Dear Nicki Minaj:

I’m supposed to be mad at you.  Because of the whole Barbie thing.  I don’t know if you know this, but Ruth Handler created Barbie for Mattel about 50 years ago. She was based on Lily, a blond European comic strip character with, shall we say, loose morals.  As a doll, Barbie prostituted herself for the multiple outfits, shoes, cars, houses and other accessories that parents would buy for their daughters.

A woman who compares herself to Barbie is a woman who desires to be purchased.  A black woman who compares herself to Barbie is celebrating white standards of beauty in order to be bought.  It’s objectifying, it supports patriarchy, it’s reminiscent of slavery, it’s problematic, and it’s working for you, ma.

Maybe it’s because no one can make the rumors about you hooking up with Weezy and Drake to get signed actually stick.  Maybe it’s because your glam is hotter than anything designed for Barbie. Maybe it’s because even in your blond wigs, you look black unlike Barbie’s first black friend, Christie. Maybe it’s because you got ass Barbie can only dream of.  Maybe it’s because this Barbie business is your business.

Times are hard. The black unemployment rate is 16%. One in seven Americans live in poverty. Gainful employment that pays a living wage is hard to find. You found it by being a Barbie. Congratulations.  The more complex the package, the more there is to talk about, and people are talking about you, Nicki.  We’ve been checking for your album over a year before it dropped.

Today, November 22, 2010, is your holiday.  You’ve got a lipstick collabo with MAC, a partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer .organization, a MTV documentary titled My Time Now, the Pink Friday album, and a pending tour.  You are packaging yourself to be sold because that’s how the game is played.  Men sell themselves all the time. When they’re successful we call them Donald Trump. When women do it, we call them dolls, puppets, pawns.  You’re doing it right, but you’re wrong about one thing. Your time isn’t now.  Your time is in the future. This is the beginning.

Turn hip pop on it’s head. Teach black girls how to be entrepreneurs—how to self promote guerilla style. Share as much as you feel comfortable about your childhood, your immigration, the domestic violence between your parents, your sexuality, your life in the industry with all those boys, and your round-the-way-girl attempts to figure these men out.  How do they do that shit?

Barbie is your business. I understand that. Lil Kim understands that too, and that’s why she’s challenging you. I know you didn’t name any names in “Roman’s Revenge.”  It has some clever lines, but Roman and Shady both hate women so I can’t give you any props on that.  Just don’t go starting any mess. Your Sucka Free cover is Kim. She’s your godmother in the game even if she’s not acting like it. Think of giving everyone who comes at you, an opportunity to eat too. Savvy women parlay hateration into product that profits the major player and all the people on her team.

I listened to your interviews, I heard you rhyme, I read about that 360 deal. I know that your time is coming. What’s next? Your own label, your own school for girls, your own non-profit? I know you can do it, Nicki. The question is will you? I’ll only be mad if you stay a Barbie.

P.S.

By the way Lil Kim’s Pink Friday Mixtape is something you don’t want to mess with, really.

Just don’t pose in any more plastic boxes, okay?

http://twitter.com/#!/mghasspoken

Dr. Ebony Utley

The Woman with Ideas

theutleyexperience.com

Ebony A. Utley, Ph.D. is an expert in hip hop, race, and love relationships. Her forthcoming book, The Gangsta’s God: The Quest for Respectability in Hip Hop (Praeger, forthcoming), blends rap, religion, and urban African American history to reveal how a God-sanctioned gangsta identity empowers young black people facing declining economic opportunities.

Here we are once again on the issue of race. The incident that forced Shirley Sherrod to resign from the USDA and following apologies has America once again talking about race. Racial Politics has the  NAACP condemning the Black Panther Party and at the same time calling for the Tea Party to not let racist into their organization. The Tea Party is calling the NAACP a racist organization. Sherrod, a government official, who made a speech at the NAACP event was forced to resign  after a video clip was posted on http://biggovernment.com/site a site run by Andrew Brightbart. The NAACP immediately issued a statement saying that “Sherrod’s comments were Shameful”. The video clip contained a part of a speech where Sherrod mentions that prejudice made her think of not helping a White farmer. Media outlets jumped on the blogger’s post and soon it was national headlines and Sherrod was labeled a racist.  The full video  shows that Sherrod’s speech was about overcoming prejudice and helping people. The event was filmed by the NAACP, which for some reason acted like the video came from an outside source. Once the full video of Sherrod’s speech came to the public’s attention, the NAACP released a statement saying that the blogger “bamboozled them”.  The Obama Administration fired Shirley Sherrod on Tuesday, and apologized to her on Wednesday.

Sherrod blames the NAACP, Brightbart blames the Media, The NAACP blames Brightbart, The Obama Administration blames The Media and of course The Media blames Fox News.  Shirley Sherrod says that “The Administration wanted her to pull over to the side of the road and resign”. And that is how it always is with these things, nobody is to blame and everybody is responsible at the same time. We The People don’t want our problems solved, we just want to be able to live our lives without having to think too much, if we wanted the problems fixed we would have elected leaders that do more than just manage our problems. Racism is always in fashion and sadly, it is not in corporate or political America’s best interest for races to get along. If they did they would have deconstructed the lies and myths long ago. America is heading in a dangerous direction.

