From bizarre Covid misinformation about her cousin’s friend’s testicles to refusing to address the sexual assault allegations against her husband, the rapper has fallen well short of expectations
在星期一, rapper Nicki Minaj tweeted that she would not be attending the Met Gala. The event requires guests to be vaccinated and Minaj refuses to get the life-saving Covid-19 jab.
Not only did Minaj state that she wouldn’t be getting the vaccine, but she stoked fears that are not based on scientific evidence. The pop star’s tweet is so nonsensical it does not require a full rehashing, but to sum up, she claimed that she knew someone in a different country who had become sterile and gotten swollen testicles (resulting in a cancelled wedding) after receiving the Covid vaccine. There are many reasons why someone’s swollen balls might cause their bride-to-be to change her mind about her impending nuptials, but the Covid vaccine isn’t one of them. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, cause male fertility problems. Furthermore, men who want to have children 应该 get the vaccine. Board-certified urologist Ashley Winter tweeted, “The vaccine does not cause orchitis (ie swollen balls). Something else caused that. Tons of data that getting Covid does effect semen parameters and might lead to infertility. Vaccines prevent Covid! Misinformation kills.”
Dr Rena Malik, also a board-certified urologist, seconded Dr Winter’s statement, adding that contracting Covid has been linked to erectile dysfunction. I am not a board-certified anything, but I would also like to add — to put it bluntly — that you can’t have kids if you’re dead.
“Doing their own research” is a common refrain among those who refuse to get the vaccine, and it’s something Minaj mentioned she was undergoing herself. But Dr Ebony Jane Hilton put it best when she tweeted: “There are now 660,000 Americans who can no longer ‘do research’ due to Covid. 实际上, 1 在 500 Americans has died since the start of the pandemic, children included. Millions more are now victims of the collateral damage left in the wake because death is not the only consequence.”
Although many of her followers and conservative pundits like Tucker Carlson took Minaj’s side over this controversy, many others immediately pushed back against the misinformation. Some even suggested that it was all a distraction from a lawsuit recently filed against Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, both of whom are accused of harassing one of his victims.
For most, the misinformation was hugely disappointing. “You have a platform, 姐姐, that is 22 million followers,” MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid said on Monday during her program, addressing Minaj. “I have 2 million followers … You have 22 million followers on Twitter. For you to use your platform to encourage our community to not protect themselves and save their lives … my God sister, you could do better than that.”
“For you to use your platform to put people in the position of dying from a disease they don’t have to die from, oh my God,” Reid continued. “As a fan, as a hip-hop fan and as somebody who is your fan, I am so sad that you did that, 姐姐. Oh my God.”
Minaj lashed out at this criticism, tweeting: “This is what happens when you’re so thirsty to down another black woman (by the request of the white man), that you didn’t bother to read all my tweets. ‘My God SISTER do better’[?] Imagine getting ur dumb ass on TV a min after a tweet to spread a false narrative about a black woman.”
To me, it seems pretty foul that Minaj would try to use race to distract from the harm she caused by spreading misinformation. For one thing, although the issues are not related, it’s my steadfast belief that Minaj has shown a lack of care for Black women sexual assault victims in her determination to enable her husband. Where was her concern for us then? For another thing, Minaj’s misinformation is much more harmful to the Black community, who are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. In Michigan, Black people make up 14 percent of the population but accounted for 25 percent of the 1,064 死亡人数 reported between May and June of 2021. And since kids can’t be vaccinated, children and their primary caretakers (who so often are Black women) are also at a high risk of contracting Covid. 所以, if caring for Black women means spreading misinformation about life-saving vaccines, then we are truly living in the Twilight Zone.
When the people in our society with the largest platforms and most cultural power choose to use all that privilege to spread harm and confusion, it’s upsetting. Minaj’s popularity and influence may have done significant damage here to undermine our public health messaging, and it’s a shame Twitter didn’t remove her tweet right away. “Instead we see 99,700 retweets and now we are trying to undo the damage,” Dr Eve Bloomgarden, endocrinologist and co-founder/COO of IMPACT (Illinois Medical Professionals Action Collaborative Team), 告诉 独立.
Minaj could have used her platform to encourage people to get vaccinated, or even offered financial incentives. She could have started a fund to support Black mothers who were struggling to keep together households torn apart by Covid-related illnesses and deaths. She could have also simply been quiet. 反而, she was determined to make us all debate her cousin’s friend’s swollen balls.