I had a post all ready to fire off about the whole Imus situation, but then I guess I talked about it too much. I got sick of seeing stuff I had already said several times over. Moreover, I had spent so much time playing devil’s advocate that I just got completely bored with the whole discussion. Except one part. How did the print media come to the decision that “hos” was the appropriate spelling? I always spelled the singular “h-o” to differentiate from the garden tool, but I always spelled the plural “h-o-e-s.” I’m lookin at these jokers talkin about some “hos” and I’m like…what’s that?
At any rate, that whole topic, as played out as it was, served to add some additional texture when I watched Roots over the weekend. Living in the 21st century, being used to the technological innovations in film, Roots is not necessarily all that impressive. Moreover, being used to hearing stronger language on a regular basis, the dialogue seems somewhat stilted. But you know what? It's still a powerful, powerful series.
One thing hat holds it back, particularly looking back on it from 30 years hence, is the casting. It's nothing major-major, as in it could ruin the show for me, but some things just don't add up. Like the fact that Chicken George is darker than Kizzy. I'm sayin - just going by the descriptions in the book, certain things just ought not be. That's one of em. That prompted me to wonder what Roots would look like if we casted it with actors from today.
I'm not actually gonna do it today, this is just to get the brains percolating.
According to Dateline NBC, a test suggests that even today, people operate under unconscious racial biases. Well duh.
I’m fairly hesitant to apply natural science to social situations, but it seems as simple as inertia. Unless acted upon by an outisde force, people’s prejudices will continue unabated. And that’s just the ones that they’re conscious of. The hidden biases? No chance of changing. So again, I’m left looking at Ward Connerly and his people, wondering what they’re talking about. Studies like this (and the resume name project, which we ain’t even gon’ talk about again) lend themselves to the conclusion that racial bias may be at play regardless of whether or not it’s intentional. Which means that, yeah, while affirmative action might need some tuning up, or maybe even a complete overhaul, it’s not unnecessary. Not entirely. I don’t think.
Chuck D is my man 100 grand and all that, but on this point? I think he’s slippin. From an interview in Mother Jones:
CD: The responsibility of artistry, the projection of black images, consistently being dogged and ragged. My advice was that there is something we can do. Black America needs access. The Civil Rights era was based on a “we” agenda, as opposed to “I.” Now, we have individual successes that do nothing for the “we.”
MJ: What are some examples?
CD: Oprah and Bill Cosby. What does that do for the average person? It’s like saying, “Who are the great white people of America?”
Now, come on. Black celebrities that have an ‘I’ as opposed to a ‘we’ agenda, and he comes up with Oprah and Cosby? Not Baby, with his 450K grills? Not Flav? NO rapper? Yeah, alright.
DarkStar has been settin it off lately, particularly with his STSS (set them suckers straight) posts on the fact that “Black leaders” have been addressing the linguistic shortcomings of hip-hop for quite some time now. To look at it on television, however, you’d think that they’ve been totally oblivious to it.
I’m sayin’ – jokers should just come clean. If you don’t like Al, you don’t like Al, but don’t let that blur your vision.