When the Taliban was temporarily stifled in 2001, a more egalitarian notion of women’s rights took hold in Afghanistan. Women could walk around without burqas; they could vote; they could even escape abusive marriages by seeking refuge in women’s shelters. But having rights didn’t protect them from abuse. According to non-governmental agencies, nearly 90% of Afghan women have experienced domestic abuse. Since Afghanistan is a patriarchal society trapped in the stone age, these stats are really no surprise.
What is surprising, however, is that Ron Artest has come to their defense. Yes, that Ron Artest. The mercurial basketball player with the emotional stability of a bag of rats in a burning meth lab. Over the last few years, he’s become known for strong defense and:
Now, he has written and performed a song called “Afghan Girl,” which calls attention to the plight of many Afghan women.
Warning: Video contains uncomfortable and graphic images.
Too many of our athletes and celebrities sit idly on the sidelines even though they have platforms to affect change, so Artest deserves a lot of credit for what he’s trying to do here. The problem, however, is his execution is a hot ass mess loaded to the gills with irony and awkward moments.
I know that for Ron Artest, (in)sanity is a rapidly fluctuating continuum, so people might be afraid to speak up when he’s making woeful choices. But sometimes you need to protect a man from himself by putting on your bullet proof vest, helmet and other protective gear and saying, “Hey Ron, I appreciate what you’ve got going on here but let’s find another way. Try speaking to the media, visiting Afghanistan or raising money for awareness. Do anything but rap because bro, you’ve got less than zero skills and listening to you try gives me a massive case of the sads.”