Posted by: Randy Allgaier | April 10, 2007

Hate Speech and Prejudice in America: The Famous and the Media- Hypocrisy, Hype and Nothing Accomplished


Don Imus’s recent outrageous remarks about the women’s basketball team from Rutgers’s University is just the latest chapter in outrage remarks made by public figures and getting play “ad infinitum” on the media. I have to admit to being even more outraged that some news shows (including “The Today Show”) actually played the clip of the remarks rather than just referring to them. Isn’t that just sensationalizing and capitalizing on those remarks and actually a cynical play on racism?

I am purposely using the term hate speech here because it isn’t just racism that is the problem lately, it is sexism, it is homophobia, it is anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic.

Let’s be clear that I am sickened by the tirades (they are not just off-handed remarks) from the likes of  Mr. Imus, the so-called comedian- former “Seinfeld” star- Michael Richards, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington, super-star Mel Gibson, and basketball star Tim Hardaway.

The list goes on. Do the media help create a dialogue to discuss these remarks that are indicative of a larger societal ill or do they use these remarks for their salacious ratings bonanza? This morning “The Today Show’ devoted most of it’s first hour on the issue- more than it ever devotes to a post mortem of “The State of the Union Address” the day after that annual important speech by the President of the United States. Maybe the producers and co-anchors,Ms. Viera and Mr. Lauer, envisioned a debate about the issues but instead it became the usual accusatory, vilifying talking heads yelling over one another and not listening – the swamp where these “conversations” inevitably devolve.

But I have to admit to being equally outraged by the hypocrisy and double standard emanating from the mouths of self righteous men like the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Mind you- I admire much of the work of both of these men, but it isn’t that long ago that they were race baiting and making remarks equally offensive.

Let’s look at Al Sharpton. He was the defining figure in the Crown Heights Riot that occurred after a car accident involving the motorcade for the Lubavitcher Rebbe killed a young boy named Gavin Cato. A riot was sparked after a private Hasidic ambulance came to the scene and, on the orders of a police officer, removed the Hasidic driver from the scene. Gavin Cato and his cousin Angela were picked up soon after by a city ambulance. Caribbean-American and African-American residents of the neighborhood then rioted for four consecutive days fueled by rumors (in part driven by Sharpton) that the private ambulance had refused to treat Cato. Sharpton became the de-facto representative for the Cato family. During the funeral he referred to “diamond merchants” considered a code word for Hasidic Jews for shedding “the blood of innocent babies” leading marchers shouting “No Justice No Peace”. Sharpton did not start the riots but his rhetoric was seen as inflammatory and unhelpful in easing the tension between the black and Jewish communities. A visiting rabbinical student from Australia by the name of Yankel Rosenbaum, 29 years old, was killed during the rioting by a mob shouting “Kill the Jew”. Mr. Sharpton’s remarks AND actions were not only inflamatory- but incendiary.

What about Jesse Jackson? Jackson has been criticized for some of the remarks he has made about Jews and Jewish issues: that Nixon was less attentive to poverty in the U.S. because “four out of five of Nixon’s top advisors are German Jews and their priorities are on Europe and Asia”; that he was “sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust”; that there are “very few Jewish reporters that have the capacity to be objective about Arab affairs”; In addition Rev. Jackson had referred to Jews as “Hymies” and to New York City as “Hymietown” in January 1984 during a conversation with Washington Post reporter, Milton Coleman.

Just because Reverends Sharpton and Jackson made anti-Semitic remarks does not mean that they cannot be offended by Mr. Imus’s remarks- they should be. But they should not be sitting in godlike judgment over Mr. Imus with such righteous indignation. That is just hypocrisy. It seems that prejudice lurks in their hearts as well. On “The Today Show”, Ms. Viera asked Reverend Jackson to balance the Imus issue with his own “Hymietown” comment. He changed the subject. If Reverend Jackson was truly concerned about a real dialogue on hate and prejudice he would have addressed this issue and admitted that the issue of prejudice is endemic to the fabric of this country and we should address this larger issue.

