Gangsta rap regularly glorifies sexism, the n-word, profanities, violence, drug use and dealing, sexism, and the dehumanization of Black men and women. Gangsta rap videos and stereotype-filled shows are the programming staples of BET. "BET and hip hop have gone down hill. They were once inspirations. Now they purvey some of the most harmful anti-Black sentiments you will ever see or hear, and this has become a representation of mainstream Black culture," says Bronze Trinity of the Afrosphere Bloggers Association (ABA).
Congress plans to follow the lead of Black bloggers with a subcommittee hearing on the media "stereotypes and degradation" of Black woman. The hearing is entitled: From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, said "I want to engage not just the music industry but the entertainment industry at large to be part of a solution ... I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who've never taken a public position on what they produce."
The hearing will be broadcast via the Committee website.
Witnesses include Philippe Dauman of Viacom, Doug Morris of Universal Music Group and Edgar Bronfman Jr. of Warner Music Group. Witnesses will discuss the impact of racist and sexist language and images transmitted via interstate commerce and telecommunications modes, the perpetuation of damaging stereotypes, and how best to protect consumers from the increasingly coarse and vulgar language and images that have the effect of undermining important moral values in our society. This hearing will explore these issues in the context of commercial hip hop music and video games, and their impact on popular culture and young people.
Rush stressed that this is "not an anti-artist hearing, or antimusic or anti-youth hearing." He said he's hoping for voluntary -- not regulatory -- solutions. "I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that's much of what we have now. It's time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility."
Well, villagers, what are your thoughts on these issues?