DMX is a drug addict in need of help. Iyanla, knowing what she had urged viewers to respond to a Twitter hashtag #Support DMX and internet prayer circles were started up via social media. After the interview, DMX’s camp issued a statement focusing on his next career moves and saying that DMX felt that appearing on the show hardly fixed his life, but made it worse. While we’re trying to figure out what “worse” looks like for DMX, the telling detail is that his camp is focusing on his rap and film career. At this juncture, is that really the main priority? Or should his health, sobriety and welfare come first?
DMX is a sad and angry man and he’s all too symbolic of the many men that we all know like that in our own lives. A victim of his childhood circumstances, DMX is unwilling or incapable of moving past his pain. That same issue is being played out in neighborhoods and in homes all across America. That the focus is on a celebrity rap star, whose money and talent gave him advantages most addicts don’t get, seems both exploitative and jarring. Sure, Iyanla has ratings to get and a show to keep on the air and she’s not doing anything anyone else in her field isn’t doing. But would it have been more instructive to have a group of black men on who could talk about what led them to substance abuse and toxic anger in the first place – and also how they’ve healed?
How do we heal these broken men, without getting broken ourselves? Watching Tashera talk about the verbal abuse she took from DMX, given that she was the one person in his life that showed him love and loyalty was truly sad. How do we hold men like DMX accountable for behavior and choices that have hurt others, while simultaneously supporting them in the healing they so obviously need? How do we as mothers, sisters, aunties and daughters heal ourselves so that we can raise strong sons who can bear what life throws at them and raise strong families themselves?
We need those kinds of solutions in our community. Reality TV does a good job at showcasing the problem. But it is our collective responsibility to fix it.
Watch the entire “Iyanla, Fix My Life” episode with DMX.