Ineitha Lynnette Hardaway, a right-wing performer who went by the stage name Diamond, has suddenly died. The news of her death was shared on the official Twitter page of Diamond and Silk. The responses to the post are mixed: Some offered condolences while others expressed anger because the announcement was connected to a request for money—with all funds going to her sister, Herneitha Rochelle “Silk” Hardaway Richardson—to “preserve Diamond’s legacy.”
The cause of death of has been kept quiet, but rumors that it was coronavirus-related abound.
Some social media users have claimed that Hardaway, who was reportedly 51, died from COVID, but this has not been confirmed by her family or the group page. Many of these claims are made on the basis of a report from website publication Blavity, which now appears to be unavailable.
Hardaway was hospitalized late last year, but when she returned to her Newsmax show in December, she said that rumors she was hospitalized with COVID were “fake news.” If she truly did die from COVID, it would be an ironic twist since she and her sister were fired by Fox Nation in 2020 for spreading misinformation about COVID and vaccines. (Although to be fair to the duo, Fox News knew exactly what they were getting when they hired them.)
I’m sad when someone suddenly dies, and I hope her family finds comfort. I would be lying, however, if I said I had any respect for what Hardaway decided to do with her life.
Artist and activist Bree Newsome, the one who literally tore down the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol building, said it best a few years back.
Again, Diamond and Silk are a modern-day minstrel show performing primarily for an audience of white conservatives who want to believe they can't be racist if 2 black women named Diamond & Silk support Trump. However you feel about the rest is how you feel.
She’s right. The sisters purposefully acted as buffoonish as possible to fit the stereotype that racist white conservatives had about them, and CPAC conservatives ate it up. While it’s not surprising the Hardaway sisters took this route—their parents are long-time grifters in their own right—the tragedy here is that Hardaway, the de facto leader of the duo, was ambitious and capable enough to do something much more worthwhile with her life.
I wrote last year about the sad legacy of Rush Limbaugh. Few quote him, discuss him, or mention anything he did. His fortune didn’t go to any causes he professed to care about. He contributed absolutely nothing of value to society and was instead easily replaced with others who spewed the same hate and vitriol for their fellow man. Whenever his replacements die, they too will leave nothing and be forgotten as well.
Hardaway could have left a real legacy, but instead chose to sell her soul to the right.
We only get one life, so please make sure you use it for something you can be proud of, and use your unique talents and resources to help others. Don’t waste your life spreading hate and disinformation no matter how profitable it might be. In the end, it’s pointless.
Oh, and regardless of the rumors about Hardaway’s cause of death, please get vaccinated.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated Hardaway’s last show was on Fox. The show was on Newsmax and the story has been corrected.