Monday, January 15, 2007

"Who's the M.A.C.?", pt. 3 - As if to underscore their indifference to the real legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., VH1 continues its one station rampage against respectable elements within the African American community with it's series I Love New York. The 'New York' in this context is a twenty-something black female who was twice involved as a contestant on the thoroughly degrading Flavor of Love, which chronicled the travails of ex-Public Enemy hypeman Flavor Flav in his vicissitudinary pursuit of reality T.V. romance. Through both seasons of "Flavor of Love," no racial bugaboo was left unobserved, and by all appearances such will be the case with "I Love New York."

As the unfortunates who viewed any part of Flavor will recall, "New York" and her co-contestants were given the sorry duty by VH1 to confirm every stereotype that might yet exist in the minds of blacks and whites (however overlaid such stereotypes may be by the political correctness required by these times.) For her part, "New York" taught viewers that black women were bossy, belligerent and bad tempered. Her behavior, along with that of many of her cohorts, spoke to black women's supposed lack of sexual inhibition. Flavor Flav absolutely reconfirmed that black men were childlike clowns, buffoons and jesters. And the cameras of this Viacom subsidiary were present to catch it all, or at least enough to get the point across.

This is all of a piece with what we observe currently emanating from the quarters of the hip-hop community. At one time, rap music could realistically be called "the CNN of the ghetto," as artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, KRS One and (irony is a bitch) Flavor Flav and Public Enemy spoke to the struggles endured by working class and poor blacks in the 70s and 80s. Unfortunately, one cannot be both charitable and factual in describing the depraved state of hip-hop, and by extension much of R&B/Urban contemporary music. As observed elsewhere, rap music in particular is especially egregious in regard to the damage done to African Americans.

All of this veiled bigotry continues pace, albeit with the informed "consent" of the oppressed. It is sad to think that a company headed up by a man who was able to leverage his family's chain of movie theaters into a global communication colossus feels the need to highlight the lifestyles of the "ghetto fabulous." And for those who see this as an overreaction to a benign - if somewhat embarrassing - television series, ask yourself where is the T.V. show about the nebbish auteur director who has sex with his underage stepdaughter under his wife's nose. Whose cameras will bring us footage of Hollywood producer who can't get through his day without some of Columbia's finest nose powder? And what became of VH1's expose on the white television producers who cheated African American television pioneer Eric Monte out of his creator credits for 70s series such as Good Times and What's Happening, as discussed elsewhere?

There is little reasonable doubt that the M.A.C. is wholly and totally a reactionary force. It seems determined to undo all for which MLK lived and died. Of all of the questions latter-day progressives amuse themselves with as it regards "What would Dr. King think of...?," the most intriguing would seem to be what would MLK think of today's truth-distorting and soul-corroding fourth estate?

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