Oddly enough the one glaring omission in all of the accusations and mea culpas going on due to the Imus fracas is the horribly sexist context of Mr. Imus’s remarks. Everyone has picked up on the racism but the misogyny that oozed from these remarks has been virtually ignored! It saddens me, but doesn’t surprise me that the misogyny is not being addressed.

Let’s be honest. Hate is part of the fabric of this country and sadly the world. People should be held accountable for their speech, but speech comes from something deep within that we are not addressing when we simply wag fingers with sanctimonious judgment at offensive speech. Beyond the unconstitutionality of it- banning hateful speech or being required to use the absurd “N word” as opposed to “nigger” when reporting an incident where the real word was used, is like putting a band aid on a severed aorta. Our society- the whole world, for that matter- needs to have a dialogue about why our hearts go there- not why our mouths go there.

If we could figure why our hearts hold these feelings and were able to fix that- we wouldn’t have civil strife or war and I don’t see those being eradicated anytime in my life time or any lifetime in the future. So much of our prejudice comes from our hardwired distrust of the unknown- those that aren’t part of our tribe, or our pack- “the other”.  That’s from our reptilian brain’s need to survive and be on guard when anything that isn’t part of our experience comes into our lives. But we are more than our reptilian brains- we have a brain that is capable of comprehending that attempting to understand the unknown and acceptance of the “other” is more likely to achieve survival than the distrust associated with our more animal instincts.

But we won’t get to that level of discussion as long as we vilify each other for our remarks rather than talk about WHY we all have hearts that make our mouths capable of saying such heinous things.


Responses

  1. While I disagree with some of your other articles, I like this one. It’s right on point about the epidemic of hate speech and bigotry we are experiencing in the US. Anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, it’s all anti, anti, anti. I’m working to expose them on my blog, http://hatewatchhallofshame.blogspot.com, but there are so many hate mongers that I’m not sure I’ll ever get to list them all. I’m not even a liberal, I’m a Republican moderate, but this hate speech sickens me. The heart of America is diseased, and needs some form of radical treatment to be healed and returned to the melting pot of tolerance that we used to display with pride.

  2. Sutter’s hatewatchhallofshame is nothing but an vehicle for Mr Sutter to defame people who don’t agree with him. nothing he says about himself is true. He paid for his ordination. He has made claims about being in the Navy for 26 years in counter terrorism. Yet he didn’t know that Lieutenant Commander is abbreviated as LCDR, not LDCR.

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/GroupManagersForum/message/122

  3. LadyLexington (aka Jeanette Runyon) is one of the ones that has been exposed as a virulent hate monger. I guess the above goes to show that it’s far easier to attack the messenger than address one’s own problems.

  4. In this composition I will not be addressing the whole of hip-hop and rap, but rather hardcore and gangsta rap. It is my assertion that the mainstream media and political pundits—right and left— have painted rap and hip-hop with a very broad brush. Let me be perfectly clear, hardcore and gangsta rap is not listened to, watched, consumed or supported in my home and never has. I will not be an apologist for anything that chooses to frame the dialogue about Black women (and women in general) and Black life in morally bankrupt language and reprehensible symbols.

