Up until now, Nicki Minaj’s greatest controversy seemed to be that she knowingly married a man who has been convicted of attempting to rape a woman, a transgression that was readily overlooked by her loyal legion of fans, collectively referred to as “Barbz.”
But as of Monday, that truth changed dramatically in one fell tweet that at once challenged conventional wisdom with a twist of anti-vaxxing: She claimed one of the reasons she was hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine is because her cousin’s friend suffered “swollen testicles” following his own vaccination. Minaj concluded that unfortunate — and unproven — condition was linked to the vaccination before doubling down on that unverified third-party report by saying that fateful person’s fiancee then left him because of said “swollen testicles.”
She immediately went viral for all the wrong reasons in a seemingly neverending episode that has involved everyone from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top disease expert, to the White House, to the government of Minaj’s native Trinidad and Tobago, which was compelled to debunk Minaj’s lies, to — perhaps the most unlikely part — rabid right-wing MAGA conservatives whose language is typically dripping with anti-Black rhetoric.
The combination of all of the above was one plot twist that, it’s safe to say, absolutely no one saw coming this year.
Fox News on Wednesday night was proudly playing audio of Minaj’s social media outburst about the treatment she’s received from the public after sharing her horrific COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory about enlarged nether regions. The video was widely shared by people like Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese anti-Muslim activist and author whose support for the vaccine only extends to Donald Trump, who she credits for its existence.
Even before that, in a very telling sign, far-right extremist cable TV commentator Tucker Carlson instantly gravitated to Minaj’s Twitter tale and said he wanted to interview the purported friend of Minaj’s cousin — if either of them actually exists. The prevailing logic is that Carlson was likely interested in using a dissenting Black voice — one that is insanely popular and influential — in order to justify his own indefensible anti-vaccine stance.
Carlson, it can’t be forgotten, is the same person who has been described as “the voice of white grievance” and who recently called the government’s vaccination plan “the greatest scandal in my lifetime.”
Next thing you know, Candace Owens — she who has readily mocked celebrities’ influence and said she’s “proud” to be unvaccinated — jumped on Carlson’s bandwagon to champion Minaj, her cousin, and her cousin’s alleged friend.
Owens publicly thanked Minaj, who she said was among “real queens” who are “speaking truth.” (On a side note, it could have actually been Minaj’s lyrics video for her single, “Only,” that BET described as having “conjured memories of Hitler’s Nazi regime” that bonded the rapper and Owens, who in 2019 shared sympathetic sentiment about the murderous and anti-Semitic dictator.
To say that Carlson and Owens’ collective defense and support of a rapper, let alone Nicki Minaj, is an opportunistic moment for their obvious ulterior, partisan, anti-vaxxing motives is an understatement.
Both have disparaged rappers as well as so-called influencers, even as they each enjoy the latter status.
Carlson ad Owens had nothing but bad things to say about Minaj’s contemporaries Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s song, “WAP,” and its performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
But chances are that their opinions would quickly shift if either rapper publicly expressed skepticism, hesitance or disapproval of the vaccine.
To be sure, this is not the first time Minaj has waded into political waters. But she has never shown a clear preference for Democrats or Republicans. For instance, just last year she called Trump “childish” while also expressing how entertaining she found his candidacy for re-election.
“I think he’s hilarious,” she told Billboard without acknowledging the actual damage his presidency did to the country and especially Black and brown people in the U.S. “I wish they could just film him running for president. That’s the ultimate reality show.”
Weeks later, Minaj offered up some Twitter criticism of Democrats and claimed they “will continue to beat up on eachother while y’all laugh & Trump will win again.” She ultimately deleted that tweet.
Owens, who has shown us as much with the Nicki Minaj situation, is on the record as questioning and trying to invalidate the influence of celebrity culture — that is until it suits her agenda.
Carlson and Owens are far from alone in their right-wing support for Minaj. The end result has been an unlikely marriage between the Barbz and a growing number of like-minded sunken conservatives.
What’s even stranger is how the opportunistic right-wingers chose to gravitate to Minaj’s outlandish — and unproven — conspiracy theory of COVID-19 vaccine-induced impotence and disfigured genitalia when there has been no shortage of rappers pushing their own mistruths about the vaccine and the pandemic at large.
In fact, plenty of rappers have publicly shared their anti-mask and anti-vaccine rhetoric.
