Friday, October 31, 2008

Soul Fixin'

Ignorance Is Contagious 
No, I haven't loss my mind. I've decided to talk about Soulja Boy Tell Em for one reason and one reason only. I'm not interested in his music. Nor am I interested in any news concerning his career as a rapper. However, I am concerned about his lack of intelligence and penchant towards ignorance. Ignorance is contagious. At a recent event in Atlanta, Toure, host of BET's 'Black Carpet', interviewed the young Mississippi native. Toure described the sad encounter on his blog The Daily Beast:

Last week in Atlanta, I got to interview Soulja Boy Tell Em. I found out just how young he really is. He was one of about ten rappers I interviewed in one day for my BET show, The Black Carpet. I decided it'd be fun to give all the rappers part of the Proust questionnaire. I thought it'd be a way to get beyond image and into who they really are. Most of the guys gave good, thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive answers. I asked Juelz Santana, "How would you like to die?" He said, "Loved."

Then came Soulja Boy Tell Em. I asked him, "What historical figure do you most hate?" He was stumped. I said, "Others have said Hitler, bin Laden, the slave masters..." He said, "Oh wait! Hold up! Shout out to the slave masters! Without them we'd still be in Africa."

My jaw, at this point, was on the ground."We wouldn't be here," he continued, having no idea how far in it he'd stepped, "to get this ice and tattoos."
Wow. Never mind that diamonds come from Africa. Never mind that there were many generations of pain in between leaving Africa and getting diamonds. Never mind that the long-term cataclysmic effects of subtracting about tens of millions of young, strong people from Africa over the course of a couple of centuries is a large part of the reason why Africa now appears so distasteful to you. Never mind all that, Soulja Boy. You put country first.

Wow. I strongly doubt the kid from Mississippi was joking. His music is just as ignorant. His first hit song, "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," described ejaculating on the back of a female and sticking a sheet to her. If your children are running around chanting "superman that ho'," you now know the meaning of the derogatory phrase. Soulja Boy isn't alone. Many of his peers possess the same amount of ignorance. The harrowing story of the black experience doesn't register with them. They are lacking vital information. They don't know who they are. They don't know what it means to be Black in America. I won't point blame at Soulja Boy Tell Em or the Mississippi school system. The blames lies fairly and squarely on his parents. It is imperative that black parents give their children a hefty dose of Martin, Malcolm, Marcus Garvey, James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman. Obviously, Soulja Boy's parents think the history of blacks in this country is far from important.
Now is the time for BET to step up and take action. The network and Soulja Boy Tell Em are good friends, his videos are in heavy rotation on the channel. BET needs to make it their mission to educate Soulja Boy and his peers, the networks' core audience. Original programming that tells the story of the black experience is needed on Black Entertainment Television. BET, here is a good idea: have Soulja Boy appear on '106 & Park' along with Cornel West or any other noted black professor, historian or civil rights activist. This great PR move will serve two purposes, it will educate Soulja boy and all his ignorant peers watching the show.


Anonymous said...

Oh my god and can you believe this boy gets 75,000.00 per show wow what is this world coming to he makes a bad name for music because I would not even give him credit of calling his performance hip hop

Anonymous said...

Don't put Mississippi down like we don't have no education because ignorance is a worldwide problem. I have a PHD and I'm from Mississippi born and raised. I was accepted to Harvard were I graduated with honors.

LITE said...

@ anonymous #2...You don't sound as educated as you claim to be. However, my intentions were never to put Mississippi down. I wanted to highlight how a young black male from Mississippi, a state with a storied history as it relates to slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement, could be stupid enough to make such an ignorant statement.