The rapper Megan Thee Stallion discusses in an opinion piece published Tuesday by The New York Times about being shot by a man, the Kentucky attorney general's handling of the Breonna Taylor case and how Black women are mistreated.
The chart-topping performer whose real names is Megan Pete, begins the piece by saying, Black women are expected "once again" to deliver victory for Democratic candidates in the presidential election.
"We have gone from being unable to vote legally to a highly courted voting bloc — all in little more than a century," she wrote. "Despite this and despite the way so many have embraced messages about racial justice this year, Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life."
Pete, 25, said that she was "recently the victim of an act of violence by a man." She did not name her assailant and said she was not in a relationship with the man. She has previously said that the person who shot at her feet during an argument July 12 after a party in Hollywood Hills was the rapper Tory Lanez, who was born Daystar Peterson in Canada.
Peterson was charged with one count of assault with a semi-automatic handgun and one count of carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. Prosecutors said he and a "female friend," identified in a criminal complaint only as Megan P., were riding in a sport utility vehicle in the Hollywood Hills during the early morning hours when they began arguing. He is accused of shooting several times at her feet and wounding her after she exited the vehicle. He would face up to 22 years and eight months in prison if convicted.
Peterson was initially arrested in July on suspicion of possession of a concealed weapon.
"Truthfully, I was shocked that I ended up in that place," Pete wrote in the opinion piece.
She said she was initially silent about what transpired "out of fear for myself and my friends," which she had said in August on Instagram. She said she underwent surgery to remove the bullets.
"Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment," Pete wrote. "The way people have publicly questioned and debated whether I played a role in my own violent assault proves that my fears about discussing what happened were, unfortunately, warranted."
After "a lot of self-reflection" on the incident, she said she has "realized that violence against women is not always connected to being in a relationship."
"Instead, it happens because too many men treat all women as objects, which helps them to justify inflicting abuse against us when we choose to exercise our own free will," she said.
"From the moment we begin to navigate the intricacies of adolescence, we feel the weight of this threat, and the weight of contradictory expectations and misguided preconceptions," Pete wrote. "Many of us begin to put too much value to how we are seen by others. That’s if we are seen at all.
"The issue is even more intense for Black women, who struggle against stereotypes and are seen as angry or threatening when we try to stand up for ourselves and our sisters," she added. "There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman."
In August, she said she had initially sought to protect Peterson from the police by not telling them she had been shot, but that false stories about what transpired, including, she claimed, from Peterson's representatives, forced her to come forward. Peterson released an album later in August in which he appeared to repeatedly dispute her account.
Peterson tweeted Friday that time will tell, "the truth will come to the light" and "a charge is not a conviction."
"If you have supported me or meg thru this," he wrote, "I genuinely appreciate u."
In response to the charges, Jim Lewis, an attorney for Peterson, said Friday: "The 'victim' doesn't appear to be seriously injured, since I saw her on 'Saturday Night Live' last week."
Pete appeared as the musical guest Oct. 3 on the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live," where she criticized Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron over his investigation into the case of Taylor, a Black medical worker who was killed by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky, during a botched raid. None of the officers were charged for causing Taylor's death.
In her opinion piece, Pete said she used the performance "to harshly rebuke" Cameron "for his appalling conduct in denying" Taylor and her family justice.
"I anticipated some backlash: Anyone who follows the lead of Congressman John Lewis, the late civil rights giant, and makes 'good trouble, necessary trouble,' runs the risk of being attacked by those comfortable with the status quo," she wrote.
During her performance, she played an audio clip of Tamika Mallory, a social justice activist, saying Cameron is "no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery," as signage behind her on the stage displayed the same statement.
Cameron slammed the performance, saying, "The fact that someone would get on national television and make disparaging comments about me because I'm simply trying to do my job is disgusting."
Pete also took issue in her opinion piece with the U.S. education system saying it fails to teach students about the contributions and achievements of Black people; the policing of Black women's bodies such as tennis great Serena Williams who was criticized for wearing a full-length bodysuit at the 2018 French Open; fatal violence against Black transgender women, and the "male-dominated ecosystem" in hip-hop, which she said has tried to pit her against Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.
Pete said she hopes that Kamala Harris’ "candidacy for vice president will usher in an era where Black women in 2020 are no longer 'making history' for achieving things that should have been accomplished decades ago."
"But that will take time, and Black women are not naïve," Pete added. "We know that after the last ballot is cast and the vote is tallied, we are likely to go back to fighting for ourselves. Because at least for now, that’s all we have."