Exorcism of Stupidity...Words Have Power
" The new black doesn't blame other races for our issues. The "new black" dreams and realizes that it's not a pigmentation it's mentality. And it's either going to work for you, or it's going to work against you. And you've got to pick the side you're gonna be on."
Grammy Award Winning Singer, Songwriter, and Music Producer Pharrell Williams
Toni's Thoughts: Everyone is entitled to their opinion although his opinion is flawed and offensive. First of all this terminology "the new black" is problematic. As if being black is an old thing. This is a permanent pigmentation we have, also structural racism dictates European society in this context America. Black people did not make up the rules we did not create color as a way to separate people. This comment shows me how naïve Pharrell is. Regarding our mentality the contempt and resentment Black people have is justified. We are constantly bombarded with racism and the crazy thing is people tell us to move on and forget. We have endured many tragedies with no counseling such Slavery, Jim Crow, Privatization of Prisons, Stand Your Ground Laws, and Stop & Frisk. Our mere existence incites fear and violence. Did you ever think about Pharrell?
" What happened to Michael Brown should've never happened. Never. But when we don't respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don't start with just a rally, don't start from looting it starts from within." Compton Rapper Kendrick Lamar
Toni's Thoughts: Once more as I stated before everyone is entitled to their opinion although these words are dangerous. These remarks support justification for racial profiling. I am not saying Black people are perfect no human being is perfect. These remarks support the preservation of white superiority. According to Billboard Magazine Kendrick does not read books often but prefers learning from conversations. I suggest Kendrick should Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Also read about the true origins of the American Police Force refer to the terms such as Night Watch and Slave Patrols. Many Black people carry themselves in a dignified manner and are still harassed and oppressed. Therefore I could walk down the street with my headphones on while reading a book and I could become a potential victim of police brutality. My presence and skin color ignite fear. Did Kendrick Lamar forget about The Black Panther Party and their activities in California? Do we deserve to be victims of Stand Your Ground Laws Kendrick?
" I think that hip-hop has done more for racial relations than most cultural icons." Jay-Z said this in a recent episode of Oprah's Master Class. Another argument made by Jay-Z was that racism is learned through an early age, but hip-hop can change a person's beliefs. He supported his argument with this statement. " It's very difficult to teach racism when your kid looks up to Snoop Doggy Dogg. Before people partied in separate clubs. There were hip-hop clubs and there were techno clubs. Now people party together, and once you have people partying, dancing, and singing along to the same music then, conversations naturally happen after that."
Toni's Thoughts: In terms of music and corporate business Jay-Z is at the top of the food chain. He was the drug dealer than became legit and that's not my issue. My issues that now that he has gone mainstream it is evident that the only color that matters is green. Also Jay-Z remarks display both his ignorance and arrogance. Diahann Carroll, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Lena Horne, just to name a few were entertainers but still has a sense of black consciousness. They endured their fair share of bigotry. They were entertainers that still did their best to uplift the community that both supported and admired them. Without them there would be no Jay-Z. Hip-Hop is a genre of music that was birthed out of the angst of black youth providing commentary on social and political issues. Corporate White America became involved when they realized they could profit of this form of culture. Black culture is popular because it can be exploited for profit Black people are not popular. It is very easy for a white person to listen to hip-hop and still be racist. Hip-hop has become white washed not integrated. The desire to assimilate has hindered the progress of Black people in America. It is easy for these men to make these comments because they have progressed socially and economically and they believe their seat at the masters table has removed racism and oppression. Structural racism is here to stay.
What is structural racism? Scholars Keith Lawrence and Terry Keleher Chronic Disparity: Strong and Pervasive Evidence of Racial Inequalities Poverty Outcomes Structural Racism (2004) provided this definition. Structural racism in the United States is the normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal that routinely advantage whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. It is a system of hierarchy and inequity primarily characterized by white supremacy the preferential treatment, privilege and power for white people at the expense of Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Arab, and other racially oppressed people. I am not saying I hate White people I'm just making clarifications.