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Monday, May 21, 2007

Change Begins with YOU

Hey YOU. Yes, YOU. YOU who became Time magazine's "Person of the Year in 2006". I'm talking to YOU.

I've received comments and e-mails regarding DL Hughley's disparaging remarks about the Rutgers basketball team and Sharpton Watch. I am going to post one of those comments here and address it. An anonymous commenter sums up the sentiments of many of the people e-mailing me privately....

I want to know what's going to happen to Hughley? No protests? Nothing? Just
because he's Black and can demean us when he wants to! He had NOT RIGHT
talking about those girls like that! It was irresponsible. But, nothing is going to happen to him. I don't care what color Imus is, this issue SMACKS
of the DOUBLE STANDARD and THAT is NOT fair!

I'm a realist. We already have enough "leaders" who ply us with symbolism and mysticism. That is not what this blog is about. It is about people who are doing something not just talking about how unfair life is. NO ONE. I mean NO ONE is going to fight our battles for us. Sure there will be people who opportunistically leap in front of the spotlight when controversy erupts to exploit a bad situation, but none of these people have a sustained commitment to battling negative portrayals of African American women , or men for that matter, in popular culture. So YOU who are understandably angry about DL's comments....

1. How many e-mails have YOU sent to NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, UPI, the AP, Reuters, your local newspaper about this? I have.
2. How many people have YOU e-mailed the DL Hughley YouTube clip?
3. How many times have you used 5 minutes of your anytime minutes to call Viacom or BET about giving DL a new show on BET this fall? I called this morning and got transferred into oblivion, but I'll researching better contact info after work.
4. How many letters to the editor have you sent to your local paper about failing to cover DL's comments?

That is just a start. Sure, I'll occasionally whine on this blog, but ultimately my goal is highlight what people are DOING. If you want to see protests, what's stopping you from grabbing a poster board and going to your local NBC affiliate and picketing? Sure you might not be effective, but you may. Call your own press conference. Al Sharpton does not have a monopoly on protesting. If you think people should be protesting, then you need to gather up your friends and family and roll down to the NBC affiliate with your placards.

As I have said in the comments. I continue to brainstorm what to do next related to the DL situation. Throw in your ideas as well and while you are at it, send the URL of the YouTube video to everyone in your address book. You can go to YouTube by clicking the YouTube icon on the video that I posted on my site and e-mail it. If YOU do decide to do something then let us know in the comments.

"Sharpton Watch" was a cynical exercise on my part. I could have easily focused on Jesse Jackson, Oprah, Al Roker, Ron Allen, Gwen Ifill, Media Matters, NOW and any of the other people or organizations who spoke out during the Imus situation. I didn't expect the National Action Network to respond at all and thus they would have made my point by their silence, but they DID respond, however tepidly. The point remains that they haven't mobilized their resources in the same manner that they did in the Imus situation. It is their organization. They can do OR NOT DO what they want. But the Imus situation was never about African American women to begin with. It was about people who wanted him gone for YEARS using the Rutgers team as pawns to carry out their mission. They don't really care about OUR DAUGHTERS. Hence the immense SILENCE on DL Hughley's comments. This evening I will be discussing some of the things we might be able to do together to DEFUND DL. Stay tuned. The site is called What About Our Daughters meaning you have a stake in the outcome of the War on Black Women. We can't contract out our responsibility to combat negative portrayals of African American women in popular culture to someone else.