Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doesn't It Just Make You Ill?

When you compare the two major themes of Tuesday's AC360 (soldiers & snitching) doesn't it just make you ill? To think that fine young people like Jessica Lynch and Kevin & Pat Tillman joined the Armed Forces to protect our freedom and our rights. Not only were they protecting our freedom and rights, but those of Cam'ron, 50 Cent, etc. Don't tell me these rapper's disgusting lyrics, lack of morals and lawless lifestyles are worth protecting. But they are, and that makes me ill. We can't live in a free country without granting freedom of speech to all. No matter how vile, how disturbing, it is their right. What I wish those people who spew hatred toward women, the establishment and their brothers would realize is that the ONLY reason they can continue is through the goodness of the Jessica Lynches, the Pat Tillmans and so many others, who over the years have laid down their lives to insure our freedom of speech. We don't get to pick and choose whose rights we protect. So we must respect the artistic expressions of the rappers. But doesn't it just make you ill?

I feel like I need to add a word of the day to the post. Words like misogyny and misogamy, used on Tuesday's AC360, weren't ones I was familiar with. After looking them up I'm grateful that they aren't part of my world. For those of you who weren't familiar either, here are the definitions:
misogyny, misogynistic; a hatred of women
misogamy; a hatred of marriage

Did you hear Jessica Lynch mention Lori Piestewa in her speech before the Congressional committee? Jessica not only labeled Lori as her friend but as a true hero. Do you know who Lori Piestewa was? She was a Hopi Indian, from Arizona, and the first Native American woman killed in the line of duty. Lori has had many honors bestowed on her since her death, from the renaming of a mountain in Phoenix to a freeway that bears her name to a beautiful new home, built by ABC's Extreme Home Makeover, for her parents and 2 children. Like Pat Tillman, her memory will live on in Arizona long after the present administration, who bears responsibility for their deaths, has faded.


Anonymous said...

While I agree that rappers should be held accountable for their lyrical content, there needs be a general standard for the overall media. Rappers like Cam'ron are no different than the hate speech musical groups that perpetuate neo-Nazi ideology in American society. He is no different from the video game producers who knowingly create shockingly violent games that have been proven to increase desensitization of American youth. And he is no different from any other mainstream media icon who flaunts his lavish lifestyle and perpetuates a materialistic culture devoid of any value. When institutions fail its citizens, there will be backlash: these youth need practical, attainable paths to success. Thus far, success comes from being a rapper or an athlete for inner city youth. Changing the images of rappers is only one small step of a larger systemic problem.

copperfish said...

The likes of Cam'ron, 50 Cent and their producers prospered doing this kind of music. After the news of Imus and this snitching thing, I think it's high time to put a stop in patronizing their music and surely along the way changes can be seen as well as the lyrics. I admire Mr. Geoffrey Canada for his brave stand on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Great post made me cry. I remember the stories about Lori well. What an inspiration and what a shame that she lost her life fighting this terrible war.

Anderson is really taking on some big money ventures with these stories about rappers. Russell Simmons is an industry in himself. I know we need to protect everyone's rights but I am glad to see someone starting to speak out and try to hold people accountable. If you want a real shock, just take a walk down one of the halls in your local junior high. The language, disrespect, etc is unbelievable. It is pervasive here and I live in a community where the children know nothing about life on the streets or in the hood. Very few of them even know the meaning of want or poverty. However, to look and listen to them, you would think they grew up in Compton. As usual I have no big insight into the cure for these problems but the first step is always talking about it in the open.

Maybe I'm being a mother hen but did anyone else wonder if Anderson was going out a limb with his own safety by taking this issue on with such passion?

I agree with anon 10:44..this is the tip of the iceberg. Hate is hate not matter who is spewing it and is seems like anywhere you go there is some group dishing it out to another. I grew up pretty hard and I still don't remember hearing or seeing the things our kids are exposed to.

Today is one of those days when I wonder what ever happened to role models like Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks. I love my media but boys does it make a parents job much more difficult. My heart goes out to kids that don't see any way out but by being a rapper or an athelete. So few of them will realize success and our prison's are full of those who don't.

Unknown said...

Great post, Phebs! Well said.

Anon, I agree. The only thing that makes rappers different is that they are role models for many youths that don't have many role models in their own lives.

ACAnderFan said...

I liked last nite's 360, it was about two topics that need to be addressed.

The rap thing, it's out of hand.It really is. These rappers think they can just say or do anything. And what makes it worse is they know the kids look up to them and they still behave the way they do.

The other day some rap song came on my XM Radio, and usually I either chnage the channel or don't treally listen to it. But I did actually listen to it and it was ridiculous. Basically it was saying that police are the enemy. It's just sad that thses rappers feel this way, becuase then in turn their young fans feel that way as well.

