Friday, September 14, 2007

Enough Is Enough Better Stay Off Debra Lee's Petunias

Those outside the DC Urrrea might not have heard anything about this weekend's "Enough Is Enough" rally to take place here. This march, which is only, uhhmm, about seven years too late, is scheduled to convene downtown, then march to the front yard of BET CEO Debra L. Lee.

Peep the details...

Determined to stop the entertainment industry from portraying negative images of black men and women, the "Enough is Enough!" Campaign will hold its first rally and demonstration at the Washington DC residence of Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO, Black Entertainment Television Networks. The demonstration will take place this Saturday, September 15th, at 1:00 p.m.

A press conference will be held at the site of the rally, 2800 McGill Terrace, NW, Washington, DC at 2:00 p.m.

Community leaders are fed up with derogatory media images of black men and women. Rev. Delman L. Coates, Ph.D., Organizer is championing this action. People of conscience and concern are encouraged to come out in support of this effort. The purpose of the campaign is to protest the commercialization and marketing of negative and derogatory images of black men and women in the entertainment industry. Weekly demonstrations will be held on Saturdays.
I knew McGill Terrace was in upper Northwest DC, but wasn't sure exactly where. A MapQuest search revealed that this joint is right near the National Zoo and Rock Creek Park. In other words, as expected, it's in a very nice neighborhood on "The Other Side Of The Park". These folks better watch their backs, cause despite DC's rep as Chocolate City, anyone familiar knows that anything west of 16th St. is lily white. The sight of hundreds of random Negros rolling up on the scene will not doubt have residents hitting that 911 speed dial button. This could get real ugly.

I'm not sayin' Rev. Coates and Co. don't have a valid point here. BET, despite cleaning up their act with slightly better shows this season, still traffics too much crap like Comic View, SOB, and Hell Date. But then again, it's called Black ENTERTAINMENT Television. Not Black EDUCATIONAL Television. When Bob Johnson and Co. accepted that check from Viacom, any semblance of "commitment to the black community" was a wrap, not that it already wasn't. Thus, while I admire the drive, this whole rally seems a proverbial "Day Late and Many Dollars Short" to me. Really, what's the point? Lee sure as hell won't be home. Her neighbors will call the cops, these folks are rallying in a residential neighborhood without permits. Again, it could, and probably will, end badly.

Lee is obviously no dummy. In addition to not being home on the 15th, she took the initiative to write "Enough Is Enough" a letter explaining her side of the story in hopes of stopping all those Negroes from stomping on her petunias and embarrassing her in front of her country club neighbors. I was forwarded this in a PDF (hit me on email if you want it), so excuse the lack of a web link. The letter basically defends BET by saying they have "quality shows" like Baldwin Hills, Bobby Jones Gospel, Keyshia Cole (WTH?), and Meet the Faith. It also states that "BET does not air programming that endorses or condones illegal drugs or gratuitous violence", they have a "list of words that are forbidden on our channel", and they "do not air music videos that contain graphic or excessive sexual activity or violence". Seems like Rev. Coates ain't the only one smokin' here.

Let's be real, BET is still full of trash, but they again, it ain't like I didn't already tell you that. The other night, flipping thru channels, I landed on a show called "American Gangsta". This shit is basically Eyes On The Prize for drug dealers. That new Kanye/T-Pain video with the girl's ass hanging out is all the "excessive sexual activity" you need for proof. The words "Bitch", "Ho", "Nigga", etc. can be heard anyday on "106th and Park". So, there's alot of delusion floating around here from both sides.

Still, I can't really see the point in boycotting Lee. BET, MTV, VH-1, etc. are all corporate behemoths that feed the mothership known as Viacom. You can't really expect anything to change, because all these stations are for-profit entities that have a proven formula of cheap, lowest common denominator programming that's virtually money in the bank. No protest can tame that corporate monster. Maybe, just maybe this approach woulda worked back before BET sold out, but I doubt it. I'm pretty sure Bob Johnson had security around his crib too.

If you want wholesome family entertainment, turn to TV One. If you want your kids to be educated, turn off the TV and take them to the library instead of sitting in the next room watching them "Crank Dat Soulja Boy".

But lame rallies and boycotts seven years after the fact ain't changin' a thing.

Enough Is Enough To Rally Outside Home of BET Executive

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