Snoop Dogg, I’m Not Boycotting Roots

Snoop Dogg is encouraging Black People to ban the new movie remake of Roots. Being very vocal his objections, Snoop said“… [F] that old [ish] …” This response is not shocking or surprising to me. This is a typical reaction some black people have when they see a “slave movie.”

Let’s face it, watching black people being beat and humiliated by White slave owners is very painful. These period pieces can easily make Black people angry and frustrated, since there is nothing we can do to right those wrongs. Thus, many of us go the route of dismissing and devaluing the past which is a reason why African Americans know very little about their own family history and genealogy.

Umm, The Irony

I find it ironic that Snoop Dogg would go so far as to call for Black people to boycott the new Roots movie. I see how hip hop culture venerates movies likes Scarface, The Godfather, and The Sopranos which has Italian mobsters who don’t like Blacks. Yet, for Roots which deals with the historic tragedy and triumphs of a Black family, Snoop thinks it’s BS. I would think that he could relate to a movie that is “keeping it real” especially since the content of his music was called into question in the early 90′s. Not long after Snoop started his music career, C. Delores Tucker, numerous politicians, and community activists called for the boycott and ban of gangsta rap. In one testimony about gangsta rap, Tucker said, “Enough is enough…I am here to put the nation on notice that violence perpetuated against women through the music industry in the forms of gangsta rap and misogynistic lyrics will not be tolerated any longer. Principle must come before profit.”

While I definitely do not like the a lot of the subject matter contained in gangsta rap and hardcore rap, I disagree with those who want to ban it. We have the freedom to choose what we want to hear and see, in fact Snoop Dogg has endorsed this freedom in the past. In a 1994 interview, he told Arsenio Hall, “Right now, I’m just trying to rap…If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it, but if you like it go on and get it.” Interestingly, Arsenio asked Snoop what he thought of the politicians who blamed [social] conditions on art. Snoop responded, “Crime has been going on before art been going on. Before anybody picked up the microphone and said they gonna make a rap, people was getting killed..they making it like we the problem, we trying to solve the problem by bringing these problems to your face. So you can understand and see exactly what we go through.” Isn’t Roots taking the same approach by showing the inhumanity of slavery and the success of a family who overcame this oppression?

Inspiration to do Better

When I reflect upon the accomplishments of my ancestors, I am inspired by how much they achieved despite the enormous challenges working against them. This is why I like looking at historical movies like Roots, because it serves as a reminder not to be complacent. These types of movies often light a fire under me to keep pressing on to gain more and more ground. So, Snoop, for me #OldStuffMatters.

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Stacey Dash, Do You Want To Censor American Culture and Business?

Ms. Dash, in response to your recent comments on Fox News where you recommend getting rid of Black TV channels like BET, I say this. A business has the right to curate content, music, media, and food for a specific audience of our society. Restaurants do this all the time giving us a wide variety of choices: Italian, Chinese, Southern Soul, Jamaican, Indian, and more. Is it racist for these businesses to only make one style of cuisine? Absolutely not, unless they were denying someone entrance because of their race, nationality, gender, or religion. [Read more...]

Philosophical Moment: Are Certain Historical Events and Actions Part of Our Ancestry?

Landscape with Milky Way in Background

Are certain historical events and actions just as much a part of our makeup as  the DNA of our ancestors? I think so…I would not exist if it were not for –> the creation of the universe –> The explosion of countless stars which led to the creation of all the elements –> the creation of our sun and solar system –> the collision of planets –> the creation of the earth –> the impact of meteors –> extinction of the dinosaurs –> the rise of our genetic Adam and Eve –> the rise of civilization –> the rise of world empires –> the exploration of men –> the slave trade and it’s ugly, brutal cruelty –> The revolutionary war –> the civil war –> emancipation –> the lack of funding that prevented my 3rd great grandfather, John Miller, from emigrating to Liberia –> The loss of over 400 acres of land by my 2nd great grandfather, Isaac Miller, which cause the move of my great grandfather and grandmother (Daniel and Mary Beal) to Valdosta –> The move of my grandfather, Bennie Jackson from Sylvester Georgia to Valdosta –> The meeting of my mother and father –> the one sperm that beat out millions which led to fertilization and my birth. Although I’m 44 years old, it took billions of years to make me!!! You and I are very special.

Bringing the Number Of Our Ancestors Into Perspective

Have you ever stopped and thought about how many ancestors you have in a given generation? As we go back each generation, the number of our ancestors double, becoming an astoundingly large number. Take a look at the following table I put together to get a picture of how fortunate we are to be alive. The table includes an estimated year in which our ancestors were living. Can you imagine the sequence of events and chance meetings that had to take place in order for our parents to meet and give birth to us?

* This table is based on the assumptions that you are 30 years old, no incest took place in the family, and a new generation was produced every 30 years. The first generation starts with you.

Generation No. of Parents/Ancestors Est. Year
2015
1 (You) 2 1985
2 4 1955
3 8 1925
4 16 1895
5 32 1865
6 64 1835
7 128 1805
8 256 1775
9 512 1745
10 1,024 1715
11 2,048 1685
12 4,096 1655
13 8,192 1625
14 16,384 1595
15 32,768 1565
16 65,536 1535
17 131,072 1505
18 262,144 1475
19 524,288 1445
20 1,048,576 1415