Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thank You, Essence Carson

Thank you, Essence, for bringing a moment of light into an otherwise obnoxious, disgusting story. I saw you on "Good Morning America" this morning. When Robin asked you if there was a difference between the words Imus used, and the way that hip-hop and rap singers use them, you were, of course, supposed to say, "Yes, there is. Those are expressions of our own culture, of our blackness, and we earned the right to use them after years of white oppression."

Instead, you said, "No." You said that the words were just as bad and obnoxious when millionaire trash-talkers say them as they are when shock jocks say them. And for that, I thank you for the breath of fresh air. I don't know anything else about you, what you believe, how you feel about life in general, but on GMA this morning, you presented yourself as a decent, admirable human being who knows the difference between what is decent and what is not.

You hit the nail on the head, whether you meant to or not. We have been so desensitized by the garbage we have tolerated and allowed our sons and daughters to pay the purveyors millions of dollars, that it is hypocritical to pretend to express shock when some wild cowboy uses the same words.

It is NOT okay to use demeaning, vulgar, or obscene words, no matter what color, religion, or gender persuasion you might be.

Essence, you didn't have much to say this morning. Coach Stringer did the talking, and she's a pretty likeable person herself. But what you did say, you said with truth and conviction. I hope your voice is the first of thousands, even millions, that decry the fact that these poisonous words and concepts are being said by anyone. I read on your profile that you want to work in the music industry after you finish college. I cannot think of a better person for it. Maybe your positive contributions will push out some of the ridiculous trash that passes for "music" currently.

You are wiser and more honorable than Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the whole media put together. And again, I thank you for being yourself this morning. I don't know what effect Imus' words had on everyone else, but they gave you a platform to say the right thing. They didn't demean you; they elevated you to the level where you deserve to be seen. I hope you spoke for your whole team. If you did, I'll be rooting for you, not only to win it all in the NCAA next year, but to be put in places of leadership where we can hear more of what you have to say. Thanks for everything!

No comments: