Well 2013 is here and I’m expecting it to be a year of growth, of change, of new and positive developments in all areas of life and that’s why I want to express my profound disappointment at the news that the Oxygen network is planning to air a new reality show called “All My Babies’ Mamas…”
Yep, “All My Babies’ Mamas…” a program centered around Atlanta native and rapper, Carlos “Shawty Lo” Walker, and the eleven― count’em eleven ―children he conceived with 10 women.
And no, that was not a mistake. I did say eleven children by ten different women, but wait, there’s more.
The Oxygen channel show, which reportedly has the ‘Babies Mamas’ fighting and begging for financial support and sexual reward, will co-star with the 36 year old rapper’s new girlfriend who happens to be 19-years-old.That’s the same age as one of Shawty Lo’s children on the show.
Forgive me, but I’m actually speechless, maybe I should just end here and try again in 2014 to see if our media images are any better.
Because, in 2013, when it comes to black media images we are still, for the most part, trapped in a stereotypical time warp where black males are either incarcerated, total buffoons, or procreate like it’s going out of style, while our females are greedy, promiscuous, male-bashing and smack-talkin’ opportunists.
You’ve heard the expression, “Gone with the old, in with the new…?” Well, this type of neo-Sambo programming should have been left back a long time ago.
We have an African American president and countless black politicians, scientists and representatives in top positions throughout corporate, academic and other arenas, and yet we are greeted in 2013 with Shawty Lo’s All My Babies’ Mamas.
Unacceptable, plain and simple. You see, for a lot of folks, “Seeing is believing…” and if you repeatedly condition someone’s mind with negative and destructive images of themselves― especially young folks still searching for their identities― you are largely programming their perception of what is real, and their aspirations for what they can achieve.
So, in this New Year, let’s lose the drama. You can go to change .org to sign a petition to boycott All My Babies’ Mamas by doing a search there for ‘Cancel Shawty…’ and yes, Shawty is being spelled S-H-A-W-T-Y or you can go to Oxygen.com and hit ‘Contact Us’ to communicate your dissatisfaction with this decision.
I’ll leave you with this from Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg:
“Whoever controls the media and the images, controls the culture.”