“Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor’s ability to have dangerously high sex appeal while simultaneously looking like rottweilers will always amaze me,” the tweet said.
Ari responded via Instagram live, calling the comments anti-black. “I’m not with that sh*t at all,” she told her followers.
Continuing,”How people hate black people so much, how black people can sit up here and say, ‘That’s not my problem.’ Or, ‘She does look like a rottweiler,’” she began. “You wanna talk about how people are so sensitive they want us to cancel freedom of speech. Why is this your speech? Why are you so comfortable tearing down black women?”
While most people saw Ari’s self-defense as a brave way to stand up for not only herself, but any Black woman who has been the victim of disrespectful commentary about her appearance, podcast host Joe Budden thought her response read as “insecure.”
“Does anything about the Ari Lennox thing scream insecurity to you?” Joe said. “Insecurity. How you feel about you versus how what people feel about you versus how what people feel about you does to how you feel about you. Insecurity. And while there may be variations of it or different reasons of why it stems, insecurity is insecurity.”
He also questioned if Ari actually feels like “black is beautiful” since she felt the need to engage with the social media hater.
“So when I hear you reply to people like whoever this pawn dude is, it’s like, are you telling me how beautiful the blackness is, or are you telling you, because if you truly feel like that, if you truly believe that black is beautiful, as beautiful as it is, and you embody that, you will not use your energy, your platform, your power… when you negate that power or misuse it by replying to just whatever [this person] has anything to say, then what we really doing here? How do you really feel about you?”
First things first, no one is allowed to police how any person reacts to pain. It’s safe to say that throughout Joe’s career, he has lashed out in way worse ways when someone has “come at him” then Ari did in her level-headed IG live response. It’s common knowledge that Black women have been at the epicenter of hate and criticism since we were brought to America, and to this day we remain, in Malcom X’s words, “the most disrespected” woman in America. So it’s inappropriate for Joe Budden, a Black man, to use his platform to tell a Black woman how to use her platform–particularly when she is being attacked. Considering almost everyone on this planet has insecurities, bringing up Ari’s potential insecurity is a moot point. In fact, it only serves to diminish her feelings and elevate his own voice above hers. A true ally of Black women would acknowledge the historic disrespect of our women and empathize with someone like Ari who still has to deal with this level of hate for us and hate for our features in 2020.