An Open Letter to Slim Thug

In a recent interview, rapper Slim Thug unleashed a very disturbing attack on Black women, here’s an excerpt:

…Most single Black women feel like they don’t want to settle for less. Their standards are too high right now. They have to understand that successful Black men are kind of extinct. We’re important. It’s hard to find us so Black women have to bow down and let it be known that they gotta start working hard; they gotta start cooking and being down for they man more. They can’t just be running around with their head up in the air and passing all of us.

I have a brother that dates a White woman and he always be fucking with me about it saying, ‘Y’all gotta go through all that shit [but] my White woman is fine. She don’t give me no problems, she do whatever I say and y’all gotta do all that arguing and fighting and worry about all this other shit.’…

While many people dismissed it as a publicity stunt or the rant of an ignorant rapper, I felt compelled to respond to him in the form of an open letter.


A few days ago, you made comments in Vibe magazine that have caused a great deal of controversy. While I appreciate your willingness to offer your opinion in public, you made several statements that were not only unfair and untrue, but deeply damaging to our community. Normally, I would reach out to you privately, but since your comments were made in a very public place, I feel compelled to respond in the same manner.

As an artist who is respected by millions of fans, particularly young ones, I found your comments to be hurtful and irresponsible. For good or for bad, our children follow the lead of you and other artists for everything from fashion and slang to self-esteem, body image and relationships. Imagine how a young black girl feels to hear from you, her role model, that her “standards are too high” and that she should “bow down” and “settle for less.” Consider the pain that our beautiful brown skinned babies feel when Yung Berg says he doesn’t date “dark butts.” Think about the self-esteem of our community when Nelly refers to our mothers, sisters, and daughters as “Tip Drills.”

As celebrities, your public comments are not just your own. Instead they influence the choices, beliefs, and lives of an entire generation of young people who look to you for direction.

Of course, you have every right to say things that you think are true. The problem, however, is that there was very little truth in your comments.

In your interview, you talk about how much better white women treat their partners than black women. If what you’re saying is true, why do Whites have the highest divorce rate of any group? Do white men get tired of being treated like kings? In reality, it seems that you are buying into (and selling) a stale but dangerous ideal that constructs White women as ultra-feminine, loving, queens, and Black women as angry, selfish, and untrustworthy hoes.

For the rest of the letter, click here.

50 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Slim Thug

  1. Thank you so much for your open letter. It was truthful, accurate, and articulate. I will post this link on my Facebook page and hope that substance will travel as fast as ignorance. Peace

  2. Mr. Hill,
    All I can say as a tears drop from my eyes is THANK YOU!!! So many points you made about the current dynamics among Black women describe my life so well. While the brothers continue to beat us down…you exemplify that there will be some brothers that stand by us like we have stood by them.


  3. Wow! I couldn’t said it better. I’m considered a “successful black women” and feel shunned by my counterparts. “Successful black women” came about out of necessity and the same self-defeating mentality that Slim Thug is promoting. Thanks brother its refreshing to see that all black men don’t loathe us.


  5. I initially felt that this person should not be dignified with a response. I felt that he was just another fatherless brother, who lacks class, education, and the training on public relations. I appreciate your open letter, as I’m sure many other sisters will as well. Glad to see that there are still brothers willing to speak out against this type of talk instead of fueling it.

  6. Thank you so much, brotha, for saying the things that need to be said! Your letter is a great validation of my own feelings and inner thoughts that I feel have been dismissed for far too long. I know that there are kind, intelligent and upright black men in the world and even though, as a woman, I’m not to enjoy a man coming to my defense, I thoroughly enjoyed your standing up for so many black women. I agree with you 100%. We should all take a hard look at ourselves before pointing the fingers at the opposite sex for not living up to our standards when many of us don’t even have standards for ourselves.

    Peace and Love,
    Lavetta Cannon

  7. I have to say that this letter was well written. I applaud you for taking action against Slim’s words. Black men really have to idea how much they hurt black women and the black community as a whole when they speak the words Slim has spoken. These men love their mothers and their grandmothers, aunts, etc. who are all black women but don’t understand that when they diss black women they are dissing them all, including their own mothers. Thank you Dr. Hill!

  8. Marc Lamont Hill, You said it all in your letter! Black women keep your heads up and keep doing you. You don’t need a man to define you no matter what the color of his skin may be.

  9. I would like to commend you on your Open Letter to Slim Thug. As a young black woman it irritates me to see how a lot of black men view us. I can finally say that I am thankful for one male’s opinion of an African American female. I am sure your letter will get a lot of people thinking and will get them to realize that this image that they have created of what a black woman is in most cases is inaccurate. I would just like to say thank you for being the voice for black women in this situation and handling it in such a professional manner.

