leslie nikole
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Thanks to my favourite podcast The Read, hosted by the lovely Kid Fury and Crissle, the statement and hashtag #SAYNOTOFUCKBOYS exists. And rightly so, considering what popped off on the internet last night.

You know when something is just so inexcusably stupid that you can't even chalk it up to a lack of common sense or class? Yeah, well someone had a bright idea to create what was supposed to be a sensational (but not in the way it played out) YouTube video entitled "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape".

Yes. You read that right. The collective sighs can be heard all around the world.

Now, I'm not going to link to the video, but it's basically a parody of the efforts Harriet Tubman made to free countless numbers of slaves, not through brilliance and courage, but through sex. The video plays out as to say that the real reason why Harriet Tubman was able to bring so many to freedom was because she'd blackmailed the slave owner; her "leverage" being sex tape recorded by a fellow slave.

Some how, Russell Simmons, who has advocated on numerous platforms over the years against classism and racism, signed off on this. I could understand if he woke up this morning and saw this for the first time completely in shock, but he cosigned it on Twitter and noted that it was one of the funniest things he'd ever seen. Thick skin set aside, the inability to see the error in this is mind boggling. To think that it is "funny" to depict Harriet Tubman resorting to using sex to "[outwit] the slave master" deserves more self-checking than a simple "silly me." "162 years of injustice" just got one more slap in the face, and this time around it is being dealt by the same people who would have been slaves themselves. With one three and a half minute clip, the video manages to discredit the claims of rape and sexual violence against black slave women at the hands of slave owners and on slave ships ("All these years I've been acting like I didn't enjoy are special time together" says Shanna Malcolm, the "actress" playing Harriet Tubman), empowers the idea of slave women using sex to win favour of their owners, and downplays the torment of slave men who were unable to protect anyone they cared about.

I really would like to know what was going through the minds of Shanna Malcolm, who calls her subscribers McNigglets, and DeStorm (please tell me his mother didn't name him that) Power were thinking when they read through this script. Where were they during Black History Month? Did Power, a Virginia native, have any second thoughts about this considering the state he was born in was built upon slave labour? The demoralization of such an outstanding historical figure who not only saved herself, but then put her life into danger almost twenty times to make trips back down south to help others is absolutely incomprehensible.

There's comedy and then there's this. This is disgusting. This is demoralization. This is disrespect.