Radio Facts: Radio Facts:
Singer and actor Tyrese Gibson has been boldly making a name for himself for years. He started his career years ago running late for an audition for a Coca-Cola commercial that he actually won and his career has skyrocketed since. He's recorded many great hit songs on RCA Records and he's become an impressive actor appearing in a couple of major franchise blockbuster movies. It also appears that Tyrese may be headed towards an eventual political career or at best a leadership position within the black community as he has authored a New York Times Bestseller “How to Get out of YourOwn Way” and the new book Manology. Tyrese is targeting young black men with his book to step up to the plate, you won't find many people in the black community to argue with that. Great job Tyrese.
Recently on WGCI's morning show in Chicago, Tyrese noted that the massive homicide rate in Chicago was a major issue being ignored specifically by a two very big public figures who he deems should be representing the situation better than they are. President Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Tyrese alluded neither is doing enough to combat the problem.
We posted the story last week and MANY people agree with him but we're not so sure… but we wanted to wait for a while to see if any opposing comments came in and many did but they were via private email from industry people who did not want to be identified. Many industry people are under the impression that they are stars outside of the industry (lol). Not so, nevertheless, these are the reasons we beg to differ with Mr. Gibson: (click “Next” above or below)
1. We are Responsible for Our OWN Children
It's the plain and simple truth. When our kids misbehave in school, the school doesn't contact another child's parent(s). While we are responsible for our own children we can't always be there when they make the wrong decisions and sometimes they will. The black family is still in crisis and black women are heading too many families on their own, kids need love, guidance, protection, security, discipline, hugs and much more that help him or her to develop self esteem and self worth, when they can't find it at home, they don't usually turn to the President or Oprah, there's a good chance they will get it from where it's most accessible.. the streets.
2. We Have to Teach our Children to be Responsible for THEMSELVES
Kids watch parents in the first few years like hawks. When there is only a mother in the household they see what men are coming around, whether or not she is working, if she is neglecting them for him, if she is making excuses, so and and so forth. Parents don't have to say a word, their actions are carefully gleaned over the years to help the child formulate not only who their mother is but who women are. Many children of addicts grow up to be addicts themselves because it's all they know, what goes on in that apartment or house is that child's world and the best way to teach our kids is by biting the bullet, sucking it up, taking the bull by the horns, stepping on selfishness and setting a damn great example and when you can't… explain it don't let the child come up with his or her own conclusions because they will probably be wrong and somehow center it on them as the problem.
3. There are still way too few black fathers in the home
This crisis probably dates back in all fairness to slavery, when black men and women were ripped apart, beaten, murdered raped and sold, then again during segregation, the Great Depression and Civil Rights when black men couldn't find work. Many black boys and girls from the 60s through the mid 80s grew up without fathers or financial support, burdening the welfare system to a point where the government finally stepped in and demanded black men be at least financially responsible for their children, unfortunately, so much damage has been done to the black family at this point, financial support is STILL not enough. There was a time that people gawked if a black man had 5 kids that he didn't care about now that number is as high as 25 kids. What do Oprah and President Obama have to do with that?
4. President Obama is Busy
In all fairness, rebuilding a disastrous economy, ending a war, running an election, changing our insurance system so that the poor can finally have proper health care, traveling worldwide meeting with world leaders, working with congress, running a country and raising his OWN two daughters seems to be more than a full time job. Could he fund or donate money and resources to Chicago? Probably but donating money to cancer research doesn't generate an instant cure. The ROOT must be addressed and that doesn't always involve money… the link is in what's CAUSING the cancer.
5. Oprah Winfrey is Busy
Running a TV Network and leaping hurdles that many PEOPLE have yet to accomplish in entertainment over the past 25 years Oprah Winfrey has put over 500 black men through college. While it may not be time for her to clock out she can certainly go home for the day. Job done.
6. Tyrese is closer to the Generation
While many of the kids in Chicago know who Oprah, President Obama and Tyrese are … Tyrese has two great advantages over the both of them, he's in the music industry and he's closer to their age. These kids often aspire to be in the music industry or sports and they RESPECT and admire Tyrese and his influence.
7. Should we Point Fingers or Address the Problem
8. WE have failed our OWN children
This is certainly a general statement and does not apply to the many great black parents out there who have done a stellar job of raising their children but as far as the rest of the community goes… We do NOT have the luxury of sitting back and pointing the finger at other black people who have money, power and influence for not doing enough to address what's going on in our own community while we do absolutely NOTHING.
This is the sad truth. Tyrese is too young to understand or remember like those of us over 40 how the early 80s changed the black community forever. Crack, AIDS and massive homicides (at times intertwined) EXPLODED and had people shut their otherwise open front doors with music blasting for the whole neighborhood to hear…We remember the smell of fried chicken, Kool cigarettes and Colt 45 cans popping everywhere. Then the 80s hit and we laughed when we heard stories of grandmothers having to buy guns to keep her crack addicted grand-kids from beatin' her ass and taking her rent money. We laughed at AIDS and made jokes about it. It's ironic that SEVERAL black singers and rappers in today's industry lost one or both of their parents or grandparents to AIDS. We shrugged our shoulders when we heard about another one of the black girls in the neighborhood ho'in on the streets or the brother who got years in prison for murder over a drug deal gone awry. Who was watching all of this… OUR CHILDREN, who had CHILDREN who had CHILDREN. Oprah Winfrey and President Obama have NOTHING to do with that. The onus is on US the black community to address our OWN issues FIRST. Nevertheless, we'd like to still give credit to Mr. Gibson for bringing the issue up in the first place, how many other black rappers or singers have done the same?