Monday, January 31, 2011

The Garbage we Call Urban Media and radio

My uncle once told me “sometimes what we don’t do is just as important as what we do.” I have taken this axiom to heart for most of my adolescent and adult life. I take it to mean that opportunity is a two-sided street of either seizing the moment versus being blinded by myopia and ignorance.

I am reminded of this often. As I read the Turkish daily News, the New York Times, the the Jerusalem Post and even the Atlanta Journal Constitution, information of a worldly nature is flowing. Writers write in tune with the global nature of both our world and being. But when I scan the topics provided by urban media and radio, I do not see such and only seem to scroll through mundane subject matter that can only be manifested w a concern with celebrity and entertainment.

I say this because it is day 7 of the protest occurring in Egypt against the autocratic regime of Hosni Mubarak and if one reads the Urban Grind, Bossip, Concret Loop, or watch BET or listen to any radio station with the mantra of “hot”, you will be lucky to see one article or hear one news brief on this historical event. Not one single article or discussion on what is occurring right now in North Africa, or insight concerning its relations to past revolt in Africa or what impact or meaning it has for African Americans. This is a completely different urban media than in the past. Now it is more interested in promoting the snake oil and chicanery of gossip and celebrity idolization – go figure.

Although urban by definition comes from the Latin word urbanus referring to cities, it has been reduced to a catch all for minority inhabited areas – mainly African American. And those that claim the mantel of being urban media outlets proclaim the delusive semblance of representing and well-being of said communities actually do not and impose more harm than good.

The sad reality is that these organizations have other interest as their priority and have mutated to something caustic, failing the standards of information outlets of past that lived and promoted social responsibility with passion and duty.

True, I write for a living and times have changed but the same struggle and needs of the past still remain. Unfortunately, many of my peers see avarice, greed and denseness as what is paramount and important more so than self determination and or collective social accountability. Supposedly astute in letters, most likely they could not delineate Henry Dumas for Alexander Dumas, Samori Toure from Sekou Toure, and Euclid’s theory from Maxwell’s theory (electromagnetism), a future from an option or a debt from a deficit.

This is just an example for topics as what is occurring in Egypt, or anything worldly is considered “outside” of their demographic. They do however, write incessantly on topics ranging from how many times Gucci Mane has been arrested, Basketball wives and how many baby momma’s Lil Wayne has but nothing on Mumia Abu Jamal in contrast or what China/US talks mean for African Americans. But what is to be expected reading E.Lynn Harris has been replaced with reading Richard Wright or a Letter from a Birmingham jail. I guess it should be anticipated. Today, many of us have never lived outside the US, let alone Africa or speak multiple languages.

Yes, I know, why read Condoleezza Rice’s latest book when we can attend to gossip, celebrity, fame and watching BET is more important. BET, that’s another story, claiming to be a television station but doesn’t have a morning or evening news program – they say such is not their demographic. People who desire to be informed are not in their demographic. I cannot answer my question but I can say that such is garbage when you think of that in comparison the proportion of Africa Americans living in poverty, infants dying before the age of one, incarceration rates, school dropout rates and illiteracy, unemployment figures or rates of HIV/AIDS among us.

Today unlike the past, nonsense is given predicate over value. Again, I guess it is to be expected. The inaction of urban media and radio gives definition to Harriet Tubman’s statement. “I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more if they had known they were slaves.”

For me it means I (Information) before E) Entertainment except after C (consciousness.)


krystal*lyte said...

I AM SO WITH YOU! Why is it in the black blogosphere we're more concerned with wp doing racist things (which they do anyway) why are we so quick to address things even that are pertinate to us. Yes. Egypt is on the African continent. They are a semetic people as we are. Why have we allowed white liberal media to drum into our heads that these are not our people...they are 'middle eastern' the mid east is a lie. Why again are we so unconcerned with all that goes on in the world?

Sandra said...

So true. It is a shame that we are more concerned about celebrities then we are about injustice. African Americans need to realize that the world has changed and we are not keeping up with these changes. The global economy and issues have a major impact our lives and livelihood. We have become stagnant while the world is growing.

Better Guy X said...

So many have lost the thread that connects us (African descent) to the diaspora and I'm guilty of it as well. While this ignorance of world affairs reflects a greater trend in media, there should some discussion by black media outlets. SMH.

Better Guy X said...

So many have lost the thread that connects us (African descent) to the diaspora and I'm guilty of it as well. While this ignorance of world affairs reflects a greater trend in media, there should some discussion by black media outlets. SMH.

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