Monday, July 28, 2008

The hate that comes from within

Hat tip to Seattle Slim and B. Scott. I'm late to this "scandal." Rap music isn't really my thing, so I don't know who the hell Yung Berg is. I do know that he is a self-hating, misogynist tool. Recently, the rapper offered up this gem:


"I'm kinda racist ... I don't like dark butts .... You know how some women prefer light skin men or dark skin men. It's rare that I do dark butts - that's what I call dark skinned women ... I [don't date women] darker than me. I love the pool test. If you can jump in the pool exactly like you are and you don't come out looking better than you looked before going in the pool - then that's not a good look. Any woman that uses brown gel to set down her baby hair is not poppin'!!!"
For those of you not in the know, good old Wikipedia says Yung Berg is a 22-year-old Chicago rapper (real name: Christian Ward), known for wit and wisdom like this...


Yung Berg, that's the new
YB thang straight White T
And a diamond out chain.
Like bitch, they ain't know me
And I be like how you
Do that there the orgininal fee
Cost more then me. and I'm not
Even on a diet yet
Like Wooow nigga, these niggas
Look at me wrong like
The same face they made when
My hoe caught me sayin
I love you on the phone.
And it's the same way I got
Blown by the dude so I tote
The nine and shotted at him
Back over to you.
And bitch ain't no other Berg
Breezy yung weezy.
Ice so cold like I'm lil weezy f baby
And it ain't nuttin to doubt
Lil lady. and she be like what the fuck
Nigga hoe sayin
-- "Do That There"

Riiiiiight....

I'm not surprised that a "man" like Ward (I use that term about as loosely as it can be used.) would reduce women to their hindquarters and would have color issues to boot. What continues to surprise me is that there is no loud outcry from the black community against folks like Ward--house negroes on the plantation of popular music, always ready to buck dance for "the man" and sell out their own. Who has time to care about their people when every inflammatory pronouncement, booty-laden video, violence-promoting lyric and slap at black womanhood, keeps you in Popeye's, rims and iced-out jewelry?

I wouldn't normally comment on ignorant, head-shaking ish like this, but just yesterday I was listening to another African American question Barack Obama's blackness and fealty to the community. A few weeks ago, a lion of the civil rights movement threatened to castrate the presidential candidate for daring to speak on the community's problem with missing fathers. And, of course, professor and hip hop intellectual Micheal Eric Dyson jumped on board, penning a public rebuke in Time magazine. Obama should be lucky that he just got a article. It took Dyson an entire book to attack Bill Cosby for daring utter the words "personal responsibility." Interestingly, Dyson is a vocal apologist for rap music and has penned a few love letters to the genre.

Such is a nonsensical message that I hear too often. Middle class Negroes are the problem. Men like Barack Obama and Bill Cosby are the problem. But self-hating sellouts like Yung Berg, 50 Cent and Nelly? They are authentic and their music is the voice of the true black community.

Oh, I know, the black blogosphere blew up about the "dark butts" comment and Ward issued a lame apology (He hints that his comments were taken out of context, as if there is a context where that statement would be okay.) But in a bedroom somewhere in Chicago or Philly or D.C. or Atlanta, there is some teenage girl--some dark-skinned girl--with pictures of Yung Berg on the wall who now feels a little smaller...a little less than, but she's going to keep on listening to his music and internalize its message. There's a young boy who, already primed to accept European beauty standards by the media, will have his budding preferences confirmed. We all know that black radio will continue to play Ward's "music." BET will sure as shit play his videos. (Now, there's a company with no sense of loyalty to the black community.) And next time there is a discussion of rap's affect of black culture, Dr. Dyson will sure be there pontificating on the genre's behalf.

Just imagine, if, say, Chris Martin of Coldplay, in his next interview said:

"I'm kinda racist ... I don't like light butts .... You know how some women prefer light skin men or dark skin men. It's rare that I do light butts - that's what I call light-skinned women ... I [don't date women] lighter than me. I love the pool test. If you can jump in the pool exactly like you are and you don't come out looking better than you looked before going in the pool - then that's not a good look. Any woman who's hair doesn't curl into a kinky afro is not poppin'!!!"

