Megan Thee Stallion’s recent performance on Saturday Night Live may not have featured a live version of her and Cardi B’s runaway hit ‘WAP‘, but she did use it to send a pretty powerful message. As well as breezing through the lighter elements of the sketch comedy show, Megan used her music performance to refocus attention on Breonna Taylor, the plight of Black women and how they’re continually failed when it comes to real justice.
Midway through her performance of ‘Savage (Remix)’, Megan and her dancers stop suddenly as the stage descends into darkness. A stylised black and white background is punctuated with bullet holes as gunshot sound effects ring out dramatically. In a move not dissimilar to the use of speeches and spoken word in Beyonce’s performances, a clip begins playing from Malcolm X’s 1962 “Who Taught You To Hate Yourself” speech.
“The most disrespected, unprotected, and neglected person in America is the Black woman,” X says in the condensed version of his speech. “Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair, the colour of your skin, the shape of your nose? Who taught you to hate yourself, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?”
The clip then cuts to activist Tamika Mallory’s criticism of the Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron. Cameron, who is Kentucky’s first Black AG, announced in September that no officers had been specifically charged over the killing of Breonna Taylor. One, Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of “first-degree wanton endangerment.” Those were brought against Hankison for shooting into Taylor’s neighbour’s apartment during the raid. The decision of the grand jury incited widespread protests and criticism of Cameron, specifically. In the clip, Mallory says, “Daniel Cameron is no different than the sell-out Negroes who sold our people into slavery.”
Megan also made a statement that rings incredibly true on a personal level. “We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women,” she intoned. “’Cause at the end of the day, we need our Black women. We need to protect our Black men, and stand up for our Black men, ’cause at the end of the day, we’re tired of seeing hashtags about Black men.”
It comes after an incredibly serious and traumatic incident that occurred in July: Megan’s shooting at the hands of rapper Tory Lanez. Despite the fact that Megan is one of the biggest female artists on the planet now, the reaction to her shooting was deplorable, with many turning the incident into a joke. “Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own,” she tweeted about the incident. “It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.”
We’re glad to see Meg back on top—and while she shouldn’t have to demand it—getting the respect she deserves.