John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Saturday, July 03, 2004
Double word score

Chuck D - Indignantly cashing in

Chuck D from Public Enemy, after gaining wealth and fame in the RAP business doesn't want you to casually toss around the hip hop slang term "Mah Niggah", especially if you're a stupid white kid.

Featured prominently in a USA today article about the upcoming Sunday premiere of the documentary, The N word, on the cable channel Trio TV hosted all week by Chuck D, he laments, "Us accepting it is like somebody catching garbage and loving it."  And if a white kid, obviously ignorant to history of the word uses it?  "They don't know any better," he said. "I have to be aware of their intentions and put them in their place.

Now maybe it's just me, but I find Chuck D's position on language to not only be extremely ironic but also hypocritical.  The man wants you to buy his Public Enemy CDs, but doesn't want you (especially if you're a white kid) to repeat some of the lyrics, I guess.  In a further insult to the intelligence of anyone with a remote control, TrioTV is following up the premiere of The N word documentary with the story of Biggie and Tupac.  I don't want to sound like Bill O'Reilly on a Ludicris rant but, I have to ask what the hell?  Are you going to be serious or glamorize the hip hop message that a young black man can cruise the hood with his nine and all the bling-bling and booty on the planet are going to fall out of the sky into your Escalade?  Please.  Hypocritical Indignation?  Just shut up, Chuck. 
Fix it, brother

Another celebrity who is not only sick and tired of hearing the word nigger casually tossed around but, also is seriously critical of the pop culture of the black community, is Bill Cosby.  Just yesterday at the 33rd Annual Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund Conference, in Chicago, his plain spoken message again caused a stir.

In another USA Today article worth reading about the event, Cosby clearly addressed the critics of his earlier comments back in May, and challenged parents:

" Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other n as they're walking up and down the street "

I'll just repeat here what I wrote about the Cosby critics on Plastic:

Cosby is saying the same thing that Tavis Smiley and others have been saying for years, every year. Cosby, however, is an obvious master at comedy and sarcasm when in order to get his style of ' the fix it brother message' across to his audience, he said:
"the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids--$500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for `Hooked on Phonics.'"

The majority of the critics of Cosby are among the black leadership elite who feel they are also being personally indicted for some of the obvious social failings happening in the black community, such as: 70-80 percent of the next generation being born to un-wed moms, growing up fatherless in urban neighborhoods where poverty, crime, and unemployment is simply increasing and, where the kids are more likely to know someone with a felony record than a college degree. But don't get me started, either. Luckily, no one is likely to listen to a ranting white guy from Detroit, like me, unless my name was Marshall.

I applaud Cosby. He's at a point in his life where it doesn't matter to his career or the financial security of his family if he ruffles a few feathers. While the delivery of his message may be sarcastic at times, it cuts through the snobbery of political correctness and it's being heard.

Posted at 05:45 pm by John Furie Zacharias

July 4, 2004   04:39 AM PDT
Way to go Bill!!! What really suprises me is that the Reverend Jesse Jackson supported Bill Cosby's position.
J f Z
July 4, 2004   07:27 PM PDT
I don't have much love for Jesse Jackson but I think over the past five or so years his former respectability and credibility have suffered through some actions (or mistakes) of his own but moreover from the 'politics of personal destruction' that has become so useful and expedient to opposing political groups.

It's not like the media won't eat up anything on a political person with a big spoon, whether it's vague rumor or the truth, and dish it out scandalously to their audience in order to gain higher ratings.

Given the media appetite for dirt, the politics of personal destruction is an easy tactic to use on anyone's idealogical opponents to marginalize them. In Jackson's case, he's been painted with a broad brush in the media.

I think the fact that Jackson is supportive of Cosby shows two things. First, I think it shows that Jackson's real concern is helping the minority community no matter if the media puts him in one of their little boxes and labels it (or him) liberal or conservative. Second, Cosby can speak to this issue with credibility. He made his living being funny, sure, but isn't known for using the kind of material or language that someone like Richard Pryor or others use. Cosby's credibility or the sincerity of his desire to help the black community and its youth is also rooted in the fact that his son was killed.

And to be honest, I think both men are sincere in their desires to improve the lives of urban minority youths. Their audience is there and with these kids parents. I hope they don't care if the press, cable news pundits, or two white guys from Detroit approve or disapprove.
July 5, 2004   04:56 AM PDT
Yes but my problem with Jesse Jackson is that almost everytime something happens he screams racism even when it has nothing to do with it. He tends to be a knee-jerk reactor to every little thing. He also continually blames whites for black problems which I think Cosby addressed nicely by pretty much telling them (blacks) to get off their assess and stop blaming others for their own problems. Now I'm not saying there is no more racism or that no whites try to keep blacks "in their place." These are still problems but at large they are minimal and isolated occurances.
J f Z
July 5, 2004   08:30 AM PDT
Since we don't know Jackson personally, nor read anything he's written, nor attended any of his organization's functions to hear him speak his ideas out of his own mouth -- our various opinions of Jackson are largely based upon the TV media's protrayal of him in attention-grabbing 7-second soundbytes and video footage -- you'd have to admit.

Whether or not the media's portrayal of him as a racist, or race-baiter, or whatever the case may be, is fair or honest is suspect at best. I try not to base my opinion of a person or their motivations on what an editor alleges and a TV news-bunny reads off of a teleprompter.

It's less effort to watch TV than to read the newspaper online. Even if you make the effort to read instead of watch the news, you're getting your information through the filter of some editor. After that, you hope that even the basic information presented to you, like a quote, is fairly accurate. By checking the same story on multiple sources on the web is one way but, that's even more work if it's a big story. News is filtered through people with opinions and biases.

As far as knee-jerk reactions and blaming whitey, you may be thinking more about the old version of Al Sharpton or Louis Farakhan. I always liked Farakhan though, and that usually makes people groan.
July 6, 2004   08:07 PM PDT
Ture Al and Louie are there as well but I'm not basing this purely on what the news blurbs are/have been. I have read and researched things via more than one source to include the NAACPs own website. From what I've found he truly is a knee jerker/whitey blamer. Now he may have seen the light and realized the error of his ways but we'll just have to wait and see. If he continues to support those like Bill Cosby and what he stated then perhaps I'll change my opinion of him. Until then I hold very little respect for the man.
July 7, 2004   08:36 PM PDT
Ture? yea, I meant true...duh...btw, check your voicemail if you haven't already!

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