Rapper Cardi B attempted to defend her fiancé, Offset, from criticism that his lyrics are homophobic, but her words missed the mark.
Migos member Offset was featured on YFN Lucci’s new song “Boss Life,” where he delivers a line that goes: “I cannot vibe with queers.” Even though the song was released in December, criticism grew this week, and Offset’s Thursday apology argued that he didn’t “mean someone’s who is gay.”
Cardi B defended that point in a video on Sunday, saying she’s never seen her fiancé act differently with members of the LGBTQ community.
“It has a different vocabulary on the dictionary,” Cardi said in her video. “Now if that’s a word that you guys said is a bad word for gays, I’ve never even heard that word in the first place. Why don’t y’all educate people? A lot of people are not aware about what’s wrong or right in the LGBTQ community.”
Despite her well intentions, Cardi B’s argument that it’s the duty of marginalized people to educate others on their community is problematic.
Cardi continued to say that she thought she was making a “perfect point” and that others would just want to argue.
“What is the point of the debate and this, this and that?” she said in her video. “You’re not educated, and that’s what’s important, to educate. Period.”
Different communities have tried to push across the point that it is not their duty to educate those in the majority about their struggles for years now. Director Ava DuVernay possibly said it best in a Los Angeles Magazine interview in 2016, where she argued that the onus isn’t on the marginalized “because we didn’t build the problem.”
“If I’m forward-thinking and know that there is inequity, I should not need the transgender woman to take time out of her experience to educate me,” DuVernay told the Los Angeles Magazine.
There is nothing wrong with the word “queer” when used in certain contexts. It is a term reclaimed by many in the LGBTQ community in order to describe their identity. But there also exists a painful history of people using “queer” in a derogatory manner ― and Offset’s lyric seems, to many, to play into that negative historical use of this term.
And while “queer” may be a word that many LGBTQ people have grown more empowered by in recent years, the context of Offset’s lyric is one that further isolates that community. Even if Offset and Cardi B weren’t aware of the word’s use within the LGBTQ community – which many have found hard to believe – it was probably not the best response to ask others to do the work of educating.