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 If you ask me,  and even if you don’t I’m still going to say it because it simply needs saying, BET should simply get no airtime (along with many other shows, but this tops the cake for me because it’s my people, and I love all people, but black people—I am you).  BET Jazz is fairly decent, but BET is horrible. Before you get truculent and start throwing bricks, stones, and pellets…

I’m not a “sell out”, I’m not trying to “act white”, I’m not “stuck up” and I do not think that I am “better” than anyone. Anyone who thinks BET is innocuous is either prevaricating or in self-denial. If the only thing that can entertain black people (hence the name Black Entertainment Television) are a bunch of half naked women, spinning rims, heavy chains, oversized jeans and t-shirts, the excessive use of “bitch” and “whore”, and a life of drugs and crime—particularly in the majority of the rap videos—- then as a people… that is literally morose because we are not thinking progressively for ourselves, but more importantly for our children. Children need plenty more than what some hip-hop fantasy emblazed in a video can offer their minds. Why can’t Black Entertainment Television be something educational, enriching, and inspiring? Let’s keep in mind that the owner of BET is a white guy, who is happily enjoying the many contributing minds and bodies of those engaged piously in something not worth the time or effort of watching but what does he care? Why should any of these rappers and artist care? It keeps their wallet full and avarice satisfied.

 Why wouldn’t you care and remain static? When I was younger, I use to come home from school and watch BET videos for hours. For me, it wasn’t so much from ennui as it was merely addicting. This took time away from more important things like studying, spending time with family, and exploring new things. What I saw on the videos, were of no use to me in the real world—-so I thought. When I truly opened my eyes, I realized that in real life, these people were COPYING what they saw on these videos—literally: seeing little boys with over sized pants and shirts, heavy, long chains around their necks, and earrings in their ears trying to “holla” at little girls who were now convinced the best way to get some attention and “love ”was with a short skirt, increased cleavage, and responding positively to the words, “bitch” and “whore”.

People try to justify this by saying “Sex sells”. Well, of course it does, so why not just set up a porno site, magazine, or channel? I mean, face it, a lot of these videos are borderline porn.  Why call it Black Entertainment Television?  An even better question: Why is everything virulent and negative embraced as “black”? (Another blog entry). The same thing can be said for a lot of black movies that are suppose to be parody; there are but a handful of black movies I’d actually pay to watch—because most only successfully further stereotypes and actually turn stereotypes into truths for many.  Before you know it, you have “babies making babies”—nowadays parents and grandparents raising grandchildren and great grandchildren, high STD rates, a ridiculous amount of blacks in the prison system (drugs, violence, theft, rape among other things). Of course not all blacks in the prison system belong there but what about the many that do?

Others say “Women are exploiting themselves”. HERE—I agree. No one makes these video vixens get on live television and exploit themselves by being half naked, obscene, and respond to obscene names. Inside or outside of these videos, if women would not respond to derogatory terms like “bitch” and “whore”, treated themselves with some self respect in their mannerism and dress, then they’d get respect. These guys would have no choice but to address her correctly or he wouldn’t stand a chance. The women who have self respect would sometimes be labeled as “stuck up” among other things because of a bruised ego. I say your (the male) ego should be built on something more respectable. Those who don’t have self respect…..I would simply tell you to raise your standards, but if you loved yourself, that would be automatic.

Now I am not placing the blame of these societal things on BET but I won’t exculpate it either. Of course, it starts in the home first and then comes personal responsibility and community, but I think BET plays a vital role in promoting these things instead of helping to eradicate or at least ameliorate them. What am I doing about it? I have for 8 years and counting stopped watching BET, and will not allow any future children, in my care, to watch it either. To me, it’s didactic, mental bondage-in the very literal sense.