But none involved reproductive organs, unlike Minaj’s story. And since we know that sex sells — no matter how grotesque and outlandish the context is — perhaps it really shouldn’t be a surprise that Republicans who have defended Trump’s admitted sexual assault of multiple women latched on to Minaj’s now-widely debunked claims.
After all, this is America.
Prayers Up: Notable Black Folks Who Have Contracted COVID-19
1. Gil Bailey, radio pioneer1 of 73
2. Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist
2 of 73
3. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayorSource:Getty 3 of 73
4. Jaylen Brown, NBA playerSource:Getty 4 of 73
5. Herman Cain, former presidential candidateSource:Getty 5 of 73
6. Nick Cannon, entertainerSource:Getty 6 of 73
7. Ben Carson, former HUD SecretarySource:Getty 7 of 73
8. Cedric Ceballos, former NBA player
8 of 73
On my 10th day in ICU, COVID-19 is officially kicking my but, I am asking ALL family, friends , prayer warriors healers for your prayers and well wish for my recovery.— Cedric Ceballos (@cedceballos) September 7, 2021
If I have done and anything to you in the past , allow me to publicly apologize.
My fight is not done…..
9. Dave Chappelle, comedianSource:Getty 9 of 73
10. Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanSource:Getty 10 of 73
11. Eugene Daniels, journalist
11 of 73
🧵🧵So today is my 11th day since testing positive for COVID-19. And let me tell you -- it was HELL. I am fully vaccinated and it knocked me on my ass. I had chills, a scary high fever, night sweats, trouble breathing, extreme exhaustion, and the terrible cough.— Eugene Daniels (@EugeneDaniels2) September 23, 2021
12. Jacob Desvarieux, guitaristSource:Getty 12 of 73
13. Manu Dibango, musicianSource:Getty 13 of 73
14. Dennis Dickson, NYPD employee14 of 73
15. Kevin Durant, NBA starSource:Getty 15 of 73
16. Larry Edgeworth
16 of 73
Prayers to the family of NBC’s Larry Edgeworth 💔🙏🏽 and my former colleagues at 30 Rock. He died after testing positive for #coronavirus. Larry would always offer to help me ...even after I moved to CBS. He just wanted to see another brother win. #IAmMyBrothersKeeper Rest 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/TyXbiHs30d— DeMarco Morgan (@DeMarcoReports) March 20, 2020
17. Kenneth "Babyface" EdmondsSource:Getty 17 of 73
18. Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba
18 of 73
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
19. Patrick Ewing, basketball legendSource:Getty 19 of 73
20. Ronald Fenty, Rihanna's dadSource:Getty 20 of 73
21. Vivica A. Fox, actressSource:Getty 21 of 73
22. Cori "Coco" Gauff, tennis starSource:Getty 22 of 73
23. Jimmy Glenn, legendary boxing trainerSource:Getty 23 of 73
24. Rudy Gobert
24 of 73
25. Louis Gossett Jr., actor, philanthropistSource:Getty 25 of 73
26. Lee Green, former college hoops star
26 of 73
It is with much sadness to inform all in my SJU family that we lost Lee Green to Covid-19 today. A Parade All-American who played 3 years at #SJUBB Lee was our warrior on those teams. A true lock em up defender that relished shutting down the best opponents. RIP Lee🙏🏻 #gone2soon pic.twitter.com/X4TIPbVvoU— Ron Linfonte (@SJU5) March 24, 2020
27. Charles Gregory, Tyler Perry's makeup artrist
27 of 73
28. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driverSource:Getty 28 of 73
29. Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of legendary Harlem nightclub
29 of 73
Thank You for your friendship Sam! 💔#RIP💔 Harlem's Paris Blues Jazz Club has been a celebrated local music joint since 1969, playing live jazz and blues nightly. It's owner and manager, Mr. Samuel Hargress Jr., has been in the club nearly every day for the past 51 years. 💫🔥💫 pic.twitter.com/oSM9Cbzzdb— B Michael (@bmichaelAmerica) April 15, 2020
30. Conan Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley's husbandSource:Getty 30 of 73
31. Antoine Hodge, opera singerSource:GoFundMe 31 of 73
32. Mike Huckaby, techno music pioneer and DJ
32 of 73
R.I.P Mike Huckaby. You will forever continue to change so many peoples lives with your music, technique and mentoring. These clips of Huck are from ‘Detroit The Blueprint Of Techno’ 💔 pic.twitter.com/8t8c83Uy2K— Dark Entries Records (@darkentriesrecs) April 25, 2020
33. Callum Hudson-OdoiSource:Getty 33 of 73
34. DL Hughley, comedian34 of 73
35. Ahmed Ismail Hussein, Somali singer
35 of 73
BREAKING: One of Somalia’s greatest artists has died in London after contracting Corona Virus. Ahmed Ismail Hussein “Hudeydi” known as the “King of Oud” has been in hospital for four days. He was 92. pic.twitter.com/iCii8vYVVv— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) April 8, 2020
36. Jesse and Jacqueline JacksonSource:Getty 36 of 73
37. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, former White House butler
37 of 73
Tonight on @fox5dc at 10p -— Shawn Yancy (@ShawnYancyTV) May 20, 2020
He served at the pleasure of 11 U.S. Presidents... during his 55 years at the White House.
