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Don Imus is a Hero
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
May 2007

 

 

Growing up in Nigeria in the 1980s, rap and hip-hop was the coolest invention of all.  When I came to America in the early 1990s and saw hip-hop for what it truly became, I had to disown it and separate myself from it quickly.  It did not only degrade women and emphasis materialism, but it also promoted dysfunctional behaviors.  Hip-hop became everything my parents, pastors, and teachers told me never to become. 

 

The television images of hip-hop were grown men (some married) acting like little boys, people roaming around aimlessly in pursuit of nothing, materialism, glorifying prisons and jails, naked women all acting like prostitutes, and extremely physical actions without grace and composure.  The hip-hop messages are always about money, drugs, girls, jails and prisons, marijuana, and partying.  As far as I am concerned, hip-hop is greatly responsible for many negative norms of Black America today.  These norms include fatherless homes, single mother pride, extravagant spending, poverty, little love for education, high school dropouts, and teenage pregnancies. 

 

 

 

Many Black leaders did not do enough to stop or purify this menace called hip-hop culture or generation.   This is partly because the two major source of revenue for many Blacks is sports and entertainment.   By condemning hip-hop, it could affect the income of the Black community that depends on it.  Hip-hop culture was becoming the new age Black culture, to the extent that if you did not belong, your Blackness was questioned.  So it became cool to belong and if you belonged, you had to embrace all degradations properties that came along with it. 

 

However, thank God for Don Imus, who mistakenly called the Rutgers Women Basketball team "nappy headed hoes".  I do not think he tried to insult them, but rather, to make fun of the girls in a language that seemed to be culturally acceptable even by Black American standard. However, one would expect that Imus was above that and could have been more respectable even if the popular Black hip-hop culture feels it is okay.  What I am grateful to Imus for is that he said it anyhow, and must accept the punishment for his benevolent mistake.  The good thing Imus did for Black America was to make them hear the pitiful state of the hip-hop culture from the lips of a White man and this got them thinking.

 

Now that the hip-hop nation has realized that whenever they create negativity in the name of music and entertainment, they give the world a license to degrade them.  Now, they have to face the fact that honor and respect is superior to money.  This will now challenge them to take control of their music, the content, and the video, instead of allowing the powerful music companies dictate how they perform their art and define their culture for the sake of money.  Imus has brought some level of responsibility and maturity to Black America.  So for once, we will finally purify hip-hop or trash it.  Soon, I believe we will come back to producing good quality music for the soul that will help transform Black image, culture, and expectations from the inside out.

  The Political & Spiritual Purpose of the Holy Land
 
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