FanGirl moment: Andy looked so very handsome last nite. I loved the suit/tie/shirt. His hair was combed very nicely, and we got some nice shots of the back of his silvery head. I'm not sure why, but I really like when they show the back of his head.

Maybe I'm the only one who notices this, but sometimes his hair looks really silvery and other times it looks just white. I think it's probably just the lighting.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Anon 10:44--these inner-city youth need options and pathways to success that clearly aren't being offered in a prevalent way. And I feel that difficulties also have presented themselves over the years with the breakdown of the family structure in many urban communities as well as in America overall. Working in an office with young women, I can't tell you how many of them have to leave the 'Father' side of their own medical history completely blank, or have to check 'uninvolved' when the question of their child's paternity arises. Many single parents do good jobs with raising children, but children are always looking for other primary influences, especially with a missing parent. So they look to their environment, to popular and local culture, to decide who they are and how they'd like to be perceived, and that's where negative influence has a chance to interfere. Children need stability in their lives, and encouraging stable families is a major first step in changing pathways for our youth.

Ahhhh! Russell Simmons has such a prevalent platform, and I normally respect his opinion, but tonight's interview with his comment about "artists simply holding up a mirror to society" infuriated me. So holding up a mirror over and over again that is obviously reflecting a damaged society is going to inspire positive change? Or change of any sort? Artistic expression is what it is, but when it's encouraging and selling a way of life filled with violence, lying, and allowing others to die for no good reason, then it needs to be seriously examined as a widespread influence on society. A message that's killing people and allowing them to die in vain shouldn't just be written off as "that's their opinion."

Go Anderson--I heard him getting a bit feisty tonight! Nice to see once in awhile--gotta love a passionate man. Can't wait to see the show tomorrow, with the girlfriend of the slain bodygard being interviewed.

Anonymous said...

I am on the run and will comment more later but thanks Phebe for the word of the day. I was wondering what those words meant when Russell Simmonds used them. I have already learned 2 new things, I think it might be a good day.

Have a great one all and TTYL

swmpratt said...

I didn't realize there was a word for hatred of marriage (other than the phase "fed up"). Glad to know that one. Thanks.

Phebe - is there a word for hatred for men or are just us women singularly honored?

On rappers - I deplore their lyrics and what they advocate. But I wonder if the lyrics are a symptom of a larger problem - perhaps the growing lack of a community feeling in American culture and an unwillingness to get involved? In recent years as technology has given us ever more toys, we have become a society of individuals. We work on our computers by ourselves (although boards like this do bring us together for a while); we talk on our cell phones rather than the person next to us; we listen to our ipods and retreat into ourselves.

I live in a suburb. Not one of my neighbors knows me. My fault - sure some of it. When I could get around I was at work all the time and I didn't tend to socialize. But they haven't made the journey over either. Remember the days when everyone knew their neighbor, you could be sure that some mom was watching the kids as they played outside, you could borrow a cup of sugar from the person next door, and if you needed a break you went across the street or to your picket fence and gossiped or had coffee with your neighbor? I don't see that much anymore.

At last report, Volunteerism has been down for several years. Yes during bad disasters you find volunteers but what about for everyday things - Meals on Wheels, nursing home visits, scout troops, etc.

These are just my observations, but I wonder if hip hop and its lyrics is kind of like the bumps you get with chicken pox - the outward manifestation of the virus growing inside. Perhaps instead of focusing on one symptom we should first examine if it is part of a larger problem.

Fangurl time - Anderson's tie was great tonight. I have always liked the green and black tie. But I don't like that dark olive green jacket he wore with it - it does nothing for his complexion. He still looked nice though and I enjoyed it when after the shot of the day he said "send in your shot and Erica Hill will make fun of it!". She, of course, took it delightfully. I really like those two bantering together. Most enjoyable part of the show.

Cindy said...

I really enjoyed the show last night. I especially enjoyed Anderson's interview with Russell Simmons. I love how he really got very passionately into it. You could tell this is something that he cares about. I LOVE when he lets his gaurd down and really gets into a story and goes with it. It makes for GREAT tv.

As far as the rappers go they know they are wrong...they just don't care. They just want to make more money. And this way of life is what is selling right now.

Anderson read my comment on TV last night! Mine was the first one he read. (Cynthia) Earlier in the show when he was interviewing RS he said that 50 cent lives in a mansion in a gated community and I was like "hey...I wrote something similar to that on the blog...then later on he read my comment!! That is the second time he has read my comment on tv. I guess he and I have the same mindset!!

Roonie said...

