Originally, it was reported that Jay-Z wrote a poem explaining that he was no longer going to be using "the 'b'-word" anymore. While it took him a while to respond and deny it, I believe it's still relevant.
People have been talking about Jay-Z's recent pronouncement that he will no longer use "the 'b'-word" -- bitch -- and all I can say is, that's grand. Jay, who has made a living off of using the word "bitch," is going to stop because he has a daughter. All of a sudden it's personal to him and so he feels like he should nix that word from his vocabulary.
That seems just like the Republican Party.
Granted, Republican officials rarely run around openly using the word bitch (although many are huge fans of offensive rhetoric). Still, they can hold some of the coldest positions on issues -- until those issues directly affect them.
One thing about the Democratic Party is, even if something doesn't directly affect them, there's the general idea that they're trying to better society as a whole, that they don't just have to look out for those who are at the top. Republicans, on the other hand, seem to mainly look out for those who are just like them -- whose views are like theirs, who fit the same demographics, etc. The main time Republicans seem to alter their views and policies is when they are directly affected by something that makes them have a personal change of heart.
Jay-Z seems to have a similar motivation. To paraphrase a Too $hort line, Jay "just said bitch. I guess the bitch made him rich." He got rich off of his language. Now, he has a daughter, Blue Ivy, who, on the basis of her sex, could essentially be that bitch. Faced with it, he apparently decided to curb the word.
But what of all the other could-be bitches in his life? What about his mom? His other female relatives? His wife, Beyoncé? What about the woman walking down the street? Those bitches weren't enough for him to stop using that word.
Imagine if Republican lawmaker "Bob," who was vehemently opposed to Obamacare, suddenly had a cousin who was struck with a devastating illness, lost her job, and could only afford treatment through government-subsidized health care. Imagine that cousin went to Representative Bob and pleaded her case. Would Rep. Bob deny the care to his cousin? If he loved her, probably not. But if Rep. Bob saw one of his constituents walking down the street, unable to afford health care for a life-threatening illness, and that citizen pleaded his case, Rep. Bob would find it much easier to deny health care to him because that person's situation isn't personal to him.
The more people need things to be personal to them in order for them to do "the right thing" -- whatever that is -- the more skewed our world is. Not everything is about us; often, it's bigger than us. If something is good enough for us to do because it affects us personally, it should be good enough even when it doesn't directly affect us. I'm not saying that if we live with others in mind, we're going to change the world -- but maybe, each time we take this into account and positively act on it, it'll make even the tiniest things a little better.
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more