I really need to learn to have a thicker skin. I haven’t been doing this blog for five weeks yet and already someone has managed to frustrate me to the point where I’ve suggested they go elsewhere. One of the first people to come to my corner of the internet was Shawn. I was so happy to have someone pay me a little attention I sent the man a thank you note for just noticing my writing.
Shawn is a Hebrew Isrealite (not a Christian as I originally wrote) and believes in his religious values. I am a pagan and I believe in my values as well. In his very first comment on my blog Shawn wrote, “…as long as we continue to follow the ways of the pagans and not adhere to the laws of the Lord, we will stay in the state that we are in.” One fact that Shawn overlooks is that most white people in this country consider themselves Christians who follow their interpretation of their laws of their Lord and they’d still prefer to keep black people in their second class citizen status. The overwhelming majority of people who participated in the enslavement of the children of Africa were in fact Christians who’d beat and rape black people as they stepped over them on their way to church. I’m willing to bet that very, very few if any slave owners were pagans. However, I had made the choice to overlook Shawn’s [edited] superiority complex.
Shawn and I see the issue of urban black music from two distinct different points. While a lot of people like to blame rap and hip-hop music in general, I was trying to get people to notice that not all rap and hip-hop is derogatory to black people. In fact, I believe that the majority of music being produced by the black community is positive.
Shawn asked me, “Since hip/hop rap is sooooo positive, name 3 mainstream artists besides Common that represents what is positive in our community.” I named Lauren Hill, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Wyclif Jean, Mos Def, and Musiq.
Shawn replied, “…you only named ONE Rap artist. Mos Def. And I knew that he was the one that you’d mention. But you still haven’t named two more”. I conceded that I couldn’t name three rappers who do absolutely nothing but positive music. But I tried to point out that the article was about the slander of rap and hip-hop in general. There’s a lot of positive music and artist that we shouldn’t lump into the same category of gangsta rap or gangsta rap artist. I stand by what I said.
Shawn feels that black people are being hypocritical when they say blacks can slander blacks but white people can’t do it. One of the implications of his argument is that white people are not being treated fairly by blacks. But it is true that Shawn never said actually said blacks were being unfair to whites.
Shawn replied, “Brother, hahabababababababababa!! This has become comical. You are so far off of the radar. Brother, in no way shape or form am I trying to advocate whites.” But the implication is there. Not all black people listen to rap music and it’s wrong for us to generalize ourselves like this. It would be no different than someone saying all black people steal or all black people are lazy or all black people are toms. Just because a part of the black population does it does not mean all black people do it. The women of Rutgers who are studying to be doctors, musicians, linguists and the like deserve to be given the benefit of a doubt before we let people generalize and demean them as common ‘hood rats.
Later I wrote an article about how the white dominated corporate music industries are the supporters of gangsta rap and not black people. When Snoop and DMX run with Lee Iacocca and Seven Segal it’s pretty obvious who supports the gangsta rappers (not who supports rap and hip-hop). Shawn was too ready to pounce. “I think you should REALLY read your material before posting. You CONTRADICT yourself in EVERY article. If Jason Whitlock posted this article he would be a Tom to you. When I pointed out in my comments on the slander of hip-hop, the VERY same things that you just described, you insisted that I was a supporter of whites. You’re like John Kerry in a sense.”
Shawn’s insults were pretty tame. But the brother pushed my buttons nevertheless. I didn’t appreciate him calling my arguments comical. I didn’t appreciate his Hebrew Isrealites are superior to pagans attitude. I didn’t appreciate his John Kerry flip-flop insinuation. And I certainly didn’t appreciate him comparing me to that big tom Jason Whitlock. Shawn had worn out his welcome. I suggested he go elsewhere. People should learn more internet etiquette.
I don’t think Shawn is or behaves as a tom or a flip flopper and I don’t think he is subject for ridicule. However, I do think he’s rude, egotistical, arrogant, and needs to get his nose out of the air so he can listen better. I think we both have the same goal of wanting something better for the black community. I think we could work together for the betterment of our community. But if we don’t learn to respect each other and each other’s opinion on issues it’s very likely that the two of us will never work together as one.