Dear Jasmine,

I believe you.

I believe you planned on having the perfect birthday last Saturday night. I bet you got your nails did and your hair done, too. I bet you texted back and forth with a day one you trusted about which outfit would look best with what shoes. I believe you picked the perfect dress — the red one — to flatter your perfect curves and petite frame. It looked really nice on you. I believe you beat your face to the gods before applying lashes, contour and highlights for that extra pop. I bet you looked in the mirror and thought everything was perfect.

I believe you pulled up to club Opera ready for a birthday lituation. I believe you danced to, and recited songs that added to the soundtrack of your life. Not just the feel-good songs , the problematic ones, too; the ones that tell us, “Bitches ain’t s**t, but hoes and tricks,” like many of us do. I believe you were socializing among partygoers, who were doing the same. I believe you had a drink. I’m sure others did, too. I believe your drink was spiked with something that altered your behavior. I believe you had no clue.

I, along with thousands, watched in horror as your buoyant body turnt down, and your animated speech downshifted to a slur, while a human dog sexually violated you. I saw tears spill from your confused eyes and inch down your face. I heard your screams and your muted call for help. You said “no.”


I believe that piece of s**t in the Facebook Live video disarmed you so he could harm you. I believe he did. I also believe he used something like ketamine, a fast-acting date rape drug that disorients its user. So while a person is aware of what is happening to them, they have limited mobility — assuming if they can move at all.The drug creates an out of body experience, causing a loss of time and identity. All this gives context to what you could do, what people said you should do, but could not do — none of this matters. All that matters is that your words were in conflict with that bastard’s actions. You said "no, stop."

I believe you.

Jasmine, humans are trash, and I’m sorry confirmation of this is tied to what happened to you. I believe the thousands of people who’ve brought your character into question are misguided assholes. They are far too invested in a played-out patriarchal philosophy that’s deeply rooted in a hatred of women — the kind of hatred reserved for professional Black girls. A kind of hatred that tells Black women bodily autonomy and safe spaces are not for loud, happy, full-bodied brown girls, rocking a deep-wave ponytail in color #99J and a red crushed velvet dress with the lips to match — even when she says “no.”

If there is but one word universally understood throughout 195 countries, across 7,000 languages, it’s “no” — and your “no” means no, too. I believe that.

I believe you even if a sick and twisted world doesn't.

Deep regards,