Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A must read

OK, it's been less than a day and I am going back on my promise to only post once a week. However, I did include a caveat that is something very interesting or insightful came a long, I would post it. Well, this isn't quite the level of Joey Porter's dogs eating a miniature horse, but a must read in my opinion.

I know Jason Whitlock can be a polarizing figure. I don't like how he often brings up the race card, but he makes good points, or at least provides thought-provoking discussion. When I lived in KC, he had a radio show for 3 of the 4 years I was down there. I would usually listen to that on the way to or home from work. Didn't always agree with what he said, but it was a good listen.

Anyhow, Whitlock wrote this in today's KC paper and I thought it was worthy to pass along. This is also why I dread being a parent some day.

Pop culture is huge threat
Dangerous influences in entertainment are impeding parents as they attempt to raise their children.

This column will return to the hardcore sports world soon. We’ll get back to the Royals, Trent Green, Will Shields, the draft and Brandon Rush’s stay-or-go decision (he should stay) in just a few days.

But I still have a couple of things I need to say about Don Imus and the very necessary discussions his ignorant attempt at humor has spawned.

Today I want to talk about pop culture in general and hip-hop/prison culture in particular and why we need to rethink old ideas about their ability to influence us.
Pop culture is on steroids now. It’s bigger and badder than it’s ever been. It’s pervasive, inescapable and powerful enough to override good parenting.

Read that again: It’s pervasive, inescapable and powerful enough to override good parenting.
The na├»ve argue that hip hop and other youth cultures are harmless. Good parents know better. They realize that it is no longer 1968. They know there’s a television in every room, wireless Internet all over the house, an iPod for every child, a cable channel for every perversion, call-waiting, text messaging, DVR and “Flavor of Love.”

Pop culture is like ants in the spring. You can’t keep ants out of your house, and you can’t keep pop culture out of your kid’s head.
This isn’t the good old days when only a select few people had access to your child’s brain. Remember when there was one TV, three channels, a single record player and one phone line for an entire house? It was easy to parent then because there were far fewer voices to compete against.

The Beatles might have sung a song that made old folks uncomfortable, but a child didn’t hear that tune very often. There was no television network for young rock stars to play their music nonstop and espouse their immature life philosophies on a daily basis. Just think of the destruction had Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix had access to your child’s mind 24 hours a day.
Snoop Dogg can speak to your child daily, and he does. He and many other entertainers of every color are abusing that privilege. They’re corrupting minds and redefining cultural norms that were once set by people of intelligence.

This is most problematic in America’s black community because the family structure for black children is too often unstable. One mother working hard to raise a child or two has less access to her children’s brains than BET — Black Exploitation Television.

I was lucky enough to have two good parents who, although divorced, remained heavily involved in my life and my brother’s. I vividly remember being a latch-key kid as a grade-schooler and watching “Leave it to Beaver” while I waited for my brother to get home from junior high.
Do you think there are kids at home alone now who watch “Leave it to Beaver” rather than Black Exploitation Television, MTV or playing a violent video game?

Kids are the same. The world is drastically different. We have to adjust.
When do kids have quiet time and the time to read? They throw on iPods and tune out the world their parents have created.

When I taped the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Monday, you could feel the passion the mostly female audience had about the negative influences of hip-hop/prison culture. Pop culture, not just hip hop, is interfering with their ability to properly raise their children. They haven’t figured out why and how pop culture is short-circuiting their efforts. They just know that it has, and they want it to stop.

It takes a village.
And right now our idiots are allowed to run wild in the minds of our children. It wasn’t like that 30 years ago. The idiots used to make rebellious songs that we might hear once a day on the radio, and we might see the idiots three times a year on “Soul Train” or “American Bandstand.” The idiots were contained. And they were pretty much nonviolent.

The idiots are running the world now, and they’re telling our kids to sell crack and shoot each other over the slightest disrespect. We’ve even dressed the idiots up and passed them off as respectable, influential members of society. Snoop Dogg is as mainstream as apple pie.

Any intelligent person who thinks today’s pop culture is as harmless as yesterday’s hasn’t raised a child, or he has a financial stake in the continuation of the cultural genocide.

1 comment:

Adam Peroutky said...

I love Jason Whitlock.....flat out LOVE him. That's all I can say. He's been so right on for so many topics, that the guy is ready to become a monster. He is going to be a very imortant person in the area of sports & entertainment over the next several years.