Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.

Jackie, Imus and Rappers - Part II

It is the same corporate practice that is always in search of cheap labor to raise profits sky high, eager to hire non-union labor. Eager to get workers from anywhere in the world, even when it violates local and national laws and destroy fair salary structure and communities. The same corporate practice that is eager to move to foreign lands leaving behind decimated cities, if it means more profits, above the profits they are already making. They rush to invest in foreign lands and resist indigenous governments’ attempt to nationalize or get more for their exploited resources. They are prepared to risk war as their friends in the government threaten military action to protect the interest of their friends. In some circles they call it patriotism and/or protecting the American way of life.

To what extent, though, do we participate in this hypocrisy? Some of these corporations we bestow our most prestigious awards at our conferences. We proudly announce their sponsorship of said conferences. So, while we are criticizing everybody else, we need to check our own behavior. Who’s looking back at us in the mirror?

And what about the rappers? Imus said he picked up the phase from Black rappers. Probably he was right. Some rappers are known culprits of employing the most despicable names. They have been doing it for years. Yes, there have been those of us who have criticized rappers for a long time, publicly and privately, but it has had little impact. In my book “2 Pac Letters to a Son” I devote a whole chapter quoting Chuck D in a column written by Stanley Crouch, of the Daily News, in which the rappers were pulverized. Sometime ago, I wrote an article expressing my anger, dismay and embarrassment after watching rappers on a BET television program. I could not believe what I was hearing and seeing. There was a feud among these rappers. They were making accusations and counter accusations. They accused each other of starting a conflict. They claimed they had sent their emissaries, war counselors to talk peace. All this stuff was played out in their CDs.

They were dressed in the most clownish apparel, chains hanging off them like wild vines on an arbor. Their mouths were carved and decorated with metal. Their bodies where distorted as they reclined in their chairs and stood in groups. The verbal communication was little more than unintelligible babble-strikingly similar to the goo goo sounds of babies.

As I watched this horror show, my first reaction was, “Lord, what did we do to deserve this?” “From whence came these people?” “Was there ever a generation whose behavior brought such shame, disgrace and disrespect?” “Was there ever a generation so negative and destructive in their art expression?” Surely not! Then why this generation and why these rappers? I didn’t have an answer. However, I held fast my faith that God works in everything for the good.

Then I asked myself, “Why was this stuff even on the tube?” “If these people want to kill themselves, why give them this stage?” I was certain it’s only going to charge the climax for more of the same. It convinced me, what I always suspected, those who purchased the station from Bob Johnson wanted to make money, yes, but, they wanted more. They wanted to see Black people reduced to clowns and ignoramuses.

Our people had worked so hard across the centuries to highlight our achievements and to instill pride and self-respect. Now, it was all being destroyed. If the purchasers of BET could get these rappers to destroy what we have worked so hard to accomplished we would have lost a generation and therefore the future. The purchasers’ children would rule the world.

I was told Bob Johnson wanted to name the station Black Education TV. But power and money ruled. So we have Black Entertainment TV – forget the education. Where there is education, there is hope. But to narcotize a people with all kinds of negative, destructive, asinine art form is to destroy the mind and self-respect of said people and to keep them servile and/or enslaved.

Primarily, because the dollars have been waved before these rappers, some of them have disrespected themselves, their people including their sisters and mamas. What other reasons could there have been to view this infantile sand box stuff?

It is an awful consideration that the grotesque images that whites used to manufacture and try to convince the world we were the images they created. This generation of rappers, arrogantly, unashamed ly and enthusiastically embrace and strut across the world, outdoing the white man’s despicable distortion and misrepresentation.