My life has not been without hardship. My family, particularly my mother, didn’t always get it right. I was a young gay Black man growing up in the Deep South. Nuff said.
One of the many things my mother got right, though, makes me feel particularly sad for rapper Boosie’s son and nephews — and for all the people who agree with his flawed line of thinking.
A quick catch-up on the Boosie situation, in case you had better things to do (and I’m really hoping you did): On an Instagram Live broadcast last week, he admitted to having women perform fellatio on his 12-year old sons and nephews. “I’m training these boys right,” the Baton Rouge rapper said. “Ask any of my nephews, ask any of them, ask my son. Yeah, when they was 12, 13, they got head. Yeah, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Hell yeah, I got my fuckin’ son dick sucked. You fuckin’ right. Yes, a grown woman, grown, super grown… checked his ass out. Checked all my nephews out… I’m getting them prepared, man.”
My mother made sure that I was accounted for, and that anyone who came within shouting distance of me was fully vetted. What she did not say was, “Here’s a condom, use it on this random person I hired to teach you.”
My mom did her best to normalize sexuality beginning at a very early age. I can remember learning about where babies came from — with proper names and functions — as young as three years old. Then there was the random day in sixth grade when she told me how to put on a condom properly. Some might think I was too young for this information. I wasn’t. All of it, and more, was readily available. She wanted at least some of it to come from a reliable source.
Read more: Yes, Sexual Abuse of Black Boys Is a Problem — and We Need To Pay Attention
With all the information my mom gave me, she did something even more important: She protected me. She made sure that I was accounted for and that anyone who came within shouting distance of me was fully vetted. What she did not say was, “Here’s a condom, use it on this random person I hired to teach you.”
I don’t know what happened in Boosie’s childhood. But it’s clear that he’s passing on someone’s trauma and disguising it as doing these children a favor. Why Boosie felt compelled to share this on the internet as if others can’t see or hear him is beyond me. Never mind the court of public opinion; law enforcement officials have Instagram, too. Facilitating indecent behavior with a juvenile is a felony, punishable by 25 years of prison with hard labor. And the statute of limitations is 30 years. If he decides to take this evidence down, no worries, all of Black Twitter is ready to testify — with screengrabs as evidence.
There’s no justification, no rationale I can imagine that makes what he did acceptable. But not only did he take pride in his actions, but he asserted a moral argument. “It’s better than watching cartoons,” he continued. “That’s why they have iPhone 11s. They can watch as much porn as they want. It’s better than them watching cartoons with two men kissing… Yeah, it’s like that. Yeah, we raise them different… That’s just how it is.”
Boosie’s concerns go back to 2017 when Disney featured a same-sex kiss on the cartoon Star vs The Forces of Evil. He says he’s making sure that young men are getting hypersexualized to make sure they don’t “become” gay.
Sidebar: Why do so many men, no matter their race or political ideology — or lack thereof — believe that queer people recruit members through animated depictions of affection between two dudes? I have never met a gay man who told me that a cartoon is what sent him to me. Let’s say this once more with feeling: Cartoons will not turn a kid gay. (Or hetero, for that matter.)
I’m not sure if Boosie understands this or not, but he is literally abusing his son. And to orchestrate the abuse is not just unconscionable, it’s hypocritical. As recently as February, Boosie went in on Dwyane Wade for supporting his 12-year-old daughter, Zaya, who came out as trans earlier this year. Despite the ugliness of his comments, he maintained that preteens are just too young to handle certain situations. “I feel kids can’t make decisions like that at that age and I just believe in traditional values, that’s all,” Boosie said in an interview with Vlad TV. (To her credit, Boosie’s own mom disapproved of his comments too.)
To recap the logic of his argument: 12 years old is too young to know who you are, but not too young to have sexual relations with a grown-ass woman. Got it.
The thing is, Zaya Wade already understands life better than Lil’ Boosie. She gets that life doesn’t have to work in binaries, that it’s better to figure out who you are on your own terms rather than to have anything forced on you. And clearly, she’s already learned that sometimes you have to be brave enough to be who you are, no matter how vile and ignorant some sound.
Boosie says he wants traditional values for his son. And yet, in his world, that includes felony sexual assault. He’s not just far from Father of The Year. He’s far from a decent father at all.