I recieved your message from a friend about all these gansta rappers, talk-show hosts, actors and presidents. I just want to congratulate you on having enough insight to relate a small problem to a bigger one, and for the having enough 'common sense' to realize that this insight needs to be passed on. I don't know exactly what you had in mind when you wrote that, but you hit on some important points that people just seem to constantly be missing. I, for one, am a sister who isn't really partial to any particular type of music; I love it all... rap, classical, rock, jazz, R&B, you name it. Sometimes, even some country music gets my feet moving. But one thing I've never been able to see, is how people can correlate people's actions to music. If violent music is so influencial, I wonder what people think about sensual music. I guess that's why so many people today have multiple sex partners, get aids. I wonder how many females became dykes when they heard that song "I kissed a girl." Sorry to ramble on, but I was just writing to HELL YEAH to everything you wrote. Keep on.
I can't seem to understand what kind of opinions are you adapting now... Are you delegitimizing gangsta rap? Are you claiming that you agree with C Delores but you're trying focus the battle on other "gangsta" factors? Your editorial was fascinating but you didn't smooth out one point- did your opinion about gangsta rap change?
I'll appreciate a reply.
It sounds like an interesting and important approach. But it is the message, not the messenger you want, right? It also seems that there needs to be a focus on creating awareness of, and helping people to "fight" the negative messages of the media. So they don't fall "prey" to the message, i.e. believe it and act upon it. Media is an amalgamation of huge powerbrokers. The impact of "gangsta" actors and actresses is also driven by social norms and what is acceptable in a given community. It doesn't tell us it is cool and we accept it as cool. We come to beleive it is cool and incorporate it into our lives. While all avenues need to be addressed, I think those that WE can change (within) ouselves are also very very very important..........
But again- sounds good- need to leave no stone unturned.....good luck!
I do think that the Gangster stuff has de-sensitized us, however most people still don't have the guts (or desire) to Kill/Beatup people. And those that ARE doing it probably would be doing it anyway whether Movies/Media made it seem popular or not. It's like the old Cigarette/Alcohol idioum. Just because you see the commercials (and some of them are tight) doesn't mean you're going to run out and smoke/drink. It is only those who are "pre-disposed" to doing something like that.
The Beatles music caused the Charles Manson crew to wipe out the Tates right????? Heavy Metal causes the SkinHeads to Beat up minorities, HipHop causes individuals to do Drive Bys. I don't buy that logic at all........It only affects those pre-disposed to do those things and as I said earlier, they'd probably being doing that anyway. The Talk show stuff is really unreal (even though there are pockets of folks that live that lifestyle) and Humourous to me personally. We've been spoon fed violence via cartoons (the most violent shows on, even today) since the beginning of TV, but yet not even 50% of the Black population (probably not even 10%) is "pre-disposed" to violence. Why is that?
Let's face it, Gangs, Gangsterism is really a very very small portion of Black Life. And as usual there's many more "talking" than actually involved in violence.
Sure, many rappers have been getting killed, and what have you, like Seagram, the RBL posse guy, 2 pac and Biggie, but just because they are in the lime light doesn't mean that brothas haven't been being killed all along. In that respect, I do think that it's a good thing that the media is now trying to "pay attention" to the plight of Urban Homicide. But I'd personally rather see that "Media" energy spent promoting Real Role Models (Like the Omega Boys club dude), than putting down Gangsterism.
Props on your article. BUt before you embark on your treacherous jihad/crusade/war/etc. to bust out the powers that be, I would like to make two points: 1.) I have not spoken to the brother, but judging from statements Ice Cube and the other West Side Connection artist have made when directing their comments of western superiority to the east, I am certain that they were speaking dirctly to the Hip Hop Community of the East Coast (mainly New York) and anyone else who prefered the East coast sound to the mainstream West coast sound. If he was speaking directly to the "gangstas" of talk show, politics, etc, why did he not make that point clear. I agree that Ice Cube has a valid arguement when stating that the East coast has disrespected the West coast many times because of a strange disease called "Playahation." But lets face it, Cube and his contingency probably have no other motivation in their advocation of Western superiority besides the almighty dollar.
2.) Let us not forget that every person has their own mind. Some people have just failed thus far to obtain a mindstate independent of the camelian factor (they went from gold chains to African medalions to gold fronts and guns to bullshit). This is why people like Cher, Ricky Lake, etc. are able to influence people like Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown. Hell, I listen to Too Short but I don't call women bitches because thats not me. The real problem that people like Delores Tucker overlook is that if people had access to their culture (Africa, Latino, whatever) beyond what is taught outside of books, and they were taught to think independently, not only would gimmicks and ploys to get better ratings and record sales be less effective, but people would begin to understand wider society instead of only their community. A world view is needed for the future. IF YOU"RE GOING TO ATTACK A PROBLEM ATTACK IT CONSTRUCTIVELY FROM ITS ROOTS. If yo knck off the surface players more will take their place. Cause and Effect.
First of all, let me congratulate you on the research you have done to better illustrate your points. I'm assuming that there was quite a bit of sarcasm in your message, regarding the influence on today's "roughnecks". If not, I'd have to disagree with some of it.
In addition to the American Tradition, we NEED to place additional blame on, dare I say it (?), family rearing. I'm originally from the Chicagoland area and was very much exposed to inner-city violence and the quest for Caddy's, Clothes and Carats. It took a very loving father and mother to show me that that was not the way. True, I could have easily gone after material things because we, as a society, tend to want what is immediate; what is definite; what is tangible.
