Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Flea Farting…

A Flea Farting…

…is, in my mind, akin in a way to a butterfly flapping its wings. There supposedly can be far reaching effects of the butterfly flapping its wings, so why not effects reaching just as far because of a flea fart! Some black streetwise punk on the streets of Harlem probably never thought it a bad thing to call another black man a nigga, in fact he probably thought it a sign of some sort of respect, albeit many decent black folks see it as abhorrent. Yet it has become quite the popular term among American blacks, or if you please African Americans, but that does not please me because I am referred to as white, not as European American – but I digress.

Some black guy, probably a dirtbag gangsta rapper, or regular dirtbag rapper, or a hip-hop type who decided that it was a great thing to use the word “ho” in his lyrics, probably thought he was being cool. The black or other ethnic groups of women who listened to those lyrics, and kept buying the CDs, and downloading the tunes, all probably envisioned themselves as the “ho” of the rappers using that word. Certainly they thought it okay for a black man to refer to woman as hos if only because of how popular they allowed rap and gangsta rap to become with its incessant degradation of woman, especially those in the black community. The music CD companies, radio stations, broadcast giants like CBS and NBC, cable television stations, the news media, MTV, rappers like Snoop Dog all seem to think this is just fine so long as a black man says the word. Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, while possibly having objected to such language never have, to my knowledge, ever come out against such language anywhere to the extent that Bill Cosby has stood up against its use. In fact, I have seen the Reverend Al Sharpton swaying to rap tunes. Even white rappers have been allowed to say these words, once that is that white rappers became somewhat accepted among black rap culture. I do not pass judgment upon these people, although I do have an opinion of them, but I will keep it to myself. What I can say as fact is that the black community in general as let this type of degradation by rappers continue pretty much unabated, and the white community has gone right along with them, as had anyone who subscribes to rap, gangsta rap, or hip-hop culture.

The same African American culture who allowed the above to take place also allowed something else. They allowed what I believe is the degradation of white folks to take place on a regular basis by way of black comedians, black spokesman like Al Sharpton, the new black panthers, and groups like the black Muslims. I have watched all to often as comedians at the Apollo theater have slammed white folks in their acts, made them look like fools and call them crackers and other derogatory names. The audience always applauds with glee. If you doubt me, then watch the reruns for the past few years worth of televised shows. Note I said the reruns, as some may be less ready to spout forth these negative terms because of recent events.

Of course, white culture in the USA is not much different. We have allowed the likes of guys like Howard Stern to demean just about everyone, and he is one of the highest, if not the highest paid shock-jock out there. We have also allowed the likes of guys like Imus to spout off his own brand of filth on a radio show that has been on the air for decades. When you think about how long rap has been around, and when you think about how long nasty comedians have been around, and when you think about how long shock-jocks have been around it is sort of funny unbelievable that no one has ever envisioned the brouhaha that would erupt once an old crotchety white guy by the name of Imus opened his mouth and uttered a derogatory set of racial words on his show. Just three words, directed at a women’s basketball team made him public enemy number one just about overnight. Can you imagine that. Was it just the fact that Imus uttered those nasty inappropriate words that caused all ensuing fuss? I think not, I think there was an awful lot of contributory inappropriateness that followed his unsuitable utterance.

Let’s see what else may have been inappropriate in the aftermath of Imus saying those words. First of all, the Rutgers’s University basketball team reacted in a way that was, in my opinion quite inappropriate; or at least that was how I believe their coach and the university reacted. There were press conferences and interviews galore, and the team’s coach was right there in a bunch of them. Sorry, but I have to say I think that was an overreaction to a comment and a commentator, neither of which deserved all the fuss. It would have been better, in my opinion, for the coach to have said she had no comment, or simply to have given a brief statement that the young ladies were shocked but that their lives would go on because they were above such triviality. After all, such a statement, coming from a guy like Imus, while being nasty and inappropriate, should still be just that in their lives – a triviality. It should be a triviality just as it is when a gangsta rapper calls black women nasty hos, and when they show scantily clad women in their videos, and the like. It should be just like it is when a black comedian throws out racial epithets at white people and the audience laughs at the joke. For some reason though it was not. Those cameras and lights came on, the microphones came out, and the coach and some team members got all fired up.

