All Articles Tagged "blame"
Question…and this is embarrassing…
What if we, you and me, are to blame, at least partially, for what happened in Steubenville, what we hear on “U.O.N.E.O.,” and the unfortunate rape culture within Hip Hop?
I’ve seen and heard many response from artists, consumers, readers, bloggers, journalists, etc. who are not happy with Rick Ross’ lyrics. Things like“He’s misguided.” “He took it too far.” “He hasn’t offered a real apology.”
To them I say: We have misguided him.We have allowed him to take it that far. And he’s not the only one who needs to really apologize—although mere remorseful words alone won’t change the entire culture.
For the record, the rape culture is not exclusive to Hip Hop. Many have adamantly expressed that point. And they are obviously correct. But if we want to be proud of Hip Hop for its presence on the global stage, let’s not downplay the influence it then has, whether deservingly or not, on popular culture. The culture of rape that exists within the broader society needs to be attacked, but it is also reasonable to challenge people with respect to their influence. Platforms should bring expectations because platforms give power. Sure, it’s not fair for mainstream society to demonize a culture (hip hop) rooted in the black community when society at large faces the same issues. But our double standard arguments can be distracting. We want the blame to be shared for the rape culture, great; but let’s not argue that so much so that Hip Hop becomes a victim of mainstream media, and we forget the issue at hand! What would make Rick Ross think he could rap those lyrics? Did he really think no one would catch them? Or did he not think there was anything to catch that was troublesome?
By no means am I suggesting, as he did, that the lyrics are being misinterpreted. Because if they were, he would have told us what he really meant. Then again, can you imagine? A Hip Hop artist having to explain his lyrical content? That might be shocking enough considering a good beat is all you really need to distract people from your bad (in multiple senses) lyrics. So, why did he say it? Better yet, why did he think it, then write it (pardon me if he goes off the dome), and have no qualms about even recording it? Not to mention, everyone else who let that verse make the final master.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that in the early ’90s the Supreme Court decided Uncle Luke and the 2 Live Crew could be as As narsty As They Wanna Be. And guess what? President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, defended the 2 Live Crew in this landmark decision. Or maybe it was back in the late ’80s when we allowed N.W.A. to glorify brutality against the police in response to police brutality. (They were speaking truth about police injustice, but two wrongs will never equal right.) Then again, it could have been in 2004 when we dismissed Spelman students for not allowing Nelly to hold a bone marrow drive at their school without addressing his “Tip Drill” video at the event as well. Better yet, maybe it’s because so much of what is in popular Hip Hop songs, in general, already revolves around sex. And their videos leave not much to the imagination. Everything points to sex. But it’s not just the male rappers; from Foxy Brown and Lil Kim before to Nicki Minaj today, sex permeates the content. Meanwhile, we’re all for free speech, and artistic liberty, but what is it doing to the culture? Do we not realize that what artists say and do trickles down to our youth?
To say you’re surprised by anything ignorant that comes out of the mouth of talk show host and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh is pretty crazy at this point. It’s like sitting in front of your window expecting the sun to come up–why pay attention when you know it’s going to happen? He was born to be a scoundrel–he is the chosen one. From calling President Obama “Barack the Magic Negro” to making claims that actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson’s disease, was exaggerating the severity of his illness in an ad for stem cell research to gain sympathy, it’s clear that Limbaugh is the big, immature and insensitive kid who just wasn’t given that talk about common sense, and you know…home training.
But I guess he crossed a whole new line with people after he called law student Sandra Fluke a “S**t,” “prostitute” and “feminazi” because she went in front of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to get support for health coverage for contraceptives. BAD move. Doesn’t he know who runs the world? (Girls!) Since making those remarks last week, his sponsors have been running like Usain Bolt away from his show and everything that represents Limbaugh. Although he has tried to offer multiple phony and lame apologies, ones that came out of pressure but not true remorse, folks still aren’t having it. So instead of backing away from his comments, Limbaugh has decided to do what too many white men with a microphone and a huge audience like to do when they have their back against a wall with sponsors and the public in general–blame rap music.
While defending his comments (and no longer running from them), Limbaugh had the following to say according to MTV: “Talk about a double standard,’’ Limbaugh said. “Rappers can say anything they want about women. It’s called art. And they win awards.’’
…*Bursts into laughter* Really Rush? Really? Is that all you could think of?
I mean, let’s be real about it, this is a subject we’ve talked about numerous times. Do many rappers consistently degrade women and call them things much worse than “sluts” and “prostitutes” in their lyrics? Yes, often. After watching a video of rapper Game and his crew push a woman off the stage after groping her when she refused to pull down her shirt, it’s clear some men getting paid for their “talents” and rhymes need to rethink their behavior and their lyrics. However, when are grown a** radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus going to stop blaming rappers they don’t listen to and know not a darn thing about for their disrespectful, hateful and simple-minded comments? It’s so played out to go after the group of people that mainstream America loves to dance to one day, and then bash the next.
What’s really up with this 61-year-old man blaming Gucci, Lil Wayne, Kanye (hell, even Nicki) and a slew of other rappers for the fact that he can’t stand to see a strong woman fight for a cause that he doesn’t agree with? And to see Don Imus’ archaic behind having the nerve to to call Limbaugh an insincere pig for his attack on Fluke almost made me want to throw up my Cap’N Crunch this morning. So it’s not okay for him to call this young, educated and strong white woman a “s**t,” but you had all the reason in the world to call a probably equally educated and strong group of black female basketball players nappy headed hoes and then
deflect the focus to Jay-Z? Yeah, both of these men have the game all wrong.
