With the news of Jelani Miraj’s 25 years to life sentence for repeatedly raping his young stepdaughter, I can’t help but wonder what is going through his sister, the famous singer Nicki Minaj’s, mind.
The first time Jelani Miraj assaulted his stepdaughter, she was only 11-years old. She said that he had repeatedly raped her when her mother wasn’t home. Her younger brother caught Miraj in the act once, but the girl told him not to tell anyone. That all changed when he testified in court, along with the victim. DNA evidence found on the girl’s pajamas supported the claims, and on January 27, 2020, justice was served.
Nicki Minaj Stands by Her Brother
Despite the horrifying evidence, Nicki Minaj is standing by her brother, as she has for quite some time now. When Jelani Miraj was initially arrested in 2015, Nicki posted his $10K bail. When he was convicted in 2017, Nicki and his defense team pleaded for a second chance, arguing that Miraj had alcohol problems. Nicki said that she would take the witness stand in defense of her brother.
Despite the horrifying evidence, Nicki Minaj is standing by her brother, as she has for quite some time now.
This isn’t the only time Nicki Minaj has stood by a rapist. In 2018, it was discovered that when her boyfriend Kenneth Petty was 15-years old, he attempted to rape a 16-year old girl using a knife/cutting instrument. Nicki Minaj defended Petty, telling the media, “He was 15, she was 16...in a relationship.” So according to Nicki Minaj’s reasoning, raping your girlfriend is acceptable and excusable.
Defending Rape Culture
Sexually assaulting and forcing a woman (or a man) to have sex with you is never acceptable. It is a horrifying crime, and there is absolutely no excuse for it. Being a celebrity, or a relative of a celebrity, should not excuse you from your actions and their repercussions. However, society and celebrity culture appear to be making it socially acceptable to defend your family members, no matter what crime they have committed.
Society and celebrity culture appear to be making it socially acceptable to defend your family members, no matter what crime they committed.
Yes, blood is thicker than water, but that doesn’t mean you have to stand by their immorality. What are celebrities like Nicki Minaj teaching the victims of rape by doing this?
It is already incredibly difficult for victims to testify against their rapists, and celebrities like Nicki Minaj are making it even more excruciating and traumatizing for them. It’s like little David going against not one gigantic Goliath, but two or three.
Understandably so, it can be very difficult for a victim to come forward, no matter what age they are. For young girls who are being sexually assaulted by a family member, it can be even harder for them to tell someone. Alarmingly, 80% of perpetrators are parents according to Child Protective Services. Many young girls do not even know what is going on, while the others who do understand feel too ashamed, embarrassed, or conflicted to report the abuse.
For young girls who are being sexually assaulted by a family member, it can be even harder for them to tell someone.
According to Victims of Crimes, the most common warning signs of rape victims are having low self-esteem and a feeling of worthlessness. They may also become withdrawn and very wary and mistrustful of adults. Worst of all, they may fall into depression and become suicidal.
Communicate with our Children
It’s important for parents to talk to their children about rape. Even though the discussion may be difficult and uncomfortable, the earlier you start, the better - and it shouldn’t be just one conversation either. It should be ongoing and age-appropriate. Children need to learn to love and respect their bodies and that nobody ever has the right or authority to degrade them.
By speaking openly with our children, it’s my hope that awful situations like the one Jelani Miraj’s stepdaughter was in can be prevented. God forbid anything like this should happen to our children. But at the very least, we can teach them to speak up, so that justice can be rightfully served.