Of course, they had some help getting fired up. They had help from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. These two men spout off about anything that they can to gain the attention of the cameras to rant anti-white sentiment, and pro-black sentiment. That is, as I see it, not right; and I know plenty of good black folks who think likewise about these two characters. Then there was the help from the media, and the help from the sponsors of Imus, and the help from other big blabber mouths looking to score points, and there were politicians (aren’t they the same) all making a stink about this. Then Snoop Dog came out and I believe he said it was basically okay for black men to say these words but not for a white man to say them. There was a lot of inappropriate reaction to something very trivial that was said by a nasty big mouth on the radio. What people seem to have forgotten is that is was all an act. Yes, just like those rappers, and just like those comedians I mentioned above, Imus is little more than a guy out to make a buck through his act, and he delivers that act on radio. It is certainly, or was, certainly a tasteless act at times, but we all – yellow, black, brown, red, white have allowed such humor to creep into our society. We should have just taken it at that, as bad humor, and left it at that. Better yet, Imus should never have said it, and no one should ever have invented the term ho in the first place, let alone the nappy headed thing.

People also seem to have forgotten another thing; that when a flea farts it can have far reaching and foul effects. Yes, I’d bet you were wondering when I would get back to the flea fart. You see, I believe that Imus saying those words were the equivalent to a flea fart. Most of the time that those words get uttered there is just about as much reaction from the masses, from the powers that be, from whatever, as if a flea had farted. In other words we would just ignore it, or maybe if we actually could hear a flea fart, we would just laugh, or shake our head and hold our noses and walk away from it. Of course we would do something to get rid of the flea, but we would not in essence drop a bomb on that flea or would we! Then again, maybe we would. Maybe we would use DDT or the likes. We did that once, it was a disaster; it killed a lot more than bugs, the nasty effects were far reaching indeed.

Imus spouting out those inappropriate words was much like a flea farting. Okay, you heard him, you realize there is a problem, you go about getting rid of him in a reasonable way. We did not do that. Instead, people overreacted, and this is where the far reaching effects of the flea fart, or use of words like ho, come to play. First of all, Imus was almost immediately labeled as a racist. In fact, Imus has proven time and time again that he is not a racist. Instead he is someone who goes across race to benefit children who are stricken by cancer; this includes all sorts of minority children including black children. Oh well, too bad, he has to live with his big mouth and the results. Of course so to do those who labeled him as a racist and screamed about it for days. You see those folks, in great part if not the main cause, helped to assure that Imus’ sponsors would remove themselves from association with him or his show. This had another effect, it had Imus get pulled from his television spot, I think which had been with MNBC. That then snowballed even further, as blabbermouths like the reverend Al Sharpton hollered about racism, and other sponsors dropped their sponsorship of the Imus show. As all this was happening the media frenzy spread out far and wide and more and more blabbermouths spoke out against Imus calling him a racist. Of course this resulted in several news interviews or conferences in which the coach and others were interviewed. All the while the heat went up on Imus, and the label of racist was being figuratively emblazoned upon his forehead. He wound up getting fired. His firing came swiftly, and somewhat unexpectedly because it came as Imus was doing a benefit to raise money for children, something he had done for years. His wife cancelled other appointments and responsibilities, and she took his place in the telethon. The thing is the effects of the word ho being created, of its common use in our culture, of Imus saying the nasty thing he said, of people making such an outrageous fuss over all of it, of the media causing a feeding frenzy, of guys like Al Sharpton pushing for getting Imus fired, did not stop when he was fired, and have not stopped yet.

