Friday, November 23, 2007

Racisim and Ignorance in the Media

You know, people always look to the people at the top of the pyramid whenever you find fault or praise. Not long ago, we had a very public example for “Foot In The Mouth” disease and right there at the top was Don Imus.

Don Imus in his famous, "Nappy Headed Ho’s” comment directed towards the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team became a National mess. We argued over what was obvious and to American’s surprise, there was a need to debate if what he said was a slip of the lip or Don Imus' true opinions. What was said on public radio and cable was wrong without a doubt. It was disrespectful and prejudiced, the statement sat high on the wall of racial bigotry. And although the media tried to scapegoat the issue on Rap and Hip-Hop music, it did not negate the point that a professional and assumed intelligent man like a Don Imus knew the lines drawn in the sand on this topic and for the respect of his audience. A line even the worst of comedians know not to cross when doing stand-up. Yet Don Imus wasn’t the only one at the time using such language and intentions, he just so happened to be at the top. There are other is so-called “Shock Jocks” deeming themselves successors. John Depetro, National Syndicated Radio Shock Jock has now stepped up his fowl opinions on the American airwaves and most recently (again) towards Blacks.

Recently John Depetro made comment on the Bill O’Riley issue (and he is also a piece of work as well) were O’Riley stated the following. “I couldn‘t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia‘s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean it was exactly the same even though it‘s run blacks, primarily black patronship.” Now Sylvia's Restaurant is a World Famous eatery in Harlem New York and one on Manhattan's jewels to visit for great Soul Food. He then goes on to say, “There wan‘t one person in Sylvia‘s who was screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea.” You know, I mean everybody was - it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn‘t any kind of craziness at all” .

To O’Riley surprised, he did not see how those comments would offend the very Black people he was referring to. Since he (O’Riley) still has not gotten it, and I really don’t think he will, there is no regard for him even trying to understand.

Now with John Depetro, who by his reputation alone. has been suspended and fired from radio stations across the country, has recently chimed in on the O’Riley Factor in a radio interview by saying, “… it goes beyond that. It was a discussion on race and we‘re talking about Harlem. And by and large I lived in New York for years. White people don‘t go to Harlem. If Dan Abrams and John DePetro and Bill O‘Reilly, some white guys sitting around a table, and Dan Abrams said, “Yes, I was up in Harlem last night.” We would think you were, “A,” looking for drugs or “B” a prostitute. It was a discussion on race.”

Just as that statement floats upon the airwaves, Michael Medved, a syndicated Movie Critic and sometimes columnist published an article entitled, “Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and Slavery”. In his article he suggests that African-Americans are better off being brought over to the Americas bonded as slaves. Michael Medved writes too that slavery in American only existed for a short period of time and only in certain regions. He also suggests that slavery wasn’t a new and unique institution and because of that, the slave trade and slavery in America isn’t as much as an issue as it should be. As hard as it was, I read the entire article with high restraint. Then I remembered, this is my America and why I keep my mind right. Why I need to keep the African in the American of my identity. It also defines how little White America knows about Blacks and the damage of Michael Medved’s words as "his" truth transferred to those ignorant of my existence.

The problem with Michael Medved’s article is that he uses the same tired arguments and hollow facts that pseudo-White Intellectuals have used to dismiss or even validate the continued oppression of disadvantaged People of Color in the Americas. Interesting enough, Michael Medved is all for the continued tradition of recognizing the Jewish Holocaust to be ever present on the conscious mind of America and downplay the tragedy of over 400 years of Black Slavery in the Americas. Even more so, no other media outlet has made his comment an issue of debate or discussion including Black Media. What Next? Do Black People allow this to sit and fester and sore our legacy or do we wallow in the background shadows while another institution regulates us into insignificance?

1 comment:

eilliw said...

sorry. Lets get on with the future.