NO DOUBLE STANDARD... JUST A STANDARD
FINAL THOUGHT ON IMUS
The "N" word proliferates the music of Jay Z. MF's, N's and violence are what he writes about. How come GM uses him to sell cars, Coke-a-Cola uses him to sell sodas, and Budweiser uses him to sell beer?
Below are a couple lines from songs appearing on Jay Z's "The Blueprint."
"N's kidnap your babies, spit at your lady
We bring - knife to fistfight, kill your drama
Uh, we kill you MF'n ants with a sledgehammer
Don't let me do it to you dunny cause I overdo it
So you won't confuse it with just rap music"
"I, am, BACK, N's - whoo! whoo! whoo! whoo!
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Turn the MF'n music up
The ruler's back
I, am, back, N's"
Check him out next to his custom ride by GM. They've got a color named after him. If you've watched any sporting event on TV in the last year you've seen dude in a number of commercials for Budweiser. He also designed a can for Coke.
Jay Z even partnered with the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. They worked together on world water issues.
Now many people have cried "double standard" when they look at this phenomenon. Imus says some racist stuff on the radio and sponsors drop him like a bad habit. Jay Z markets racism, violence, and sexism and companies are lining up to be associated with him. "Double standard," people cry.
Here's my answer to that... no double standard. Both Imus and Jay Z are held to the same standard... cash earning potential.
This is only about money. An old white dude on the radio popping racist on his show can't make money for his employers because sponsors dropped him. He can't make money for sponsors, because they feared loss of customers, even boycotts due to the outrage.
Jay Z makes money off of those very same things. GM, Bud, Coke, and the music industry are pretty sure that associating themselves with Jay Z will bring in cash. If they weren't right, they'd have severed ties, just like Imus' sponsors did. I'm not sure what Mr. Annan's reasoning was.
I'm not passing any moral judgment on this stuff... not on Jay Z or on Imus. I'm just laying out the reality.
We the consumers reap what we sew. We shun Imus and buy Jay Z's endorsed products. If you don't like racist rap, then don't buy Coke, GM or Budweiser, and tell those companies that's why. That's the only way this changes, if you think it ought to.
I'll admit, I don't listen to dude's music, and as a good Wisconsinite, I don't drink Bud either. That's neither here nor there. It's not like African Americans have the market cornered on racism in music and Hollywood. One of my favorite shows is Sopranos. I've heard the F word more than once in there. I've seen unspeakable violence and sex, and I've certainly seen a lot of racist behavior.
Think about that. My last name is Vitrano! I'm Italian and can't get enough of Sopranos, Good Fellas, the Godfather, et al. I guess I ought not be surprised when the stereotypes promulgated by Hollywood are visited upon me. Somebody here at work once called me a "Gumba" because I looked like a "gangster." Oh well. True story.
So in a nutshell... we get what we buy. We the consumer buy racism and violence marketed by some. We admonish it when offered by others. Still, I contend it's no "double standard." The singular standard is the answer to one question: can you make us money? If the answer is no, you got to go. If the answer is yes you'll be a success. Check it out. I just wrote my own rap lyrics!