Nov. 12,2007 The News Argus Optnton/Editoriai 3 Oprah, Russell, Kanye, where were you? Ural Garrett BLACK COLLEGE WIRE As the "Jena Six" rally came and went, a particular article came to my attention on MTV.com, in which rap per/actor Mos Def said the following: "Shame on every body who's not here." Def fumed, "I'm f—in' mad. I'm disappointed to always be coming to these things and it's only one or two people [from the industry here]. If you ain't gonna use your voice, then be quiet. I'm dis appointed and ashamed." Well, in a way I couldn't have agreed with him more. It's pathetic to know how outspoken Oprah Winfrey is about the African school she built and how rap is detri mental for the youth and yet hasn't been vocal about the "Jena Six." What's really pathetic is to know that we have so many conscious rappers like Common, whose Afro-cen tric rhymes led many to believe that he actually cares for his people, but ironically he hasn't spoken on the issue or apparently hasn't donated to the "Jena Six" Defense Fund. It angers me to know that Russell Simmons is the first one to defend rap when people say it's bad for the youth, and attack President Bush when things seems right but wouldn't stand up or help six young men who are being heavily discrimi nated against. When Kanye West uttered the infamous line, "George Bush doesn't care about black people," I, for a while, thought that maybe popular artists weren't overly spoiled and selfish pre- Madonnas but real people like me. Maybe he is materi alistic but caring. Maybe he Photo courtesy of MCT Wire Hip-Hop artist and producer Kanye West has been Itnown to speak his mind on issues in the black community, but West has remained silent on the Jena Six issue. was trying to get more peo ple to buy his album, which was released around the same time. Whatever your opinion may be, what's true was that Kanye didn't money up for the six, either. And these are the public leaders of Black America? So much for helping your brother when in need. I could say that 50 doesn't care about Blacks, but that's obvious due to the fact that he has said in numerous interviews that he is not only a Bush supporter, but a fan of the Republican Party and that if he didn't have a felony that he would in fact vote for him if he had the chance. Oh yeah, did I men tion that he felt the Katrina catastrophe was an act of God? So with "Fiddy," I really didn't expect him to come out of pocket to help pay for their [the Jena 6] bonds. With the estimated 20,000 people who went to Jena, you'd think some rappers and highly paid Blacks would lend a hand; but maybe they're too caught up in their Ferraris and ten mil lion dollar homes, or maybe pleasing the white execu tives who own them [yes, even Oprah is owned by white executives, but that's for later]. With all these things, I still feel conflicted; the twenty-year-old male in me says, "So what? I'll go with the rest of society," but the black conscious male in me says, "Forget all them because at the end of the day, they do nothing for me nor my people." This situation shows that if something happens involving black injustice due to white allegiance, some blacks won't be around. What I'm saying is, don't count on Oprah to do a special on your mother that may have been tor tured by six crazy white people. Sure, you have people like David Banner and T.l. lend ing support, but it's still a small number compared to the thousands of other multi-million dollar artists who could have ended this situation in a day. As an African American journalist, my responsibility is to make sure my people are represented well in the media. When it comes to the wealthy or highly influential blacks of the world, it is their responsibility to be as vocal as possible about social issues as well. Say what you will about Rev. A1 Sharpton and Jesse Jackson being media hounds, at least if a blacks gets discriminated against in Alaska, they'll be there. T.L’s arrest is another setback in hip-hop The Hilltop Editorial Board BLACK COLLEGE WIRE To the dismay of many hip-hop fans, multi-platinum record selling artist T.L, born Clifford Harris, was arrested following an extensive two-week sting operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Saturday, Oct. 13. T.l. was picked up in the parking lot of a shopping center near the venue of the BET Hip-Hop Awards trying to buy three machine guns and two silencers from undercover ATF operatives. T.l. had nine nominations and was scheduled to perform at the awards show that same night. The issues surrounding the case are simple. There could not have been any intent to register these weapons because as a convicted felon, T.l. isn't allowed to own so much as a handgun, let alone three machine guns. Convicted of drug violations in 1998, T.l. is no stranger to the law and legal system. Conditions and terms of his probation were made clear with his first conviction. Why did he feel that it was neces sary to have what is being compared to an arsenal in his possession? As a chart-topping artist making the amount of money T.l. is making per year, the notion that he would jeopardize his position as a recog nized and respected staple in the hip-hop community with his alleged actions is mind- boggling. T.l. recently participated as a pan elist on the BET broadcast of "Hip Hop vs. America," chosen to repre sent the hip-hop community to speak against the negative percep tion of hip-hop in America. If one was to compare T.I.'s com ments on the show to his actions, one could easily see him as a hyp ocrite and a victim of his own bad judgment. "Now don't get me wrong, do some artists need to be held respon sible for their actions and for their lyrics and for them taking it too far sometimes? Absolutely," T.l. said during the BET broadcast of "Hip- Hop vs. America." Now that he is, in fact, being held responsible for his