Thinking on Cardi B's past

Category:  Opinions
Thursday, April 11th, 2019 at 8:40 AM

Three years ago, rapper Cardi B admitted to drugging and robbing men when she was a stripper in order to keep herself financially stable. A week ago, the video resurfaced and since then the rapper has been receiving both backlash and compassion from people around the world. 

In the livestream Instagram video, Cardi B admitted how she “survived” the Bronx prior to becoming famous. 

“I had to go strip. I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you wanna f*** me? Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go back to this hotel,’” she said. She would then talk about drugging individuals and robbing them, while stating that nothing was handed to her.  

Since the video resurfaced, Cardi released a statement on Instagram. Cardi credited herself with always speaking honestly about who she is and what she has experienced. She believes that sharing her experiences, whether they are right or wrong, was a way of bettering her life. 

“I talked about things I had to do in my past, right or wrong, that I felt I needed to do to make a better living,” Cardi B said in her post. 

I’ve been a big fan of Cardi for a while. For several years now, I have supported her bold personality and outright honesty. She has always been a relatable person in my eyes; her music and brashness has spoken to me. 

Prior to the Instagram video resurfacing, I had not seen it. I was unaware of her confession to drugging and robbing men. I was aware she was a stripper (which, contrary to popular opinion, was just a regular job to me) and lived a life in poverty.

When I heard the rumors about what Cardi had admitted to, I didn’t believe it at first. Once I saw the video, I was pretty upset. Someone I had admired for their honesty had taken advantage of other people for selfish reasons. 

However, when I took a step back from the situation and saw the comparisons people were making to rape victims that were drugged, I noted a big difference. Cardi didn’t rape these men. 

I don’t condone what Cardi B did or her justifying herself now. Drugging people and robbing people is illegal. However, to compare it to drugging and raping people rubs me the wrong way. 

Now, we don’t know if Cardi raped these men. What we do know is she robbed them after she drugged them. I don’t believe we should compare traumas; however, it is also my opinion that rape and robbery are not equally traumatic. 

You can get more money. You can buy a new watch. You can replace objects. Recovery from rape is not as simple. 

Granted, I am in no position to speak on behalf of people who have been robbed. I am in no position to speak on behalf of all sexual assault survivors. I can speak for myself. As a sexual assault survivor, it is my understanding that you don’t come back from rape the same way you do a robbery.  

I understand that it is hard to survive poverty. I wasn’t raised on my single mother’s good looks. Cardi cannot be applauded for drugging and robbing men to survive. There are other things that could and can be done that don’t require taking advantage of people. 

As a society, we should not turn a blind eye to Cardi robbing people, but we don’t need to go to the extreme of comparing it to rape. 

 

Anisa Venner-Johnston | voices.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: cardi b

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