By Jineea Butler
I am sick of hearing about how the media is misrepresenting our community and not fairly reporting issues. Have you lost your mind? Why are you depending on them to tailor messages that are palatable to your liking? What type of entitlement program have you been subscribing to? Michael Jackson told you in 1996 “…They don’t really care about us!”
But you’re still trying to force a square peg into a circle hole. Is it because they lured you out and drained you of all your talent and then told you to go home, only to realize you weren’t watering the grass, taking out the trash and raising your own babies instead of theirs? Is it because you got so drunk on the idea of being “accepted” into the mainstream that you didn’t think twice about nurturing the businesses in your own community?
Now you sitting at the TV, flipping through the newspapers, searching the Internet for someone to tell your truth from your perspective. You gave your power away when you didn’t support the Black Press, an institution that has been carrying the torch of justice for 188 years. You give your power away everyday when you freely spend money without questioning whom it’s benefiting.
Even something that’s seemingly as passive as watching TV is not passive because when you turn on these channels, you’re telling the sponsors you approve up whatever is being fed to you.
Don’t tell me that they are supposed to care about what we want. We were kidnapped, enslaved, lynched, beaten and killed before they pretended to care about us. The only reason they changed their tune was because of votes. Now, you’re sitting on the sidelines wondering how 2015 turned into 1964 and wondering why LGBT legislation matters more than Black lives. They matter more to politicians because they vote and contribute to their campaigns. The 2016 presidential election is just around the corner and there is going to be unprecedented amount of money being spent on obtaining votes. Guess who is going to be left out again?
President Obama just delivered an impassioned eulogy of Clementa C. Pinckney in Charleston, S.C. Why do you think it took him seven years to sing “Amazing Grace” and speak the truth we’ve been waiting for? Hillary alone cannot galvanize us to Get Out and Vote. So as ruthless as it may sound, Obama was there serve as Consoler-in-Chief and to gather votes, among other things.
Now that the Confederate flag is an issue, the Democrats know we are going to line up behind Hillary. We haven’t forgotten that her husband went on the Arsenio Hall show when he was campaigning and played the saxophone for votes. The election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act in 1964 consolidated our transition from Republicans to Democrats. Meanwhile, our struggle for civil rights, which resonated around the world, has been used to advance other causes – at a faster rate than our own progress.
They swing on the hinges of the doors we opened. We are still waiting for someone to tell us that our lives matter. Why no one else is making the same claim when it is evident that they, too, are not properly represented in society? It’s because they are quietly carrying out an effective agenda to make the system work for them.
Black churches are burning to the ground and you dare ask why the media isn’t covering it. Do the people that own the media have a vested interest in learning who is burning our churches? If they don’t cover it, are you going to turn off the TV? Do you have another channel to turn to? The Hispanics do, the Asians do, but when you had a chance to support the ‘Black’ Ted Turner, you turned your nose up and said you’d rather not.
Look at what just happened to Donald Trump. He insulted the Mexican community and the entire Latino community immediately shut him down. They petitioned where they spend their money and dared those outlets to support him. All we have to do make Black Lives Matter is vote and care about how and where we spend our money. Stop wasting time asking them to care about us. They don’t, they care about our money.
Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay.