Why did it take Don Imus to ‘wake up’ Al Sharpton and the hip hop community?

I was just reading this story in the NY Daily News about how Al Sharpton is on a crusade of sorts now to get record companies to stop allowing the use of the “b” the “n” and the “h” words in rap music, and my first thought was, “Wow, look at Al Sharpton – he’s actually doing something to really help the black community for a change.”

Then I thought about it some more, and realized that Al Sharpton’s not really in this to help the black community. He’s in it to help himself. In light of the criticism that rap musicians have come under in light of the Don Imus ‘controversy‘, he’s trying to maintain his ‘credibility’ with the mediots by acting like he’s trying to do something about it, while at the same time aiming his rhetoric not at the artists who write and produce this garbage, but at the record labels who sell it. Just like ‘hip hop mogul’ Russell Simmons, Sharpton would rather target the white fat cats sitting in the big chairs than condemn the rappers who write and produce the garbage, as if it’s Sony’s fault that rappers write what they do. Mind, I’m not saying that the corporate suits at the music labels don’t bear some responsibility, but the lion’s share goes to the people who write it and get away with it.

Take a look at the below interview, which was broadcast last month on CNN. Soledad O’Brien is interviewing Sharpton and KC Star columnist Jason Whitlock, who was and still is the voice of reason in the black community on where the real problem is (IOW, he knows Don Imus isn’t the real issue). In the video, take note of how Sharpton says that he and his “National Action Network” have been after hip hop music for the ‘last couple of years’ to ‘clean it up’ yet says that Imus’ remarks and firing were just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ compared to what he wanted to do next. Oh really? Going to call for the firing of all rappers who produce and rap violent misogynistic lyrics, Al? I think not. According to you, it’s only ‘appropriate’ to have someone fired or forced out if they are white and/or Jewish and say something ‘offfensive.’

Also take note of how he dismisses Whitlock’s criticisms of him at the end by saying, essentially, that those who aren’t in the fight are always trying to call it, as if Whitlock – a black man who has strong opinions on the issue – isn’t in the ring battling!

The message from Al is: “Unless you’re on board with my message, you’re not a part of the battle.”

BTW, Reverend Al, do you know how long controversy has existed in rap music? Longer than a ‘couple of years.’ Where were you? Oh wait, I know where you were and what you were doing. There was hardly time to criticize rap music when there was race and Jew baiting to be done!

In the meantime, there ARE people out there who know just how to target thuggish, misogynistic rappers like Akon – and win.

Time for you to take some notes, Rev.

Never forget.


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