I recently had an interesting conversation about black youth and why they're so angry. I've been working with young people for several years and have concluded that second to parenting; the media has bolstered this anger. By definition, anger is 'a strong feeling of displeasure or hostility.' Something about the allure and pursuit of money, power and respect has encouraged some extremely imprudent behavior, endorsed by the mainstream media.
I'm angry too. I'm tired of being inundated with audacious images of black people. Seeing insecure women fighting over what they heard a fake friend may have said, grown men and their reckless etiquette, glorifying the disrespect of women and members of the LGBT community and advertisements promoting products that have no nutritional or intellectual value. Please believe that I'm thankful Mr. Charles Ramsey in Cleveland was able to help the young women who had been kidnapped, but that reporter could have regulated that conversation and saved him from looking like a joke. The man is a hero, not a clown.
How is that young people are halfway challenged to make healthy choices (by black media specifically) after Lil' Wayne is admitted to the hospital again due to seizures? I wonder how many know Wayne is epileptic. What a great special report we never saw. What are we supposed to think when the main topic on most reality shows is 'I'm just a regular person, but let me look rich and host my event and walk the red carpet'? And how on Earth are we supposed to advance the country when seasoned media professionals quote Jay-Z lyrics and question the sitting president about his approval of the vacation of a celebrity?? Please.
What about Broccoli City, host of the largest urban Earth Day celebration in U.S. history promoting green living and protecting the environment? You probably haven't heard about these black intellectuals and their unprecedented green movement. Its founder, Brandon McEachern is a graduate of the top public historically black college in the nation, North Carolina Central University.
I suppose Generation "Why" (aka the Millennials, aka '80s babies) got set up for success. We were taught to find an interest, set a goal, do the research, make a plan and prepare for implementation. We grew up with The Cosby Show, Family Matters and school shows like A Different World and Saved By The Bell. Life nuggets were the theme of each episode, (Telling the truth, respect of all, hard work and responsibility) supporting some type of moral compass, remember? At least I knew I could go to college and be a doctor or a lawyer. Now, dating a doctor, professional athlete or celebrity is the template the less talented have mastered.
If our youth rarely see excellent examples of brown people setting a goal, achieving their dreams, being honest and respectful to all they meet, what do we expect for the future? I want more from the media industry. I'm not complaining, rather encouraging you to take that thing that makes you mad, develop a strategy and offer a solution. Mine is on the way.
Protect what you see and watch what you say. #SpeakLife everyday!