But let's face it. The Irish have never been worth the potatoes we eat in terms of culture. Sure, there have been some notable authors, few flash-in-the-pan musical acts, and really creepy horror characters.
But really the story of the descendants of a small, cold, rocky island in the North Atlantic isn't worth and entire month. And besides, there's always St. Patrick's Day.
No, let's focus on largely ignored plight of the black Americans of African decent. Actually, I'm being a bit flippant, which isn't fair. I do want to take a look at black history from a semi-serious perspective. Specifically, I want to look at recent black history.
F-Bombs recently posted at The Philosopher King a righteously indignant rant against some university students who dressed up as hiphop-esque rappers/thugs at parties last month during MLK day.
F-Bombs drops a heavy dollop of "offendedness" on these stupid kids, and rightly so. But he misses the opportunity to be angry at both sides of the fence.
More importantly, if you're told to 'dress like Black people' and you show up with fake golds, doo rags, fried chicken, plastic guns, 40oz's, and flashing gang signs----obviously this is what you think about Black people in our entirety. That makes you a racist bigot, and I sincerely hope that your insensitivity and social retardation follow you for the remainder of your life.One might ask why a bunch of half-wit white kids would consider bling and grillz and thug life to be representative of black culture.
In fact, more than one has asked that. I tend to think Penni Brown has a good point.
Remember when you first saw the movie Hollywood Shuffle and you laughed because the scenes were so ridiculous and far fetched. You could look at that movie and know that it was a satire...a stab at how main stream Hollywood stereotypes Black Americans.In my opinion, you can get mad at the kids dressing like thugs/gangstas/pimps/whatever, but such misplaced anger doesn't accomplish anything. It's like getting pissed at the Wayans Brothers and calling them racists because of White Chicks.
Now, fast forward to movies and videos available today. Those once satirical images are no longer meant to be facetious. They're meant to show 'the real' life of people in 'the hood'. So, now, we're claiming these representations as valid and fair examples of how we live. So, can we really get angry when white people, who are trying to be like us, don the same gear and have a party...calling it a an MLK celebration?
As I mentioned in F-Bomb's comments, the anger would more productive were it directed at the hiphop role models who promote the thug culture. People like Ludacris or 50 Cent who refer to women as bitches and hos, boast of popping caps in asses and advocate promiscuous sex with no responsibility (okay, it's not all bad).
Get rich or die tryin', but don't waste your time on an education. Ironically, successful black people like Oprah and Bill Cosby -- the role models worthy of emulation -- are roundly criticized and ostracized if they speak out against such misplaced cultural priorities.
I don't know what the solution is. Obviously hiphop music and all its accouterments is fulfilling a demand in the cultural marketplace. Hopefully we'll see some strong leadership stand up and say "Come on. I mean COME ON!"
tagged: racism, race, black, culture, music, hiphop, Black History Month