Michael Richards must be letting out a big sigh of relief. He is no longer the lone white racist who spews incorrect comments at the expense of Black folks. And once again, after a white man has said inappropriate comments, the finger has been pointed back at Black American. And that is a good thing. I know what you’re thinking; here we go another Uncle Tom, but just hear me out.

By now, most people have heard that Don Imus has been fired from CBS over the ignorant comments he made during a talk show last week about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. And, also by now, you have begun to hear some of the outcry from the African-American community (and others) seeking to end the derogatory, demeaning music in today’s hip hop.

On Don Imus’ last show, he stated that the term ‘hoe’ did not originally come from him; it instead is a word that has been used in hip hop music to degrade black women long before he made his statement.

In a way, I am on the fence regarding the Imus issue. While I think his statements were totally wrong, hateful and racist, I also think that Black America needs to wake up and realize that as long as we produce and sing songs that call women bitches and hoes, how can we expect respect from other races? By firing him, will young black girls everywhere no longer see themselves as hoes? Probably not, because the Ying Yang Twins, 50 Cent or others will continue to fill that void. Before the incident, did most of Black America, especially those under 18, even know who he was or bothered to tune into his radio program? Probably not, but by the end of today, will a good percentage of young African-American girls listen to a song that tells them that they’re only good for giving head and sexin’? I can guarantee it. So who is the real threat?

I think it is good that Black people are starting to remove some of bones in our closets (first with the N word), and really explore the type of songs that our children are listening to and what type of messages the lyrics are telling them. For years, I have been telling people how powerful the media—especially music—is to the minds of impressionable young people. I’ve always said that some of the problems in the Black community stem from the music that we bump in our cars or blast in our homes. And, most people told me that it was not, that I was crazy. I think a lot of Black people, which I understand to a certain degree, feel that by critiquing something within our own community—music, public figures, lifestyles, etc.—we are somehow turning our backs on our own people or "putting a brotha down." Why can’t we have open dialogue with each other without feeling like we’re sell outs? The interesting thing is that since the Imus incident, Black people, who are tired of the same negative music, are coming forward saying this is enough. And yes, the negative side effect is the white media eating it up and totally pointing the fingers at us, because after all, we do originate a lot of the pop culture in America’s society—good or bad.

While online, I read a statement from Snoop. He said rappers should not be to compared to Imus, and when they call women bitches and hoes, they’re not talking about the same type of woman Imus is referring to.

"(Rappers) are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We’re talking about hos that’s in the ‘hood that ain’t doing s**t, that’s trying to get a n**ga for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain’t no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them muthaf**kas say we are in the same league as him. Kick him off the air forever."

In other words, Snoop is saying that the following lyrics from the Ying Yang Twins’ Wait (Whisper Song) came from the depths of their souls? Below is the second verse and hook (please note that the lyrics are explicit):

You fine, but I aint gone sweat ya
See I wanna fuck, tell me whats up
Walk around the club with yo thumb in ya mouth
Put my dick in, take your thumb out
There might be a lil kosher to deal with
Wet fat hoe’s they dont spill shit
I keep a hoe hot when I’m puttin’ in work
Wanna skeet skeet you bout to get your feelin’s hurt
Cuz I’ll beat dat cat with a dog
And knock da walls of a broad til she scrawl
Like (OOOOOH!)
Yea something like that, but it depends on the swing of the baseball bat
Fuck a bitch on da counter make the
Plates fall Back
On the floor she aint screamin she a nut so they crack
Fuck that bend over imma give you a smack

Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick
Wait til you see my dick
Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick
Imma beat dat pussy up
Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick
Wait you see my dick
Ay bitch! wait til you see my dick
Imma beat dat pussy up

Deep lyrics huh? I think not. The "fine" girl they are referring to in this song is not some girl in the hood who "ain’t s**t." She’s in the club trying to get her dance on while the Ying Yang Twins are trying to get her in bed. I believe his comments and that song’s lyrics are the most ignorant words that have even been spoken. While Imus claims that it was a sick joke that went horribly wrong, Snoop admits that the words that come out of the "souls" of rappers are actually true. Which means that a good percentage of rappers do see their sisters as hoes and bitches. Now who do you think is a larger threat? While this song, maybe not the explicit version, was in heavy rotation on urban radio stations across the country last year. Imus’ comments probably won’t be aired again, unless people physically search for it on YouTube.com.

So what am I saying exactly? Well, Black folks need to wake up, and in addition to criticizing others for their words, we should also take a hard look at ourselves and begin a dialogue to reverse some of the words we spew to our own people.

But do you know what the sad thing is? We had a chance to take a stand with the n word, but after the Michael Richards incident blew over and we got back to our daily routine, the black community fell silent once again. My fear is we will do the same with the Imus incident.

Let’s not make the same mistake with the n word because the image and legacy of your young black girls depend on our call to action.

emPower magazine/Liu Karama Productions

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