Degrading Women of Color: Making New Money on Old Ideas Reviewed by Momizat on . UPDATED 9/18/12:  Petition Created| CEO Universal Music Group: Pull the 2 Chainz "Birthday Song" video from the airwaves | By No UPDATED 9/18/12:  Petition Created| CEO Universal Music Group: Pull the 2 Chainz "Birthday Song" video from the airwaves | By No Rating:
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Degrading Women of Color: Making New Money on Old Ideas

Degrading Women of Color: Making New Money on Old Ideas

UPDATED 9/18/12:  Petition Created| CEO Universal Music Group: Pull the 2 Chainz “Birthday Song” video from the airwaves |

By Norm Bond,

Recently Nuala Cabral penned an open letter to Lucien Grainge, CEO of Universal Music Group. Cabral was ignited by the recently released music video “Birthday Song” by “rapper” 2 Chainz featuring Kanye West. If you think we’ve reached the lowest point of degradation and exploitation of women of color, you haven’t seen this video.

The song is actually owned by Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest recording company, boasting about 20 record labels including Island Def Jam, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, and Motown Records. They also own the largest catalog of recorded music in the world and reign as the world’s largest publishing house. The company did a cool $68 billion in revenue in 2011. As for Grainge, in 2011 he enjoyed a 114.5 percent rise in his pay to $16.3 million dollars.

Here’s the video:

Why is this song inside your ears and in front of your eyeballs?

Because, as Nuala asserts, Grainge and his team of senior executives produce, market, distribute and profit from it. In this game 2 Chainz, Kanye West are the pawns, like monkeys who dance for the organ grinder, they are the tools of the trade – necessary in order to capture the real consumer dough for their owner.  They have chosen to  literally “sell-out” culture, values, and respect of women of color. But they didn’t stop there.

Did you notice the children in the video? How about Kanye towing the stripper cake with the over-sized fake boobs? What about the filth in the house as the East Indian man guzzles his 40 while ogling the big-butt hoes? These are some of the messages that will be transmitted around the globe.

Cabral says, “women of color being degraded, dehumanized and reduced to ASS — is nothing new. We live in a world where black and brown women’s bodies have been exploited since slavery.” She continues, “Mr. Grainge, as CEO of the largest music company in America, be clear that you, your senior executives and board members are contributing to a legacy of exploitation“.

So how do we end it? The only way is to stop consuming the product.  Pause the exploitation by reducing profits, market share, and brand loyalty. Women of color, and others that feel this is too far over the line — will have to organize and hit the industry in the wallet. Stop buying the music and stop supporting the artists on all levels. Concerts, merchandise, record sales, downloads, ringtones, and any other economic ventures.

If you’re not willing to do that, “Birthday Song” will not be the bottom, in fact you may look back and see it as the high point in respecting women of color. Cabral has made a start. What say you?

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Comments (11)

  • Horrifiedthatheusedbabies

    To stoop down to screw the minds of your own people is one thing…but to involve babies in the trash making process should be a FINAL STRAW and WAKE UP call to those still ASLEEP.

  • AncestorsSpirit

    We are at our all time low,we will never be able to get back up after this moment in history.I can’t belief Kanye West is apart of the destruction,he sold his mother soul for this.
    The Ancestors are weeping and so will these bastards of our race.

  • Jay Miles

    yo it just music. There all styles of music. This is what i call fun rap. Stop makin music so deep. There only 12 note. think about it

  • Thee Phantom

    @Jay Miles – This is about so much more than fun rap. Music is so much more than you give it credit for. Music has carried secret messages that have freed slaves and been the backdrop to nations uprising and resisting oppression. It has been so much more than a casual stroke of a keyboard with someone saying whatever strikes their fancy into a microphone. It is that deep.

  • PinkSaph

    Well, JAY MILES assuming you’re not a woman I guess it couldnt possibly be too deep to you, but to those of us with pride, self-respect and a little bit of class, those “b*itch and h*oe” references are degrading.

    This is the same stuff Bill Cosby was talking about. So busy popping your fingers to some bull that youre stuck on stupid while others are making money off your stupidity. SMH.

  • Peggy Seats

    Hotep Norm,

    This is sooooooo sad. Our race has been reduced to,
    with this latest generation especially, a manless species
    [no disrespect intended -- thank God for the exceptions
    like you and so many Brothers I know, but generally
    speaking......we've in big trouble as a people].

