You Wanna Be Starting Something.

I’m not sure if you are a Tom Joyner or a Don Lemon fan; I myself am indifferent to either but Tom as aligned himself with Don Lemon and is giving him a spot on his TJMS morning show on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today was Don’s first show on the TJMS and, in true Don Lemon form, he didn’t waste any time giving his opinions on the state of African Americans, especially or so called leaders.

I know I look like Tom Dubois from the Boondocks
I know I look like Tom Dubois from the Boondocks

Don followed suit with those like just like what Jamie Foxx did at the March on Washington. He took it upon is himself to call out some of today’s biggest pop culture icons. He called out everybody from Jay-Z, Kanye West, Pharrell and Frank Ocean. And in a form of positive reinforcement he mentioned Waka Flocka, Gucci Mane and TI, while saying Luda could be the next Harry Belafonte of the struggle, Beyonce and Rihanna could both be the next Lena Horne and Mahailia Jackson. As judgmental as I try not to be I’ll just say that I agree with the names that he called out simply because they are who the kids are listening to these days and if you want to reach the newer generation you need to meet them where they are.

While calling upon today’s stars is good and all since they have the most influence over today’s generation, when is someone like Don Lemon going to step up to the plate and go out on that limb? When are we going to stop looking for other people to make the changes that we want to see happen? Why do we talk about what’s wrong but yet offer no solutions at the same time hoping someone else will answer the call to arms?

Yes I agree that the new generation of stars should play their part and use their influence for good, but the reality is they don’t have to do anything that they don’t want to do. And calling them out isn’t going to do anything good except put pressure on them to do something just for the sake of shutting the Don Lemon’s and Jamie Foxx’s of the world up. I hope that this isn’t the case and that if they felt compelled to, they would start the revolution that we have been waiting for, again maybe I’m being judgmental.

Passing the buck on to someone else to do what you can do is as useless as complaining about something but not doing anything about it. The so-called leaders that we have now have been around for 50 plus years and are using the same tactics that they used during the REAL struggle, and at the same time charging a “showing up fee” whenever something goes down and they want their names in the paper. I think it’s safe to question whether it’s more beneficial for our leaders if we continued to following them blindly depending on them or if we became free thinkers and doers that did for ourselves.

That’s not to say that proven tactics that worked 50 years ago should be discarded, but this is a new day and age and a new struggle. So that means updated tactics mixed with what’s already worked, and a new way of thinking by selfless and egoless people willing to take it upon themselves to do something instead of waiting for someone else will bring forth the changes that we desperately need.

I applaud both Jamie and Don for trying to spark a fire some of the biggest changes have been brought about because of words. But I would respect them more if instead of depending on someone else, they would roll up their sleeves and get down in the trenches. Setting the example and doing the things that they are asking others to do. I know am able bodied and willing so why aren’t they?

What do you think? Do you think the responsibility should fall solely upon today’s stars? Are we that incapable of changing our conditions that we need someone to fall behind while we complain? Or can we look in the mirror and challenge ourselves to do for us, instead of needing our so called representatives?

Talk to me, I’ll talk back.

H Rap Breazy.

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11 thoughts on “You Wanna Be Starting Something.

  1. This goes back to the arguement you mentioned that a lot of people so: that we need to stop looking at famous figuresto influence our children and the masses. At the time, those other celebrities from “back in the day” when our civil rights were chanhing, and I will say people were lucky back then to have th ise famous figures be outspoken about issues. But celebrities don’t have to do shit, excuse my french. If they do, great, but if we focused on ourselves as good role models, beinf healthy and respecting each other and the like, we wouldn’t feel the need as a society to ask Beyonce to so something about it.

  2. Yes, these celebrities have an audience and influence but to me, they are promoting things that are destroying the community. So we are asking the community destroyers to help us out of the condition they make their millions from?

    Where do movements come from? A leader first or the group pushes forth a leader?

