Saturday, April 14, 2007

More Imus & Why I Struggle With Being Black

Ben Chavis & Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons and Ben Chavis, two pimps who see themselves as leaders for Black people, have released a statement supporting the behavior of rappers who use degrading language. They say that rappers should be held to a different standard than Imus, and therefore should get a pass. This is their response to the heat that the Rap industry is now feeling after the Don Imus incident. This is the response I predicted from the Rap world... I mentioned that they would try to split hairs and make excuses.

Russell Simmons and Ben Chavis are perfect examples of why Black Culture is going down the toilet. They are examples of what I hate about "Black America". For one, they are showing the World that “Black leaders” in this country are Hypocrites…. The rest of Black America as a whole now runs the risk of being labeled as hypocritical because of these thugs.

Every now and then I come across a person or an issue that reminds me of what I hate about being African American. Russell Simmons and Ben Chavis are the latest to bring those feelings out. Race is a huge internal struggle for The Angry Independent. I have struggled with race (my own race) since I was in Middle School. Black Americas reaction to the Imus situation is one of those things that makes me hate being Black.... at least momentarily. It's something that comes and goes....but it has been one of my biggest struggles since I was a young man.... It probably started in the 5th grade when I began attending an almost all-white school in Kansas (I spent part of my youth growing up in rural/urban Kansas..among other places). I guess you can say that this is something that I have in common with Barak Obama. Prior to that I had gone to mixed schools and predominantly Black schools in the St. Louis area. But from the 5th grade on... I went to schools where the vast majority of students were White. I experienced the usual racism that you get in those settings.

I always wondered how things would be different if I were White. Would the stereotypes go away, would my professional and social life be better, would my childhood have been any better, would my future be better, would my love life be better....and when I think of each one of those things... the answer has to be a resounding yes.

I am more convinced than ever that “Black America” will never be able to fully advance like it should until these kinds of Cancers (Rap moguls and some of these old civil rights pimps) are cut out of the community. The thug rap culture, especially the music, must be dismantled if Blacks in urban America want to regain hope and if Black culture is to be redeemed. When someone has Cancer, typically the best way to deal with it is to cut it out or fry it...kill it. Rap music & the thug Rap culture is Black Americas Cancer.... and it has metastasized all over the body. Black America has to eventually decide how to defeat this disease.....or if it even wants to fight it (Black folks haven't even gotten to that point yet). I hate to say it but when it comes to Black America, it may already be too late to save the patient.

Of course Rap music is not the direct cause or the only cause for the ills that plague Black America, but it plays a big role in reinforcing certain lifestyles that-when combined with other factors- contribute to conditions that hurt Black folks, especially Black youth. Rap is like a mental prison that has become a barrier for Black folks, making it hard for them to take the steps necessary to deal with their social, political, and economic conditions.

Non-Blacks are going to look at me as if Hypocrite is written across my forehead, because of this Imus nonsense. In fact, I have already been catching hell about that issue at work from white counterparts… Black Americans everywhere might as well get ready to deal with being labeled hypocrites. This is only the beginning. My white co-workers get so riled up about this that it takes 10 minutes for them to realize that I am not in the Al Sharpton or Russell Simmons camp.

This will be one more thing that Black males will have to put up with…. As if being Black was not enough. All courtesy of an ignorant backward “Black leadership”.
But pimps like Russell Simmons and Ben Chavis DO NOT represent me. They represent the half of Black Americans who support the foul language and vile depictions of Black people (particularly women) in Rap. I just saw a report on CNN Headline news where one goofy rapper stated that the rap community should support Imus and his statements (I am not making this sh*t up). Black America is dealing with a very serious problem in the form of Rap music and Rap culture.

Unfortunately I don't think Black America will fight very hard to change it... in a few will be back to business as usual. Hell, some Black women even defend this sickness. Ironically, Black women are the key to any solution. I always mention that Black women MUST be the catalyst for changing this situation. But I don't have much hope that Black women will take up this challenge.

Meanwhile, Al Sharpton is calling for a “Dialogue” with rappers. A Dialogue? No firings? No protests? No calls to advertisers? No boycotts?

This sounds like the same lame bull…. That he was calling for before. It looks like we are back to business as usual.

I will try to use this blog to keep track of & highlight rap moguls, so-called "Black leaders" & Black intellectuals who are making excuses for rappers and do not want rappers or the Rap industry to be held accountable.

People like Ben Chavis and Russell Simmons make me embarrassed to be Black in America.



Imus pays for his slurs; rappers bank on them

After Imus: Rap Deserves a Slap in the Face (A Christian womans perspective)

Get rid of Imus -- and sexist rap, too

Imus Got His Trash Talk Pass Yanked, Now Yank it for Blacks Who Talk The Same (by Earl Ofari Hutchinson)


Anonymous said...

I am a 18 year old black female who is in college and I totally agree with you. I watched Oprah yesterday as Simmons got angry and yelled at Oprah when she was having a normal conversation with him. I could see the greed in that bastard's eyes. All of the men on the panel, except Common, were disgusting, but he really could've pointed out the rappers who needed to slammed. These so-called artist are sellouts, traitors because they misrepresent and pimp our culture,and because media execs pocket most of the profits, the rappers are even bigger hos than the ones they rap about.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was really bad. Chavis is a pimp all day long and Russell's just concerned about his funds, that's all. I was done with Russell when I saw "Beyond Beats & Rhymes," where he side-stepped Byron Hurt's question about misogyny. I wish there would have been better representation in regard to artists like Chuck D or KRS-One. I know for a fact that there are a good number of true, positive MC's out there; I wish they had been present as well as a few of the ones this is directly targeted to like Luda, 50 and whichever Lil' or Yung is in nowadays.

P.S. - (Hmmm...I wonder what Paris is doing now. Remember him, A.I.?)

Anonymous said...

Nothing makes me embarrassed to be black. I guess I need to see this show though