Here are some of the far reaching effects of the flea fart that was Imus saying those 3 words:

The governor of New Jersey was in a place at a moment when an accident occurred that almost cost him his life, and because of which he will suffer the remainder of his life. How can that be do you wonder, well the governor was going to moderate the meeting between Imus and the Rutgers’s Woman’s basketball team during which Imus would apologize to them. The governor never made it. Whose fault is that. Well maybe he should have worn his seat belt, maybe his driver should not have been speeding (I am not saying he was but it is suspected he was speeding because of the amount of damage to the vehicle), maybe the other folks on the road should not have been there, maybe there should have never been a need for such a meeting, maybe the commotion over the nasty but trivial remarks should never have escalated to the point that they did escalate, maybe the coach and team should have ignored Imus, maybe Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Snoop Dog and others should have kept their yaps shut, maybe Imus should have said nice things about the basketball team and never said those nasty words, maybe people should never have supported rappers by buying music with lyrics that included the word “ho”, and on an one.

Okay, enough for going backwards, lets stay in the recent past, the present, and also look at the very possible future. What else is going to happen that folks who were involved in this never even imagined before they started having big mouths and reacting without thinking of the consequences. Imus lost a job, and a salary, I imagine he was highly paid. CBS will have to find a replacement for Imus. He/she or they could be worse than Imus. CBS will lose up to 20 million dollars in money from sponsors, or so I read in a newspaper last night. Some at CBS may feel this pinch, and they may lose jobs. Sponsors have shown their hypocrisy in that they still sponsor events that include rappers using like words. Therefore sponsors may lose customers. This will all, sooner or later, probably have an effect on the economy and the stock market, a negative effect at that. No I am not saying there will be a market crash or anything, just a bad effect, and that could ripple out to effect other things. Another thing, something else the blabbermouths should have thought about before they started calling Imus a racist, instead of calling him a big mouthed callous radio show host, and before screaming for Imus’ firing, instead of just an appropriate apology and temporary suspension, was that Imus had throughout his career done a lot of good for people – and now he would likely be either unable to do or severely crippled in his ability to do so. Who will suffer because of that?

Well it will likely be the people whom Imus had benefited who will wind up being undeserving victims of this whole madhouse circus. Those people consisted mainly of children from what I understand. Children who were stricken with cancer, and as I said above who went across all racial lines. Children who did not stand much of a chance of a long life were included among them. It sickens me to think that because of an unthinking big mouth like Imus, and because of the overreaction of pompous self serving hypocrites, these children, and others, who were the benefactors of Imus’ generosity will suffer badly. What a shame that when the flea farted, some overreacted; and in destroying the flea they also have probably caused the imminent destruction of something in the world worth saving.

It is all really a shame. Sometimes you need to destroy fleas, as when they infest your pets or your house, or spread disease; and at other times you look at them as little more than a circus act (you have heard of a flea circus have you not); but you never have to look to exterminate all of them because they have their place in nature. So too did a nasty comic like Imus have his place, just as do the likes of nasty guys like Al Sharpton. The thing is, once you determine they have become a real pest to you, you really need to be careful as to what action you take. If it is a knee jerk reaction, as it was with Imus, then you will often not think of the consequences that will follow. In this case just a flea farting, but the effects of that foul wind could potentially be devastating to many. Hopefully, the next time a flea farts, people will react more appropriately, and not jeopardize the good in the world along with the bad.


All the best,
Glenn B

2 comments:

jennifer said...

Glenn, ABSOLUTELY wonderful post. You are right on and the flea comparison is beautiful!
I can't think of another read that kept me waiting for the next thought!
I really am glad that you are "The rantings of an almost over the hill, and sometimes opinionated, self proclaimed patriot - who doesn't know it all, but tells it all like he sees it - and who votes that way too."
You certainly are a clear vision in such politically correct times(for european-non african american people)We are expected to permit this freak show carnival every time a non african american says something racist.
I worry that my daughter is growing up and the boys her age love rap. I believe they will treat her like the music says "as a ho". Now believe me I know that we have raised her to seek one who wont degrade her but you see what I mean. I pity the young girls marry ho rap music lovers.

Glenn Bartley said...

Actually I hope my thoughts are echoed by people of other races as well, and they seem to be thinking the same more and more nowadays about race baiting. People of all races are seeing race baiting for what it is worth, and that it is only trouble. It is certainly not my main concern in this rant, but it is one of them. Equal, and reasonable, treatment for everyone would be a good thing; or in other words you should get what you deserve and you deserve that which you have earned.

All the best,
Glenn B