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"


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?


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