For an instant I was engaged in a momentary case of schadenfreude when I read this story on ABC News.com Sunday morning:
No matter where professional athletes are -- at home, out with friends, in their cars -- they know they are targets, and they perhaps have never been more uneasy about their personal safety than they are right now. abcnews.com
The AP is running a similar story as well. The whole sports industrial complex is in a tizzy:
If Fred Taylor sounds a bit jumpy, somewhat paranoid, even a little desperate ... well, he is.
He's not alone.
Athletes feel as though they're under attack, their luxurious worlds invaded by thugs and hustlers and criminals who want to take them down — or take what they've worked so hard to earn through their skills on the courts and playing fields. SOURCE
There are some poor Black women down in West Palm Beach Florida who can relate to not feeling safe in your own home.
"People are not coming at your average Joe anymore," said Fisher, who called for the NFL to implement stricter security measures to protect players. "They are coming after athletes. People feel like athletes are an easy win. Why not (rob) an athlete?But I thought the members of the Sports Industrial Complex were all about KEEPING IT REAL- making sure everyone knew y'all were still down with the people in Da' Hood. Well the people in the hood are living in fear too.
I guess as long as it was we "little people" whose blood was running in the streets and living in terror and fear, the glorification of foolishness was just fine and dandy. Anybody remember Carmello Anthony's "Stop Snitching" video? The "Average Joes" would like to say. WELCOME TO OUR WORLD! Sucks doesn't it!
Seems professional athletes are growing tired of the “keeping it real” culture they have been clinging to for the past decade or so. Despite the fact that they are multimillionaires, many have gone out of their ways to emulate the THUG LIFE-style. They were just KEEPING IT REAL!
I didn't start this blog for nothing. The world is changing and not in a good way. We are seeing the results of two decades of absolute insanity begin to show up.
What Did You Expect When We Started Mainstreaming Foolishness?
What did you think was going to happen when you raised a generation of young Black folks to believe that being “upwardly mobile” meant rolling on over to somebody's house and “mobilizing” their property on “up” outta there?
What did you think was going to happen after plunking your kids in front of video games where their objective is to shoot, maim, rape and kill as many human beings as possible?
What did you think when the iconic “entrepreneurs” of these generations of late proudly proclaim themselves to be "hustlers", don't and wear suits and ties, but are 40 and 50 years-old running around in track suits calling themselves CEOs? Then we wonder why a COLLEGE or UNIVERSITY has to initiate a DRESS CODE because its students don't know how to dress for a freaking job interview.
What did you think was going to happen when ridiculous numbers of African American teenagers commit economic suicide and drop out of high school?
What did you think was going to happen when all of these athletes were inviting MTV into their homes so we could see their tacky over the top CRIBS with a plasma screen tv over the commode and gold fish in the floor?
What did you think was going to happen with a couple of generations of under educated, under employed, oversexed people who have been systematically desensitized to violence and have no frame of reference for socially acceptable behavior other than what they can surmise from mainstream popular culture.
What did you think was going to happen when CORPORATE AMERICA decided to mainstream a pro prison, pro pimp, pro drugs, pro crime, pro violence, anti education, anti woman, anti impulse control, anti social culture?
The Cost of Admission into the Mainstream
There used to be a time when we exacted a heavy price in order to be “Mainstream.” Remember Michael Jordan catching hell because he wasn't running around trying to be the next MLK. Although we know he had to be doing all kinds of dirt, he didn't brag about it on the front page of the paper as if he was proud. Why? Because he wanted mainstream money and back then, the mainstream exacted a price. Either fit within our narrow boundaries of socially acceptable behavior, or you will not get our mainstream money. Shut up and play and you will get paid!
Now the same sports media talking heads that love to call the San Antonio Spurs SOFT because Tim Duncan and crew aren't running around throwing up gang signs between scoring points and winning championships are lamenting the plague of violence besetting these multimillionaire ball players who have been obsessed with making sure that the world knew that they were GANGTA' and continuing to embrace the streets that they claim to have come from.
All of a sudden all the conspicuous consumption they wholeheartedly engaged in is coming back to haunt them because folks have been watching MTV Cribs and they want to consume too and they don't mind consuming you and you family to get what they want. There was a time when you didn't let folks know what was up in your house. Everybody couldn't come over and visit. You didn't pull your curtains back during the holidays so the neighborhood could see how nice you Christmas tree was and you made sure that when you got a new TV, VCR, or other electronic device that you cut up the box so folks wouldn't know you got anything new. Or maybe that was just we folks in Da Hood that knew you NEVER flashed money around unless you wanted to have someone take it from you.
Will there always be entertainment that promotes hatred and indifference for the lives of your fellow man? Of course, but it does not have to reside in the mainstream. We can drop kick it into the fringes where it belongs. I hope that with this new cloud hanging over them and their families that all of these poster boys of keeping it real join me and stop funding foolishness.
Stop funding foolishness does not just mean not buying CDs and DVDs and Video Games. It means imposing economic sanctions on large US Corporations that are pumping billions of dollars into an industry that is cannibalizing the African American community.
