(TriceEdneyWire.com) — “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” — Mahatma Gandhi
The messages of Gandhi, King and others, whose lives have modeled the benefits of thinking on a higher moral plane, still serve as a guide for many of us who consider ourselves warriors for progressive social and spiritual advancement.
Dr. C. DeLores Tucker, my predecessor as leader of the NCBW, stood firm against the constant flow of filthy lyrics being piped into the minds of our youth. She was viciously maligned for her efforts, but, since her death, we’ve maintained the fight to teach young people to select more positive expressions of their talents through our College for Kids, College for Teens, Internships, Young Ambassadors and Scholarship programs.
I was pleased to learn that Bob Law and the National Black Leadership Alliance, Clear the Airwaves Project and others are joining us in assuming leadership in this decades long issue. Although faced with much of the same filth, NCBW and others have picketed Viacom, BET, record stores; attended and spoken to Boards of offending companies and sponsors of programs that repeatedly play and support racially and sexually offensive music.
Members of our coalition have staged protests to bring awareness to the link between the dangerous messages in certain music and the repercussion of those dangerous messages in our schools, homes and communities. These programs are geared toward our young impressionable minds, playing vulgar music constantly promoting sex and violence, while glorifying topics like drug use/peddling, alcohol abuse, popping pills, self-hate, misogyny, date rape and even murder. These stations target African American youth, while overlooking the inspiring music and messages from which young people could benefit.
Proponents of this “music” form suggest that it’s merely an expression of the reality of their circumstance. There may be a measure of truth in that assertion, but, if our race had only glorified the circumstance of slavery, Jim Crow or the persistent exclusion from the opportunity for achievement, it is doubtful that we would be far beyond the brutality of our past subjugation.
It’s time to intensify our action. This music can be blamed for the bad choices too many young people make. We still lose too many to street violence. Too many languish in prison after being encouraged to participate in acts of personal destruction. Radio stations that play unhealthy music threaten the constructive work of many of our organizations. As the current administration proposes cuts for education and programs of uplift, those exploiting this corrupting music for financial gain do so at the expense of options that give young people respectable future choice.
The one way to end this marketing of negative music and force more responsible radio programming is to cut the profit!
We call upon those who care about ending the filth fed to our young people to join a consumer action on June 19th. McDonald’s Restaurants have been identified as a major advertiser for this genre. Unsuccessful appeals have been made to McDonald’s to end their support.
Our coalition is asking that YOU find another place to eat on June 19th. Bob Law says, “Let them operate without Black consumer dollars.” As Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity learned that white women cannot be disrespected at their station, our action on June 19th will demand the same respect for Black women and the Black community. We urge Black people to free our minds for just one day on June 19th to show McDonald’s and other advertisers we mean business. Stay tuned for the next action that we’ll continue until advertisers get the message we will not pay for our own destruction.
(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of the National Congress of Black Women. 202/678-6788. http://www.nationalcongressbw.org.)