actions, it is ques tionable whether T.l. was genuine in saying that in the first place. With many rap artists' music being a depiction of the life they have led, T.I.'s should have been just that, a verbal illustration of what was and no longer is his lifestyle. All men aren’t dogs The fact that T.l. is still involved in the criminal lifestyle is at the very least disturbing when taken into account his status in hip-hop society. How many artists today claim that their music is an expressive form of the life they have left behind for a better one? Although not all rap artists are involved in the criminal lifestyle, T.I.'s actions do bring the whole genre under scrutiny because he has said one thing and was caught doing another. The hip-hop community is already struggling to fight negative stereo types and a bad reputation, both in America and internationally. T.l. has made the fight that much harder. With the rate of crime being as high as it is in America and the scrutiny being placed on hip-hop and its fans for the music's alleged contri bution to the rate of crime, one would think that artists would be mindful to not perpetuate the situa tion. T.I.'s activities have done nothing but worsened the relationship between hip-hop, fans and America. It is disappointing, aggravating and shows that an artist's words on camera may not be worth as much as fans believe they are. Editorial Policy The News Argus is a student publication of Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, N.C. The views and opin ions expressed on the Opinion page are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of The News Argus staff or of the fac ulty, staff, students, or administration of the university. We welcome letters to the editor and opinion columns. Letters and columns should not exceed 400 words in length. E-mail your columns and letters to newzargus@yahoo. com. Or, deliver them in person on a CD or DVD at Carolina Hall, Room G005. E-mailed submissions should be sent in MSWord format. With each article or letter, please include your name, major or depart ment, classification, e- mail address and phone number so we may con tact you for verification and confirmation. The News Argus editors reserve the right to edit letters and opin ion columns for length, grammar, clarity, profan ity and style, but not for ideas. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Alexander Knight BLACK COLLEGE WIRE __ An issue that has caused a lot of debate, controversy and painful personal experi ences is this: For centuries, women have believed that all men are dogs. I don't believe it's true, but several factors push both genders in different directions. Good men are often the ones you never notice because they fly under the radar. They are respectful, mature, intelligent. A good man is a man, not a boy. Women need to realize there is more to a man than just his physical appearance and the tangible things that he owns. What you should really care about: What are his goals, personality, char acter? How does he treat you, and what does he want out of life? But men are not so innocent. There are a lot of guys who make it hard for nice guys by taking a woman for all she has, and the nice guy has to come behind you. When you examine men and women, women are more emotionally attached than men. Women want that special someone, while some men might feel the same way. Society has taught men not to cry, to never show emotions. If a man does those things, he is considered less of a man. If you have emotion, you just hide it. From the B.C. days to now, men who have a lot of women have power and are highly respected. Since the beginning of time, women have accused men of being dogs. But women have a part in this, just as much as men do. Today, many women dress provocatively, and it sends the wrong message to guys. The way women dress today fuels the sexual desire of men. Women should not be in a hurry to call men dogs because, according to Sun.com, 43 percent of women cheat on their lovers compared to 34 percent of males. Women are able to get away with cheating because they have valid rea sons why they cheated and guys mostly cheat for sexual reasons. Women need to stop lis tening to relationship advice from other women who don't have a man! Something that is really shocking is a lot of women call men dogs, but they knew that he was a dog before they met him. Guys, most women know about your past. One last thing about some women is how they want a man who is thug-like because he may be tough and financially stable. But the thug part comes out when he starts beating them or cheating. Then they blame him. But that is what they wanted, a thug. The News Argus wants YOU 'T 1 News editor Photo editor These two paid staff positions are open for Spring semester 2008. Applications available at The News Argus office, Carolina Hall, G005. Submit by Nov. 21. Interviews begin Nov. 26. The News Argus The Student Nev/spaper of Winston-Salem State University Editor-In-Chief Managing Editor News Editor Steven J. Gaither Sharrod Patterson Tamika Green Photo Editor Garrett Garms Advertising Manager Landon Mundy Copy Editor Tecarra Sutton Online Editor James Cherry Staff Writers Tracey Bowen Angel Brown Kesha Collins Brandon Crawford Alexis D'Anjou Stephanie Douthit Trygeania Dowell Grant Fulton Jerome Hancock Tiffany Hardy Staci Harris Temple Jolly Marvin Lattimore Gabrielle Leonard Taresh Moore Tiffany Ross Erik Spencer Franklin Terry . Charlene Wheeler Larry W. Williams Larry Williams * The News Argus is a weekly newspaper for the students, faculty and staff of WSSU. * Opinions expressed in The News Argtis are not necessarily those of the faculty, staff or administration at WSSU. * For advertising information e-mail newzargus @ yahoo.com or call 336-750-8704 www.thenewsargus.com
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