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author Leonard Pitts, Jr.
scholar - 16-12-2007 at 20:01

This columnist and book author appeared on Tony Brown's Journal. He, a black man, spoke against the hip-hop gangsta culture (violence, drugs, women to be used for sex). He says that playing into this stereotype hurts black people in public perceptions.

He told of a conversation with a white woman who complained about his efforts to persuade people to leave that cultural portrayal behind. She said, "But, that is how I learned to understand what it means to be a black person in America. I wouldn't know that, if it had not been available to me in the music."

Mr. Pitts said, "Ma'am, that would be like me saying to you, 'I have seen every episode of I Love Lucy. I'm grateful for that show, because now I can really understand what it's like to be a white woman in America.'"

THEN she started to get the idea.
roffle roffle roffle


Badgergirl - 16-12-2007 at 20:18

Interesting, though the rap music does seem to reflect the lifestyle of SOME black people in America. All the rap-stars are doing are damaging people's perception of themselves personally.

I wouldn't ask Prussian Blue to stop singing Nazi songs because it "Damages Black perceptions of Americans" coz I don't see myself in any way similar to that. I'd ask them to stop, first and foremost because they can't sing! Then coz they are racist bigots.

Awful as the gangsta lifestyle may be, it's as valid a topic for music as singing campfire songs about your summer camp!

Perhaps It's because I'm NOT a bigot, I see Lenoard as a Man who is Black, not a Black Man. His culture is something he is clearly proud of, but he has also his own personality. In my view, one's self image should not be linked wholly to one's race.


scholar - 16-12-2007 at 20:32

In the course of the program, Mr. Pitt mentioned a time when a high-class hotel treated him extremely badly. [In context, Mr. Pitt seemed to implythat it was a "white" environment.] He was angry over their rudeness and ill-treatment, and had every reason to blow up at them, yelling and scolding them for their horrible conduct. But, he didn't. He would never return, but he didn't want them to think of a person who lacked self-control the next time they had a black guest.

Let me hasten to say, I'm not familiar with the body of Mr. Pitt's work as a columnist. I don't mean to portray him as thinking of racial dynamics first in every situation. It happened to be the focus of the program I viewed.:)


LSemmens - 17-12-2007 at 10:59

It's like the portrayal of all who like country music as womanisers and down and outs, that is predominantly what a lot of it is about. We can stereotype all sorts of groups. The louder they are, the more likely we are to think that all members of that group are the same, when, truth be known, the majority are nothing like it.


scholar - 17-12-2007 at 11:18

There is a stereotype of asian students in America as hard working, hard studying, and good at mathematics. There's a stereotype to aspire to. :D