  10. Thank you Dr Hill, you should comment on the ridiculous comments made by our black celebrities more often.

  11. Thank you for posting such a balanced and well written response. I immediately thought of the poem “A Black Woman’s Smile” by Ty Gray and “Aint I a woman” by Sojourner Truth. Respect and support can work both ways!

  12. Thank you Dr. Hill. It is VERY nice to have a Black knight in shining armor come to my rescue every now and then! My 4 brothers thank you for representing as well.

    Peace, Naj.

  13. Beautifully said. What else can you really say about this this letter? Its the truth and something that needed to be said for all in the black community to hear. Thank you!!

  14. The really sad thing is that, as you say, ” children follow the lead” of this person verbally masturbating his mmature ignorance.

  15. Dr Marc Lamont Hill,
    Primero quiero agradecerle su compromiso social, se nota que usted se lo toma a pecho y solamente asi vamos a poder progresar. Necesitamos mas gente como usted, este pais necesita salir de la ignorancia de la cual sufre. Pienso que lo que usted hace, abre miles de mentes, da esperanza y ganas de seguir luchando.
    Todo eso para que en futuras generaciones seamos criados con mucha mas responsabilidad social.
    Gracias PAZ

  16. Mr. Marc Lamont Hill, your letter is commendable and I applaud your effort which is the very thing that is missing in today’s world, especially in the black community. This current generation is confused about what “keeping it real” is and far to often what is upheld and celebrated are the very things that are a detriment to righteousness. Your action is what should be expected and what should be heard from black leaders, which is a speaking out against such comments and behavior.

  17. Thank you for being a real black man. We have so few strong successful black men in our community and there few that are seem like they only want women outside their race that do not even consider their own black and it’s disgusting. Even on my college campus in Connecticut, 95% of the black male students would never even consider dating a black woman unless she’s mixed. It’s disgusting. I don’t understand why there’s so much hate in our community on both sides. If I date a white man on my campus, I would be ridicule by those same black guys that want to date me because I’m black so why do you care so much? What am I suppose to do? My point is, thank you for writing a respectful and eye-opening letter. There are many black men in hollywood and the sports world that need to read this letter

  18. Now why didn’t ABC have YOU on their panel about unmarried black women? You are a breath of fresh air when it comes to this topic. I appreciate black men who can sit down and dissect this issue for what it really is. So many black men have turned their backs on us. I always say, if you want to date outside you race, fine, but don’t drag a black woman’s reputation in the mud to make yourself feel better about it. That just oozes the idea of self hate and ignorance.

  19. Brother, I got chills reading your letter. THANK YOU. To often folks forget that throughout history sisters have been holding it down to only suffer such scrutiny and persecution.

  20. First let me start off by introducing myself, my name is Fritz Luxama, a 25 year old African American male from Brooklyn, Ny, and I must say it is a privilege and a honor to be writing this email to a man of your stature, and intellect. Your views on topics ranging from politics to hip hop are astonishing. I’ve had the pleasure of watching you on CNN on numerous occasions, and I can feel the passion that you are trying to convey when you speak. I write this email in reference to what you had to say about Slimthug’s article in Vibe magazine. My opinion on the matter is slimthug is a very ignorant person, and his views reflect that, now granted this may be a publicity stunt, which would be absurd, cause I can’t see such views helping his album sales, but for him to publicly shares this in a magazine which is targeted towards the urban youth is utterly ridiculous. What’s wrong with holding your head high? As long as it’s gracefully done-without judgment toward others. I never understood the notion of lowering ones standards, you hold these standards because you do not want to settle for anything less, it’s that simple, so in a sense slimthug is telling black women to settle, to go below their expectations. I don’t believe that is the message we should be delivering to black women today, whatever happen to messages of standing beside your woman and not above her, that needs to be made clear in today’s society. In closing, you touched on so many different areas in the response, you left no stone unturned and I must commend you on that. We need more Marc Lamont Hill’s in world then we do slimthugs, but the sad thing is his voice speaks to a completely different audience then yours, but I’m hoping in the near future, the playing field well even out, with your help and mines.

    Best Regards
    Fritz Luxama

  21. I think the larger issue is the fact that kids actually look up to someone like Slim Thug.

    I highly doubt that a letter to this meat head will change his “Thug” ways. Is this not exactly what we expect from a man with “Thug” in his chosen name?

