Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Enough is Definitely ENOUGH

Enough is really Enough

I always wonder if the people that jump on bandwagons even care if they know where the bandwagon is going…..or if its just the really cool music….or is it just the self-gratification of being a part of "something"….doesn’t matter what that "something" actually is. Hence, my hesitation at the Enough is Enough campaign against apparently, all things BET: Black Entertainment Television…or Black Exploitation Television…or Bitches Entertaining Thugs or Boogeymen Endangering Teens or whatever the cause du jour has bestowed upon the B-E-T.

Enough is Enough is a group led by Rev. Damien Coates that has waged a war against……against………..ummm…..against….well, take a look at their goals for yourself:

Universal creative standards"?? WTH?? So individual creativity is now a bad thing? Apparently the paint-by-numbers era is upon us for real. Do not think outside the box, innovation and artistic license are not welcome anymore.

"These standards should include prohibitions against lyrical and visual content that (a) objectifies, degrades, or promotes violence against women; (b) promotes illegal activity; (c) portrays Black and Latino men as "gangsters, pimps, thugs, and players," and (d) celebrates the usage of the word "nigga" (and it's derivatives), "hoe" (and it's derivatives), and "bitch" (in reference to women)"

Well…….the works of Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, Alice Walker, Zora Neal Hurston, Wallace Thurman and Claude McKay are prohibited to be seen or heard via Enough is Enough. Jacob Lawrence and Ernie Barnes…bye bye. Can’t even watch reruns of The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son or Good Times….why, this means even Roots can’t be celebrated once a year anymore!

Think I’m over-reacting? Think again…if you stifle anybody’s creativity, you stifle it all. You can’t silence SouljaBoy, Lil Wayne or Young Joc without also silencing Common or Lupe Fiasco. Are we supposed to demand that artists ignore their own instincts and vision? Who does that help? If Enough is Enough doesn’t like the fact that more and more young artists are only finding creative energy in the bleakness of their lives…..maybe the urge to write, sing, rap, paint or act on that bleakness is not the problem…maybe it’s the bleakness itself. It is nothing short of cowardly to make generic, ill-defined demands regarding the hot button topic of the moment without offering any tangible evidence of what the problem really is. Selecting a few lyrics from various rap songs is as genuine as me selecting a few passages from the Bible and using those passages to support a "the Bible is lewd, perverted literature" stance.

I don’t proclaim to have the answers for every ailment of the black community, but I do know this, those ailments are not cured if BET up and disappears from the cable lineup one night. Maybe its easier…its just easier to blame videos and movies and songs. It takes a lot more energy to analyze, criticize and bring attention to the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act and how it has decimated school systems around the country. I guess Rev. Coates doesn't want to point out his brethen in the pulpit and the disappearing act that the black church has pulled with regards to ANY issue of relevance....too busy preaching that "prosperity" is that different from the "bling bling" message?? Oh, and lets not forget about the pimp-slap of the 21st century - Katrina.....yeah, BET was the reason our government built and maintained a levee system that a class of about 15 rambuncious kindergarteners could have torn down. PUH-LEEEEZZZEEEE.

Gimme a break....You want to get rid of negative images? Protest Fox News.

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