Rapper Wacka Flacka Flame was recently on 106 & Park. During the interview Wacka was asked his thoughts on education and voting. And his responses … well, see for yourself. During the interview and after I cringed at the thought of other races looking at this because I wondered what they would think about young black males, hip hop and the black race in general.
Okay, so I can hear some of you saying, why would they judge the whole race based on one person’s interview? Not all will, but you can bet money that many will. They will judge the hip-hop game, black males, black families and black people based on Wacka’s lack of knowledge.
The interview also reminded me of the other negative media images of black people, particularly black males. The news is constantly reporting stories about black celebrities and athletes getting in trouble (i.e. TI, Ray Lewis, Mike Tyson, etc).
When I think about it I wonder how do others really view us as a race? Do the actions of the few, ruin the reputation of the many?
Former Wall Street Executive and inspirational speaker Sporty King says no.
I am not personal friends with the celebrities who are cursed by the spotlight (or blessed to use the media for their publicity stunts); therefore, I should not be judged by them. If black Americans are judged by the actions of these few, should not other races and groups be judged the same way? That would mean that the positive or negative associations with the actions of Mel Gibson represents the Irish Americans … and that Hillary Clinton’s decision to stand by Bill Clinton through his infidelity represents what Welsh women would do in the same situation. And on the converse that Elin Nordegren Woods’ actions are indicative of the actions of all Scandinavian women. We know this isn’t true; so, it shouldn’t be true for black Americans either. I do not condone nor expect to be implicated for [celebrity] or my personal friends’ every action or belief. People do what they do. The version of the Bible I read translates Galatians 6:4-5 as such: “Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”
While I agree with King’s position, the reality is others hold our race accountable for the actions of others … and they make these videos that further perpetuate the foolishness.
I hope our athletes and celebrities start to understand that fame is both a blessing and a curse. Part of the curse is that you are now a representative for the race (whether you want to be or we want you to be). Your image is sent across airwaves and the Internet not just in the US, but internationally. The images they see of you are many times the only images they have to represent our race. Think twice about the things you allow the media to report about you; they are always watching and so are we.