  22. First off how many kids listen to slim thug? Not many i hope because his music isn’t for kids. And if your kids do listen to his music they are doomed and you should be punished. He made a very true statement i must say. I’m and educated brother and I’m married to a black woman but I have many women friends and i hear many topics that women discuss via Facebook/Twitter/Email and he has made a valid point. I hear these women around here talking and before they check anything out about the man they checking his bank account then what he is driving or his shoe game. Shows like NBA wives and ATL wives is the main reason the black women in America look so bad today. Reality TV has the baddest affect on the perception of black women out here than a underground rapper does. If black women keep putting themselves out there to look like low class gold diggers then that perception will continue to grow. I’ve said to myself why don’t they do shows about about some black women graduation from law school or medical school or just something positive. Think about yall should be boycotting VH1 and BET and BRAVO for making this perception of black women and movies like precious. I apploud Monique for winning an award but do you know the perception of every poor black single mother after watching that movie??? Not good. Slim had a right to voice his opinion even though I don’t think you will see him with BECKY out in public..But I don’t agree with you all bashing him for his statement but yall havent bashed lil wayne for getting all these women knocked up at the same time and he has the biggest influence over all kids…

  23. I appreciate that you expressed so eloquently your disdain for his take on black women, but I think you missed the damage his statement could do to black men, as well.

    How can the sentence “They have to understand that successful Black men are kind of extinct.” not get some sort of reply. Not only does he say women are too uppity, but that men are incapable of making something of themselves. I would expect you, as a Black man who has clearly made something of himself, to point out the fallacy of such a hurtful statement.

  24. Thank you so much!!! Your letter was such a blessing. It felt so good to hear this coming from a man’s perspective to another man. Usually, its just the woman repeatedly drilling this same information into her man’s head. But most men feel like Slim Thug, that a woman doesn’t know her place. Thank you again Mr.Hill, your letter was very necessary.

  25. Vox said:

    “How can the sentence “They have to understand that successful Black men are kind of extinct.” not get some sort of reply. Not only does he say women are too uppity, but that men are incapable of making something of themselves. I would expect you, as a Black man who has clearly made something of himself, to point out the fallacy of such a hurtful statement.”

    Co-signed. Added to his comments about the fallacy of unsuccessful black men, there is also the ongoing struggle some of those non-defended ‘good’ brothas face when trying to attract black women. As uneasy as the conversation might be, there is at least SOME truth in the idea that some black women (of course, not all. But some.) opt for bad boys like Slim, leaving the ‘good’, cultured, and refined brothas alone to second guess their decision not to be thugs. I can almost guarantee that – in at least SOME circles – brothas like Slim would be far more coveted and appreciated than the good (translation: corny) brotha.

    Black men have a certain cross to bear: namely, living up to an expectation that we MUST subscribe to certain alpha male behavioral traits. Whatever you do, don’t own a Tom Jones discography. Don’t be polite to folks. Don’t read. Don’t possess even a modicum of intellectual prowess. Don’t relinquish any hyper-masculinity you have in favor of more sensitivity. I mean, doing shit like that is a capital offense according to certain social bylaws.

    That being the case, I’m honestly not surprised in the least that bruhs are jumping over to white and asian women.

    I’m certainly not defending anything Slim Thug is saying. The dude’s an idiot and I’m glad you had the moxie to call him out. And I still maintain that conversations like these MUST be done on a case-by-case basis (bump all that generalizing mess). But I’m also not denying the reality that the “pimp/player/baller/dopeboy” image evoked by some bruhs carries with it at least SOME level of attraction with sistas at the same time that being a ‘good’ guy can be as unattactive as having Herpes.

  26. Great post! I typically try to avoid reading ignorance put out by entertainers (i.e. Slim Thug, John Mayer). I truly think they make these controversial statements for publicity reasons because I refuse to believe anyone is that stupid.

    With that said, I appreciate you taking the time to send this open letter to Slim Thug (I’d never even heard of him before this incident). I think he needs to realize what he’s saying is divisive to the Black community. We already have so many other issues to overcome as a culture, why continue to add fuel to the fire?

  27. Although I do understand where exactly you are coming from Dr. Hill, you must take heed to the growing population of Black females who are literally going out of their way to actually put down Black men. Now, this may be out of anger for many a situation, but the bottom line is that they use these various statistics to put down Black men, while “hopping over the fence.” For many Black men, this could be hurtful, and it could be that Slim Tug stated his feelings and opinions based off of what I am discussing in this post in regards to Black women. I just felt the need to put this out there, for it is truth.

  28. Andre,

    As a sucessful black woman, I can honestly say a female’s definition of a good guy and a male’s definition of a good guy……….are probably two different things. I agree, we must look at these types of situations on a case-by-case basis, however, I have found that even ‘good’ guy looks for the same type of female as the “pimp/player/baller/dopeboy.” And when you can’t find a black female barbie/pinup/hoochie/goldigger, many men go for a white/asian/latina one or a very plain/trailer park variety.

    If you are lucky, you find that pretty girl who will stand by you no matter what. If you are lucky as superficial is as superficial does.

    It is what it is and you attract what you look for.

