Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another Hip-Hop Role Model

Hours before he was to perform and possibly receive awards for his talents, the rapper T.I. was arrested for trying to purchase two machine guns. The entertainer was set up by his personal bodyguard who he had sent to retrieve the guns. Here unfortunately is another example where life is trying to imitate art. You see T.I.’s specialty is rap music that glorifies the drug lifestyle and even has its own label, “trap musik”. For those unfamiliar in the black community a trap can be a drug house, house of prostitution, or some other place of nighttime activity. A drug dealer, pimp, or player is said to be checking traps in the same sense that a hunter or trapper checks their traps for game or prey.

The entertainer, whose real name is Clifford Harris, was arrested Saturday just hours before he was scheduled to perform at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Harris, 27, was arrested in a federal sting after his bodyguard-turned-informant delivered three machine guns and two silencers to the hip-hop star, according to a Justice Department statement.

Authorities said they found three more firearms in the car in which Harris drove to pick up the machine guns and silencers, "including one loaded gun tucked between the driver's seat where Harris had been sitting and the center console."

At his home, authorities found six other guns, five of them loaded, in his bedroom closet.[1]

According to court records, Mr. Harris is a convicted felon and therefore cannot possess firearms. We in the black community are constantly being given signs of the destruction that this music and its purveyors have wrought on our communities and yet time and again we ignore its destructive effects. We continue to allow BET and the other media outlets to glorify these clowns for our children’s edification. We have had these clowns kill folks, we’ve had them denigrate our women, and they have continued to dare our communities to stop them. We continue to kowtow to these hoodlums and allow their poison to infiltrate our homes and the minds of our children. I just wonder what it is going to take for us as a community to stand up and say enough is enough.

This man was about to receive awards for promoting drugs and that lifestyle and then to top it off he is trying to purchase machine guns and silencers. I’m sure they were for going hunting with Dick Cheney. These are not common weapons that you just have lying around the house for personal protection; these weapons are designed to do maximum damage to humans. Our children are being fed a steady diet of this garbage by BET, I’m sure this man’s CD sales are about to go through the roof. What are the lessons that our sons and our daughters are being taught by this episode? Where is the uplifting in this?

I know that there will be those who claim it was a setup, another poor blackman being targeted for extinction by the white power structure, the same white power structure that created him and marketed his “trap musik”. How can we continue to be so foolish to believe that money will insulate us from the real America? This man had to know that he was on everybody’s radar and yet he still tried this foolish mess. But, it was the thug life that he had to be true to, had to keep it real. How much longer are we going to continue to glamorize this nonsense? Does anyone wonder why are communities are war zones when the role models are living like this? We have only ourselves to blame, we allowed this to come into our neighborhoods and into our homes. We created this monster and now it is turning on us and destroying us.

What happened to the outcry after Don Imus, it has quietly faded into the usual drone of forgetfulness. The stupor that so easily envelops our communities and our lives, which has us unwilling or incapable of mounting any sustained effort against anything. Have we become so complacent to the struggles of life that we no longer have the will or the strength to stand for what is right and what is good? The flood of negative images continues to flow unabated through our communities, being driven by greed and the self destructive mentality of some who would rather glorify violence to make money at the expense of our youth and our communities.

It is time for us to say no more to the people who reward those who are destroying our communities. We must no longer allow others to define for us who the role models for our children will be. We must demand an end to the negative and begin to elevate the positive images of our people. We can no longer wait on those who exploit us to have a change of heart; it must come from within us. We must cast off the shackles that no longer bind our feet and hands, but now bind our minds, our spirits, and our imaginations. Have our dreams and the dreams of our forefathers been reduced to petty crime, drug dealing, and senseless violence directed at each other? And are we going to sit idly by while the aspirations of a people are being high-jacked by the greedy executives and their willing black minstrels? I pray to God not.

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Music/10/15/rapperti.court/index.html

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand why you feel the way you do but frankly I think it's scapegoating and only denies the core of the REAL problem. If you reallllly want to go there that 'garbage' as you put it is ALSO perpetuated by movies like "I Know What You Did","Scream","Friday the 13th","Saw","Hostel","Grindhouse","Resident Evil",etc.. Hell I could on and on but you get the idea not to mention tv shows like "Gossip Girl","90210","The Sopranos",and "The O.C." where promicuity is RAMPANT yet there are no STDs,pregnancies,angry parents or any consequences for that behavior furthermore these shows glorify to a disturbing extent underage teen drinking and some drug use. That also goes for sick,putrid so-called 'reality' slop like "Tila Tequila" "Rock of Love" "Flava of Love" and the like and this kind of thing has been around loooooong before rap and hi-hop got here. But all of a sudden this music and it's video images are the Great Satan and BLACK KIDS are just n-e-v-e-r exposed to any other form of music or entertainment. Now I feel like you have the right to dislike what you want but jumping on the white MSM bash whatever-doesn't-always-showcase-us-first bandwagon is counterproductive and hypocritical. As for T.I. being another 'victim' of the establishment yeah those shows I mentioned also have people that star in them that are of seriously lacking moral character. An actor from the FOX hit "Prison Break"[how appropriate]was arrested for killing a teen by DUI I don't remember THAT story getting nas much attention gee wonder why.

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