Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Flava of Shame

Because I liked his post, I decided to use his title.

In “Burn, Hollywood, Burn,” [Public Enemy] challenged media portrayals of Black men as uncivilized, criminal-minded buffoons, and likewise criticized the depiction of Black women as domestic handmaidens willing to perform on cue if the price is right. But Flav has now become complicit in the distribution of these same stereotypes. I’m not surprised that VH-1 would seek to exploit these sorts of images for profit: this is what mass media companies do. I am disappointed, though, that Flav so cheaply sold his integrity — and further contributed to the demeaning of Black identity.
The thing that burns me about it is that there are people who watch this stuff the world over, and for them, these charicatures are real--real black culture. After all, it is "reality" tv.
[You have no idea how many times I've wanted to punch somebody in the eye for treating me like a member of their imaginary reality.]
You can read Shavar's article here.


naina said...

"The thing that burns me about it is that there are people who watch this stuff the world over, and for them, these charicatures are real--real black culture."

Hey t-hype, I totally agree with you. Have you seen Khushi, by any chance? There's this dance sequence that Kareena and Fardeen do in blackface that made me feel so embarrassed to be Indian...

Indian Parrot said...

Unfortunately i have seen that show on VH1. I think it is entirely wrong to put all the blame on Flava. What about the girls. They are just too eager for their 15 minutes of fame also.
Almost all reality shows are designed in such a way that people will see and have this pathetic thinking that they are better than the person shown on television. It happens with all those pathetic shows like big brother, real world, next, and countless other shows which makes you feel better than others. Of course if a minority comes up they make sure to perpetrate stereotypes.
To me more than flava I hated all the girls on the show. Flava is more like a dumb person who doesnt know what he is doing. Its like he did not grow up after high school. But yeah, some people badly want to believe this caricatures as real black culture.

And also if you notice they make sure the craziest person on the show stays till the last episode.

Naina I have never seen that song. There is another song with vijay and trisha both dressed up in afro and trying to be gangsta. I liked that one. It was cool.

naina said...

indian parrot, i haven't seen the clip you mention. in the kareena/fardeen sequence they basically color their faces, don Afros, and get down with black people. it was WAY over the top.

t-hype said...

The girls definitely deserve their share of blame because most of them are a bit smarter than Flav (highschool dropout) and probably haven't killed 70% of their brain cells because of drugs like he has.

Still, Flav comes across as worse to me in part because he's a former member of Public Enemy so I guess it's his decline that bothers me. Most of the chicks on that show are nothing but strippers anyway so they haven't really debased themselves very much (more)...

Anonymous said...

Well not having seen the show, I can't really comment. T-Hype, are you of the opinion that NONE of the perception created by shows like this has any basis in reality? How about the perception created by some of the rap videos on BET etc? Does ANY of it ring true with modern black culture- or is it all a lie, done just for the cameras?

Pardesi Gori said...

I came across that show shortly after returning from India and was like, "why the hell are those somewhat attractive looking women vying for the attention of that ugly-ass, ignorant-acting, um, guy".

Had no idea he was from Public Enemy.

A good lesson to learn is this;

Wise and learned persons have taught that what we criticise, we tend to become. It is kind of like the Universe laughing at our audacious penchant for critising others - It puts us right in their place. So, at one time Flava may have criticised Hollywood for portraying black people in a certain way and guess what? A few years later he has become that which he has criticised.

Wait, does this mean I'm not gonna become like Flava because I wrote this?