    Black women have no one to love and honor us, and we,
    all too often, do not see ourselves worthy of honoring,
    loving and respecting, thus the “booty hos,” the extreme
    hair weaves, street walker attire, low self esteem, feeling
    unworthy of love, honor and appreciated respect.

    The videos of these pathetic little boys and girls is sadly
    reminiscent of the documentary I saw part of on television
    either yesterday or a few days ago about the cruel and
    barbaric mutiliation of female genitalia still being practiced
    in Africa. This particular video focused on Mali.

    It was so heart wrenching to my spirit that I could not
    watch it in full. It featured these women voluntarily lining
    their small daughters up in droves to be circumcised, aka,
    mutililated, because they were of the opinion that their
    daughters would not be “suitable for marriage” or able
    to find husbands if ithey were not rendered as objects
    for potential “husbands” who obviously have no idea
    what lovemaking is; and view girls and women as mere
    furnitureor objects of their violent sexual perversion and
    immaturity. Ejaculation punching bags in other words.

    But, the most amazing aspect of all is people who are
    violated and dehumanized are too often aiding and abetting
    in their own degradaiton, demise, dehumanization, or as I
    prefer to call it “volunteer slaves syndrome.”

    When I look at these females on these disgusting videos
    I cannot for the life of me understand their self hate to
    to extent that they do what they do. No self respect, no
    self pride, no sense of self worth, or self love. I fear that
    the black race will never recover from the level of self hate
    and ignorance we have stooped to. Centuries of systematic
    degradation and dehumanization has taken its toll on us.

    So now, the divide is not just between blacks and other
    races, but also another division between us, based on our
    age old issues around skin color and hair; but now also the
    divide between the educated/mis-educated, well off and
    poor and/or class divide. Let’s face it, who snubs us more
    that the black nouveau riche, particularly the mis-educated
    ones who feel that they, in their madness have no one to
    snub but other blacks as they don’t have the chutzpah to
    snub other races, only their own.

    As Bill Cosby’s daughter, Evin Cosby Harrah, was quoted as
    saying that she doesn’t relate to people who don’t have her life
    style [as in most people, but especially black people] and that she
    doesn’t speak in that ghetto vernacular, cause he’s not black,
    they’re rich, as she stood with her very long [human hair of course]
    hair weave, in her very upscale, as in $17.50 for a pair of baby socks
    and $30 for a pair of baby panties, boutique in Tribeca when it was
    open. I guess even rich white folks don’t want $17.50 baby socks
    from rich non-black, black folks.

    There’s not another race on the planet except blacks who:

    1) determine that they have no identity, alliance or empathy with
    others of their ethnic ilk because they’re rich; and

    2) put other women above their own, especially when they
    think they have “arrived.” Before, we always knew that the
    light skinned Sistahs got all the play from the “privileged” [as
    Evin Cosby-Harrah, though rich, still would not qualify for that
    club] or financially more affluent black men. However, now even
    the yellow and redbone Sistahs [the preference of Eric Benet Jordan]
    are taking a back seat to white [usually who have nothing in particular
    going for them as in wealth, education, attractiveness, loyalty, class]
    white women that the nouveau riche black males now routinely set
    up in mansions everyday, while precluding black women as mates. And,
    oddly enough, even snub and abandon their own black Mothers when
    they need help, as in becoming homeless i.e. , – Tracy Morgan, Lawrence
    Fishburne et. al. It’s call the “a**hole club,” A really chic poo-poo group
    of pedigrees.

    Whew! What a bunch of self loathing fools the black community has degenerated
    to. No wonder no one wants to be associated with us; and yet we’re totally
    impervious to our own self hate and ignorance. How sad is that?????!!!!!

    What a mess we’re in. I pray for the poor, poor children. These babies are
    inheriting hell.