It’s pretty clear we live in a world where many men don’t have much respect for women at all: rappers, political pundits, men on the street in general. I could sit around and cry a river over it, but I’m fairly sure that this was something we all knew already. Hearing enough conversations and excuses as to why men shouldn’t give up their seats on trains and open doors and Facebook essays on why a woman’s outfit could be asking for sexual assault proves that. And that’s the root of Limbaugh’s comments, his huge lack of respect for women and other people in general who don’t agree with his views and tirades.
In my mind, when something that vile comes out of your mouth, chances are, you truly mean it. So Rush, either stand up like a man and apologize if you feel bad, or don’t and stand by your words, but at 61 years of age, you and all these other loose-lipped old white men with power and influence need to stop blaming others for your racist and sexist actions. While Yeezy, Wacka, and especially Game might have a long way to go with showing respect for women in their lyrics, they didn’t advise you to call her a “s**t,” so stop running from the real problem and using black men as your scapegoat. Because seriously, if I asked him to name 10 of his favorite rappers, he’d probably draw a blank after one. Come on Rush, suck it up and finally, FINALLY take the consequences of your actions–or make that words–like a man.
There are times when we want to blame the world for our issues–for the jobs we hate, the men in our lives that we can’t stand anymore, the friends who have done us wrong. That’s all fine and dandy every once in a while, but the time comes when we have to also look at ourselves and take blame for constant bad decisions and bad people in our lives. You live and you learn, and then you do better. Because we all need a reality check from time to time, here are a few things you need to figure out on your own rather than doling out blame to others.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Board’s new ad campaign was intended as a warning about the increased risk for rape when women drink heavily, but accusations that the ad blames rape victims for their attack has caused the Board to pull the ads.
Between the wording and the imagery, it’s easy to see how the perception of blame comes into play when the focus of the ad should really be responsible drinking to protect yourself from the threat of rape. In addition to the ad seen here, another version reads, “Date Rape. See what could happen when your friends drink too much.”
Shock tactics are extremely common in advertising, but are they effective at capturing people’s attention, and in this instance, inciting a change of behavior? Adam Duhachek, an associate professor of marketing at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, says not necessarily. He told The Wall Street Journal that two things can limit the efficacy of ads portraying negative outcomes: “The first is that people just shut down and don’t process the message at all,” because people might see the disturbing images and think, “I was having a perfectly nice day until I saw this, and now I’m not going to look at it.” The second issue is that negative ads trigger a “defensive processing mechanism” in which viewers actively distance themselves from the presented outcome, thinking it can never happen to them.
With the ad pulled, these factors may not be an issue when it comes to alcohol-fused sexual assaults, which a spokeswoman for the Liquor Board says happen to more than 97,000 people on an annual basis. But wording on the board’s website, controltonight.com, which is visible on the ads still tells women to “Call the Shots” and presents hypothetical situations of what could happen if young women drink too much with friends. For many, the undertone of blame may still be present.
What’s your take on the ad campaign? Does it promote blame when it comes to women who are victims of rape after a night of drinking? Or do you think it encourages personality responsibility?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Well, that’s all folks. Michael Jackson has been dead since June 25, 2009, and after a media circus that has painted both the late singer and his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, as irresponsible and greedy folks, and a trial that didn’t get started until two years later, you can say that some form of justice has been served. Dr. Conrad Murray was just found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a jury that deliberated for a total of nine hours over two days.
While Murray’s lawyers tried their damndest to make it seem that Jackson was under so much pressure to perform and do well, that he took sleep sedatives on his own and administered a dose of Propofol to himself when Dr. Murray stepped out of the room, it didn’t work. The jury found that no matter who gave him the final dose or how he got it in his system, Murray was responsible because he was suppose to keep an eye on Jackson, and by leaving him alone, he caused the singer’s death. Especially since it was reported by witnesses that Murray was on the phone “parlaying” while his client stopped breathing.
Dr. Conrad Murray is now possibly looking at a maximum of four years in prison or a minimum of probation and the loss of his medical license. His license has already been suspended in California, so that seems like the probable next step. Judge Michael Pastor has decided to keep Murray in custody for the time being until sentencing.
Not sure if I feel happy or sad.
Let me rephrase that actually: I’m very happy that this over-amplified case is over, but still sad that Michael Jackson is gone. I was and will always be a huge fan of the singer, so knowing the manner in which he lost his life and the plans he had before he passed, it’s all still somewhat upsetting. However, I might be one of the few folks out there that doesn’t think Murray should go to jail for this. Blame that man for his death if you want, but in reality, blame can go around and around and around, from the folks in his family to the people that were supposed to be on his “team.” Real talk, I had no idea that MJ was addicted to drugs until he died (he covered it well), but those around him knew: his friends, some in his family. Hell, even Lisa Marie Presley admitted that his addiction ended their relationship, an addiction she became aware of in 1995. If this is true, then we can all see that folks had YEARS to intervene. But here we are, and all it took was one seriously misguided doctor to decide to take a phone call for all the blame to be transferred to him.
So yes, Dr. Conrad Murray is a mess for being greedy enough to ignore the morals of his practice to make money. However, I don’t look at him, or hear the details of the case and think he truly meant to put the icon in a coffin. He just got played into feeding Jackson’s habit, and in the end, played himself. But in all honesty, he’s not the first physician to do so for the pop star, he’s just the first one to get caught. I say strip this man of his license, give him probation, let him walk the streets with an infamous name, and leave the mess at that. He is the official scapegoat for a lot of people, but does he deserve jail? If you ask me–nope. I think losing the right to practice, knowing what he did for the rest of his life, and knowing that so many people are disgusted by him is more than enough. Maybe this will teach other people in Hollywood to start stepping up for the sake of their sick family members instead of letting them do whatever and take whatever because they don’t want to get cut off from a share of money they don’t deserve (and that’s directed at you poppa Joe, Jermaine and La Toya…).
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