The mainstream would be in an uproar. (...and confused, because a statement like this would turn the notion of what is beautiful completely on its head.) Coldplay's career would be finished. And Martin's wife Gwyneth Paltrow would surely kick him out of the house.

But what is the black community's reaction to men who publicly illustrate their disdain for women through insulting lyrics, videos and quotes? Usually crickets. This Kanye West quote is long forgotten: ""If it wasn't for race mixing, there'd be no video girls. Me and most of my friends like mutts a lot ... Yeah, in the hood they call 'em mutts."

A culture that eagerly hands its money to entertainers who demean, demoralize, denigrate and destroy its people, is in big trouble.

When will our community as a whole stand up against black people who abet the entertainment industrial complex in serving up damaging, anti-black messages. When will we point our fingers at the sellouts that would doom us all for a little fame?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well Tami,

Thank you for sticking up for black women yet again, and really going after the woman hating rap world. I thought your essay was complex and really well thought out, as always.

I hadn't made the connection to the civil rights establishment attacking Cosby and Obama for their truths, and putting it together with the utter silence about rap music's horrific lyrics just put all the pieces together. Yeah, just who really is selling out the community?!

There's big money in rap, and academics like Dyson love to be hip and cool, doesn't matter about black women and their sense of integrity. White people putting out that sexist garbage about black women would be run through the mill, drawn and quartered!

Dyson should know better, he actually wrote a fairly good feminist analysis of Dr. King in his book "I May Not Get There With You." Personally, when it comes to black men and feminism, I'm all for bringing Frederick Douglas back from the dead!

So you are the queen of calling people on the double standards, and as they say in Australia -- good on ya!

I am so impressed with your analysis and cleverness, I am about to bust. Damn, wish I could write like that. I'm just an old school bomb throwing feminist with polemic as my best friend.

heartsandflowers said...

When indeed? You know a time comes when we just have to depart the sinking ship. Draw a line in the sand. We had to do it with racists. We have to do it with people who may look like us but are our enemies. They are deniers and colluders and need to be treated as such. Like a cancer. In order for those of us who want to be well.

Brother OMi said...

its funny you should mention this. Trust me, there are no crickets amongst the Zulu Nation. what i love about my nation is that we approach these heads about statements like this personally.

I tell several youngbloods about this and how wrong it is.

I never told anyone about the time I ran into a particular rap group about disrespecting women.

like immortal technique said,

"no need to shout you out,
you know who you be..."

but we need more of us to step up. it's expected that Zulu Nation hold heads accountable so when folks see us come through, they act accordingly. but we need everyone to step up.

Symphony said...

There is enough blame to go around for rappers, working class and the middle class.

Thembi said...

Thank you for writing about this intelligently; when I read about it I was so disgusted that I couldnt even collect my thoughts. One would think that this kind of nonsense wouldn't even get press, especialy coming from a no-name tenderoni rapper. But the sad fact is that not only do people really feel this way in this day and age, they feel entitled to speak on it! It's the lack of fear of retribution that makes me sick to my stomach...I fear that black people have decided that the colorism pathology is a small and unsolvable issue...

AJ Plaid said...

And, of course, professor and hip hop intellectual Micheal Eric Dyson jumped on board, penning a public rebuke in Time magazine. Obama should be lucky that he just got a article. It took Dyson an entire book to attack Bill Cosby for daring utter the words "personal responsibility." Interestingly, Dyson is a vocal apologist for rap music and has penned a few love letters to the genre...And next time there is a discussion of rap's affect of black culture, Dr. Dyson will sure be there pontificating on the genre's behalf.


Oh. My. God. I don't know if I should thank you, Tami, or tell you to get out of my head and/or stop eavesdropping on my mom's and my phone conversations.:-D I've felt and said this about Dr. Michael Eric Dyson for a long, long time--that he's an apologist for rap. So I feel validated reading this on your wonderful blog. Friend, a thousand thanks for saying this.

Perhaps I should do a three-way conversation with you and my moms.:-D

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