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Tuesday
Jul102007

Hate BET? - Think About Supporting "Cable Choice"

Thanks to the Hollywood Reporter for the shout out! Somebody likes my limited graphic design abilities.

Sorry, this was going to be another LOOOOONG post. So I actually posted my full letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin over at The War On Black Women.

I've been hemming and hawing about whether to encourage people to support cable choice or a la carte cable. After reading the response of the creator of "Hot Ghetto Mess" to our criticism, I've decided that THIS level of arrogance must be STOPPED. To hear Debra Lee of BET tell it, cable choice or a la carte cable would place BET in serious peril financially ( I think she's lying, but thanks for the heads up Debbie Antoinette!)

What the heck is Cable Choice/ a la carte cable?
Basically ( pardon the pun), what a la carte cable means is that you would pay individually for the channels you actually watch as opposed to paying for one hundred channels when the average person only watches 17.

Those of you who keep e-mailing me saying you don't WATCH BET, you're still paying BET whether you watch them or not. So that's why they don't care if people say they are going to "boycott BET" you can't boycott BET unless you boycott cable in its entirety. BET gets paid whether you watch or not because they get a cut of your subscriber fee.

Although BET routinely runs around touting that they are beamed into 84 million households, they know that only a fraction of that 84 million would pay to specifically view BET. Some figures I have read indicate that BET receives 80% of its revenue from compulsory subscriber fees. Can you say OUCH if consumers had to actually choose to invite BET into their homes? Whether you agree with a la carte pricing or not, you should know that BET is representing that cable would become less DIVERSE if people actually got to choose what they could watch on cable.
Last week the NAACP, in between preparing to bury the "N-word" and selecting the menu for the banquets at their national convention, decided to send a letter to the Chair of the FCC in defense of BET and against cable choice In defense of the NAACP, they don't list BET by name, but who the heck else are they talking about? Here is the link. Here are the letters of other "civil rights" organizations carrying BET's water.

I've decided to write a letter explaining why in the case of BET, cable choice would be a wonderful thing. If you really are sick of BET and would just as soon have it land in the dust bin of history, you can write a letter too. Legislation is currently pending. If you want to send a letter to Chairman Martin about BET's Programming and your desire NOT to have to pay for it out of your cable bill, you can contact Chairman Martin here.

If you want to see the text of my letter to the Chairman, you can go here.

If you want to read about BET's foolishness, you can go here, here, here and here.

In addition to calling Debbie Lee on her elitist multimedia crack peddling, we also throw the occasional jab at Hip Hop, the Russell Simmons School of Obfuscation and Redirection, and Al Sharpton for exploiting the War on Black Women bumrush the closest cable TV camera.

Stroll through our greatest hits : Should Hip Hop be Eradicated?,?, DL Hughley is Wrong: White Folks May Have a Point, Where in the World is Rev. Al- Sharpton Watch Day 01, Sharpton Watch is Over!, OH Snap: Video of protesters confronting Dieon Sanders and Dl Hughley in Ft. Worth. and my inaugural post: After Imus: Now What.

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Monday
Jul092007

Here We Go Ho' Ho' Again- Sharpton Calls out TMZ For Calling Beyonce "Roboho" - TMZ Responds That They Call lots of Women Whores

Y'all remember the "roboho" incident following the BET Music Awards. Well Rev Al and his non-news-reading staffers finally got around to commenting on it. He also took the opportunity to announce that he is going on a 20-city anti "Ho" campaign. I wish he would call out BET about Hot Ghetto Mess, but y'all know my feelings on Rev. Al. You know, let me send his people an e-mail right now.

Anyway, TMZ responded that they call everyone a whore in one form of another. As usual, the TMZ comments are chock full of racist rants.

Read it and weep.

By the way. Thanks to all of you who have purchased a T-shirt to help support the site. I only make $1 on each sale, but every little bit counts. I get a dollar whether you purchase a button or a $18 hoodie. I've added some less expensive stickers and magnets to allow people a less expensive way to support the site. We have two designs, the "Stop Funding Foolishness" design and the " Defund the War on Black Women" design. Again I thank you and let me know how CafePress treats y'all. Since people appear to like the shirts, I am considering printing them up myself, but I don't know if I am ready to go into the T-shirt business yet. Who am I kidding. I am sooo not customer service oriented. CafePress will do just fine.

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Sunday
Jul082007

BET Programming Chief Unrepentant about “Hot Ghetto Mess” - "It's so doggone goood-!"- Ever Heard of Shirley Q. Liquor?


This is a LOOONG Post, but if you don't do anything else, scroll to the end to look at the links about Shirley Q. Liquor. I learn something new everyday.