    Now in the wake of MSNBC’s and CBS’s firing of Don Imus, the debate over misogyny, sexism and racism has now taken flight —or submerged, depending on your point of view. There are many, mostly white, people who believe that Imus was a fall guy and he is receiving blame and criticism for what many rap artists do continually in the lyrics and videos: debase and degrade Black women. A Black guest on an MSNBC news program even went as far as to say, “Where would a 66 year-old white guy even had heard the phrase nappy-headed ho” —alluding to hip-hop music’s perceived powerful influence upon American culture and life (and apparently over the radio legend as well) —and by so doing gave a veneer of truth to the theory that rap music is the main culprit to be blamed for this contemporary brand of chauvinism. However, I concur with bell hooks, the noted sociologist and black-feminist activist who said that “to see gangsta rap as a reflection of dominant values in our culture rather than as an aberrant ‘pathological’ standpoint, does not mean that a rigorous feminist critique of the sexist and misogyny expressed in this music is not needed. Without a doubt black males, young and old, must be held politically accountable for their sexism. Yet this critique must always be contextualized or we risk making it appear that the behavior this thinking supports and condones,–rape, male violence against women, etc. — is a black male thing. And this is what is happening. Young black males are forced to take the ‘heat’ for encouraging, via their music, the hatred of and violence against women that is a central core of patriarchy.”

    There are those in the media, mostly white males (but also some black pundits as well), who now want the Black community to take a look at hip-hop music and correct the diabolical “double-standard” that dwells therein. Before a real conversation can be had, we have to blow-up the myths, expose the lies and cast a powerful and discerning light on the “real” double-standards and duplicity. Kim Deterline & Art Jones in their essay, Fear of a Rap Planet, points out that “the issue with media coverage of rap is not whether African Americans engaged in a campaign against what they see as violent, sexist or racist imagery in rap should be heard—they should. …why are community voices fighting racism and sexism in mainstream news media, films and advertisements not treated similarly? The answer may be found in white-owned corporate media’s historical role as facilitator of racial scapegoating. Perhaps before advocating censorship of a music form with origins in a voiceless community, mainstream media pundits should look at the violence perpetuated by their own racism and sexism.”

    Just as the mainstream media and the dominant culture-at-large treats all things “Black” in America as the “other” or as some sort of science experiment in a test tube in an isolated and controlled environment, so hardcore rap is treated as if it occurred in some kind of cultural vacuum; untouched, unbowed and uninformed by the by the larger, broader, dominant American culture. The conversation is always framed in the form of this question: “What is rap’s influence on American society and culture?” Never do we ask: “What has been society’s role in shaping and influencing hip-hop?” Gangsta and hardcore rap is the product of a society that has historically objectified and demeaned women, and commercialized sex. These dynamics are present in hip hop to the extent that they are present in society. The rapper who grew up in the inner-city watched the same sexist television programs, commercials and movies; had access to the same pornographic and misogynistic magazines and materials; and read the same textbooks that limited the presence and excluded the achievements of women (and people of color as well), as the All-American, Ivy-league bound, white kid in suburban America. It is not sexism and misogyny that the dominant culture is opposed to (history and commercialism has proven that). The dominant culture’s opposition lies with hip-hop’s cultural variation of the made-in-the-USA misogynistic themes and with the Black voices communicating the message. The debate and the dialogue must be understood in this context.

