Whenever I see fellow Blacks promoting Black power, exhibiting pride in their race, it baffles me to see these same representatives indulging in music that depreciates the race as a whole. How can you be so headstrong about the equality, the power, the love of / for your people when you listen to and support music that degrades the race? So much of the rap music on the radio is horrendous. I don’t listen to the radio myself, but when I am in the local Pizza Hut or beauty supply store, I hear it. I hear them talk about women like they are animals, commanding them to drop it to the floor, talking about sex like it’s an accessory, an idol worship mindset towards money… It grieves me. When I was younger, I’d go to the clubs listening to that same music, and degraded myself on the dance floor because that’s what the music called for. But now ? I’m older and I’m redeemed through Christ. I see it with different eyes.
I remember earlier this year, there was a popular song out about, um… receiving sexual favors. It was by males. It killed me when I’d see my young female coworkers walking around singing it like it was so hot. I think people are desensitized. People have become numb because they hear it SO much. It’s the cultural norm. Because of the music, men think it’s okay to say / do whatever to these young women, and the young women think think it’s just fine to be receptive.
It makes me think of an incident last week that happened when I left work. I was walking down the stairs of my building to the crosswalk so I could go to the train station and wait for my train. As I walked down the stairs, I heard some guys at the train station saying something, but a)I knew they couldn’t have been talking to me and b)I didn’t find it of importance. The light turned green and I walked to the train station. As I made it onto the pavement, I saw a group of 4 guys. They looked like they were maybe 19 – 22. As I walked by them, one of them yelled out “Hey sexy”. I kept walking because a)I was on the phone, b)My name is Jennifer, c)Was I really supposed to respond to that ??! As I walked by and ignored him, he grabbed my arm. I must have had a look of utter disgust on my face. My IMMEDIATE (although not necessarily Godly) reaction was to shake his hand off of my arm and look at him like he was out of his mind. I continued to walk as one of his friends yelled out, “Aw, don’t be like that!”
Needless to say, I was annoyed. What about me gave them the impression that I was a woman who would respond to that ? I know I look young (26 years old with a teenager’s face), but I don’t even carry myself in a manner that would attract that kind of attention. The thing is this – I KNOW some females respond to that. Some like it. Some giggle. Some give these dudes their number and it’s all downhill from there. I was like that when I was younger and without a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Gah, I remember those days… not something I am proud of, but it allows me to somewhat peek into the mindset so I can kind of understand what these girls are thinking about.
A month or so ago, at the same train station, I witnessed a young high school girl jump onto the middle of the train tracks. There was no train coming, so she just started dancing. Not ballet. Not jazz. Not choreography. She danced like she was in front of a pole and people were throwing money at her. I grieved for her because she thought it was cute, thought it was okay. What made it even worse was that the group of friends she was with – a mix of male and female – just cheered her on. Not one of them said, “Hey, sis, don’t disrespect yourself like that!”
I see things like this all the time. 13 year old girls dressed looking like a chicken dinner – All you see is legs, breasts, and thighs (I got that from the past dean of students at my school, hahaha). I see it all too often and I wish I didn’t.
There are so many elements of my past that allow me to relate. I want to reach out. I want to mentor, but it’s overwhelming. I want to affect the world. I’m just one person. That’s partly why I signed up to be a big sister with BBBS. If I could help one young woman grow up to respect herself, appreciate herself, and most of all love, respect, and obey the Father… I’d be thankful.
This post started out as one subject and ended up on another. Funny how that happens.