Black Bloggers Are Sick of BET and ‘Gangsta Crap’ Music
(New York): Black Bloggers have united to battle mainstream music and entertainment fat-cats who profit off the stereotypical, sexist, and racist exploitation of African American people. Their main targets are Black Entertainment Television (BET), who they call ‘Black Exploitation Television’, and gangsta rappers such as 50cent, Snoop Dog, The Game, and Cam’ron. These artists produce music bloggers have branded ‘gangsta crap’.
Gangsta rap regularly glorifies sexism, the n-word, profanities, violence, drug use and dealing, sexism, and the dehumanization of Black men and women. Gangsta rap videos and stereotype-filled shows are the programming staples of BET.
“BET and hip hop have gone down hill. They were once inspirations. Now they purvey some of the most harmful anti-Black sentiments you will ever see or hear, and this has become a representation of mainstream Black culture,” says Bronze Trinity of the Afrosphere Bloggers Association (ABA). ABA is coordinating the Afrosphere Accurate Images campaign against BET and gangsta rap.
ABA member, Wayne Hicks criticized, “BET was an inspirational idea when it was first created. Tremendous shows providing news and information for the Black community. Today, BET is an embarrassment for the Black community. It is something that we hide from our children. Enough is enough”.
ABA bloggers want widespread changes in the television and music entertainment industries. They want BET to stop airing videos where half-naked women are objectified, Black men are shown as ‘thugs’ and ‘pimps’, and street violence, illegal drugs, and gang activity is glorified. The want the n-word and sexist epithets to be be censored when children under 18 are likely to be watching. ABA also wants radio stations to stop playing racist, violent, and sexist music, for mainstream record labels and artists to stop producing such music, and for positive/conscious hip hop to become the mainstream. “It’s time to rise above the corrupted caricatures painted onto the Black community, and reach within ourselves with self love and respect”, says ABA blogger Daz Wilson.
However the bloggers understand the fine line between artistic expression and free speech. Carole took a pledge against racist and sexist hip hop on her blog but stated, “I believe that artists and performers are free to speak their own minds. I’m not against free speech. But honestly, I wish there are folks who were a bit more responsible in their speech to kids because most kids are pretty undiscerning”.
The non-profit blogger group is battling media executives and multi-millionaire artists using internet activism in the form of blogs, message boards, email, and online petitions. On the ABA website http://solutionsforourpeople.wordpress.com, the group suggests taking a pledge against sexist and racist hip hop, buying conscious hip hop from artists like Common, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli, advertising conscious artists on blogs, and requesting more radio play time for these artists. They also
provide anti-BET stickers, instructions to boycott radio, television, and website sponsors, and numerous petitions so bloggers can show their support.
This is not just an American concern according to ABA member Adrianne, “Living overseas allows one to see how influential American pop culture is. Even in Sweden I see the young kids listening to and emulating the hip hop performers. Black artists do not need to export negative images of Black women around the world”. Other international members have reported stereotypes and negative behaviors caused by gangsta hip hop and television programming that is broadcast around the world.
ABA strongly supports recent activism of other groups such as What About Our
Daughters blog, the Enough is Enough Campaign, and the National Action Network’s Day of Outrage Against the Music Industry. “The time has come for us to take back our image and for Black people to accept responsibility for the role they play in denigrating our own image,” proposed Bronze Trinity.
Contact Information: The Solutions Blog
Bronze Trinity at bronzetrinity(at)hotmail.com
Adrianne at http://blackwomenineurope.blogspot.com/
Carole at http://www.darkparables.blogspot.com
Daz Wilson at http://www.ultravioletunderground.com
Wayne Hicks at http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/
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