Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Of Modern Day "Gangsta" Rappers and Old Timey Uncle Tom's. Why not Much has Changed

Today's mainstream rap stars are no different from the happy jigaboo uncle tom characters of yesteryear. The only real difference is that these so called tom's of the past seemed outwardly happy to entertain their masters.

The rap artists of today still feed the white mans fantasy albeit a different one now. Instead of enjoying the idea of Black men serving them with glee, this time the servicing is in the form of fulfilling the character stereotype of the tough, dark and sinister man who doesn't care about taboos of sex, drugs and money. This character like the one of uncle tom has no family, hobbies or meaningful interests or real life of their own other than fully playing into this fantasy.

These men of fantasy have only one real purpose: to provide an outlet for white guilt, anger and boredom. Pissed at your boss? Pretend through 50 cent that you can blow him away or that at the very least that you are & always will be tougher than him. Turning to this fantasy allows you for a moment to hate your boss safely, be someone else safely, without the pesky possibility of getting fired or being exposed to real inner city problems.

Your wife giving you grief? Tune into Snoop Dogg where your wife turns into the magical exotic ho you've always wanted that will please you when you say. And when your done with her you can move on to the next woman and degrade her if you wish. Because it's fun for a moment to, in fantasy do all the things you want to a woman and not care. Where in real life your wife would chew you out if you slapped her told her to suck you.

To pretend that the white love of rap, more importantly rap that is violent, sexist & stereotypes Black people, has no element of racism is to be purposely ignorant. If a person of non-color really wanted to do something about being "down" with Blacks and other folks of color, they would perhaps try listening to rap that wasn't filled with lyrics about Black men only being thugs and Black women being sub-human. Maybe they would try to actually get to know some Black folks, read some of their blogs and articles and see that each one of us is very different, unique and yes...human.

The rap artists talking about all the violence and sex stuff that they do, generally don't actually live that way. I'm not saying they all live in the suburbs and drive minivans, but many have children, partners they love, homes and hobbies that have nothing to do with diamond purchasing and drinking 40's.

Are these artists making money? Yes. Are they choosing to say these things? Yes. And so did all the actresses and actors who took servant roles in movies way back when. They got money and screen time & chose to play mammies and uncles. But these folks had limited choices back then. They played these roles because the pro-white racist entertainment industry back then owned most productions of the time and chose not to have people of color be equally human, in character and/or in life. These artists now, like back then are still shucking and jiving and playing a role to the white man to get paid. There is no real difference except that the song and dance has changed.

Of course we can say those films were a reflection of the times when Jim Crow and separate bathrooms ruled the land. And that is true to a large degree. Which then really makes you think about the state of the world today regarding folks of color. Yes we are thought of as folks who can have money and some stature. But the rap videos we watch would tell us that we don't handle our money very well. That we don't know how to be vulnerable or are capable of emotional intimacy. That all we think about is sex, violence, guns, drugs and money. We are just plain not smart enough to do anything other than survive on what white men let us. Yeah we're not shown serving our massa's on TV anymore but we certainly are not being given the "cred" we deserve either.

Photos courtesy of Photobucket

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