So what is the big freaking deal with “Hot Ghetto Mess“? The tag line DOES say “ We got to do better!” So that makes everything okay. RIGHT? UM NOOO. According to Reginald Hudlin, he's seen the rough cuts of "Hot Ghetto Mess" and it is "It's SO DOGGONE GOOD."

Don’t let them fool you into thinking that something called “Hot Ghetto Mess” ,whose producers have been running all over the internet begging for people to send them photos of the most outrageous foolishness, is intended to do good. When in the recent history of BET has that network given even the slightest indication that they care about the average Black person? Exactly! They don’t care about Black people so why on earth would you trust that they have good intentions with a show called “Hot Ghetto Mess.”

I reject the argument that people can do anything that they want as long as they had GOOD INTENTIONS. “Oops! Sorry I hit you with my car. I didn’t intend to.” Come on! BET has one intention according to Debra Lee, to make money. Now there are lots of ways BET could make lots of money, but the ways that don’t require pimping out their people require too much work.

CONTEXT MATTERS. The point is that any redeeming value that a show called “ Hot ghetto Mess” may have is far outweighed by the certainty that any “positive” message will be lost in translation. This is not going to be Extreme Makeover: Hood Edition. This is going to be like watching a car wreck according to BET.

Mr Hudlin and Ms. Lee are both rich Harvard graduates who have the money and power to insulate themselves from the consequences of shows like “ Hot Ghetto Mess.” They can sit back and coo and laugh and dismiss the plebeians. “Let them eat cake!” “ It’s so doggone gooood!”


THE REAL DEAL
This is all a desperate attempt to catch up with their network cousin, VH1, home of Flavor of Love, I love New York, and Charm School. Faced with the frightening possibility that the top rated shows for African Americans were all on another network, BET has attempted to one-up VH1 by racing farther and faster to the bottom. I mean BET touts the face that it reaches 84 million households, despite how many people in those 84 million households actually WATCH! It is not a good thing if ratings indicate that Black folks ain’t watching Black Entertainment Television.

Again, I am going to post some additional links to sites that provide the history of blackface and the affect on African Americans even 150 years later. Does anyone have a problem with BET deciding that offering up Black folks as sacrificial lambs to pad their bottom line?

About Face: The HIstory of Blacking Up
, The Guardian

Blackface is "a form of racist caricature invented by white Americans in the minstrel-show days of the 1800s," says American academic John Strausbaugh in his book, Black Like You. Blackface minstrelsy became one of the US's most popular musical styles. In this white imitation of black characters black people were portrayed as stupid, superstitious, lying, lazy and lascivious.

"It was a deliberate attempt to suggest that black people had no humanity," says Caryl Phillips, "When you're in blackface you can basically only smile or cry. You're not able to get beyond the blackface mask to display the full range of human emotions, and that suited exactly the prevailing idea in America at the time. It played absolutely into the idea of white racial superiority."

Do you REALLY think "Hot Ghetto Mess" is going to stay confined to the television set. Come on! We'll be seeing "Hot Ghetto Mess" parties this fall on most university campuses. Count on it. The black folks put it on TV so it MUST be okay. When Imus returns next fall to his radio show is he free to refer to folks as a " Hot Ghetto Mess" Will we be so caviler once our inside joke gets usurped by other folks?

Blackface Makes its Way to College Campuses, Daily Orange.com

Gaston Pastor Says Blackface Performance at Church Wasn't Racist, Gaston Gazette

Cultural Sensitivity: US, Japan, and Korea, Jesse Bluejay - You have got to see these pictures of people in Japan and Korea in blackface. I remind you that BET just launched BET Japan.

Shirley Q. Liquor, After Imus: A Black Face Comic Who Sings "12 Days of Kwanzaa", Rolling Stone, You have GOT to read this one. Here is a taste:
"He's a fat, gay forty-five-year-old white man, a part-time nurse, who lives alone with two cats and who believes he's on a mission from God. Once a month, Chuck Knipp (pronounced with a hard K, like "Knievel") transforms himself into a living taboo. First, he puts on a giant housedress and a pink, curly wig. Then he smears his doughy face and neck with chocolate-brown foundation."

Knipp plays Shirley Q Liquor.
"A welfare mother with nineteen kids who guzzles malt liquor, drives a Caddy and says in an "ignunt" Gulf Coast black dialect, "I'm gonna burn me up some chitlins and put some ketchup on there and aks Jesus to forgive my sins." Shirley also shops at "Kmark," eats "Egg McMuffmans," visits her "gynechiatrist" and just loves "homosexicals."