    Popular Culture’s Duplicitous Sexism & Violence In Black And White
    In a piece I penned a couple of years ago, titled: The Double-Standard Of Righteous Indignation, I endeavored to point out the clear ethnic and racial double-standards of the media and society as it pertains to sex and violence. My assertion was, and remains to be, that the mainstream media and society-at-large, appear to have not so much of a problem with the glorification of sex and violence, but rather with who is doing the glorifying. In it I stated that if the brutality and violence in gangsta rap was truly the real issue, then shouldn’t a series like The Sopranos be held to the same standard? If we are so concerned about bloodshed, then how did movies like “The Godfather,” “The Untouchables” and “Goodfellas” become classics?
    I then addressed the sexual aspect of this double-standard by pointing out that “Sex & The City,” a series that focused, by and large, on the sexual relationships of four white women, was hailed as a powerful demonstration of female camaraderie and empowerment. This show, during its run, was lavished with critical praise and commercial success while hip-hop and rap artists are attacked by the morality police for their depiction of sex in their lyrics and videos. The don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it appearance of Janet Jackson’s right bosom during [a] Super Bowl halftime show…. caused more of a furor than the countless commercials that (also aired during the Super Bowl) used sex to sell anything from beer to cars to gum. Not to mention the constant stream of commercials that rather openly talks about erectile dysfunction medication.
    The exaltation of drugs, misogyny and violence in music lyrics has a history that predates NWA, Ice Cube, Ice T and Snoop Dogg. Elton John’s 1977 song “Tickin,” was about a young man who goes into a bar and kills 14 people; Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska,” featured a couple on a shooting spree, and his “Johnny 99,” was about a gun-waving laid-off worker; and Stephen Sondheim’s score for “Assassins,” which presented songs mostly in the first person about would-be and successful presidential assassins.
    Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” and the Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (LSD, as well as almost anything by Jefferson Airplane or Spaceship. Several songs from “Tommy” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” are well known drug songs. “Catholic girls”, “Centerfold”, “Sugar Walls” by Van Halen were raunchy, misogynistic, lust-driven rock refrains. Even the country music legend Kenny Rogers in his legendary ballad, “Coward Of The County,” spoke of a violent gang-rape and then a triple-homicide by the song’s hero to avenge his assaulted lover. Marilyn Manson declared that one of the aims of his provocative persona was to see how much it would take to get the moralists as mad at white artists as they got about 2LiveCrew. He said it took fake boobs, Satanism, simulated sex on stage, death and angst along with semi-explicit lyrics, to get the same screaming the 2LiveCrew got for one song. Manson thought this reaction was hypocritical and hilarious.
    Other artists like Kid Rock have won commercial success easily and faced only minor battles with the FCC with songs such as: “F**k U Blind. Consider the lyrics of Kid Rock, whose piercing blend of hard rock, metal and misogyny has sold millions of records:
    Now if you like the booty come on fellas show it
    This is your last verse to wax so why would you blow it
    And if the ladies if you are tired of a man on your fanny
    Then f–k you go home and watch the tube with granny
    …Just look at all the girls that are dying to get some
    Man, just don’t be a wussy
    And I’ll guarantee you could get a piece of p—-

    Likewise, consider the lyrics of the rock song “Anything Goes” from Guns ‘N Roses:
    Panties ’round your knees
    With your ass in debris
    Doin’ dat grind with a push and squeeze
    Tied up, tied down, up against the wall
    Be my rubbermade baby
    An’ we can do it all.”
    The bad-boy, outlaw rockers have traditionally and consistently been marketed and packaged as misogynistic. Artists and groups such as David Lee Roth, Kid Rock, Metallica, Uncle Kracker, to name a few. Consider the following list of rock groups and some of the albums and songs that they have released: American Dog (released an album in 2001 titled, Six Pack: Songs About Drinkin & F**kin), Big C*ck (released an album in 2005 titled: Year Of The C**k—with titles like Bad Motherf***er, Hard To Swallow & You Suck The Love Out Of Me) W.A.S.P. (released an album in 1983 titled: Animal: F**ks Like A Beast, an album in 1997 K.F.D.: Kill, F**k, Die), Faster Pussycat (released album in 1992 titled Whipped—with a song titled Loose Booty, 2001 titled: Between The Valley Of The Ultra P**sy, 2006 album titled: The Power Of The Glory Hole—with such titles as Porn Star and Shut Up & F**k), Lynch Mob (released an album in 2003 titled: Evil: Live—featuring the song (Tie Your Mother Down) and a compilation album released in 2003 titled C**k’N’Roll: The World’s Sleaziest Rock Bands—displaying “hits” like: Dog Sh*t Boys – One Minute F**k, Sagger – The Closest I’ve Ever Come To F**king Myself and Hellside Stranglers – Motherf***ers Don’t Cry.