  • johhni

    I understand the outrage expressed by you guys about the negative portrayal of women of color in music videos, but I would like you all to consider this: when Paris Hilton was at the height of her popularity for more or less her promiscuity , no one asserted that she represented all white women, and as a result chastise her for a decline in the perception of white women. Similarly when white women assume negative/hyper-sexualized roles on tv or movies, we hardly conflate and generalize those regrettable characteristics for all white women. The opposite seems to be true for black women. (and men) The fact is the only people degraded as a result of this video are the actresses who just happened to be black. They are as much a reflection of black women as lindsey lohan is for white women. To me, the broader issue is the habit or phenomenon in our culture to highlight an individual or small group as a representative of a whole group. I think that this article, while well-intended, is dangerous, as it perpetuates this idea that video girls and the typical black women are one in the same. In my humble opinion, we have to stop this habit, as it contribute to the self-loathing often found in members of our culture. I bet the last time you saw a person of color who were acting despicably, this thought likely arose: they are making us look bad. Do you guys understand the explicit and subconscious impact this has on us? thats probably the reason why so many middle-upper class blackwomen (and men) feel the need to assume a sort of “fake” role so as to distinguish herself for the group…anyways back to the video,,there are bitches and hoes in the blackwomen community, aswell as all out demographic..but it shouldnt imply that all black women are that way… I love and respect black women and this video did nothing to lower that…. and YOU BLACKWOMEN SHOULD, INSTEAD, OF BEING ANGERED BY THE APPEARANCE OF THE VIDEO CHICKS, YOU SHOULD BE SORRY FOR THEM.

  • cola

    @johhni said it right… As a black man, I don’t represent every black man. A lot of times we say these things, bring up stats, etc, and forget that everyone is an individual, and we all have choices. Also I think people are forgetting the fact that Kanye has been making songs like this for a long time. I also think ppl for get that Universal is not ‘out to get’ women of color. If the most popular sounding music was about sumo wrestlers, they’d sell it. And they’d mass produce it.

    The real problem is with society. Art reflects reality. Stripclubs, brothels, sexual assault, dirty magazines, and all things that portray women in an insensitive and negative way have been widely accepted amongst men from all cultures and nations as long as we’ve known it. Therefore, instead of preaching, it’s time to raise our kids differently. Look at things with a critical eye.

    Also, just so you know “if you haven’t seen the video, watch it here”; doesn’t quite coincide with “stop supporting the music.” How? Youtube pays the owners of the account a certain amount every time that video gets played.

    So if you’re really not about supporting it, don’t watch it.

  • DC

    the trouble in this country is simple we want it ALL! We want freedom of speech and we want censorship you can’t have both parenting is a lost art the parents of this generation are the start of problem not this generation.

  • Fatu

    Johhni. White folks see themselves as individuals; so Hilton and Lohan and the countless others would never be perceived as representing the whole. Conversely, we see ourselves as a whole/group and therefore what affects one affects us all; particularly since our children are emulating what they see and hear – thus the proliferation of the music. I agree that diligent parenting skills need to be stepped up, however, at the same time it’s really okay for us to work together to support those parents who are doing the best they can but whose children are bombarded with images that don’t reflect their own values. We can’t just let it be and allow the lyrics and images to dominate our society, which it does. There are far too many positive images of and messages about black people that are not being seen or heard. I do feel for the sisters. And i also feel for the brothers who have not been taught better, and who have bought into this lower energy thinking for the love of money and fame. I choose to think as a collective and take responsibility for what is happening to our children and do something about it. The dumbing down of our children, thus our future, is not to be taken lightly – or perceived as “it’s just them – not me.” It truly is all of us and hopefully, minds like yours will work together with us to change the minds of our children. They need to be taught not criticized.

  • stinedye

    Jay…you need Jesus. The rest of you…should follow suit. Why are we even focusing on media images? We need to turn our attention to our neighborhoods and work from there. Quit worrying @ the Cosby’s, and omg…did somebody actually mention Paris Hilton?? Are you serious?! Why…are we looking to the media to see how our children are being raised…why are we looking outside our neighborhoods to blame our lack of parenting…why are we not accepting that this is our fault…why are still blaming slavery for our lack of action in our communities and households…why are still supporting segments of a society that could care less about US…why are there all these damn bloggers out here who have nothing worthwhile to contribute, but yet we keep a running feud with ignorant people sitting in front of a computer espousing doctrine they picked up from the very media whose only goal is to keep us at each others throats. GET OFF YOUR ASS AND HELP SOMEBODY FOR REAL. START THERE. OMG. the kids in ? dont read this!!

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