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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Open Letter to Ben Carson: Slavery Vs. Obamacare

To Dr. Ben Carson:

Personally, I don’t have a problem with you coming to speak at Valdosta State University on September 11th. I do have an intellectual issue with you saying that the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, is the worst thing since slavery. Before going further, I just want to make it clear that I do not have an issue with you exercising your freedom of speech (a right our ancestors did not have). Like you, as a descendant of slaves, I have researched my ancestry, so I’m puzzled by your comparison of one of the worst forms of brutality in human history with healthcare policy.

Comparing the institution of slavery where human beings were treated worse than animals and violated in every way possible with a government health policy which at worst may require some people to pay higher fees or OMG get a different policy, doesn’t make much sense. News Flash- Although Obamacare has started, we still have the right to vote; we have the right to come and go as we please; we have the right to marry who we want; we have the right to live and work at the place we choose; we have the freedom to learn and be educated. Slaves had none of these rights. Obamacare doesn’t even come close to restricting inalienable rights, unlike the polices of forced removal of Native Americans, Jim Crow, Segregation, Separate but Equal, Japanese internment camps, etc.

Dr. Ben Carson, I think your “Obamacare is the worst thing… since slavery” comparison is very weak, factually wrong, and not worthy of your brilliance and accomplishments. In your conversation with Roland Martin, you mentioned that you are in a war against political correctness. I understand why you would support open and free communication, but it seems that you have fallen into the “big bad government is going to take away all our freedom” camp. If you want to become elected and change those things that you feel are not right, then stand on your own principles and platform, not on the institution of slavery and your cherry picking, big government, fear control gimmick.