Why Do We Applaud Foolishness?
I’m far too young to be saying this but times have truly changed, and not for the better. When we think about the role models of yesteryear, your Muhammad Alis and Lena Hornes and you compare them with today’s big names, such as Soulja Boy and Kim Kardashian, our generation certainly seems to pale in comparison. Gone are the days when the people we promoted, especially in the urban community, were well-spoken, strong, and aware individuals who stood up for what they believed in. There’s no activism, no concern, and very little intelligence on display by some of today’s rising stars.
Case in point:
Yes, he really said geometry. That’s beside the point. We have an obligation to our communities and to ourselves to set better examples. True enough, it is possible humble beginnings may make a quality education and messages of the merit hard to come by, but that’s an even bigger reason to develop one’s mind.
For instance, Nas dropped out of school in the eighth grade. From his rhymes, however, you would probably guess he went to college. Nas also expresses the importance of education and, earlier this year, announced plans (whether or not he has followed up on them) to go back to school.
Although he did talk about voting and education in a somewhat positive light, there was very little that Waka Flocka Flame could do to get himself out of the obvious hole of ignorance he dug. The message was clear: He was preaching insincerely about something he does not practice. To make matters worse, he was met with applause. By no means would things have gotten better had he been booed, but the implications of a lack of knowledge are a little too serious to be wiped away by the applause prompts at the 106 & Park studios. In a nutshell, it’s unacceptable.
Why is this such a big deal? To put it simply, we become (to an extent) what we feed ourselves. So when we applaud ignorance, and sell ourselves anything less than what is noble, honorable, and productive, we do ourselves a disservice. We become more likely to adopt these types of ideas and we feed stereotypes that affect the way the rest of us are perceived.
Before Generation Y becomes Generation What The… (you get the picture) we may need to feed our personalities less of the above, and more of the following: