Jay-Z and President Obama: Is There a Collective Reality?
It was the beginning of the day. I looked forward to understanding the love that black people had for one another. What was frightening and what is still frightening today is the fact that black people do not love each other in popular song or in public display. The mostly united front is in the celebration of celebrities, entertainers and sports figures. Jay-Z, Beyoncé, LeBron James, Rihanna and all of the reality stars.
Black music has encouraged white people to call black people derogatory names and Black Music Month finds Russell Simmons and other celebrities defending the bigotry and use of the N-word. But it’s we who divide ourselves by giving people permission to make these transgressions, devoid of the history and the burning flesh that this word has meant.
We have no regard for what it is to betray our race, and we will do it readily to prop up capitalization on the backs of our people and our pain. These images in song and on the screen will not be erased with time. The behind-the-scenes laughter at black people who are still using words to extol their discontent and forecast the cultural demise. The ignorant pay for social extinction, and yet the American Civil Liberties Union does nothing to protect African Americans from the use of the word. The FCC’s Inspector General is not called to stop these assaults on our race.
In-the-pocket black people advance themselves and their agendas when African American celebrities allow the betrayal of our race to be put into song and in daily and weekly photo sessions that malign the image and assassinate the character of African Americans. We have created reality show monsters who diminish our dignity and allow themselves to be dwindled down to sensual stereotypes and sexual propaganda for profitable media companies who know all too well that mediocrity has become a special tag for African American talent.
Neither Jay-Z or Beyoncé falls into the dysfunctional celebrity category. Rihanna, however, does appear to be a dysfunctional young twentysomething, who does damage to the image of young African American women. She is not interested in elevating herself, but instead only in glorifying dysfunctional behavior. What are we afraid of as it relates to the success of the race that would focus on the advancement of the collective and the educational process? As a community we ought to reward and celebrate intellectuals and entrepreneurs.
It is important that we remember what dignity and unity mean in terms of the advancement of our community. If we are to re-elect a man who exemplifies these qualities and a family that illustrates the nobility and complexity of African American life and the cultural agenda, we have to hold ourselves to living exemplary lifestyles.
What is our collective reality and why or why not install it in song?