrated to Twitter via screen capture, from both sympathetic parties and those who tried to refute her points. Many see her defense as justified given America’s long, checkered history of demeaning Black women’s physical attributes, while others felt that she and her defenders were being hypocrites in light of similar comments made by a woman in another viral tweet — the obviously differing content and context of the two tweets notwithstanding. The one common thread that can be found in both arguments — however disingenuous one side is being — is that we could all stand to be a lot nicer to each other in 2020.