Behind “Miley, What’s Good?”

By Siana Ramos, Reporter

A lot of people in our world like to pretend racism doesn’t exist or that it isn’t a problem. These people are usually white and have never had to worry about racism because they have always been protected by their safe, ignorant, little white bubbles. And when people of color speak up about what they go through, they are mocked, ignored, dehumanized, and demonized.

This leads me to talk about a recent incident that took place on Aug. 31. Nicki Minaj called out Miley Cyrus on stage at the VMAs. A handful of things have been said about what happened, particularly about the actions of Minaj. Many have said that she was just being a sore loser, dramatic, immature, or a bully. But there is so much more behind what Minaj did than what people are understanding.

After the VMA nominations came out in July, Minaj tweeted about her and Beyoncé’s video for “Feelin’ Myself” not being nominated and how that was due to racism and sizeism in the music industry and the world. Nicki Minaj was standing up for herself and all black women who do not get credit for what they do. She was drawing attention to very important issues that need to be talked about. While skinny white women are praised and supported when they celebrate themselves, thick black women are shamed for doing the same thing. Nicki describes these issues in one of her tweets, “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year. I’m not always confident. Just tired. Black women influence pop culture so much, but are rarely rewarded for it.”

After Nicki’s tweets, Miley Cyrus commented on her statements during an interview. “If you do things with an open heart and you come at things with love, you would be heard and I would respect your statement. But I don’t respect your statement because of the anger that came with it. And it’s not anger like, ‘Guys, I’m frustrated about some things that are a bigger issue.’ You made it about you,” Cyrus said, adding, “Not to sound like a b—-, but that’s like, ‘Eh, I didn’t get my VMA.'”

First of all, Miley Cyrus is a white woman. She does not, nor does any other white person have any right to tell a person of color how to address the racism that they face. She is in no place to tell Nicki Minaj how to address her own oppression. White people always expect people of color to be kind and calm when addressing racism. However, you cannot expect someone who has to constantly deal with such a disgusting, painful, hard, and terrible thing like racism and, in this case, sizeism too, to address it without showing any of their emotions.

Second of all, Miley says Nicki would be heard and respected if she came at this with love, but the truth is, no matter how Nicki said it she would get bashed for it. Because any time a person of color mentions these issues, white people do not take them seriously and they claim that they are “making it about race.” No person of color “makes” anything about race. They don’t have to. Racism exists, they don’t need to “make it about race.” It’s already there and it came from racist white people, that’s it.

Nicki Minaj had every right to be angry, she had every right to tweet what she tweeted. She was simply standing up for herself and other black women. This all happened about a month before the VMAs. At the VMAs, which were hosted by Miley Cyrus, Nicki went up on stage to give her speech when she got an award for “Anaconda.” At the end of her speech she said, “Now back to this b—- who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what’s good?” Miley and a lot of people in the world responded with saying that Nicki was just bitter for not getting nominated for her other video, and that she was making everything about herself. Nicki is not bitter, she is not a sore loser, and she’s not being a bully. She is tired of her and other black women being disrespected, ignored, and shamed.

Aside from Miley and lots of other racists, a lot of people celebrated and supported Nicki Minaj including some of our Cleveland Warriors.


“Nicki had every right to call out Miley. Miley isn’t the innocent victim that she attempted to make herself out to be. Nicki’s goal was to shed light on the struggles that women of color face in and outside of the entertainment industry. Miley completely dismisses the struggles of these women,” said senior Alina Palmer. “The fact that Miley can dismiss Nicki and have half of the world defend her is scary.”

“I think she had every right to do what she did,” said senior Aja Alexander.  

“Nicki’s comments were justified. Miley is the definition of white feminism and Nicki is very brave for calling her out on it,” said senior Nicole Schenk. “Black women are often given the ‘angry black woman’ stereotype, which dismisses their thoughts and dehumanizes them.”

There is nothing wrong with what Nicki Minaj did. If you have anything negative to say about what she did at the VMAs, think about why you feel that way. Do you think it was immature? Do you think it was unnecessary? Do you think she was being too dramatic? If so, try to understand where Nicki was coming from. She is tired of the disrespect and dehumanization of black women. She is tired of watching white women get praised and rewarded for things that black women have been doing for years without recognition.

There is nothing immature about Nicki calling out an ignorant person who completely disregarded the important point she was trying to make. There is nothing immature about calling out racism and sizeism. And by calling people of color “dramatic” when they are simply standing up against the constant racism they face, you are completely invalidating their feelings and experiences. If you are white, you do not know. You cannot understand. You are in no place to tell a person of color that they are overreacting. You are in no place to tell them how to talk about their experiences. So please, white people, just listen.