    In an article by Dana Williams titled, BEYOND RAP: Musical Misogyny, Ann Savage, associate professor of telecommunications at Butler University stated: “It’s the repetitiveness of the messages, the repetitiveness of the attitudes, and it builds on people….” “People say rap is dangerous. Yes, rap music does have misogyny, but there has always been an objectification and misogyny against women in music,” said Savage. “Yet we focus on the black artists, not the rockers and not even the white executives who are making the big money from this kind of music.”
    Savage further asserts that the race-based double standard applies to violent content in music as well.”There was the Eric Clapton remake of Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff,’ and there was little to be said. But then you have the ‘Cop Killer’ song by Ice-T and it’s dangerous and threatening.”
    In this same article Cynthia Fuchs, an associate professor at George Mason University, affirmed that “the public seems far more disturbed by misogynistic lyrics in the music of rap and hip hop artists who are largely black than similar lyrics in rock music, perceived by most as a white genre.”
    “The flamboyance of rock is understood as performance, rather than from the perspective of personal feelings,” said Fuchs, who teaches courses in film and media studies, African American studies and cultural studies. “These guys are seen as innocuous. They appear to be players in the fence of accumulating women in skimpy costumes, but they aren’t necessarily seen as violent. The mainstream takes it (hip hop and rap) to represent real-life, so it’s seen as more threatening than some of the angry, whiney white boy rock, even though the same messages and images are portrayed.”
    Moreover, in an article titled C*ck Rock from the October 21-November 3, 2003 edition of the online music magazine Perfect Pitch, it was revealed that when the Hustler founder and entrepreneur Larry Flynt wanted to combine the worlds of porn (the ultimate god of misogyny) and music he did not turn to rap, but rather to rock. It was stated that since porn has been mainstreamed, they wanted a more “contemporary” look—and when they looked for a contemporary look, did they seek out the likes of Nelly, Chingy, 50 Cent or Ludacris? No. Rock legend Nikki Sixx was chosen to “grace” the cover of Hustler’s new venture along with his adult-entertainment and former Baywatch star girlfriend Donna D’Errico wearing nothing but a thong and Sixx’s arms.

    It is my belief that this paradigm; this unjust paradox exists because of the media stereotypes of black men as more violence-prone, and media’s disproportionate focus on black crime (which is confused with the personas that rappers adopt), contribute to the biased treatment of rap. The double standard applied to rap music makes it easier to sell the idea that “gangsta rap” is “more” misogynist, racist, violent and dangerous than any other genre of music. However, bell hooks conceptualized it best in her essay Sexism and Misogyny: Who Takes the Rap?: “To the white dominated mass media, the controversy over gangsta rap makes great spectacle. Besides the exploitation of these issues to attract audiences, a central motivation for highlighting gangsta rap continues to be the sensationalist drama of demonizing black youth culture in general and the contributions of young black men in particular. It is a contemporary remake of “Birth of a Nation” only this time we are encouraged to believe it is not just vulnerable white womanhood that risks destruction by black hands but everyone.”
    Part of the allure of gangsta or hardcore rap to the white young person is its (however deplorable) explicitness. The gangsta rapper says “bitches” and “hos”, defiantly and frankly (once again… deplorable) and that frankness strikes a chord. However, it is not the first time that white young man or woman has seen society “treat” women like “bitches” and “hos.” Like mother’s milk, the American male in this country has been “nourished” on a constant diet of subtle messages and notions regarding female submission and inferiority and when he is weaned, he begins to feed on the meat of more exploitative mantras and images of American misogyny long before he ever pops in his first rap album into his CD player. Young people, for better or worse, are looking for and craving authenticity. Now, because this quality is in such rare-supply in today’s society, they gravitate towards those who appear to be “real” and “true to the game.” Tragically, they appreciate the explicitness without detesting or critically deconstructing what the person is being explicit about.
    There have been many who have said that even with Imus gone from the airwaves, the American public in general and the Black community in particular will still be inundated by the countless rap lyrics using derogatory and sexist language, as well as the endless videos displaying women in various stages of undress—and this is true.
    However, by that same logic, if we were to rid the record stores, the clubs and the iPods of all misogynistic hip-hop, we would still have amongst us the corporately-controlled and predominantly white-owned entities of Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler and Hooters. We would still have the reality TV shows, whose casts are overwhelmingly white, reveling in excessive intoxication and suspect sexual mores. If misogynistic hip-hop was erased from American life and memory today, tomorrow my e-mail box and the e-mail boxes of millions of others would still be barraged with links to tens of thousands adult entertainment web sites. We would still have at our fingertips, courtesy of cable and satellite television, porn-on-demand. We would still be awash in a society and culture that rewards promiscuity and sexual explicitness with fame, fortune and celebrity (reference Anna Nicole, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears).
    And most hypocritically, if we were to purge the sexist and lewd lyrics from hip-hop, there would still be a multitude of primarily white bands and principally-white musical genres generating song after song glorifying sexism, misogyny, violence and lionizing male sexuality and sexual conquest.
    Now, where does the conversation go from here?