Well said Phebe. I couldn't have said it better. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Where is Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson? Clean up your own house first. I got so mad at Russel Simmons talking over Anderson when he trying to bring some debate into the topic. Why is he so defensive about it? Love it when AC said one Thanksgiving dinner did not absolve your sin for rest of the year. I can't wait for Part II tonigh.

I did enjoy AC comment on Shot of the day. He and Erica will help to make fun of these Shot. I am glad there are still light moment in the show.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both anon 10:44 and Purple Tie. It's the parents responsibility to censer what their children are listening too as well as watching on TV.

Parents who don't involve themselves into their kids lives are bad parents.

I'm an African American raised in a depressed neighborhood by a single mother battling with a drug addiction and yet I grew up with self respect and discipline. Got into trouble once for shoplifting, learned my lesson and never got into trouble again.

I disagree with the message rappers are sending out and it angers me to hear people use poverty or race as an excuse to follow their message.

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aries moon said...

Russell Simmons comments were a disappointment and Geoffrey Canada said everything that I've been feeling for a long time. I do believe this is a complex issue and I don't think that all inner city kids are engaging in this behavior, but something needs to be done to turn around the ones who are. It was good to see Anderson getting a little fired up with Simmons - I've been waiting for that side of him to come out for a while now.

Anonymous said...

I'm a teacher. Kids really do internalize hateful messages like that. For the most part, parents work, and they can't look at every music choice, every video game. Kids are kids, and unless they recieve a different message, they don't care about what is right and moral and helpful. In schools they don't hear about Rosa Parks, or MLK or the underground railroad or anyone on value. They don't volunteer at a soup kitchen. Kids are left to grow like weeds.

sydney said...

The podcast today was short, but oh so sweet. Tom Foreman Raw Politics + Anderica + kitty on piano = :-)

Oddly enough, it didn't delve into the rap controversy, which would explain why it was so short. I'll have to see that later.

More weird expressions at the beginning of the podcast (though not like yesterday) - I'm beginning to think they do that on purpose LOL!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if any anchors, including Anderson will have the balls to question Barack Obama about taking campaign money from David Geffen who puts out a lot of this crap. Especially since Obama was so "outraged" by Imus's remarks. I guess the hate language of the rappers doesn't bother him.

@anon:10:44, The difference is you don't see the neo-Nazi ideology all over cable TV and no one is making big bucks off of it. This is worse because it is sanctioned hatred for the sake of making a buck.

snooks said...

Check out today's article in the New York Times The Arts Section titled "Don't Blame Hip-Hop" How Don Imus's Problem Became a Referendum on Rap - Anderson's 60 mintues interview is discussed

Anonymous said...

As clearly as I can recall, soon after I moved to New Orleans (a few years back) a young mother in the black community saw a crime take place and reported it.

She was afraid but, she stood up for what was right. Unfortunately, she was killed for being a snitch. Her mother said over and over again that she knew she took a chance with her life but, she wouldn't be able to live with herself if she didn't do the right thing.

This amazing young women, even after her death, because she "snitched" almost single-handedly took down the entire New Orleans Police Department.

I guess I have two or three points. It's takes bravery to come forward to do the right thing in the midst of a hostile environment. There needs to be less corruption in the offices that are paid to protect citizens and that protection needs to be in place when someone does come forward.

Anonymous said...

misandry: hatred or fear of men

Anonymous said...

I loved how Anderson was so passionate when talking to Russell Simmonds, I was like "whoa Anderson is getting fiesty with Russell Simmonds" LOL

Did anyone else just find it odd to hear Anderson say "b****" and "h*" just doesn't sound right coming out of his mouth. I also love how he was like 50 Cent isn't rapping about the environment and Africa.......honestly I was laughing during the whole segment.

Mr. Canada is right on point with his argument about the stop snitching issue, if it was the KKK or someone like that saying stuff like this there would be a major revolt.

I love that we had Anderca has been so long it seems and it was good, I love how Anderson said send a shot and Erica will make fun of it cause it is so true :P Custody over the funny. Panda loan agreement is awesome. Panda lawyers even funnier HAHA.

Completely off topic other then she blasted Anderson but I am so glad Rosie is leaving the View :)

Anonymous said...

Yes,I thought those words out of his mouth were odd. Also, i laughed when he told Russell Simonds that " we all grow up somewhere and we evolve past it." Honey, who are you kidding? Your a Vanderbilt, and you went to Yale!

Sheryn said...

Um, i think he meant the Royal "we".

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:36: I think the point of the first post was to point out the cultural issues with our society in more general terms. And yeah you are right, we don't see the hate speech but it has major impacts on the audience who does listen to it and it too, reflects the lack of standards concerning what the media will dish out.

Anonymous said...

I liked Anderson's banter with Tom Foreman last night. They both clearly had a good time.