For my regular readers, y'all remember me saying that people have been complaining about the negative images in Hip Hop music for years, but no one was listening. I present to you Unplug Gangsta Rap by the Democrat and Chronicle. The Editorial Board of the paper has been running a campaign for YEARS to rescue Hip Hop from the clutches of its corporate overseers. It is called Unplug Gangsta Rap. They have an AMAZING site. My favorite is "Most Wanted" it has names pictures and descriptions of the corporate executives responsible for most of the foolishness. It also has some great articles and multimedia. Check them out. THIS is why I love this blog. Keep sending me the tips folks!
Since I have a blog criticizing images and speech, I often get comments saying that we should just shut up because people are just exercising their First Amendment rights ( yes, the irony is lost on them). This is the third installment of our four-part series, The First Amendment Hypocrites. In Part One, I pointed out that the First Amendment protects us from guv'ment restriction of speech, not criticism form others. In part two, I pointed out that this blog has never advocated government restriction of speech that I find degrading to Black women. In this installment I argue that people like DL Hughley and the Dean of the Russell Simmons School of Obfuscation and Redirection who hide behind the First Amendment every time they face criticism are COWARDS!If this is your first time reading the series, you should read this post first so you will know why I am addressing D.L. Hughley .
To trot out the First Amendment in defense of Hughley's attack on the Rutgers team, an innocent group of African American young women is cowardly. D.L. should be man enough to say that he finds the women of his own race unattractive. Be man enough to say that a Black women in her natural state, who doesn't chemically straighten her hair or doesn't wear other people's hair is ugly to you, the ugliest women you have ever seen in your life according to your statement on the Tonight Show. Me man enough to attack a group of innocent young Black college students and take the criticism without cowering behind the FICTION that you are championing or protected by the First Amendment. Last, be man man enough to admit that you don't have enough comedic talent to make people laugh unless you appeal to the lowest common denominator.
To all the First Amendment experts who read an comment. Keep it coming. Be warned, here at What About Our Daughters, we reserve the right to exercise our First Amendment right to respond.
In the first of our series responding to people who believe that protesting and criticizing "artists" and comedians that denigrate Black women, I said that most people attempting to shield Hip Hop and DL Hughley from criticism using the First Amendment haven't actually read the First Amendment. Today we'll explore the fact that most of these First Amendment Activists (FAAs) haven't actually read this site.
B. People who come on this site whining about the First Amendment haven't actually read my posts. Read every post. I have NEVER said that anybody, even the most vile, violent-prose spewing, misogynist Hip Hop artist should be arrested or fined for disrespecting and attacking Black women with their lyrics and videos.
We don't need the guv'ment to battle this War on Black Women. Black women and the men who love and care about them can drive this nonsense from the mainstream into the fringes where it belongs. We can do this by merely Defunding the foolishness and cutting off the spigot of corporate dollars that are subsidizing this mess. The First Amendment does not guarantee you the right to say whatever you want and get paid for it.
You see Hughley wuoldn't have called the Rutgers team nappyheaded and the ugliest women he had ever seen in his life on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno if he didn't want to engage in self promotion. This isn't about Hughley's love of the Constitution, based on his comments about the protesters, I doubt he has read the Constitution or the First Amendment he keeps dropping right and left in his own defense. This is about Hughley's need to prop up his floundering career. Shaving his head or wearing a short dress with no panties-a la Britney-won't work for a Black male comic ( I Hope). Instead, Hughley chose to attack a group of young Black women in order to get his "LOOK AT ME!" moment. When we called him out for it, he quickly trotted out the First Amendment a la Russey Simmons and the Russell Simmons School of Obfuscation and Redirection.
Tomorrow I'll ( try to) post Part III of "The First Amendment Hypocrites." I'll tell you why people who try to hide behind the First Amendment to justify maligning Black women are COWARDS. Oh it is going to be a good one folks!
Speaking of Hypocrisy.... Y'all might recall a post I put up last month called "Poor Little Rich Boys" in which rappers 50 Cent and T.I. whined about all of the post-Imus criticism Hip Hop was receiving. Well Boo Hoo, pass a tissue. Anyway T.I. famously said that he didn't rely on Hip Hop to raise his kids, he was their "example" and he taught them right from wrong. Well apparently he is teaching them to get into fistfights at "upscale" (HA!) industry/charity events because he decided to punch out some record executive I ain't ever heard of, but he must be important because all the black gossip blogs are reporting on the fight. I wouldn't even be mentioning this if it didn't involve both T.I. , whose hypocrisy I have already outlined, but also Kevin Liles.
For those of you saying Kevin who? Exactly. The only reason his name popped out is because he was the guy on the Oprah Townhall meetings who had a hissy fit when Stanley Crouch called rappers " clowns." Liles stood out because he was supposed to be some type of record executive, but he was having a tantrum on national television. I distinctly remember the Dean of the Russell Simmons School of Obfuscation and Redirection giving Liles the sideeye during the tantrum on the Oprah show thinking " See, I can't take this fool nowhere" For those who didn't see the Oprah show, Liles was twisting in his chair as if to keep from lunging at Crouch, like a small child who has been placed in "time out" but wants to get out of the chair.
