The other day, when everyone was hyped up about parents who had decided to keep their kids out of school so they wouldn’t have to hear President Obama tell them to stay in school, we jokingly said that those parents and school administrators who caved in to their pressure ought to be “pimp-slapped.” We said the president should appoint a Secretary of Pimp-Slapping to go upside the heads of all the white people who seemed to have lost their minds since Obama was elected.
Someone heard that and called our company to complain.
When we get these kinds of complaints, our defense usually is that we cater to a mostly African-American audience, and the information we provide comes from a black perspective. We joke about things on the air that we might joke about at home. By doing it on the radio, the general public (i.e. white people) get a chance to hear things they probably wouldn’t normally hear from their black employees, co-workers or friends.
But actually, the bigger point for me is how we – all of us – choose to hear what we want to hear then get upset about it. I would think that the fact that people were so set on showing their distain for the president that they would keep their children from hearing a speech about the importance of education would be much more upsetting than us joking about pimp-slapping people.
I mean, last night, someone – perhaps for the first time in history – heckled the President of the United States during a speech before a joint session of Congress. Not just someone, but a congressman, Joe Wilson from South Carolina.
We all are guilty of saying things we shouldn’t say and being embarrassed about it later. But sometimes the things we say should get us into a world of trouble, and this is one of those instances. If Congressman Joe Wilson is not seriously harmed politically and financially by his actions, then we are setting up a dangerous precedent that changes the way the president will be treated in public. If a member of Congress is comfortable enough to yell out “You lie!” to the president, what might happen the next time he makes a speech in front of just regular, angry, ignorant people?
Congressman Joe Wilson may be apologetic as he makes the public rounds, but there are places he will go this week where he will be congratulated and made to feel that he’s done absolutely nothing wrong. I don’t think we should allow that to happen. I think we should keep the heat on until he resigns so that everyone recognizes that it isn’t okay to show that kind of blatant disrespect to the president of the United States.
Go ahead, somebody; say it: What about free speech, Tom? Congressman Wilson freely said what he wanted to say. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to answer to anyone for what he says. I have a right to make jokes about pimp-slapping, but that doesn’t mean I won’t anger someone enough that they stop listening to the show. The former environmental main man, Van Jones, had the right to speak up and out about his feelings regarding our government and 9/11, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t impact any future jobs or appointments he got with the United States government.
Today is September 11th, and as we honor the memory of those who lost their lives in that tragedy, we can’t lose sight of other harsh realities we face in this country or why it’s so important to realize that with freedom comes responsibility – and often a price.
As upset as I am about what Congressman Wilson yelled out to the president, I don’t want us to get so caught up on words that we mess around and forget about health care reform, that HBCUs need for money from the government, the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, the high dropout rate or the epidemic of violence that plagues not just our inner cities, but is now following our children to college campuses. Let’s hold Congressman Wilson accountable for what he did and keep holding ourselves accountable for what needs to be done.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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