Here lately, there have been a ton of shows centered around understanding Black people. From CNN’s special on Black debt to the psychological “breakdown” of what it’s like being Black in America, it seems that everyone is now making an effort to try and dissect every fiber of our being. While many applaud the idea that we’re finally getting some light casted in our direction, I can’t help but wonder how much of a damn the media would give if the most popular address in America wasn’t housed by a Black family.
But I digress…
I’m not really for or against the fact that the media seems interested in knowing why the Black debt to income ratio drastically supersedes that of our white counterparts or that we as Black people have been taught to rely on our faith in God to get us through everything (as though outside counsel is doing “too much”). However, am I the only one who’s more interested in finding ways we can fix the issues that we have with each other?
A few days ago, entertainment reporter, Jawn Murray, had a few choice words for those who seemed to criticize Tyler Perry’s latest efforts, For Colored Girls. Several expressed the sentiment that Perry couldn’t do the movie justice without adding the “coonery” that he’s become known for. Murray took to his twitter account to say the following:
“….all those militant nappy headed #ANGRYBLACKWOMAN who didn’t think Tyler Perry was worthy of doing For Colored Girls can kick rocks! A few militant nappy headed #ANGRYBLACKWOMEN are mad I used “nappy headed” earlier. Do me a favor = Get a LIFE & Get a PERM! How’s that?”
…and then Jesus wept.
Jawn, in spite of what you may have learned from the Don Imus handbook of retractions, your choice of words were hurtful, irresponsible and ridiculously outdated. Instead of using your voice and influence to serve as the catalyst for positive dialogue for discussion amongst Blacks (and those watching), you’ve chosen to take a stance that begs the question “If THEY don’t care, then why should we?” The media constantly tells us that we’re too fat, that our skin is too dark, our hair is too kinky, our lips are too full or that we’re just not “it.” But instead of finding assuagement in one another and celebrating what makes us different from the masses, we instead use our platforms to highlight something as minute as the texture of our hair rather than taking a collective stance to fix the real issues.
Of course we’re all entitled to our opinions and Mr. Murray is just as entitled but I find it odd that he would be so quick to throw daggers at the kinks and coils of his fellow brethren when his hair is really no different.
The problems that we have “within” aren’t going to fix themselves, nor will we effectively find a solution by picking one another apart. Rather than screaming about Blacks and our issues with debt, let’s find a way to alert financial institutions about CNN’s findings so that we can start classes that teach us proper money management. Instead of complaining about our issues with obesity and healthy eating, let’s put the spotlight on recipe books and television shows that show us how to eat and live better. And in lieu of using your Twitter account to besmirch other’s hair choices, Mr. Murray, use your blog and radio time to educate Black women on how to properly care for their hair, be it natural or permed, so that you not only educate others but you educate yourself.
Maybe then your “apology” will seem a bit more sincere. Each one, teach one, right?