The Life of a Ladybug

live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciate your friends. do what you love. live as if this is all there is. -mary anne radmacher

Friday, March 10, 2006

Fraggernackle bull!

Yesterday, while listening to the Ed Gordon Show on NPR News, I heard comments from other listeners who said that anyone who's against the win of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" for Best Song at the Oscars is obviously against hip-hop and also doesn't understand the younger generation. Allow me to call "Bull...(you can fill in the rest)!" on that. I am not against hip-hop and I consider myself part of the younger generation - I'm probably younger than the members of Three 6 Mafia and am definitely younger than Terrence Howard, who played the aforementioned pimp in the movie "Hustle & Flow". I am also dismayed by the win of the song, not because I am against the Three 6 Mafia (though I am definitely against the name of the group - naming yourself after the Mark of the Beast doesn't resonate well with me) or Terrence Howard (who is fine as may wine), but because I am against the pimp/ho mentality and the glorification of criminality. Yes, I completely understand the limited choices afforded to impoverished people, be they Black, White or otherwise. I did not grow up in a high class neighborhood and most of the people who attended the local elementary school with me have grown up to be those who populate the corners, slinging drugs of every conceivable kind, or have seven children by six different fathers. I know that many of my contemporaries have walked down those roads because they didn't have the opportunity to go to the best schools (as I did, thank GOD) and have not achieved a degree of financial stability that will allow them to get out of the ghetto and not go back. And still ... I am against the glorification of being a gutter snipe. I am against it because we are better than this. We are better than this! We can and have done better. We must do better - for the sake of our children and for our own self-respect. Yeah, it's hard out here for a pimp. But it's just a little bit easier out here for a man who's willing to go the legal route, brothers. It's not going to be a smooth road to walk, by any means. But when you can go to bed at night in the knowledge that the work you've done that day is honest work, that you have harmed no man, that you have earned the respect of your wife and children and community ... it'll be worth the journey.


At March 10, 2006 8:28 PM, Anonymous Maya said...

I love you Toya! That is an excellent essay and I think you should submit to NPR so they can read it on the air in response to the interview you heard. You should send it to the editorial page of your paper too.

At March 10, 2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Toya said...

Thank you so much for that, Maya. I'll certainly consider it.

At March 14, 2006 11:18 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

Amen! I'm equally tired of how some folks want to glorify thug/pimp culture as if that is the end all and be all of Black culture. I was just at a book club last weekend and we were discussing these fake thugs from middle class families. I don't understand how some of these kids come from good families and want to go around trying to act hard and not speaking proper English. What's up with that?


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