  29. There’s obviously no end to this debate — I remember when Rodney King said, “Can’t we all just get along?” It seems that WE CAN’T!

  30. I just saw you on CNN and was intrigued. I love what you wrote! I am white and my husband is an American Egyptian. He will be the first to tell you that I don’t do whatever he says and I don’t cook all the time or “being down” for him. It breaks my heart to hear or read comments like this. NO woman or man no matter what race should settle for less. It is really sad that the bad boys do attract women but that is true for all races. It comes from immaturity, mature women and men understand that nice guys do get the girl you just have to be patient.

  31. Thanks Marc! I’ve been a fan since I began reading your column on The Root. I’ve found that a lot of black men who don’t think much of black women, usually don’t have a lot of respect for black men either. As one of the posters pointed out, Slim Thug also insulted black men by saying that successful black men were becoming extinct. He obviously doesn’t engage his brain before he opens his mouth.

  32. Dr. Hill, I’ve been reading your articles and watching your videos on Youtube for a while now. I can’t help but think, do you have any white friends? Not all white people are out “to get” blacks. In fact, as a white myself, I would say that (at least in urban/suburban areas) white racists are a very small minority. But you constantly make comments about your “brothers” or “I love how we do!” or statements to that effect. Why? You make whites feel like the “Other,” which is exactly the type of mistreatment that whites perpetuated upon blacks. So now, your claim to fame is “black pride.” Why not just “American pride”? Your separatist language and ideology just makes matters worse for blacks. Most whites, honestly, really just want to get along with blacks and not have any problems. But if you constantly remind whites that “blacks are different than whites, and here’s why….” then you’re just making the problem worse. From what I can tell, many of your opinions on race and ethnic relations seem outdated, like some professor from the 60s. You used tired, stale language. On your twitter account, you remarked about how you were stopped by the Philadelphi police, unnecessarily, and asked inappropriate questions. Fair enough. But the implication was that this occurred because you were black. That’s possible, I guess. But I’m white, and I can tell you I’ve been unnecessarily stopped many times in North Philly just for driving through the neighborhood. Just think a little bit more before you play the race card. It’s a very dangerous card to play. This is Philly, after all. Our school superintendent, District Attorney, police commissioner, and mayor are all black. Yet whites here don’t feel intimated at all. We just keep living our lives. If I were you, I’d use less separatist language and more language of unity, harmony, and peace. Can’t we all just get along?

  33. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…it’s great to know that there is a black man out there that appreciates what black women do!!!

  34. Sucha weak ass dick head….this ‘slim thug’ bullshitter….

    as a married black woman I just find it very sad that some black men really think black women really care about black men who think like him. I would much rather him find himself a wonderfully submissive white woman….yall white ladies can have all them “bow down to your man” men…puuuuuuuuuhlease…

  35. kudos to the professor. what all the black women need to do is STOP buying his products and any other Black men who DISS the black women who look like the ONE that BIRTHed them. i stop buying , supporting, etc from black men who have or made hateful , negative comments about BLACK women. including black celebs/athletes who feel a need to only MARRY or DATE women outside of their race. i never see the white male country stars/athletes bringing nonwhite women to the CMT awards or Espn , etc . the only Men who do this on a regular , continuous basis are BLACK men including these RAP artists who don’t even have BLACK women in the music videos unless they are doing EXtreme Bootie shaking dances. dr hill you did a great job in your come back to o’reilly when he said you looked like a DRug dealer by telling him he looks like a DRUG USER !!! GREEAT !

  36. While I side with Dr. Hill over Slim Thug 1000x. It becomes apparent in part of Dr. Hill’s response that he hasn’t witnessed the attitudes of young college age sisters walking around HBCUs lately. And this is not a blanket statement attacking sisters, the below is an existing scenario and why I can relate with part of Slim’s statement.

    I don’t agree with the views on white women being weak, I believe that is a stereotype perpetuated in the same manner that black men are looked at as criminals. However I do believe and have witnessed first hand the attitude that a black man cannot be an equal to a black woman. Some small examples I’ve witnessed on my school’s campus: he has to hold doors without being given a small “thanks”. That the man has to pay for dinner because it is his obligation. The man must be subservient and not just view his woman as a queen, but treat her like she IS THE QUEEN and he is the pawn. This doesn’t come solely from one experience, but a pervasive attitude that a black man is no good and has to be trained how to treat his woman.

    While the girls yell in the brother’s faces about how they like white women and “fine go get yourself a white slave woman!”…they exchange texts and snicker about a cute white boy and how they need to find themselves with a white man. So in defense of Slim Thugga, I say Dr. Hill get off of your high horse once in a while and see what the rest of us brothers have to deal with.

    North Philly Diamond St.’s own.

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