It parallels Christianity. The Lord asks that you simply do His will for 60-70 years and you will be given ETERNAL compensation. To us, 70 years is a very long time. ONE year is a long time, when you've got the Devil saying, "come with me and I'll get you laid tonight, a car in one week and cops on your payroll." We want what's quickest and easiest, not what takes effort and faith.
Every human being is intelligent enough to know the difference between wrong and right. But where/when does this awareness begin?
My answer: age 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. You do more personality forming in those years than you ever will in your entire life. And who has the most influence? Mom & Dad.
The sad thing is that most people I know grew up with only one in the household and in some cases, neither. No disrespect, but true. Still, many of those situations were single parent situations and 9.8 times out of 10, it was a woman at the helm.
Which means I now will narrow down my attack. MEN. I am a proud husband and father of two with one on the way. I am also African American. Sure, I've had my downfalls, my disappointments, my heartbreaks, but I always came back for the next round. My father taught me at a young age that I and only I, can make the decisions concerning my destiny. Circumstances may install detours along my journey, but it is MY decision how, when and where I will go from there.
Black men (even narrower) need to step up and stop using White America as an excuse. Correction: a scapegoat. No, let me say "alibi". Your situation should NEVER dictate your actions! Yes, I grew up poor, but I used my musical talents to pay for my college education (Florida A&M -- Go Rattlers!). Through my abilities, I saw the world. I took the time to better myself and set my own path.
Kenny Lofton (if he doesn't mind me saying so) grew up and graduated with me. Look at his childhood (I can't offer that information) and look at him now. I'm so proud of him that I could bust.
And while we're on the subject:
WHAT DOES THE AVERAGE BLACK FAMILY DO WHEN THEY COME ACROSS SOME SPARE CHANGE?
1) Air Jordan's for the kids.
2) Remember Kango's and Troop's?
3) Gloria Vanderbilt, Sergio Valente, Guess, Sassoon.
4) Cellular phones to impress others while your waiting in the shopping line.
5) The baddest cars.
6) New hair.
7) Sound systems (I'd elaborate, but I can't hear myself think over the "Boom" from my neighbors).
Did I say, computers? I'm sorry, I'm dead wrong there. That's one of the LEAST things I see purchased in the Black Family. How many African Americans do you see in the computer section of Montgomery Wards? Oh, they're nearby, but they'd rather use that credit card on a Pioneer System. I, personally cannot afford a base Pentium, I'm using a 386. But my sons play CD-Rom games with me, educational games, not Airstrike and Warzone. Yes, I own a Sega Genesis, but my games are NBA Live '97, Jungle Book, Aladdin, Lion King, etc. And they have the new Sega Pico which has taught them more than I ever could because they take an active interest. My two year old LOVES to trace the numbers after Winnie the Pooh draws them out.
I don't mean to go off on a tangent, but my point is very clear. Our values are completely screwed up. We have the means, but we abuse them. What am I saying? Two things.
We can't blame others ("when you point a finger, there are always three pointing back at you" [try it, my father taught me that one in Elementary School]).
Only YOU can stop you ("when life gives you lemons, make lemon-ade"). Many will disagree with my personal point of view, but I hope that they at least listen and think about it. All praise to God, everlasting love to Black women for suffering so long and perservering. And to my Brothers, it's not too late, I've never lost faith in you, but it means nothing if you don't have faith in yourselves.
Glad to hear that people are talking that is always a good first step towards change. My only concern about the talk show argument and the concept that " television warps the minds of our youth " is this. Would that not then lend credence to the conservative right's notion that the violence is caused by " music videos" ? Both depict violence through the same medium. Talk shows would argue that they are providing a forum to show what life is like in the ghetto. Which is the exact same argument the groups give for their gangsta videos. What do you think?
What you were speaking of in your editorial "Do G's Make the World Go Round" is called evolution. I have been watching TV and Movies since I was a kid and now I'm 28, a Software Engineer, and also a mobile DJ. I used to sit back and think about all the movies I used to watch with my Pops, cowboy movies, and how I used to be fascinated with cap guns. I used to watch the blaxploitation flicks and was fascinated by Cleopatra Jones, Foxy Brown, and others. The problem that we have in america is that this country was built by a criminal element so no matter how far it progresses it's foundation is still full of lies, murder, rape, and other crimes and immorality, now it's really at the surface of this country. I don't think it will change unless God flips this whole world upside down.
Now we have a more faced paced world. People aren't checking the youth, better yet their own kids, like they used to. Now we have all these undeveloped and unsupervised minds out here that watch TV and movies, and listen to Hip-Hop and basically don't know what to take from them. An undeveloped mind can't listen to hip-hop and realize that instead of solving our problems with guns we need to talk out our problems. An undeveloped mind can't watch a gangsta flick and realize that what's being portrayed and glamorized is not the easy road but the hard road. Sometimes our mind can absorb ideas and concepts that it is really not developed enough to handle. We get exposed too quickly. This is what happens when there is a lack of supervision in our homes. This all stems from economics. You got to work to feed your kids, can't pay a respectable babysiiter, so you leave your kids at home by themselves or get someone on your block that may be into the wrong thing. Early in life I was exposed to things by my own family and community, they did not know how these things would eventually effect me and neither did I. Some things I've experienced in my life, my mind was not ready for and I sometimes used this experience in the wrong way, whether it be the way I handled myself on the street, with women, with society in general. But through the Grace of God I feel as though I got over.
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