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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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Thursday
Jul052007

Advertisers Flee Website Promoting Latest BET Show, " Hot Ghetto Mess"

Early indications are that advertisers want nothing to
do with Black Entertainment Television's latest venture into original
programming, a show called "Hot Ghetto Mess." State Farm and Home
Depot ordered BET to take their ads off of a page on BET.com promoting
the show .

The promotional page for the show features a blackface cartoon and
says that "Hot Ghetto Mess is like the traffic accident you can't look
away from."

The blog, What About Our Daughters?, and the National Congress of
Black Women asked advertisers to remove advertising form BET's " Hot
Ghetto Mess" promotional page,. Less than twenty-four hours later,
BET was forced to remove prominent banner ads which had flashed
advertising for State Farm, The Home Depot, Yum Brand's KFC, Target,
AT&T, and Daimler Chrysler. Both State Farm and The Home Depot said
that BET had erred by placing their company's ads on the " Hot Ghetto
Mess" site without their knowledge or permission.

"As a result of a technical issue with their ad-server, BET
inadvertently placed our ads within areas of their site that we did
not specify," said Christi Tricoli, Media Manager for the Home Depot.

State Farm was just as quick to demand that BET remove the company's
advertising from the page. According to Edward Gold, Advertising
Director for State Farm, "Hot Ghetto Mess" does not meet the
company's advertising guidelines and objectives and the company wants
no association with the program.

"We have reviewed the content of this program, which we just heard
about, and we will NOT be airing any State Farm advertising during
this program on BET. We have also directed our agency to have BET.com
remove any State Farm advertising to appear on the web page on
BET.com," Gold said in an email to the blog, What About Our Daughters?

Protests and petitions aimed at getting the show pulled before its
debut on July 25th have popped up all over the internet , but BET has
not relented to the outrage surrounding the show. BET continues to
solicit videos and photos from viewers. Viewers are encouraged to send
in photos and clips of people who look, sound and appear "bad " and
"ugly according to BET.com. The show will be hosted by Charlie
Murphy and according to the "Hot Ghetto Mess" promotions site, the
show will guide viewers through "shaking booties, thug life,
baby-mama drama and pimped-out high schoolers."

FYI. Please contact KFC (YUM BRANDS) to let them know that their ads are still appearing on the "Hot Ghetto Mess" website in the ads left in the left sidebar of the "Hot Ghetto Mess" site. Be nice about it though. The advertisers are at least being responsive to our requests.
Thanks for calling folks, YUM Brands must have gotten on BET for leaving their ads on the page. Now ALL ads are gone from the Bet.com page for " Hot Ghetto Mess." I have told y'all since the beginning of this blog that advertisers are running this show. I am waiting to see which companies are going to be so morally bankrupt that they would be willing to place ads on a show called "Hot Ghetto Mess".

Update No. 2. HA! It is spreading. After i pointed out that State Farm ads were still appearing on the BET.com page promoting DL Hugley's new show, SOB, BET.com has pulled all of the banner ads off of the SOB page as well. I am so sorry to the programmer over at BET.com who thought they were going to be able to leave early for the holiday.

For new readers, I want to remind you to take a look at some of our "Greatest Hits" posts. here are some of my personal favorites: Should Hip Hop be Eradicated?, New Loyalty Oath for the Black Blogosphere?, 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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Wednesday
Jul042007

Happy 4th! - What Black Bloggers Are Saying on the 4th of July- Tribute to Black women.



Perhaps the greatest battle is before us, the fight for a new America: fearless, free, united, morally re-armed, in which 12 million Negroes, shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Americans, will strive that this nation under God will have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, for the people and by the people shall not perish from the earth. This dream, this idea, this aspiration, this is what American democracy means to me.
Mary McLeod Bethune, What Does American Democracy Mean to Me


Enjoy your holiday. I thought I would continue a holiday tradition here on What About Our Daughters? By providing links to what other Black bloggers are saying about "Independence Day"

What If? Women - "What if I honor the declaration of 1863?" ponders how she as an African American can celebrate the 4th of July. She posts a portion of the Declaration of Independence, a Famous Frederick Douglass speech, and the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Field Negro -This 4th of July let's remember these words from Field Negro Douglas.
He says he can't wish American "Happy Birthday" this year because he says he's "still pissed off about Scooter, the Supremes, the war in Iraq, and a President who thinks that you only belong to him and his friends. Oh yeah, and I still can't get Katrina out of my mind!"

Afro-Netozen- "The Signers of the Declaration of Independence were Brave Men" He provides the full text of a famous Frederick Douglass speech about African Americans celebrating "Independence Day"

Prometheus 6 has a hysterical clip up called "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country."