America is simply afraid of Race, that includes organizations like the NAACP. In their rush to become White Acceptable they allowed someone who wasn’t racist to be labeled racist, by their own fault. The NAACP can’t just use a new slogan and put red, white and blue on it’s website and then shy away from your guiding principles. I know that one of the A‘s in the acronym stands for Advancement, so Ben Jealous where is it? Instead of compromising such a storied organization why bring in new people with fresh perspectives, why not not come up with ideas to stay relevant. The ACT-SO program is great, but why not have a NAACP Entertainment Division or NAACP Record Label and the NAACP can promote actors, actresses, rappers, singers, song writers and others in the field of entertainment who generate positive images of African Americans and other people of color? You need better ideas, and kowtowing shouldn’t be one of them. As for the Tea Party,  since there are racist in every organization, if you are not a racist organization don’t promote racists and by all means don’t let them lead you.

Blacks have national forums on race and many of those forums exclude West Coast Speakers. Gays have meetings that exclude Blacks. Whitetopia’s have sprung up in the mid-west where minorities are welcome to visit, but not welcome to stay. Hollywood continues it’s White Wash of Actors as do our magazines. Racially-coded fair continues to populates our televisions and our radio stations. White rapper Eminem constantly talks about misogyny (in his latest song, Love the way you lie, he talks of tying a women to a bed and then setting the house on fire) and violence, is lauded for being artistry, while Nelly and other black rappers are vilified. The way it is now the Chinese don’t like Vietnamese, the Vietnamese don’t like Koreans, the Puerto Ricans don’t like Mexicans, the Mexicans don’t like Guatemalans, the Japanese don’t like Filipinos, Latinos don’t like other Latinos and Black aren’t very popular with anyone. All the while the police shoot unarmed black men in the street.

Books that are changing everything

Here is the deal both political parties want and need division, that’s how they get paid. Politicians don’t become popular from doing the right thing. Not from being right. If that were the case Dennis Kucinich would be in charge. The Radio, Television and Media were once used to inform the public. However, once it was realized that the constant imagery and bombardment can alter perceptions and attitudes these mediums are now being used to shape public policy, and instead of reporting the NEWS they have been making the NEWS. They can do this because most Americans are too caught up with our fears, or at the very least too busy watching what is going on a Football field or the Jersey Shore.

The facts always  matter. Do Native Americans have a legitimate gripe? Do the Japanese? Do the Blacks? Yeap. When the Klux-Klux-Klan killed Sherrod’s father over a cow that wasn’t even his, who could blame Shirley Sherrod if she was prejudice or even racist, and yet there are many who say “just get over it”. For anyone to try and vilify Birghtbard for airing a video is absurd, he is a blogger that is what he does. We point fingers because we want race to be someone else’s issue, and not ours. Race is a media’s issue, a corporate issue, a political issue and a, Obama administration issue. Our officials will point fingers, drink beers in rose gardens, apologize and offer jobs; while the media changes the subject to leaked war diaries or British Petroleum’s restructing all to give us this false sense that we are dealing with the problem.

The President will bend to the pressure of his administration. He will appoint, select and put people in certain positions who are sensitive to race, but ultimately they will be politicians. Racial Politics, Gender Politics, agendas and strategies  will creep in and yet again, and nothing will really be done. Real conversations on race will not take place. American’s, far longer that the term Politically Correct was coined, haven’t been speaking their minds. The only one saying how they really feel in America today is Mel Gibson and ex-American Idol Judge Simon Cowell.

Some of our leaders have people so whipped up on Socialism and Social programs and how bad they are for this country. When the truth is that 40% of the US economy comes from money right out of our social programs, and you wondered why Canada’s tax rate was so high.  Now take that 40% out of the economy and what happens?  Add another 40% of tax to your paycheck. Our elected officials for years have us believing that the invasion of Afghanistan was necessary. Last year the Afghan people earned an average of $1,000 per year for a total of 10 Billion gross national product. At the same time the United States of America spent $30 Billion dollars to win the hearts and mind of the Afghan people.  Why didn’t we just put the Afghan people on our payroll instead?  I don’t know about you, but if somebody tripled my yearly income I think I would be on their side, or at the very least I would have lost the will to shoot at them. And yet not one will bat an eye when congress passes a massive $60 Billion war funding bill. Spending the money to occupy Vs. actually trying to succeed–think about it. And that is the real problem, we aren’t thinking. We are being told what to think, what opinion to have. There will be multiple conversations, discussions and many articles will be written on this Race issue, but when you ask the wrong question to the wrong people you are going to end up with the wrong answer. As a nation we have to be ready to deal with the answers whether we like them or not.

These national organizations, The Media and the Obama administration should be ashamed of themselves for saying that the responsibility is Brightbart’s. Blogger Media, which is usually one sided and polarized. If the Obama Administration continues to allow “The Media” and “polls” to set public policy we are in big trouble. If the NAACP continues to allow the media and media perception to dictate their philosophy their legacy is in trouble  If the media continues to allow bloggers and unvetted information to appear as news the public at large who depend on them are in big trouble. As a nation we need to get beyond race. That is what Post-Racial was supposed to mean, but it actually means that we can be racist and not have to be so tongue and cheek about it. It means that now we can be overtly racist, or use coded racial remarks and if we get called out on it we can just apologize and all is well. Let’s face it they meant to say it, or they wouldn’t have said it. We need to grow together as a nation, after all you can’t legislate racism away. As evidenced bythe fact that articles like these are only written when something happens.

America we have a serious problem, and a lot of growing up to do.  The entire country needs to go on a national P90X program to get rid of prejudice, violence and unwanted notions. Perhaps, racism is America’s second biggest problem, because the first one is Denial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_the_United_States

The ACT-SO program

http://biggovernment.com/

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome

http://www.naacp.org/press/entry/naacp-statement-on-the-resignation-of-shirley-sherrod1/

http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/best_sellers/p90x.do?tnt=P90X_SHAKE_B1&code=P90XDOTCOM

Note: Now the NAACP and Shirley are joining forces to continue the discussion on race.