This is what Friday’s (August 17th) edition of The Florida Times-Union decided was a good idea to run in its newspaper.
The black and white cartoon depicts a man dressed in “ghetto garb” wearing a “Don’t Snitch” tee making sure that two young African American children don’t tell on his ass for shooting someone. The little girl tells him, “I didn’t see nuttin.” He responds, “Now that’s a good little ho.”
The caption underneath states, “The new rule of law!” Meanwhile in the background, there is billboard featuring a rapper who looks like he might be the new spokesperson for some brand of guns with the tagline “Rap your life way,” while BET and Warner Music are conveniently named underneath. The cartoonist, Ed Gamble claims, “I was trying to make a point that rappers are demeaning to women.”
Well, I guess some people did not like his “point” and after many phone calls from upset residents (my parents included), a letter from good ol’ Al Sharpton, and the NAACP calling the cartoon “offensive and stereotypical,” Mike Clark, an editor from the paper made a statement: “Using the word ‘ho’ was bad judgement, I regret that I did not edit it out. The object of the cartoon was to comment on the rise of a non-snitching culture, something that is widely in the news today.”
Question: Does the state of Florida not have access to cable, Internet, or the radio? Did they miss the memo that using the word “ho” wasn’t cool anymore? I guess all that “fun in the sun” made them forget all about that guy….What’s his name? Oh, Don Imus.
Now. I am all for satirizing sexist hip hop culture and this crazy “Stop Snitchin” nonsense. I am also all for calling out the real people who make money off of selling these outrageous images of black people–CEO’s of record companies and networks– but why do black women have to be the “butt” (pardon the pun) of the joke? How does calling a little girl, “A ho” raise the consciousness of a culture already trained to undervalue black women in the first place?
SIDENOTE: AllHipHop.com labeled this cartoon as “racist”, but not sexist. They also went to claim that the cartoon “bashes rap.” Um, ok.
If you love hip-hop, that’s fine! I do (to a certain extent), but please don’t act brand new about the messages it sends. In order for something to be bashed, it would have to be worth defending. I cannot defend a genre of music that when given an obscene budget to create videos comes up with the following:
Women in bikinis, throwing money on the women in the bikinis, adding rain to the money that is being thrown on the women, borrowed Escalades, Porches, and gawdy jewelry.
Where did the rest of the money go? For weaves and lunch for the crew?
But I digress. Clearly, this is a mess, but as long as we continue to allow our own men to treat us like cattle, how can we expect white America to treat us any better?