I don’t watch 106 & Park and haven’t done so since Free and AJ (age-telling), but I read about August Alsina’s comment to host Keisha Chante when she asked about the singer burying of the hatchet between Trey Songz and him (Since when did R&B singers have ‘beef’?). I also watched the clip where Chante stood with Bow Wow and August on either side of her as August snapped, “I told y’all not to ask me that shxt when I got up here.” in reply to her question. She was visibly taken aback and tried to defuse the situation by saying she was only asking what the fans were asking. Awkward. And Uncomfortable.
Admittedly, I don’t know much about this artist (But the Twitters indicates that his recently released album is everything.) or his reported drama with Trey Songz. I also don’t know what discussion was had between the hosts and/or the show’s representatives and the artist prior to him taking the stage. However, I do know that I’ve noticed a number of comments on social media from young folks – young women included – who have suggested Chante ‘got what she was asking for’ . Chile. Chirren. Let me be the ole lady and shed a different light on this.
Young women, you have to be careful about the applauding certain patterns of interaction with young men. So she asked a question that he did not want asked. We don’t know the backstory on that. But what we do know is that his posturing and comment to her, in my ole lady opinion, was not necessary. When we start applauding young men, or anyone for that matter, for speaking disrespectfully to women the door is open for such behavior to continue and elevate.
As I write this, I’m reminded of an exchange I had with a classmate when I was in college. As I walked across the yard, he yelled out, “Hey you…come here chick.” Thinking to myself: I know damn well he isn’t speaking to me. So I continued to walk on my way, and he grew aggravated and continued, “Bitch, I know you hear me talking to you…” Now, this was a guy with whom I had not interacted. All I knew of him is that he was relatively new to campus, a transfer student I think. So after the last comment, I did stop but I didn’t walk over to him. I stood there and stared at him. Thinking he’d at least gotten my attention, he walked over to me with a swagger that let me know he thought he’d accomplished his mission. And yes, he had accomplished the mission of getting my attention, but that wasn’t all he’d done. He disrespected me – publicly, intentionally. He approached me and smiled. Then he started to tell me how he knew I heard him and knew I was just playing hard to get. I simply locked eyes with him and asked, “Do you talk to your Mama like that?” And let’s just say the conversation went to the left and then came back again. During our discussion, he explained that where he was from, that’s just how they spoke. That’s how they talked to girls. And I just explained to him that where I’m from [my Mama’s house], we don’t get down like that. Eventually, we were cool. And so was his newly developed respectful interaction with me.
Young men, you have to be careful about the applauding or quietly dismissing certain patterns of interaction with our young women. Bow Wow… Hmm. Maybe my expectations of respect and chivalry are too high, but I was puzzled that Bow Wow did not make an attempt to ease the tension and/or address August in a professional manner. As I rode home yesterday, two DJs on a local radio show noted that “that’s just how he is” and explained that “if he don’t like you, he don’t like you”. Yes, I get that. We all have our personalities. But that too was dismissive in terms of highlighting Alsina’s lack of professionalism. That situation could have been handled differently.
Conversely, I also noticed several comments from young people – both male and female – who noted that they were disappointed in Alsina’s response. And for that, I’m glad. I’m not at all suggesting that there are not times when the media seem to be too intrusive or cross lines with celebrities. That happens. However, this didn’t seem like that type of situation.
Being on 10 at all times, trying to secure a tough-guy/tough-girl image can be exhausting. Stop. Turn down for what? Hell, because sometimes you just need to… It’s not always that deep.