Friday, October 15, 2010

Proper Identification Please! (commentary)

In my teen years, hip-hop had me in a whirlwind and I emulated rappers to no end. Yeah I was grateful to have good parents, but I didn't look up to them at the time. Instead, I looked up to cats like Wu-Tang Clan. I identified with the hoodies, Timberlands and the rebellious persona.

Which brings me to the reason why I decided to write this piece. A couple of weeks ago I found out on Twitter that Antoine Dodson was making an appearance at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.For those who aren't in tune with pop culture (don't worry I struggle myself), Antoine Dodson is the vivacious young man from Huntsville, Alabama who became an overnight Internet sensation after his colorful soundbite in a news story. According to the report, an unknown man climbed into his sister's bedroom window and allegedly tried to rape her. Following his classic act of buffoonery on the news an Internet meme entitled "Bed Intruder" was made out of the soundbite courtesy of The Gregory Brothers.

"Bed Intruder" managed to reach well over a million views and landed as a top rated R&B single on iTunes. And to top it off, every body's favorite Amos & Andy caricature made it to the big time-the 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards-. Sorry, I'm not a fan of Dodson or the "Bed Intruder Song". It was buffoonery at its best and I honestly think the television news network demonstrated poor judgement.

Now I understand the power of media and how it can influence us all. Whether it is a movie trailer starring our favorite actor or a rally for Jena 6 broadcasted on Black radiu, We consume can even determine how we view ourselves. This becomes especially crucial when it involves the youth, who will gravitate to whomever they can identify with the most.

Please don't take this as a self-righteous attack on pop culture. Nor is it a sermon I prepared for the social network congregation. This is simply a message to be mindful of the images we uphold. Of course no one's perfect and we all fall short sometimes of good deeds, but let's not fall short of good character.

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