Last weekend, he passed from COVID-19.
My exclusive interview with the granddaughter of White House butler, Wilson Jerman is next! pic.twitter.com/SBiXbQLiud
38. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, actor
38 of 73
39. Paul Johnson, house music DJSource:Getty 39 of 73
40. Jim Jones, rapperSource:Getty 40 of 73
41. Brad "Scarface" JordanSource:Getty 41 of 73
42. DeAndre Jordan, NBA starSource:Getty 42 of 73
43. Tim Lester, NFL starSource:Getty 43 of 73
44. James Mahoney, pulmonologist
44 of 73
Dr. James Mahoney at University Hospital of Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/SXBxNlzApr— Lieutenant Kijé (@BrianLemaire2) May 19, 2020
45. Ellis Marsalis Jr., musicianSource:Getty 45 of 73
46. DeRay McKesson, activistSource:Getty 46 of 73
47. Von Miller, NFL starSource:Getty 47 of 73
48. Nicki MinajSource:Getty 48 of 73
49. Donovan Mitchell49 of 73
50. Wisconsin Rep. Rep. Gwen MooreSource:Getty 50 of 73
51. Lloyd Porter, small business owner in Brooklyn
51 of 73
Devastated to hear Lloyd Porter has pass away from covid19. Lloyd was a pillar in Brooklyn. His coffee shop Breadstuy is where I met some of my closest friends. He sometimes hired people with records that couldn't easily find work. He believed in community. Rest well Brother— Blitz Bazawule (@BlitzAmbassador) May 7, 2020
52. Charley Pride, country music legendSource:Getty 52 of 73
53. Biden Adviser, Rep. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 53 of 73
54. Arnie Robinson Jr., Olympian
54 of 73
Arnie Robinson Jr., who won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, died on Dec. 2 at his home in San Diego. He was 72. https://t.co/lYnpSbWkzO— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) December 16, 2020
55. Chris Rock, actor and comedianSource:Getty 55 of 73
56. Wallace RoneySource:Getty 56 of 73
57. Marcus Smart57 of 73
58. Shaka Smart, University Of Texas Men's Basketball CoachSource:Getty 58 of 73
59. Troy Sneed, gospel singerSource:Getty 59 of 73
60. Sage SteeleSource:Getty 60 of 73
61. Oliver "DJ Black N Mild" Stokes Jr.
61 of 73
New Orleans bounce DJ and radio personality Black N Mild has died after testing positive for coronavirus. For the past 25 years, he also deejayed at countless clubs, parties and other private events across the southeast. pic.twitter.com/2e6mnKhiXQ— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) March 21, 2020
62. Michael Strahan, 'Good Morning America' host, former NFL starSource:Getty 62 of 73
63. Carole Sutton, actressSource:Getty 63 of 73
64. Chucky Thompson, music producer, 53Source:Getty 64 of 73
65. Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes65 of 73
66. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coachSource:Getty 66 of 73
67. Karl-Anthony Towns, NBA starSource:Getty 67 of 73
68. Jo Thompson, singerSource:Getty 68 of 73
69. Karl-Anthony Towns' parents, Jacqueline Cruz and Karl-Anthony Towns Sr.69 of 73
70. Juan Williams, Fox News HostSource:Getty 70 of 73
71. Wendy Williams, talk show hostSource:Getty 71 of 73
72. Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, AlabamaSource:Getty 72 of 73
73. Zumbi, rapperSource:Getty 73 of 73
Right-Wing Anti-Vaxxers Embracing Nicki Minaj Is The 2021 Plot Twist No One Saw Coming was originally published on newsone.com