"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Charles Mackay
Friday, April 15, 2005
How MTV Underdeveloped Africa:
Pimps, Pistols and Pan Africanism
Min. Paul Scott

A.F.R.I.C.A. Angola, Soweto, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana

So let us speak....about the Motherland


Almost a century ago, the Honorable Marcus Garvey had a vision of a Pan Africanism that would unite all African people under a social, political and economic system of racial pride. In 2005, MTV has realized Garvey's dream with its own version of Pan Africanism: a world filled with Black men shooting at each other and scantily clad Black women, 'droppin it like it's hot.'

On April 20th, MTV will formally celebrate its recent launch of MTV Base, a local African network that is broadcast to over 40 African countries, with a massive 'Death' Jam in tha Motherland. However, based on the history of the media’s propaganda attack on Afrikan people, as well as MTV's role in the mental destruction of African children in America, this endeavor must be viewed with skepticism by those who realize that genocide is not only physical but a mental and spiritual reality, as well.

For my parents and grandparents the image of African people on the continent was one of a bunch of cannibals with bones in their noses chasing a white man in a loin cloth, swingin' from trees and hollerin' like he's lost his darn mind. As a child, I can remember 'Archie Bunker's daughter ' (Sally Struthers) making me feel so bad about starving Ethiopian children that I would break open my piggy bank so that I could get 50 cents so some poor child would have dinner that night. I didn't know that in some parts of Africa our Brothers and Sisters were chillin' in phat cribs watching cable tv.

For African people on the continent the image of Afrikans in America is that of a bunch of heavily armed Black men who only stop fighting each other long enough to put a dollar in Chocolate Thunda's thong at tha strip club. When Afrikans in America meet our Bothers and Sisters from "the continent' we have a fear that they may be considering to literally, have us for lunch. This misinformation by the MEDIA (MisEducation Destroying Intelligent Afrikans) has resulted in a deep distrust amongst Afrikan people, globally.

MTV'S role in anti-African propaganda cannot be overstated, from its humble beginnings in the early 80's when the only Black videos they showed were by Michael Jackson to the present where, as Fred Sanford would say, 'they got more Black folks than a Tarzan movie' MTV has, undeniably, helped shape the world's image of African people.

In its heyday, YO! MTV Raps, showed the world the diversity of Hip Hop and the pleas for Black unity of the Self Destruction video outweighed the sexually explicit 2 Live Crew joints. But the good ole days of MTV Raps is over and Kool Moe D's 'I never ever ran from the KU Klux Klan, so I shouldn't have to run from a Black man' lyric has been replaced by Lil John's ode to Black on Black violence' If ya fall up in tha club and them niggaz wanna mug. When ya step to they face...what they gonna do????'

Although MTV is promoting this endeavor as part business/part humanitarian effort, there are several reasons why the humanitarian aspect is subject to scrutiny. According to news reports MTV base will include performances by local groups to showcase Africa's rich culture. However, one must ask how much rich local talent doing positive Hip Hop is shown on MTV in America ? Also, it was stated that MTVbase will show programing focusing on Africa's AIDS epidemic. It seems hypocritical that a network that is known for videos that promote reckless ' Freak-a-leekin' in America would adopt such a puritanical ethic when across seas. You can't get on the plane in America as Paris Hilton and get off the plane, in Africa as Mother Teresa. It just doesn't work that way. One might also argue that if MTV Base is so Afrocentrically positive, then maybe it is needed more in the United States , where Black children have been exposed to MTV's ugly side for more than a decade, than in Africa.

Yet, while we may bemoan MTV's African Odyssey, the question that we must ask ourselves is why has MTV and Hip Hop in general, succeeded in uniting African people in ways that Garvey never dreamed and why have we not successfully applied these techniques in our effort to reach Black youth.

The failure of the Black Nationalist community to come up with a International Hip Hop Agenda cannot be overlooked. Why hasn't the Black Nationalist community implemented simple strategies such as a Hip Hop Peace Council that will be responsible for squashing "beefs" or groups of Black Power 'missionaries' in communities that will seek dialogue with Hip Hop artists when they travel to different cities.

The lack of a Hip Hop agenda makes many Black youth feel that Black scholars are more interested in teaching Black folks how to build pyramids out of soup cans and paper glue then teaching them how to use Hip Hop to change their realities. In the words of Doughboy from 'Boys in the Hood' 'either they don't know. don't show or don't care about what's goin' on in tha 'hood. '

Unless, we as Afrikan people develop a Pan Africanism to counter MTV's Pan Africanism, company's like MTV will continue to get rich off of our suffering while we continue to dance to our own destruction.

Minister Paul Scott represents the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham NC.

Both Che and Marcus Garvey had the same idea based on the same principles. We are all members of a larger race spread out through out the world because of european exploration and conquest. But we are not defeated we are simply lost to the realities of the power we hold.
-R J Noriega
posted by R J Noriega at 3:56 PM | Permalink |


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