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Ne-Yo and the Struggle Session That Went Off-Script

Ne-Yo and the Struggle Session That Went Off-Script

Struggle sessions” were a form of public humiliation and ideological re-education used during Maoist China.

They involved mass gatherings where counterrevolutionaries and other enemies of the Communist Party were subjected to criticism, verbal abuse, and physical humiliation. The aim of a struggle session was to force the dissenter to confess their supposed wrongdoings and embrace Communist ideology.

It is chilling to realize the post-secular West has developed its own version of the struggle session. Every week or so you witness it. A celebrity with a reputation to protect or an employee with a career to salvage issues a public apology for transgressing some obscure dictate of wokeness.

The latest example seems to have come from rapper Ne-Yo, who in an interview with Gloria Velez for VladTV had criticized parents who allow their gender-confused children to identify as the opposite sex.

“I feel like parents have almost forgotten what the role of a parent is,” he began in what quickly developed into a thoughtcrime.

“If your little boy comes to you and says, ‘Daddy, I want to be a girl,’ and you just let him rock with that?” Ne-Yo puzzled.

He continued, “When did it become a good idea to let a 5-year-old, let a 6-year-old, let a 12-year-old make a life-changing decision for themself?”

Ne-Yo then explained how he’d approach the issue: “All right, you want to play with dolls? Fine, play with dolls, but you’re a boy playing with dolls. … ‘I want to wear pink.’ All right, cool, wear pink, but you’re a boy wearing pink.”

It would be hard to find a more commonsense framing of the issue than this.

But the mob soon came for Ne-Yo, and it wasn’t long before his struggle session was underway.

“After much reflection, I’d like to express my deepest apologies to anyone that I may have hurt with my comments on parenting and gender identity,” a post from his account on X, formerly Twitter, began. It continued:

I’ve always been an advocate for love and inclusivity in the LGBTQI+ community, so I understand how my comments could’ve been interpreted as insensitive and offensive. Gender identity is nuanced and I can honestly admit that I plan to better educate myself on the topic, so I can approach future conversations with more empathy. At the end of the day, I lead with love and support everyone’s freedom of expression and pursuit of happiness.

Ne-Yo’s confession was all a DEI officer could hope for, complete with appeals to empathy, vows of love and inclusivity, suggestions he was perhaps misunderstood, head nods to the LGBT community, and promises about becoming better educated.

Except the post didn’t come from Ne-Yo. It was scripted by his publisher.

“I WILL NOT BE BULLIED INTO APOLOGIZING FOR HAVING AN OPINION,” the real Ne-Yo wrote in an explosive Instagram post on Monday. “I need y’all to hear this from the horse’s mouth, not the publicist’s computer,” he declared in the post’s video.

During the short video, the rapper explained:

First and foremost, I do not apologize for having an opinion on this matter. I am a 43-year-old heterosexual man raising five boys and two girls, OK? That’s my reality. Now, if my opinion offended somebody, yeah, sure, I apologize for you being offended because that wasn’t my intention. My intention is never to offend anybody.

In what followed, Ne-Yo walked a fine line between maintaining his stance on the issue while allowing other people the liberty to make up their own minds.

He explained in the caption that if one of his children were to identify differently as an adult, he would love them regardless but that it wasn’t a decision to be made by children who were not “MENTALLY MATURE ENOUGH.”

“Period. Point blank. Whatever,” Ne-Yo summarized in the post’s caption. “Y’all do y’all, imma do me and we can agree to disagree and coexist PEACEFULLY.”

In a former age, Ne-Yo would be lauded for standing his ground while allowing others a different view.

Alas, we no longer live in that former age.

Today, the only thing that will satiate the masses is a struggle session, and Ne-Yo’s publicist knew it.

The screeching banshees in the corporate press have confirmed as much, now accusing Ne-Yo of having “doubled down” on his “transphobic comments.”

What comes of Ne-Yo’s reputation is still up in the air.

But hats off to him for his courage to go off-script.

Image credit: Instagram

Kurt Mahlburg
Kurt Mahlburg

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  • Avatar
    Kalikiano Kalei
    August 11, 2023, 8:53 pm

    Wonderful, Kurt! Good on ya, mate! I normally have little regard for either Rap or Hip-Hop but Neo-Yo is one exception, to be sure! Should all the other Geese ever suddenly start quacking, there's one honking Goose who will never follow the rest of social-media flock to their ignominy! Cheers!

  • Avatar
    Telkom University
    August 11, 2023, 9:23 pm

    What was the initial purpose of the struggle session involving Ne-Yo, and how did it end up off-script?

  • Avatar
    Heather Bogle
    August 12, 2023, 1:01 am

    Hey, thanks for being brave enough to say what you think in this day and age. I would never comment on something like this topic except for the fact my computer decided to read this article to me because I was skimming through the content. And that helpful sentence filler…is beyond my expectations. Trying to insert words I am not speaking. Just saying, you all need to pay attention to what is out there. Thanks for being brave enough to understand.

  • Avatar
    August 12, 2023, 3:01 am

    THANK YOU for writing this. Perfect assessment. I didn’t know of the controversy, just found NeYos video correcting the publicist. Refreshing! I support NeYo.

  • Avatar
    Ray Shive
    August 12, 2023, 9:05 am

    His comeback/double down statement could have been stronger but I'm so glad he didn't leave it to his agent – if he still has one.


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