White folks love him. He's being hired to perform for lots of famous white people at their birthday parties and socials. Too many to name here. read the article. He is starting to "wonder" if what he is doing is hurtful

"Wealthy white people are starting to hire me for private parties, where I play the raisin in a bowl of oatmeal," he says. "From the way they interact with me, I can see that my being there as Shirley makes them feel it's acceptable to openly mock black people in a way they otherwise would not, and that does cause me to have second thoughts. If what I'm doing is truly hurtful, then I need to stop."


I can understand his confusion. Its hard for him to know what is offensive when we are cranking it out ourselves and laughing at it.

Still harmless and funny? I've got money that says " Hot Ghetto Mess" parties will be all the rage this fall on college campuses.

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Friday
Jul062007

Friday Roundup HIp Hop's Favorite Pastime - Passing the Buck

Have you ever met a group of artists from a musical genre that was so unwilling to accept responsibility for what comes out of their mouths? In addition to being invincible, apparently Hip Hop artists are also infallible. Even when they admit to hatred and violence, it is NEVER their fault. We wouldn't accept this from anybody else.

"Yes, our rhymes can contain violence and hatred. Yes, our songs can detail the drug business and our choruses can bounce with lustful intent. However, those things did not spring from inferior imaginations or deficient morals; these things came from our lives. They came from America."
Jay-Z, "Know What I Mean? Reflections On Hip Hop" By Michael Eric Dyson


Thanks Tawra! How long has Jay-Z been a millionaire? A decade or so? Folks don't bother running out to buy yet another tome by Hip Hop apologist Dyson. I'll check it out from the library and read it so you won't have to. Yes. Yes. I know that I never did finish Russell Simmon's book " Do You," but I will finish it by next Friday. Have you noticed I've been a little busy around here?

All of these pseudo- intellectuals and their edutainment prattel are yet another example that Hip Hop is not the voice of rebellion, but of the establishment. When you own sports teams, jets, restaurants, clubs, have clothing lines, toy lines, Vitamin Water, Hip Hop soda pop, publishing companies, and have academics writing tomes about you, I don't think you qualify as a "rebellion" anymore. Hip Hop is the establishment, the Empire. They even have their own dictionary now.

Moving on..
Rolling Stone talks about Master P's attempt at "clean" Hip Hop. Y'all have read my post, "Should Hip Hop Be Eradicated?" right? It's kinda like a horse with a broken leg. As much as we wanted Barbaro to live and as much as we put into rehabilitating that horse, we just delayed the inevitable.

The NAACP continues their effort to "bury" the "N-word" I wonder when they are going to get around to burying tangible things like BET's " Hot Ghetto Mess" I called them all of this week and sent four e-mails to four different branches. Have you read my post " Are Civil Rights Groups Pimping the War on Black Women?"

I don't know if I have posted about this here, but there was a conference in NYC called R-E-S-P-E-C-T: When did we lose it?. The Amsterdam News has a summary of the events. I guess I am too impatient. This thing isn't all that complicated to me. I think some people are making it complicated in hopes that the outrage will flicker out. Y'all know I think others are just exploiting current events. But alas, I am the first to admit that I don't know it all.

So maybe this meet, meet, meet, discuss, discuss, discuss, committee, committee, committee, summit, summit, summit, conference, conference, conference stuff is the way to go. I just view it as something that tires people out. I went to a forum last February and went to the most unexpected workshop by a community organizer for a local interfaith alliance. The group is church-based, the topic was about power and it was so eye opening. She said as a policy, they do not serve on committees or workgroups etc because that is just a way to tire people out. I am going to have to look her up and ask her for some advice. Their first rule is " Never do for others what they won't do for themselves." Their second rule is " No permanent friends. No permanent enemies." If i had known that a few months later I would be doing this, I would have asked more questions.

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Thursday
Jul052007

Rappers Within Borders - Australia Ain't Having 'Em

You might recall lasts month's post about alerting Canadian officials to Akon's violent criminal past. Well they are already on it in Australia and parent's groups are pushing immigration officials to deny entry to Akon and The Game. IN an article " Hip hop hatred heads here", Australia's parents are not having it. You gotta love how the paper describes Akon and The Game:

R&B star Akon and rapper The Game – whose songs are laced with violent, racist, homophobic and sexist lyrics – are headlining the "Roc tha Block" tour on August 11 at Vodafone Arena.

Tell us how y'all really feel. Basically Hip Hop is facing the prospect that their touring is going to be limited to the United States. Can you say OUCH for the bottom line. Whew, this warms my heart. We are not alone!

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