Monthly Archives: October 2011

Seriously? Tyrese Kicked being kicked out of a radio station shows we have a long way to go (Opinion piece)

I don’t do celebrity gossip. I could care less about who’s sleeping with who. You probably won’t come to my blog to find out the latest thing Solange is doing with her hair…(or, maybe you will). However, I do care about issues that effect our society. When I turned on the news last week, I was shocked to hear that singer/actor/author, Tyrese Gibson, was thrown out of a Delaware radio station for speaking out against liquor stores near schools. Seriously?

When I heard the sound bite on TMZ, I didn’t hear any of the following: foul language, degrading women, obscenities, etc. What I heard, was a black man speaking out against one of the ills that is plaguing our community. I have a serious problem with liquors in depressed economic areas. Studies show that there is a link between higher densities of liquors stores and higher youth homicide rates. Now you might say, what does this have to do with natural hair. Well, I personally believe that the natural hair movement (and, yes I’m calling it a movement) is causing a shift away from the normal means of how blacks consume goods in our society and how we are marketed to.

Natural hair tends to encourage a more holistic lifestyle. People are becoming more concerned with: a. where they spend their money, b. what types of substances they put on their hair and in their body, and c. the type of lifestyle they want to be associated with. It is no longer acceptable for certain ethnic groups to set up shop in our communities with little regard for the safety, well being and advancement of its residents and sell us junk. Disclaimer: I love all God’s creation and just want peace and justice for all…

As for Tyrese being throw out for speaking his mind, it shows we have a long way to go in correcting the social imbalances in our society. It really didn’t make sense for the program director of the radio station to do that unless he thought that it might upset some of his sponsors. Dr. Boyce Watkins of New One illuminates this sitaution, stating:

All jokes aside, the entire Delaware community should take this radio station off of its dial. We should not tolerate living in a society where Black men are rewarded for celebrating ignorance and punished for making intelligent and empowered statements. In fact, some would say that an intelligent Black man is the greatest enemy to corporate America, which makes money by keeping us high, drunk and looking for the next party. Had Tyrese shown up to the radio station half-drunk, with a mouth full of gold teeth, yelling “Where the liquor at ni**a?” he likely would have been a hit on the station and invited back for an encore.

Even in the midst of promoting his new hit single, Stay, Tyrese took a stand for something he believed in. I don’t think it was a publicity stunt and I commend him for it. Unfortunately, his music will not be playing on Kiss 101.7 until they receive an apology from him claiming that Tyrese insulted the citizens of Delaware. What are your thoughts about all this?