Rapper T.I. took a nasty political shot at President Trump by depicting First Lady Melania Trump as a stripper performing for him in the White House.
No amount of political disagreement or album promotion justifies degrading the First Lady of the United States and he should apologize.
T.I. is a successful entertainer who has built businesses around his family, but his new promo video for his forthcoming tenth album was far from family-friendly.
The video posted to Twitter with the message “Dear 45, I ain’t Kanye,” features a Melania Trump lookalike sauntering into a faux Oval Office in a similar Zara jacket to the one the first lady wore during a trip to Texas. As T.I. sits in the President’s chair, the fake Melania strips naked on the desk before they both walk off together.
The inspiration for the video was partly payback. T.I. was reportedly repulsed that fellow rapper Kanye West would go to the White House last week to discuss policy solutions for the black community. In a long rant of his own on social media he posted:
“This is the most repulsive,disgraceful, Embarrassing act of desperation & auctioning off of one’s soul to gain power I’ve ever seen…You ass kissing and boot licking on a whole new level &I refuse to associate myself with something so vile,weak,& inconsiderate to the effect this has on the greater good of ALL OUR PEOPLE!!!!”
T.I. is entitled to oppose President Trump but he’s not entitled to bar others like Kanye West from working with the White House to deliver much-needed opportunity and safety for blacks in Chicago.
Worse, what T.I. did to Melania Trump is really what’s “repulsive, disgraceful, [and an] embarrassing act of desperation.” He lashed out Kanye for “auctioning off” his soul to gain power, but isn’t T.I. selling disrespect for women to sell albums?
T.I. humiliated the First Lady by comparing her to a stripper. He then insinuated that when the President leaves her alone at the White House, she’s busy cheating. This is degrading to her personally and dishonors the position of the First Lady of the United States.
If a similar video had been made of former First Lady Michelle Obama, the outrage would have been vociferous –especially from feminists and champions of women's issues on the left. Yet, those leaders and women’s groups are silent. It leads us to think that anything which diminishes this White House and Melania Trump is more than okay.
The White House responded rightly saying,
"Like it or not, she is the first lady and this is the White House. It's disrespectful and disgusting to portray her this way simply because of politics. These kinds of vulgar attacks only further the divisiveness and bias in our country — it needs to stop."
T.I.’s video is another example of why all women – regardless of their political views – must stand up against sexist, degrading attacks against women in politics.
Melania Trump is the FLOTUS now, but Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton were all First Ladies at some point. Just as they would not have deserved to be disparaged and humiliated like this, Melania Trump or the next FLOTUS doesn’t either.
In fact, no woman deserves to be the subject of vicious attacks because of her politics. That is why we must champion women and call out such attacks when they occur.