We have been spreading this sickness in the Black Community for a long, long time.
This post comes as I remember a local television show that came on after school when I was growing up called, "The New Dance Show". The show actually started out in the late 80's as "The Scene", then changed it's name to "The Dance Show", and eventually became "The New Dance Show". A local version of "Soul Train", The New Dance Show was the brainchild of R.J. Watkins, the owner of Detroit's only Black-owned television station. Kids is middle school like myself and older would come home to learn some of the latest dance moves and gain a sneak peek into what the young adults we were always emulating were doing.
Sounds decent, right?
Far from it. Anyone from Detroit reading this is already either laughing or shaking their head, because they know what's coming next. The New Dance Show was one of the most trifling, foul displays of lasciviousness that I have ever seen in my life. It somewhat pales in comparison to what young people are exposed to today on BET, but it's amazing to see what some of today's Black educators, professionals, and community leaders were exposed to when they were kids.
Now understand that I am quite far removed from the entertainment mainstream these days. So, someone who is still in the mix might not watch that clip with the same horror that I do as an adult, about 15 years after the fact. So, if you still don't get my point, the next video is a clip of actual commercials that ran during this show, during after-school hours, on broadcast television (not cable) WHEN CHILDREN WERE WATCHING:
THIS WAS HAPPENING IN DETROIT OVER 15 YEARS AGO!!!
Do you see where I'm coming from now? I saw this every weekday after school when I was eleven years old, and I wasn't the only one. By the time we were in high school, The New Dance Show was producing high school editions; but to the dismay of many, my high school did not appear on the show. Students at the college prep high school that I attended were actually angry that our principal had enough sense not to allow us to act like sex-crazed animals and tarnish the good names of our school and our respective families on television for the world to see.
We thought this stuff was normal...which brings me to my point.
Black entertainment has been hypersexual and demeaning to women for over 20 years now. It's not enough for us to shake our heads in disbelief when we learn that homosexual relationships are now popular in middle and junior high school, or when we see Shaquanda on The Maury Show testing potential father number 2,005 at only 15 years old.
(Okay, that last one was an exaggeration, but you get my point.)
Those of us who are religious often hear talk about generational curses being passed down. Is this not one of them, and possibly the most crippling of them all?
Young people are often accused of "trying to be grown", but what they are really trying to do is emulate young adults. No adolescent wants to jump to 35 or 40; they want to be 18, 21, or 25. Those are the ones who teach the children what adulthood is all about through their actions. While one might argue that The New Dance Show was perfectly acceptable adult entertainment, the problem is that the show aired while it was still light outside; that kind of programming should come on late, late, LATE at night. Now, raunchy music videos are a part of urban Black lifestyles; we expect our young people to watch much worse than what I was exposed to.
BUT ISN'T THAT MESSED UP?
When you listen to sexually explicit lyrics while driving with your pre-schooler in the car, aren't you teaching them that it's okay? When you allow BET and MTV in your home WHATSOEVER, aren't you telling your children it's okay to watch such filth when it airs?
In my parent's defense, they didn't know we were watching The New Dance Show. They surely had no idea what Watts Club Mozambique was. I want to unlearn the passiveness toward hypersexuality among young Black Americans by allowing myself to be disgusted by it and keeping such cultural influences out of my home.
People like to get mad at Bill Cosby for calling Black people out on their mess, but he only scratched the surface of the degeneration of the Black community. Furthermore, besides being offended at anything that doesn't celebrate and justify Black culture, do we not think that this hypersexual culture that we continue to perpetuate through our financial support of entertainment media is DIRECTLY related to the educational and economic problems we face? The young Black masses are more concerned with getting high, drunk, and laid than they are with getting a real LIFE and establishing themselves for the future. Don't we contribute to this cultural cesspool every time we listen to the songs on FM radio or patronize establishments that play those songs and videos?
Are we ready for another 20 to 30 years of this? How degenerate does our community have to become before we do something?
When does the madness stop?