The Internet reacted with strong emotions to former President Barack Obama telling Black boys to stop giving their time and energy to girls who disrespect themselves by twerking.
But not everyone was pleased with Mr. Obama’s advice.
Mr. Obama made the statement during an appearance at an event in Oakland, CA with NBA star Steph Curry on Tuesday.
Uplifting the happily-married Curry as an example of a man with self-confidence, Obama told the boys in the audience to avoid women who twerk and don’t chase material wealth.
“We live in a culture where our worth is measured by how much money we have and how famous we are,” the multi-millionaire told the audience. “I will tell you, at the end of the day, the thing that will give you confidence is not that. I know a lot of rich people that are all messed up.”
He continued: “If you are really confident about your financial situation, you’re probably not going to be wearing an eight-pound chain around your neck. If you’re very confident about your sexuality, you don’t have to have eight women around you twerking.”
Twerking is an over-sexualized form of dancing that is hugely popular in the urban hip-hop community. The dance involves sexually suggestive gyrations and thrusting of the groin and buttocks areas.
Obama was praised for giving the boys a frank discussion about self-confidence and respecting women. But not everyone was accepting of the former President’s words of wisdom.
One Twitter user compared Obama to Bill Cosby, who famously told Black men to “pull your pants up”.
“This does strike me as a Cosby-esque jab at poor Black men w/ aspirations of attaining wealth,” tweeted filmmaker and activist Bree Newsome.
Margaret Kimberly (@freedomrideblog) tweeted: “This is exactly what it sounds like to me. And infuriating since he largely failed to improve the economic conditions of the black men he’s referring to conditions which he largely avoided in his life.”
Barack Obama: 'If you're confident about your sexuality, you don't need eight women around your twerking https://t.co/ViK8wLGZOH pic.twitter.com/cRcERxZKTd
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 20, 2019
Glad he said this. People act like Hip-Hop is above criticism, but the reality is the hypersexualization of women is both problematic for women and the young men who watch. It reinforces very toxic ideas and makes men feel the need to overcompensate.
— Lizzy Grant (@KimKIsMyMom) February 20, 2019
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images