Archive for the ‘Black History Month’ Category

VH1’s Black History Month…It’s everything you’d expect from VH1

February 7, 2008

I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to “Rock of Love”. I really don’t watch a lot of television, but something about that smutty filth we call television has sucked me in. As embarrassed as I am, I cannot look away.

While skimming through the channels to see if any Rock of Love reruns were on, I noticed VH1 was celebrating Black History Month. Is “celebrating” the right word?

For anyone who’s watched VH1, its celebration of Black History Month was set up just like their other shows: A series of men and women are interviewed, and in between the clips of their answers/statements are pieces of movies and TV shows to illustrate their points.

Well I happened to come to the station just as various black comedians, actors, and musicians were discussing the image of the black man/woman in movies before the 1980’s. The statement was made, “Before 1985, if you were a black man in Hollywood, you could never get a job as an actor unless you played a pimp.” Another interviewee came up and stated, “It was basically blacks playing out the white stereotype that all black men are pimps and all black women are hookers. Whites couldn’t see beyond that.”

WOW. Hold on… just one second please. The stereotypes that whites have about blacks…Seriously?
I am as liberal as they come as far as fighting inequality, racism, etc., but when I hear statements that seem to be blatant hypocrisy and absurdity, well I just can’t stand and fight for the minority.

How many songs have been written with the word “pimp” embedded at any point in the lyrics? Dear God. I know nothing about rap and pop culture, but I’ve heard enough rap at dances and parties to know how often the artists in rap and R&B songs profess to be pimps.

“I don’t know what you heard about me
But a b*tch can’t get a dollar out of me
No Cadillac, no perms, you can’t see
That I’m a motherf*cking P-I-M-P”
-50 Cent/Snoop Dogg

“Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too
You pay the right price and they’ll both do you
That’s the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin change off these women, yeah

You know it’s hard out here for a pimp
When he tryin to get this money for the rent
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent
Because a whole lot of bitches talkin sh*t”
-Djay f/ Shug

You know I thug ’em, f*ck ’em, love ’em, leave ’em
Cause I don’t f*ckin’ need ’em
Take ’em out the hood
Keep ’em looking good
But I don’t f*ckin’ feed em
First time they fuss I’m breezin’
Talking ’bout what’s the reasons
I’m a pimp in every sense of the word, b*tch ”
-Jay-Z

“Pimpin them hoes and put the b*tch on the track
And tell the ho to bring all my money back”
-Pimp C

The list goes on…

I don’t understand how the group of people on VH1, assuming that they are expressing the majority opinion, could possibly say that it was white stereotyping alone that kept them playing pimp roles in movies. Look at these lyrics! African Americans, by their own free will, categorizing themselves as pimping, degrading their women and selling their dignity for money. These rappers are PROMOTING THE VERY IMAGE ABOUT WHICH THEY COMPLAIN?! How can you claim to be kept down by the white man, to be disgusted with the image you have been given by whites in America, and still, by your own accord, calling yourself the very thing from which you are trying to shake free? I don’t understand… And don’t get me started on the things these lyrics do to black women.

To be honest, I almost started crying as I was searching for these lyrics. My eyes began to tear up. How can you talk about other human beings in this way and get away with it? How is this right? Why are black rappers willing to rob their own race of dignity, especially their females?

Ah yes…
The Almighty Dollar.

Most of my friends don’t understand how I can hate rap as much as I do, but there is my reason. I believe there is worth in every human being, and in my opinion, words like these rob that worth for all its value.

VH1’s charming Black History Month special continued with discussing the size of a black man’s penis. What a way to celebrate the solidarity, accomplishments, and advancements of the black culture by discussing the rumor of a black man’s penis size. Black men and women came on the screen making statements such as, “Oh yes. I am sure the majority of white women have fantasized about being with a black man… just to see if the rumor is true.” “Oh yeah, I’m sure white men are often belittled by our size. They know they can’t compete and wonder if their women would leave them for us for more sexual pleasure.”

This is the way you want to promote Black History Month??? THIS is the way you want to show the legitimacy of your race? Especially with so many young and old teens tuning in to VH1 on a daily basis, this is the opinion you want them to have of blacks? THIS is what you want them to think of when they think of black culture?

I turned the VH1 special off after this. I couldn’t take it anymore. Perhaps it went into details on the courage, honor, and determination of people like Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks. Maybe it mentioned the intelligence, talent, and skill of others like Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali, and Maya Angelou.

If I am wrong about VH1’s special, please correct me. If anyone watched the whole thing and would like to point out my errors, please do. I honestly encourage this.

But until then…

“I know why the caged bird sings.
Ah, me, when its wings are bruised and its bosom sore.
It beats its bars and would be free.
It’s not a carol of joy or glee,
but a prayer that it sends from its heart’s deep core,
a plea that upward to heaven it flings.
I know why the caged bird sings.”
-Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

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