This is not mainstream behavior folks and to everyone who keeps championing Hip Hop as some kind of beacon to po' folks, the facts continue to say otherwise. But, but, but Gem, what about Lindsey Lohan, Britney, and PARIS HILTON? But, but, but this site isn't about them and their foolishness.
I told you on Friday how I was accosted in my public library by Russell Simmons' new book "DO YOU!:12 LAWS TO ACCESS THE POWER IN YOU TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS"
I got as far as page 25 when Russey, Dean of the Russell Simmons School of Obfuscation and Redirection, said that rappers were like JESUS.
Alas, I am going to soldier on and finish so I can give my loyal readers a review of this treatise ( OH WHAT A REVIEW IT WILL BE!). If you or a friend has read "Do You!" I want you on the Round Table so we can discuss. Pro or Con. You know I like to argue. We'll do a whole show about the book.
Apparently Black folks all over the country are racing to get their hands on a copy. In the city of Houston he was greeted by a marching band. They packed them into the signing by promising lunch and that Simmons would reveal the secret to getting rich despite the fact that in the beginning of the book Russey said that the book was not about getting rich. (uh huh. Right. Right.) The description of the crowd in Miami is "interesting". In keeping with corporate America's fond tradition of funding foolishness, Cadillac is sponsoring the book tour.(Too easy! I'mma let that slide without comment.OH Wait. That was a comment. )
Since Russey insists on comparing Hip Hop to the Prince of Peace I did an analogy of my own. Russell Simmons is not Yoda. He's Palpatine. Hip Hop is not the Rebellion; it’s the EMPIRE. Don’t sleep.Yes, I did have too much time on my hands this weekend due to rain so I started working on the cover of MY new book "Doom You!". You have to click on the image for the full effect. Compare my handy work to the original.
UPDATE (June 25,2007 6:53): Apparently one of my readers is a Star Wars expert and believes my Palpatine comparison is inappropriate:
Russell can't be Palpatine, he is not sinister enough. He is not sneaky enough. People think he has all this power in the music industry. he doesn't. MOst of the acts on Def Jam (if not all) were NOT signed by him. if anything, Lyor Cohen also dubbed Liar Conman is Palpatine. he makes the big bucks and pulls the strings. not to mention the fact that he started off as a humble intern at Def Jam.
Russell is a loud mouth braggart who makes money doing it.
Okay Okay. I would agree. So who would Russell be? Jar Jar Binks? Maybe I should leave the Star Wars analogies alone. Any ideas folks? I still think my cover art is cute. I laugh every times the page loads.
If you will send your eyes sto the top right corner of the page, you will see what we bloggers like to call a widget. It is keeping track of a campaign initiated after reading this post that I wrote about a church in Chicago putting up 20 billboards urging people to “Stop Listening to Trash.” Several people commented that they wished they could do that in their city. I responded, “ Open up the yellow pages and call the billboard company.”
The folks over at African American Opinion decided to start a “Chip-In” campaign to duplicate the Chicago billboard campaign. I’ve decided to promote their effort here at What About Our Daughters. Now the organizer has given folks until
November 30, 2007 July 31st, I‘m not waiting that long. This goal can be reached by the 4th of July. Time’s a-wasting!
Now like you, I hate to part with my hard earned treasure, but I am going to make an exception because when ( not if) this works, it is going to change the face of activism for those of us who want to take this activism from the Screen to the Streets. We have to stop preaching to the choir.
So what do you say? Can you give up a latte for the cause? As for me, I am going to give up two half gallons of Blue Bell Pistachio Almond and make an initial pledge of $10. But Alas, I don’t believe in helping those who don’t help themselves, so my initial contribution is contingent on the AAO getting at least 5 people go give at least $50( total) by midnight Monday, June 24, 2007. If they get $100 and more than 10 donors, I’ll give $20. So this means every little bit helps. People need to feel some urgency!
But what about security? The widget appears to be going through PayPal. If you are paranoid about giving up credit card info ( I AM!), then you can have your credit card company issue a one-time use credit card number to use for online transaction. E-mail me and I will tell you how if you don't know how to do it.
WHAT BLOGGERS CAN DO? "Do the WRITE Thing"
If you are a blogger who wants to combat the scourge that is commercial Hip Hop in all of its misogynistic, pro-prison, pro-pimp, pro-drugs, anti-education, anti-love, anti-sanity message, then consider embedding the widget in your sidebar for the rest of the month of June or until the goal is reached. If you can’t figure out how to add the widget, e-mail me and I will tell you how. You just click on the copy button and copy the HTML code. But while you're pasting and embedding, match my pledge.
BUT I DON'T KNOW THESE PEOPLE
What About Our Daughters isn’t running the campaign, we are just promoting it because it is a first important salvo in the effort to STOP FUNDING FOOLISHNESS. Can y’all imagine these billboards popping up all over the place? I am just as paranoid and cynical ( probably more ) as most of you, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith that people will do what they say that they will do.