    I think a movement comes from like minded people coming together to make a difference. Back in the day, we had one goal, one mind and one process. Now we have people spread over so many levels that everybody will not be included in the movement because everyone is not still effected to the same degree.

    We as a group have to do better ourselves and maybe a leader or spokesperson will emerge.

    1. Excellent point: “Now we have people spread over so many levels…” Once we as a nation get finished with dealing with “racism”, the next step for African Americans will be to mature above the “class system” – “rich” African Americans degrading “poor” African Americans

  3. I don’t think the responsibility should fall SOLELY upon stars.. however they certainly do bear some culpability considering the influence they have on the impressionable younger black community. On the other hand, doing better.. being better has start at home –with parenting. The streets, music/movie stars can’t produce a productive member of society…and no ONE is obligated to help someone else (though if you are aware of your power/influence, you should be compelled to use it for good). I also think we as a people have to stop “worshiping” the rich and famous and our supposed “black leaders” and realize that only YOU can change your conditions, outlook and ultimately yourself.

    The state of blacks is indeed messed up and certainly require a greater conversation for remedy, but I’m amazed that (some) of us never expect (or want) the truth, & continue to make excuses.Now I don’t doubt there are forces beyond our control (i.e. institutionalized racism -we’ve all experienced it), but that shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to try or be a productive member of society.

    1. I agree they have a responsibility since they are the most visual, but then again so do we and we are actually in the community. Like you said doing and being better starts at home, the people on the TV screen don’t us anything. It would be nice if they took their social responsibility to heart and actually did something but even if they don’t that shouldn’t stop us from doing something.

  4. i agree with Dapper.

    simply put, it isn’t anyone’s responsibility. this need by certain black americans to be rescued is hard for me to understand. (i’m black american by the way) i don’t believe that there is a struggle anymore. not in the “we shall overcome” ways of my parents. they fought that fight and won it as far as i’m concerned. we aren’t mandated to sit at the back of the bus anymore. there aren’t anymore colored water fountains. blacks can attend any school that we want now. etc, etc, etc.. now it’s up to me to get up, get out, and get something. jay z in and of himself should be motivation enough for any black kid coming up hard to strive for better. he doesn’t have to actually do anything. what is it that he should do anyway? stage a march? for what? HIS STORY ALONE IS MOTIVATION! i love don lemon. i don’t expect him to be a revolutionary for me though. JUST SEEING HIS BLACK FACE AS ANCHOR ON CNN IS REVOLUTIONARY!! think about it. i mean damn, what else do we want?

    black americans are the only people on earth that have this issue. why do some of us need someone to stand up for us? Jewish people have been persecuted for thousands of years. they just say, “never forget” and keep it moving, literally. the blacks in south africa, suffered apartheid. i never hear them playing the victim. they’re some of the most successful and productive people in the world. the difference between them and black americans? they aren’t asking for hand outs, they don’t wait for someone else to tell them they’re good enough to achieve something. they take that shit. they ruck up and move out.

    as for positive role models. that’s up to parents, family, and our educators. simple as that. we shouldn’t let any stars, or any of the so called leaders raise our children. yeah, they’re all over t.v., but you can’t control the t.v. in your own house dad? cowboy up and be a responsible parent. we need to stop making excuses, get off the race crutch, and build our own pyramids.

    1. Cuzo you said a mouthful, but you are right it’s not one person’s responsibility. We are always looking to the past and using it as an excuse, we will never move beyond our own mental shackles if we don’t stop begging and making excuses. We are the only people that I know of that will sit and complain about how we’ve been wronged but if someone asks us what do we plan to do about it, will blame our current state on something that ended almost 200 years ago. It’s like we are content with not doing anything but complaining, the Jews have not only moved on but thrived and have not looked back. Yes they take the time to remember but they don’t let their past keep them in neutral.

  5. It’d be nice for celebrities to take the lead in some of these social issues, but the reality is the issues need to get started at the grassroots level. Then…celebrities will have something to get behind.

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