LaShawn Barber has the text of the Declaration of Independence.

The SuperSpade has an interesting post called "What is Independence?" - they ask whether we are "independent."

As for moi, I have to wonder what Mary McLeod Bethune or Frederick Douglass would write about today? Sweet Jesus. What would they say about the state of Black America today? Can you imagine if you got Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, George Washington Carver and crew and sat them down in front of a flat screen and made them watch "Flava of Love", "Charm School", "Hot Ghetto Mess", "106 and Park"? What would they say about the state of the Black family, education, incarceration rates, AIDS? What would they say about the " leaders" who have replaced them or the institutions they died trying to establish? Perhaps we should have a WWTS (What Would They Say) essay competition?

I love this country. There is no other place I would rather live at this point in history, national psychoses, "isms" and all. If you know of a modern day Mary Mcleod Bethune or Frederick Douglass who is talking about this stuff, let me know.

You can actually listen to Mary McLeod Bethune's speech, " What Does American Democracy Mean to Me."

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Monday
Jul022007

State Farm/ The Home Depot Remove Ads from BET's "Hot Ghetto Mess" Website

Folks roll on over to the “Hot Ghetto Mess” site at BET.com Notice anything different? The banner ads have disappeared ( temporarily)! I know at least two advertisers contacted BET and their ad agencies and told BET to take their ads off of the Hot Ghetto Mess site. At 5:02, the State Farm ad was still up, fifteen minutes later, the banner ads have been removed and so has the ad in the middle of the page. So we made somebody at BET work today. If advertisers didn’t want their advertising on a web site promoting the show, imagine who will be willing to purchase ads for the actual show.

On July 25th I will be watching Hot Ghetto Mess and will report back to you which corporations are so morally bankrupt that they would be willing to fund the foolishness. Home Depot and State Farm offered their explanation for how their ads managed to end up next to a racist blackface cartoon. Basically they say BET screwed up.

I hope they will reconsider advertising with BET in any capacity. The advertisers are justifying their relationship with BET by saying that they are purchasing ads on specific shows or in specific sections of the site. Notice State Farm is still advertising on the SOB page.

More African Americans watch TNT, TBS or the CW on any single night than watch BET. There are lots of alternative ways to reach African Americans than BET. I am including the e-mails I received from Home Depot and State Farm. Baby steps folks. Baby steps.

Let this be a message to YOU BET! When “ Hot Ghetto Mess” premieres in July, any corporation whose ads appear on this show is going to hear from us!


The Home Depot is currently purchasing advertising within specific areas of BET.com. As a results of a technical issue with their ad-server, BET inadvertently placed our ads within areas of their site that we did not specify. This issue has since been resolved. We thank you for your inquiry.
Christi Tricoli, Media Manager


To: What About Our Daughters.org
From: Edward C. Gold, Advertising Director, State Farm Insurance Companies
Subject: Hot Ghetto Mess on BET
It has come to our attention that your What About Our Daughters blog has noted that State Farm is a sponsor of the new Hot Ghetto Mess program on BET, which does not premiere until July 25, 2007.
As a company, State Farm takes great care to be sensitive to the TV programming for placement of our advertising messages. We continually review all of the media where our advertising airs to ensure it meets our company’s objectives and guidelines. We have reviewed the content of this program, which we just heard about, and we will NOT be airing any State Farm advertising during this program on BET. We have also directed our agency to have BET.com remove any State Farm advertising to appear on the web page on BET.com describing this program.

As you may be aware, State Farm is proud to be a member of the Family Friendly Programming Forum. This is an association of national advertisers encouraging the entertainment community to provide more family friendly programming options. More information about this association is available online at www.familyprogramawards.com.

We would appreciate it if What About Our Daughters could remove the name of our Chairman and President, Ed Rust Jr., and his address from your blog site, so that we do not receive any additional calls or emails regarding this program.
Please feel free to forward any further concerns to my attention.

Best regards,


Ed
Thanks The Home Depot and State Farm, but y'all can't trust BET to take care of your brand. This WILL happen to your companies again because BET executive have no internal moral compass as demonstrated by a show called "Hot Ghetto Mess." Clearly BET Executives are contemptuous of their own audience and you should reconsider doing business with a company with no moral compass. Let me assure you that I don't know many people over the age of 25 that still watch BET so you are probably incurring a significant risk of being associated with offensive television with far less reward than you think. I can give you plenty of alternative websites where you could reach large numbers of African Americans without incurring the risk that they will put your brand next to some foolishness.

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