Talk about your culture clash! A hip hop music site juxtaposes a report on Bill Cosby's condemnation of that musical genre with news of the latest criminal doings of hip hop stars. AllHipHop.com bills itself as 'The World's Most Dangerous Site.' Currently up on the site is an article reporting a recent speech in which Cosby . . . "went on the offensive against rap music."
States the article:
"'They put the word 'nigga' in a song, and we get up and dance to it,' Cosby said.
"The two-hour Coppin State University-hosted event dubbed 'Fatherhood Works,' was the last stop on the entertainer's day-long visit to the city.
"In addition to hip-hop, Cosby expressed his views on teenage pregnancy, re-emphasized the importance of a good education and urged fathers to take a more active role in raising their kids, as he visited three West Baltimore elementary schools and the church."
So here was AllHipHop respectfully passing along Cosby's message. Meanwhile . . . to the right of the Cosby article is a column with links to the latest news from the hip hop world. But while reports of new record deals and other doings were mixed in, much of it read like a 'rap' sheet of an altogether different sort. Examples:
- Foxy Brown Misses New Jersey Court Date, Must Attend Next Hearing
- Estate of Slain Man In CCC Club Files Lawsuit Against Proof Estate
- Man Who Was Allegedly Beaten By Busta Rhymes Planning Civil Lawsuit
- Busta Rhymes Arrested After AmsterJam
- Young City Appears In Baltimore Court, Bail Set At $75,000
- C-Murder Back On House Arrest
- Judge Defends Decision in C-Murder Case
- Lil' Wayne Arrested In Atlanta For Drug Possession
- Young City Jailed On Armed Robbery Charge
- Police Seek Suspects In Skanbino Mob Murders
- Lil' Kim Off House Arrest Aug 3., Preparing Season 2 Of 'Countdown To Lockdown'
If proof were needed that the problem that Cosby spoke of is very real, here it was.
Juan Williams has recently written a book whose title tells it all: "Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-end Movements, And Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America." Interestingly, in his column of this morning, A Triumph of Felons and Failure [subscription required], NY Times columnist Bob Herbert praises the book and reiterates its message in these terms: "It is up to blacks themselves to embrace the current opportunities for academic achievement and professional advancement, to build the strong families that allow youngsters to flourish, and to create a cultural environment that turns its back on crime, ignorance and self-abasement."
Could Cosby's message be part of a hopeful trend among black leaders?
Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts 'Right Angle,' an award-winning public-access TV show. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org