Absurd Spices

Fun and frustration from a gimp with an axe to grind. After all, absurdity is the spice of life. There will also be Punch and Pie

Monday, February 20, 2006

What Happes To A Dream Deferred? Does It Acquire Bling?

Turn on your TV at any given point in the day, and you’ll see those ever so wonderful commercials. They’re on radio, too oddly enough. Oh, and then there are print ads. And they seem to have a common thread of late that I find disturbing. It would seem that any company wanting to sell its product is forced to pander to a rather despicable part of “American” culture. The hip-hop set. This oh so wonderful “culture” that has spat in the eye of Joe Lewis, Jesse Owens, The Tuskegee Airmen, The Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, etc., and their struggles and victories, is being lauded as acceptable, and good. I find this grossly offensive and dishonorable to the memories of those who have fought so hard to provide freedom, rights, and equal standing in the eyes of a past segregationist White population. If you listen closely, you can here the low rumbling of these pioneers and heroes turning in their graves.

It is a shame that so-called “Black” culture is equated with this hip-hip trend. Hip-hop itself glorifies the degradation of women, the relentless pursuit of easy cash, violence amongst one’s own people and anyone else that doesn’t give them “respect,” and an overall skewing toward the violent and criminal. Young Black children, teens, and even 20-30-something adults are forced to accept this culture or be ostracized for being “White” or selling out. Hip-hop artist are claiming it’s just an image to sell records, but they have become role models of the worst kind.

It is a shameful fact that in North American, South American, Caribbean and even European cultures, Black folks were treated as a subclass of the human race and thus oppressed. But there is a shining light there. Many noble Black folks fought against that viewpoint and ideology to show that the difference was only skin deep. They fought harder than their White counterparts and established a legacy to be praised and admired. The Tuskegee Airmen, in their zeal to prove that they were equals or betters of any White pilot in the air, fought fiercely and with aplomb, never having lost a single bomber on their numerous escort sorties.

No one enjoys being associated with a stereotype, or judged just by the way they look, but it is happening. The prevalence of the hip-hop culture is creating a generation of Black, White etc. folks that look like disreputable thugs. The focus is on fast money and getting “respect”, rather than on academic achievement and living as a contributing part of society. There are cries of, “Racism! Racism!”, but the culture refuses to come to terms with the fact that equality does exist. Those with the application of one’s self, any American can achieve their dreams. Those that try to live as valuable members of society and seek to live within the system, the culture mocks as “Uncle Toms”, or “Oreos”.

Those who came before, those who laid the foundation of a better world for future generations of Black men and women are being made a mockery. Their hard work and perseverance to set themselves up as equals, governed by the rule of law, by the rules of society, by reason and zeal for equality, is being twisted to naught by those that have been riled by race-baiters seeking to further their influence at the cost of their people. The men and women that went before, I salute; the “men“ and “women” who have torn the good works down with the shameful hip-hop “culture”, I shake my head at in shame.

It is my hope that this cultural fad will soon pass, and the honor, integrity, service, selflessness and valor of previous generations will once again enter and permeate the zeitgeist and we can live as a civilized society again. I pray that the poison that has permeated the minds of Black youth, choking their enormous potential, subsides. Slavery has been over for over a hundred years. Jim Crow laws have been over for over 50 years; and segregation as reality for over 40. It is time to take off the mental yoke, and be accepted into the fold of American society, rather than make a mockery of your own people.

-Jesse W.


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