  5. “Deracializing White Female Sexual Explicitness or Demonizing The Different, While Excusing The Familiar”

    Don Imus in his “apology” went on to say that the term “ho” didn’t originate in the white community, but rather in the Black community. As the term “ho” is a variation of the word “whore” (a word not foreign to the American lexicon and indeed has been used with great frequency in the white community), that assertion does not hold water. So once again, what is endemic in American society is viewed as a specific “Black” identifier or just a “Black thing.” That would be the equivalent of saying that the first person to call the television a TV undeniably invented it or the individual who first referred to the automobile as a car, now holds the patent to the creation. However, let it be understood, this truth does not excuse or exonerate sexist hip-hop from its shameful contribution to the debasement of women.
    In regard to gender, there has been two, pronounced, conflicting and unjust narratives concerning female sexuality in America. Although all women who were viewed or accused as loose or promiscuous faced the ire and consternation of a (predominantly white) male-dominated society, there has always been this duplicitous racial application of the penalties incurred for committing perceived “moral” crimes against society. Historically, White women, as a category, have been portrayed as examples of self-respect, self-control, and modesty – even sexual purity, but Black women were often (and still are) portrayed as innately promiscuous, even predatory.

    I will be treating the subject of the exploitation of the Black woman more fully in another installment in this series, so my focus in this piece will be the various ways White female sexual promiscuity has been viewed, recognized and oft-times celebrated in today’s media and in popular culture.
    In her publication, Female Chauvinist Pigs, New York magazine writer Ariel Levy argues that the recent trend for soft-porn styling in everything from music videos to popular TV is reducing female sexuality to its basest levels. In short: “A tawdry, tarty, cartoon-like version of female sexuality has become so ubiquitous, it no longer seems particular.”

    Kathleen Parker in her article, Girls Gone Ridiculous, further elaborates this point: “…the message to girls the past 20 years or so has been that they can be and do anything they please. Being a stripper or a porn star is just another option among many. In some feminist circles, porn is seen as the ultimate feminist expression — women exercising autonomy over their bodies, profiting from men’s desire, rather than merely being objectified by it. Self-exploitation has become the raised middle finger of women’s sexual freedom.” And that “raised middle-finger” in popular culture, rap videos aside, has largely been a white one. Society, by and large, has deracialized white female sexual explicitness while at the same time strongly accentuating what is perceived as Black female promiscuity and immodesty. That message has been communicated to us time and time again on the pages of Maxim, FHM, Playboy, Penthouse and Sports Illustrated—and this list goes on. Although these mags have, in the past 10 years, featured more women of color, they are still (overwhelmingly) a celebration of white female sexual explicitness.

    The ultra-celebrity accorded to white female sexual explicitness burst on the scene in the person of Marilyn Monroe. Can anyone argue that Monroe was more recognized for her acting talents than for her “natural assets?” Yet, she is regarded as a legend. The celebrity that has been granted to white women such as Anna Nicole Smith, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Elecktra, Paris Hilton and a whole host of others, is also given based upon sexual assets and not upon talent. This theme is consistent in today’s raunch-infested society, but the raunchiness, once again, is deracialized when the practitioners are white. WWE women’s wrestling has increased in popularity in the past few years with its predominantly white roster of sex-kittens and their highly sexualized plots and subplots. While, in contrast, one would be hard-pressed to name as many Black women (or any other women of color) —absent of talent— who enjoy the same level of celebrity and success.

