“The world is going one way, people going the other . . .”
Malik “Poot” Carr
It looks like even fictitious characters even see that something is amiss with the world. Poot, a mainstay from HBO’s The Wire made the above comment to describe how bad off things may be. He was telling his now departed boy, Bodie that the planet was getting warmer due to global warming but people’s actions seem to be moving in the opposite direction.
Over the last three weeks a lot of doo-doo has been hitting the fan and it made me realize that this country and the many demographics in it have a lot of issues that we need to handle. I know self-reflection is usually a very frightening endeavor but at this point it is much needed.
This is bigger than Don Imus, Rape charges at Duke, lack of black leadership, or Monday’s unfortunate incident at Virginia Tech: A big dose of honesty is needed before we go any further into the future.
The words “Those are some nappy-headed hoes” were the opening salvo in what would become a major incident in the media two weeks ago. I’m not going to re-hash what Don Imus said because we know the circumstances surrounding the incident. Imus is a shock jock that made a career out of being an insensitive prick. As a rule of thumb insensitive pricks with radio shows generally have listeners who are insensitive pricks. Y’all know how birds of a feather get down so I won’t elaborate any further.
The post comment fallout is when the real issues arose surrounding Mr. Imus. Imus went on Al Sharpton’s radio show (See the above sentence about Insensitive pricks.) to apologize/tell his side of the story/clear the air. During the interview Imus said something that struck me as very poignant. He brought up the point that rappers make comments like this about black women all of the time. (Anyone ever hear the saying about a broken watch being right twice a day?)
Imus’ comment brought out responses from throughout the Hip-Hop Community. Most notably from Snoop, who had this to say in defense of hip-hop:
“It’s a completely different scenario,” said Snoop, barking over the phone from a hotel room in L.A. “[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We’re talking about ho’s that’s in the ‘hood that ain’t doing sh–, that’s trying to get a n—a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain’t no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC [the cable network home to Imus] going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them mutha—–as say we in the same league as him.”
I may be reading what Snoop said the wrong way but to me it came off as him saying we [blacks] can call our black women whatever we want, when we want, but you can’t. I find Snoop’s position ironic considering he once showed up to an awards show with two black women on leashes as if they were actual bitches. (Yes, bitch was used in the proper context.)
Don Imus is in fact an asshole, Snoop is full of shit too, but black men and women and hip hop seriously need to take a look at it self. This isn’t a new argument by any stretch of the imagination but it seems to boomerang back to the forefront every couple of months. As a people we have got to stop destroying ourselves verbally and mentally on the national stage for the delight/dismay of the rest of the nation.
Brothers, we really have to get our shit together. Yes, that is an over simplified way of getting to the point. The way we treat each other and the women in our lives. Imus had a point. How can we selectively be misogynists? “She’s a ho, but she can be at times.” The random woman on the street is an object but our mothers, sisters, and daughters aren’t? That rational makes no sense especially since we belong to a group of people who have been victims of multiple types of emotional abuse since we arrived on the continent (By-the-way, the Diaspora is a fucked up place isn’t it?) we should realize by now that when we are called things long enough you either shrug it off or become that. I love hip-hop and most of the culture that comes along with it but this aspect needs to change.
Sisters, I hate to say this but y’all are to blame here too. The moment y’all put your foot down and show some solidarity for a change would be the first step in righting a lot of the misogyny that occurs in the black community. I know that isn’t as nearly easy as it sounds but it has to be done. You aren’t whores, bitches, or objects placed on the planet to be used up and shat upon. A little self-policing would go a long way. Like the Goodie Mob said, “You’ve got to respect yourself before I can.”
As a generation of people we also have to lean on the music industry to straighten it’s act up. The Jimmy Iovines and Russell Simmons of the world really need to check themselves. This is mostly because they have a final say in what music gets shoveled to the masses. Jimmy Iovine could probably give a fuck but Russell “I’m a black leader because I’m rich” Simmons needs to take the forefront on this issue. There are financial factors at play here but the last time I opened a magazine and saw a Baby Phat ad those were Russell’s little daughters with Kimora and I’m pretty sure they aren’t bitches or whores.
I know I didn’t offer any concrete solutions but hopefully those who happen to read this will take something from this blog and discuss an enact some solutions among there people. Stay tuned for the second part of this rant.