Last month, I called someone in the comments section of a Facebook post a “potato head.” LOLs followed and the foolish soul was shut down. That, my friends, is what we call a “clap back.” I didn’t aim for their size, color, gender, or sexuality. My clap backs are vicious yet classy.
The terminology “clap back” has been around for decades, but thanks to the The Shade Room, the phrase has hit the mainstream. Clap backs usually take place on the battlefield of social media and the most noticeable participants are celebrities. With all eyes watching, clapping back can be risky. The wrong insults could result in a demand for a star to be “cancelled.” Dear celebs: sometimes the best response is no response.
Understandably, a “clap back” is intended to hurt your feelings, but no one should ever engage in the low hanging fruit of insults: homophobia, fatphobia, transphobia, colorism and slut-shaming are just a few examples. These clap backs add to the violence marginalized communities face on a daily basis. Celebrities, don’t go there.
A “clap back” is intended to hurt your feelings, but no one should ever engage in the low hanging fruit of insults
For example, Wednesday night, Cardi B was called out for several tweets she made a year ago. @Wokemutant, a Twitter user who dug up the tweets, began a thread called “Cardi B Calling Black Women Roaches.” In a nasty back and forth, she responded to Internet trolls, who were Black women, by calling them roaches and even calling one person a monkey.See the full thread here.
Yes, Cardi B is also a Black woman and was “clapping back” at trolls who were attacking her, but it was a poor and unnecessary choice of words. Again, the low hanging fruit of insults. Well, Cardi B clapped back again. In a series of now deleted tweets, she responded to the user who created the thread, “Your [sic] Arab ass trying to make sh*t into being a racist you got no idea what it’s like being one of or color in this country so stfu.” The user was perceived to be Arab by his profile, but his racial or ethnic background is not clear.
This response was perceived as more racism and @wokemutant continued to antagonize Cardi. However, Cardi B’s entire brand is based off “keeping it real” and being from the block. Hence, why some users on Twitter came to her defense, pointing out that no one is perfect. Despite the fact that everyone makes mistakes, accountability is beyond important.
This isn’t the first time Cardi has been called out. She once said in an Instagram video that she would have a “tranny” rape a boyfriend who cheated on her. Although she apologized, Twitter users rolled out the receipts last night. If Cardi never claimed to be woke and had no knowledge of transphobia, I guarantee you she does now. Roasting someone with colorful language is a prominent part of Black culture, but clap backs with bigotry are unacceptable.
That’s where we found ourselves with Lil Duval. After Quantasia Sharpton held a press conference claiming Usher exposed her to herpes, the comedian went on a fatphobic clap back. Sharpton, who also goes by the name Angel Valentino, flexed her petty muscles by calling him a “f*g bag.” Duval is infamous for “comedy” that doesn’t hold any punches and just last week he was under fire for threatening to kill a trans woman if he discovered her gender identity after they were sexual.
Duval’s comments about trans women and Quantasia’s use of f*g was not funny or clever. Be better than Lil Duval, don’t fall for the trap of using hate speech as a clap back. In addition, Quantasia using homophobia is equally as problematic, despite her claims to be fighting for women who are too afraid to come forward after allegedly being lied to about Usher’s health status. Quantasia gets the serious side-eye.
The perfect example of clap back goals is a combo of shade and confidence, not ugliness. Last night, Trina, also known as “The Baddest Bitch,” reminded us that she is never the one. She took to social media and gave us the clap back of the century. Thanks to the gossip blogs, it was revealed that a local female Miami rapper by the name of @KimBrocMics was disrespecting the Diamond Princess and her legacy. See the lovely response below:
Learn from Trina. Whether your clap backs are online or in real life, keep it cute and avoid using f*cked up language during this “dragging season.”
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