Gina, it isn't popular culture, its poverty! - You are wrong. We've always been poor. When you blame poverty for people running around shooting other human beings indiscriminately, you slander the poor. There is no correlation between morality and net worth. If that was the case, some of these multimillionaires would not be running around acting like a bunch of fools.
Gina, its racism! - Wrong again. It is something else. We've always had to deal with racism and we managed to have some kind of moral compass within the community. Our moral authority was one of the greatest weapons of the Civil Rights Movement.
Now I do believe that racism is responsible for polluting the mainstream with these destructive messages. There is no way that if other groups were targeted the way Black women are in popular culture that the likes of Starbucks, Ford, General Motors, Hewlett Packard, Apple Computers, Old Spice and Mountain Dew would be handing out checks. Explain to me how Verizon made Akon its spokesperson despite his conviction on robbery and drug charges? Explain to me how Macy's Department Stores and others are handing over millions of dollars by carrying the clothing, shoes, accessories, and perfumes of men who routinely engage in hate speech and acts directed towards Black women? If ANY OTHER group was being called names and degraded like Black women, they wouldn't get within 100 feet of a Macy's. Remember THAT the next time you go buy a new suit!
Gina, this has been going on forever!- Wrong! There have always been immoral murderous people, but again, they didn't dominate the mainstream. Think about this insanity: The Black multimillionaire that has a baby mama in every city; gets into a knock down drag out fight with his employer's customers in front of the world; got 8 cars with 3 garages; is tatted up and braided down and BLINGED OUT -Well he's from the streets and is KEEPING IT REAL!
But the Black man that has De' Evil 9-5; Who dresses appropriately to carry out his job duties;has a 401 K and is dollar cost averaging instead of trying to get rich quick; has a 5 year plan instead of a 5 minute plan; marries the mother of his children PRIOR TO CONCEPTION; takes whatever honest work he can get today knowing that it might lead to something else tomorrow instead of slanging rocks or hustlin' This Black man is called a CHUMP or a SELLOUT by the mainstream popular culture.
Yes, there have always been murderous thieves, but THEY used to be the ones scorned, not held up as some ideal to achieve (Frank Lucas my arse!- Even Frank knew to keep a low profile and not be running about Bling Blinging). Even then thieves used to have a code of conduct of sorts. Now it is anything goes. Whatever feels good. Do it! There used to be a time when people were embarrassed to be known as a criminal. Now it is a badge of honor. It shows that you are Keeping it REAL!
Gina, you and your solutions are over simplistic. They won't work! - WRONG!!! It ain't that hard. The next time you hear about some huge corporation offering another hooligan or misogynist a multi-million-dollar contract, howl at the moon and watch how quickly they back track. Case in point Twista and McDonalds - Akon and Verizon. Once these idiots realize that if they want the big money they are going to have to meet certain expectations, watch the attitude adjustment. They will still get rich,but not as easily as they are now. Not without access to mainstream money.
Why will it be that easy? Because most of them aren't artists in the first place, they're hustlers (haven't you been listening)who figured out the Entertainment Industrial Complex was a pretty good way to develop a brand name which they could then exploit to make exponentially more than they could ever make selling albums or touring. They make peanuts off of album sales. They don't care about the music. They care about their brand. The music videos and songs are just commercials for their brands. Why do you think certain rappers can't seem to retire? It ain't about the music, it is all about keeping up sales of their tacky clothing lines and they can't do that without a hit album out reminding people that they are still relevant.
Gina, I am sick of you and your gloom and doom blog! AND YOUR POSTS ARE TOO LONG! - Begone PEST!!!Don't you think I am tired of it too. If I thought the situation was hopeless, I would have bounced already, moved to a mountain in the Canadian rockies and thrown up the deuce. I am very hopeful. I sense a shift in mood in the Black community. Can you feel it? Now, even the Keeping It Real athletes appear to be all thugged out. As for the length of the posts, there are plenty of blogs where you can go to look at pretty pictures. I visit them myself on a daily basis. THIS ain't one of those blogs.
Raising the Price of Admission into the Mainstream
We can drop kick the foolishness to the fringes. We can raise the price of admission to belong in the mainstream. We can banish the bacchanal buffet of booty shaking into an abyss where it belongs! We don't have to take this crap. We are more powerful that you know and all we have to do is open up our mouths and speak.
What would happen if Black women or for that matter all people who are sick and tired of the foolishness sent a message to department stores that as long as you sell the clothing lines of these purveyors of porn and cultural pestilence we won't be shopping at your store? I bet they'd pull those clothing lines faster than you can say raccoon fur coat! ( It is a shame that a dog in China has advocates willing to take on corporate America and Black women don't. PETA and the Humane Society ain't playin'. Why the heck are we?)
I'm not saying we should do that. I'm just putting it out there.
So to the multimillionaire athletes, welcome to our world. We've been waiting for you. To those of you who, like Fannie Lou Hamer, are sick and tire of being sick and tired, what are you going to do? Are you going to continue to sit on the sidelines lamenting the decline of the Black community, or are you going to fight back? It ain't that hard. I believe our last free market capitalism campaign took about 4 hours to drive some foolishness into the depths of Hell where it belonged. All we have to do is ask. Why aren't you asking for an increase in the price of admission into the mainstream?
Stop Funding Foolishness!