We often discuss the white media and how it has set a course to undermine Black life in America, but we have not discussed how the Black media has helped to destroy what brain cells, pride, and dignity Black America has left. Via the endorsement of star struck vanity, gossip, and a barrage of superficiality, the Black media has managed to deepen the wounds of Black dignity inflicted by white America. How is this so?
The main problem is that the Black media lack originality and draw off the lead of the white mainstream. Fear of what whites will say about them and threats to withdraw support from them, restrain the Black media from being creative and fighting back against the attacks on Blacks from the white mainstream. So instead of being innovative and designing a media agenda to drive progress in the Black community, they feed off the negative of the white media about Blacks and design programs and promotions that address the wrongs that whites tell us we have.
In addition, the Black media copy the white in areas of television shows, radio programming and host, the format, topics, and messages they send. Instead of pulling away from the typical programming format of celebrity this, soap drama that, comic radio DJ this, attitude having stereotypical Black woman that, the Black media pushes this drug on Black America from morning to midnight and wonder why we have not "reached the promise land."
They wonder why Black men lag in employment and fill the prisons, why Black women have no husbands, Black children cannot learn, and why we seem to look so bad in every area of American life as compared to whites. Even though the answer is obvious, they cannot see it and instead react to what they are told by whites and call themselves addressing it through educational media programming.
Though there are Black college graduates in many areas of the country in the field of communications, leading to jobs in television and radio, however, not one has come out of their university with an original idea. But they have all been brainwashed to follow the same sambo script. Even despite the fact that there are "Black Networks," those Black networks have not helped reduce negative Black images or perfect a positive state of Black America not one bit, but have in fact, help destroy it further. Should the people begin to question their motives?
The major Black media outlets such as BET and TV-One, followed by major magazines like Ebony, Vibe, and Essence, are suppose to be alternative to white media and are to represent the Black voice and life, at least that was the mission in the beginning. But today they are nothing more than extensions of white media acting more as henchmen for them.
They all feed the Black community trash. Soap opera-type drama, fashion, glamour, celebrity vanity that has done more damage to the America way of life in white America and double that in Black America. The difference is that whites have a financial base to sustain themselves against the trauma sent by the evils of vanity, sexual seduction and immorality while Black America does not. We cannot protect ourselves against the consequences of the immorality that the glamour lifestyle and sexual innuendos send against our communities. And when we seek help from white America, we are second to all, underfunded and neglected in areas of health, justice, education and other.
The Black media neglects its homework and psychoanalyses of what the Black community can handle in terms of subliminal ethical message through media, television and radio. They believe they can do what whites can do and the Black community can absorb the effects without becoming infected. For instance, low and middle income people cannot afford to pattern their lives after Black celebrities who showcase their homes and lifestyles on BET, or who showcase their cars, designer fashion and bling as if it is everyday affordable to the average working single Black women or child.
Hard working Black people who ride to work in the morning listening to urban morning radio have to suck down the gossip of Black entertainers and their lifestyles, absorb the lyrics of angry Black women and disrespectful Black men, which in turn cause them to emulate a certain celeb or rapper or singer when relating to others around them everyday. It has become so entrenched in the minds of Blacks that they cannot relate to one another without speaking childish street terms, having certain attitudes that they really cannot afford to have, and disrespecting people who have actually done nothing to them except pass them by.
The Black elite and educated cannot see this effect or simply do not care about it and what it does to Black adults and children. They again follow the lead of white America and live by ratings, money, and prestige without care of the actual people who support them from the grassroots with their hard earned money. They suppose that this is what the people want but have not done one ounce of research to actually find out if it is the truth or not, and again, following the lead of whites based on marketing data, what they learned in white institutions.
Superficiality in the Black community does not come from the Black community; from the womb or from the minds of unborn children, it comes from televisions and what Black people see and hear each day as to what their lives are about. They get this information from either reading magazines or watching television. Blacks who have limited access to various resources can only reach as far as their television set or certain magazines they pick up at supermarkets in the tabloid section.
Here is where Ebony, Vibe, Essence, and other Black Hip Hop and celebrity magazines are found and idolized, and it is here young Blacks learn the lingo, fashions, and lifestyle of superficial Blacks made by Hollywood or by the Black mainstream media themselves. Adding to the BET videos and the TV-one sitcoms and soaps, the Black community is saturated with trash and have little means or access to educational material, material that encourage business entrepreneurship, strong families, relationships, or community. Instead they are fed crap like drama; P. Diddy married who, Lil J shot who, Big T went to jail, Basketball great got babies and negative gossip that Black media believes, by marketing data, is what the Black community is asking for.
There are no Black intellectual magazines featuring people like Cornell West essays, Professors of Black universities or Black doctors, or major achievers in the field of math or science, no, there are not even strong Black poets of today published for Black youth; instead there are only vanity star struck Black magazines filled with crap. There are no real intellectual radio talk shows that feature people who discuss why Blacks are in the state they are in and how to get out of it, but radio filled with seductive lyrics, ignorant jokes and parodies, political feed back from white news, and talk of again, the lifestyles of Black celebs.
Black leaders must wean the Black community off ignorance and onto the real meat of intellect. They must become innovative and create radio and televisions shows that address the real issues instead of the stereotypes. They must pull back the gossip and push in the intellect. They must encourage Black minds instead of poison them to the same ills that are killing white America and America itself. If we do not do it soon, the only foundation on which Blacks will have to stand will be their own front porch, because that is as far as the Black media have taken them.© July 2008
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