    Even in, seemingly light-hearted (at least that is the impression that we’ve been given), popular movies we see this phenomenon played out. In Risky Business, the film that introduced Tom Cruise to mainstream America, was about a young man (with the help of a spunky prostitute fleeing her pimp, played by Rebecca De Mornay) who opened up a brothel in his parent’s home while they were away on vacation. Pretty Woman, the film that made Julia Roberts a megastar, essentially is a remake of the children’s classic Cinderella, except this time Cinderella is a hooker. The Woody Allen (that alone gives it legitimacy) film The Mighty Aphrodite stars Mira Sorvino in the “acceptable” prostitute role (for which she won an Oscar). In the recent film, The Girl Next Door (featuring another rising star Elisha Cuthbert) the movie centers on the relationship between an accomplished high school senior and his 19 year-old porn star (Cuthbert) neighbor. In the descriptions of the main characters in these films (the women) words such as, free-spirited, spunky, playful, spontaneous were used. I tried imagining these same films with Black main characters and I could not envision the same light-hearted response by the American public-at-large. There has yet to be a critically-acclaimed or commercially successful film, where a central character was a Black prostitute. So even when the “textbook” requirements of what constitutes being promiscuous is met, her whiteness saves the day. Even at her most licentious, she is made to appear innocent, wholesome and strangely virginal.

    These movies were huge box office successes, and if one subscribes to the theory that the lyrics contained in some hip-hop songs desensitizes individuals to misogyny and normalizes sexism, then that same ethos would have to applied to the films that have essentially “deified” and normalized white female explicitness and promiscuity. So when the same messages that are being demonized in hip-hop are also found in these popular films and white-dominated music genres (but couched in the safety and familiarity of whiteness), what society is essentially telling us is that it is better PR that hip-hop needs not a lessening of sexist themes in their music and videos.

    So it has to be understood that racism is at the heart of this current debate regarding misogyny and sexism. America continues to prove (day in and day out) that it has absolutely no problem with sexual promiscuity. So what is their problem with hip-hop? It is the sheer “Blackness” of it. Historically (as well as now), there has been a fear of Black (especially Black male) sexuality. This irrational and racist fear was repeatedly used in the countless lynchings of Black men in the history of this nation (which often included castration as well). Black equals dangerous; Black equals savage; Black equals barbaric; Black equals forbidden, infected and inferior. It is from this context that ALL things Black has been realized and it is from this context that white female sexual explicitness has been sanitized. Therefore hip-hop, like Blackness, is something that society must be; should be; and has to be protected from.

  6. Agreed!

  7. My goodness all this fuss about nothing. If people just acted right and didn’t go around looking for trouble by flaunting their perversions we wouldn’t need a Hate Crime bill.

  8. Dear Mrs. Gaines:

    Since when are race and gender perversions? These were the issues I was addressing in my blog piece. I am gay and from your comments and looking at your blog I think I can safely assume you think that being gay is a perversion. I personally find people who hide their hate behind God to be the personification of perversion. Have you ever read the Sermon on the Mount?

    I will not remove your comment from my blog as I believe in free speech and keeping it here allows all those who see it to see your personal hatefulness on full display. Feel free to respond to posts on my blog in the future as long as you are thoughtful and your point of view is well researched, Everyone gets one free pass on this blog because I believe in the free flow of ideas- but since this is my blog and not a public newspaper- I have my limits. I will delete comments in the future that from you that I deem to be offensive to me or the people in my life whom I love.

  9. When some one searches for his required thing, therefore he/she needs to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: