I Am NOT Shawty Lo!
The Oxygen Network plans to unleash a brand new beastly show called All My Baby Mamas starring Shawty Lo, his children and their mothers along with his young girlfriend. Already, the internet is seering over another product of the white media’s black inferiority campaign in the form of a reality television show. I, myself, have written a post about this project, and signed the petition to keep it from emerging on the small screen.
There are so many things wrong with a show premiering on a network supposedly founded to empower women. (I guess that objective went down the drain with the incursion of The Bad Girls Cub.) The thought of creating and greenlighting a show that emphasizes negative black family stereotypes shows that the producers and the network are turned on by skin color and ratings. As usual people would take this pile of reality as legitimate proof of the black race’s inferiority just as they did with minstrel shows and rap videos. The sad part is that some of those people are the same color as the so-called stars of this piece.
Most of my posts have dealt with white racism and its disciples, but there comes a time where you have to be real with members of your own community. I’ve written a few posts on collective black shame. Already, there are some brothas and sistas coming down with that sickness.
Some black people have heard about this reality show and immediately expressed their antipathy. But they also expressed disappointment not just in the fact that such an idea is in play, but they believe that Shawty Lo’s baby mama saga is typical within the black community. In their minds most black communities across America are overflowing with illegitimate children by irresponsible, stupid black men with nothing but pussy on the brain and the dumbass women who open up with legs for them. Some may even go far as to believe that is how black people are and that we are just screwed up…just like Mr. Charlie said for hundreds of years.
Brothas and sistas, Shawty Lo’s situation is not typical or a black pathology. It may not even be a problem if Mr. Lo and his children’s mothers’ are in their kids lives as a responsible parents. (Keep in mind that I didn’t called the children ‘babies’ as in ‘baby mama’ or ‘baby daddy’ because from the picture alone, they are not babies. They appear to be preteens, but they no more babies than me and my older sister.) We need to stop trying to believe that Shawty Lo as a representative of ourselves. Tami Winfrey Harris at Jezebel lays it down:
Stop owning the idea of black dysfunction. Stop repeating that “we” act this or that way. Stop believing that every ill-advised or socially unacceptable act of an individual black person (or 20 black people or 1,000) is a blight on the whole of the black community or YOU personally. Stop pretending that all black behavior is endorsed by the black collective. That racist America thinks this way is no endorsement. But taking to comments sections to proclaim loudly your disgrace at how other black people are living is an endorsement of credit-to-your-race type thinking as well as the idea that the caricatures the media treat us to really are representative of our race.
Stop it with the black shame. Shawty Lo is not the black community. If the white guys over on Gawker aren’t hanging their heads over Mick Jagger, his many children, and their mothers, then you can still hold your head high in a world where Shawty Lo and “Fighter Baby Mama” exist.
We need to stop being ashamed of being what we were born with like it was some disease or hideous birthmark. Most of all, we need to break free of the white racist mindset that has us thinking about ourselves in dark monolithic ways. We are NOT a race of criminals, athletes or baby popping hoes. That is what many white people think, especially those in the entertainment industry. So, why on Earth would we want to think like them when they hold racial double standards that don’t pan out? If you think this is the absolute way to think or if you want to covertly please your white friends, you are in for a rude awakening.
Will All My Baby Mamas see the light of day? I hope not. We’ve already been through hell with shows like Flavor of Love and every reality cop show. We don’t need another 21st century “Make whites feel good about being white” show. However, if by some twisted cosmic act of fate that this show does air this spring, we must not consider it a monolithic collective image of the American black community for one simple supported reason, it’s not. For your own sake, either change the channel or turn off the TV.