Pull Up Your Pants, Turn Off Your Swagger – The Bill O’ Reilly Debate

Fox News Host Bill O’ Reilly talked about how the African American community is disintegrating, and young black men are choosing lives filled with drugs, violence and crime. He also featured a a song sung by Lil Wayne, using it as an example to show people how black music is full of negative language and ideas.

CNN host Don Lemon supported this claim and said that African American men need to make five essential reforms:

– pull up their pants
– stop saying the “N” word
– take care of their community
– finish high school
– lower the rate of children born out of wedlock

…ouch.

I wanted to put out my view on this debate. While yes, it is true that if you were walking in a neighbourhood and came across a black chains swinging teenager, you’d nervously shuffle aside and keep 911 dialed on your cell phone, I feel this debate is a teensy bit hypocritical. Obviously black music, hip hop and rap have some messages that promote violence, drinking and promiscuity, but then I ask you: what of the multi million dollar industry that is high fashion?

Okay so it might not be on the same scale as this apparent problem. But while we can blame African American rappers for promoting a sloppy look and drug use, all the while making millions off their music, why don’t we consider blaming the fashion industry for their inaccurate portrayal of the human body? I find it disturbing how every year, diseases like anorexia and bulimia are climbing, because girls and boys start to find imperfection with themselves. Size 00 has become the new 0, 0 has become the new 2 and so on… Black rappers might be sending unhealthy messages to their community, but what of the sick images that fashion distributes?

At the same time, obesity is rising in the USA, so we know the food industry is doing well thank you. Fat teenagers turn to starving themselves, hating their bodies, caught in a vicious cycle. This mostly affects Caucasian women and men, if the research is to be believed. And while potential models don’t turn to street crime or  violence, they do revel in drugs, promiscuity and drinking. My point in this debate was not to negate Bill O’ Reilly or whine about white people hating on black people. I simply wanted to present the other side of the argument, and show you that every race has it’s own problems and issues, and harmony is key.

As O’ Reilly put it “Who wants to see someone’s butt crack?”. I say, “Who wants to see someone’s ribs sticking out?”

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