Purpose of my post: I’m not even going to lie to you. Even as a vegetarian for the past 15 years, I was even entertained by this bizarre docu-series. I had zero intention of watching it, but a bunch of people whose shows I watch (“Desus & Mero” co-hosts, Trevor Noah from “The Daily Show,” French Montana during a “Hot 97” interview) kept bringing it up. And I had to know why in the world this show was so popular. After one episode, there was no way I was going to skip the rest. I watched the whole thing in two days.

But once tigers started dragging Joe Exotic around by a shoe and another one bit an arm and a foot on a worker, it got really real. The show itself can easily overlook all of these wild animals that were never meant to be caged, primarily due to the rivalry between Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic and a strange group of friends, lovers and co-workers. While I, personally, didn’t ignore the for-profit animal cruelty of it all, when I looked at a CNN story today that described the conditions as a “a group of people who own tigers” instead of hoarding hundreds of tigers in unsafe, tight confines, that’s when it’s impossible to ignore the slant in news reporting.

Off topic/your son: I pondered on your son’s comment to see if I would immediately come to that conclusion. And I kept visualizing a manager I had back in my retail days in college. He came to me clear out of nowhere and wanted to gush about that “new rapper Eminem and how he’s got to be the best rapper out there.” I asked him who was he comparing him to. He shrugged and went, “I dunno. You know, I don’t listen to rap much, but he’s really good at it.”

And I went right back to my same question: “Why are you so sure he’s good if you have no one to compare him to?” He changed the topic after that, but it set a tone. Anytime someone tells me, “I don’t like rap, but I like Eminem/Macklemore/Beastie Boys/Machine Gun Kelly/Iggy Azalea,” you pretty much told me what you’re trying not to tell me. Just keep it real. You like to see a white guy/girl succeed in a predominantly black industry.

And as far as your comparison to rock, I swear folks forget all the time that rock is just as rebellious and raunchy as the early days of rap music. They came up side-by-side. Yet one gets crucified — regardless of there being as many Chance the Rappers and Rapsodys as there are Young Jeezys and Too Shorts — while the other does not.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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