The CNN website has an excellent contribution by Roland S. Martin (hit this link) about how he saw Don Imus’ comment as more sexist than racist. Martin also wrote, Don’t try to make this whole matter about the ridiculous rants made by rappers. I deplore what’s in a lot of their music and videos, but hip-hop is only 30 years old. So you mean to tell me that sexism in America only started in 1977?
Yet Saturday CNN Headline News was running a video called Hip-Hop, Imus and hypocrisy? said, “Young fans of Rap and Hip-Hop are more likely to have problems with alcohol, drugs and violence.” This according to the Prevention Research Center.
But the video piece was irresponsible in that it didn’t identify what magical standard Hip-Hop music is being measured against. So Hip-Hop music listeners are more likely to use drugs and other stuff than who? Folks who listen to Reggae music? Country music? Jawaiian? Classical? Alternative? Heavy Metal?
Talk about a generation gap. Haven’t we heard folks make music the easy target before? Judas Priest? Black Sabbath? The Beatles? Elvis?
I listen to Hip-Hop music and I know others who do and haven’t been on crime sprees. I don’t listen to and agree with all Hip-Hop music but I also don’t listen to all rock, folk, alternative and other music too (sorry Andi and Jim, I’m not a big Dave Matthews fan).
Stop playing the blame-game and make people take responsibility for their own actions. I never listened to Imus and if he has that many fans he will find an audience again in the future. It’s about money and had the sponsors of his show not pulled out he might still be working but those sponsors didn’t want to chance the public outcry or a boycott of their products.
Sexism and racism hurts people taking it and as Don Imus found out in a very public way it hurts the ones giving it too.
*UPDATE* Here’s the press release from the center. Folks, looks like if your kids listen to Rap, Hip-Hop, Techno or Reggae music you better lock them up. And you can do that as you drink your wine and listen to classical music.