Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marshall Mathers attacked because he's White?


Rapper/ lyricist Marshall Mathers known professionally as Eminem was interviewed on the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes this past Sunday. During the interview journalist Anderson Cooper asked the rapper about his misogynist and homophobic lyrics and the media controversies surrounding the lyrics. Eminem's response was,“I felt like I was being singled out, and I felt like, is it the color of my skin?”

Eminem then went on to say, “There’s certain rappers that do and say the same things that I’m saying, and I don’t see no one saying anything about that.”

There's something to what Eminem says. The mainstream media has and continues to embrace rappers like 50 cent and Jay z despite their blatantly misogynistic and homophobic lyrics. And although the mainstream media mostly treats both 50 and Jay like idiot savants they continue to exult them. Jay Z was recently on the cover of Forbes magazine for instance.

But the mainstream media has never taken 50 nor Jay z to task for their hate lyrics the way Eminem was. Could it be that 50 and Jay z are referring or it's assumed they are referring to Black women and it's assumed that Eminem is referring to White women?

Yep.

So while it's perfectly okay, in the opinion of the mainstream media, for 50 and Jay to disparage Black women they were not going to sit by and let Eminem do the same to White women. We all know that White women are historically the most protected group in America while Black women are the least. Then is it any wonder that there was a media dust-up over Eminem's perceived attack on White womanhood while Black rapper's attacks on Black women were just seen as normal?

I think Eminem was right. I do think he was attacked by the mainstream media because of Whiteness but not because of his. He was attacked because his misogyny was aimed at White women. And that is not acceptable in America.

Eminem should have known better. If he had attacked Black women the mainstream media wouldn't have said a single word about it.


20 comments:

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

I saw the last few mins. of the program and missed that part,I think you are right Val.

Jason said...

Wow Val! This was interesting perspective and it is dead on.

Eminem is a very talented but conflicted and angry guy. A great deal of his lyrics are homophobic and mysoginistic for a reason, because he doesn't like homosexuals or women.

Moanerplicity said...

Some very insightful points made here, Val.

IMO: White women are fair game in today's America. Just look at the way some represent THEMSELVES in the media, on reality tv, etc. That pristine image has bitten the dust & in many cases has been exposed for the historical sham that it is (or was).

Not a big fan of his, but there's no denying his skills as a lyricist.

What he says is given MORE credit, more analysis, & yes, waaay MORE attn than black MC's BECAUSE of his skin tone. That's also why he's a multi-millionaire while others who are black & equally or even more talented are left struggling. So let him cry, bitch & complain all the way to the bank!

I just wish he would get over his Mariah fixation, b/c that ish is not only disrespectful, but played the hell out until it's no longer cute, controversial or clever anymore.


One.

Don said...

I watched the program yesterday which also featured a discussion upon Nelson Mandela and his memoirs. It was a pretty entertaining segment.

Good point about what America deems as being acceptable opposed to what is completely unacceptable. Eminem had a rather remarkable story considering all the odds he overcame in becoming a successful rap artist.

Daij said...

cosign w/ moanerplicity

Mizrepresent said...

This guy is a talented lyricist, and i really do agree that he may be unfortunately targeted for his lyrics and his songs, but what i found is a whole lot of truth about where he is and where he was...and i just like hearing the truth!

? said...

Good points. Eminem got not pass talking about murdering his white wife.

The reason less attention is given to black women being called whores or sluts by rappers is that many in the larger society already share that view.

Val said...

@BigMac

Thanks, BigMac.

Val said...

@Jason

Yeah you're right he def doesn't like women and gays. A lot of rappers feel that way I think.

Val said...

@Lin

Yeah but they are representing themselves. There are no major media attacks against White women. The media reserves that for Black women.

There is a Black guy on SNL and all he does is dress up in drag as a Black woman. That's basically his only job. So why don't they just hire a Black woman comedian right? Well then it would be harder to mock Black women with an actual Black woman. When you want to mock Black women get a man to do it just ask Tyler Perry, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.

Val said...

@Don

Yeah he has had quite a trip to success.

Val said...

@Daij

Thanks.

Val said...

@Miz

He's def saying his truth in his lyrics. He doesn't hold back that's for sure.

Val said...

@?

Unfortunately you are right. American has portrayed us as such from the beginning.

Moanerplicity said...

Hey, Val:

I hear the point you're making about black men impersonating black women for the purposes of comic relief. I also understand how it can be seen as demeaning for some. However, you also have to consider the fact that men dressing in drag has been longheld showbiz tradition dating back to Shakespearean times, up & through the days of vaudeville. By the 50s you had Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon (In Some Like It Hot), etc... becoming very wealthy by doing so. Tradition.

And if you recall, white women didn't always come of it smelling like roses because it was done for comic purposes.

So black male comedians & comic actors are repeating that tradition, which has made others mad famous. Flip Wilson followed suit in the 1970s & became very popular doing so. Then those you listed only followed his lead. Of course since they can't *convincingly* portray white women (that includes The Wayans Bros!) black women become their focus & their muse.

In a way, they have been emulating their comedic predecessors, & also, in a perverse way, equaling the playing field.

Not saying it's all good, or that it's not done to mock the essence of black or white women.

But to argue the right & wrong of this practice is to pick a fight with a very long & very successful history. Bottom line: these cats were/are being highly paid to do what they do.

Sometimes we might NOT wanna laugh at something, but it will strike a chord in us, trigger a memory or experience & suddenly tickle us, despite ourselves. We have to learn to laugh at ourselves, or else go crazy. Not living in a woman's skin, I can't rightly say I'm appalled or offended, nor can I justify or defend it. In comedy the rules are less definitive & depend most upon what's deemed funny by an audience... & that audience includes all races.

It's only recently that it's begun to be politicized, psycho-analyzed or seen as something darker & disturbing.

Feel me?


One.

nachalooman said...

Wow, this is deep! So Eminem is upset because he's looked at harder for his misogynistic and homophobic rapping?
He wants this "privilege" just like his black rapper brethren?

I wonder if he thinks that because of this scrutiny, he has a bit in common with black folks, maybe he feels he's being oppressed--please allow him the freedom to be misogynistic and homophobic!

I agree with your assessment--but I'm thinking this: white women are put on this false pedestal, and at the same time dehumanized by their own men, in the media and I'm sure in songs too! White men are just as misogynistic.
I'm thinking that maybe it's the rap genre more so than MNM's whiteness. But its also his whiteness too.

We know that white folks are long overdue for the couch (generally speaking) I'm talking psychoanalysis for all the hatred they have, that's so deeply ingrained in their DNA! But this thing here is deep!
I believe it's the rap/black genre that MNM stepped into and they are taking him to task for that, really, more than misogyny.
Nigger lover once more again, can't get no love.

Fantastic insights, Val! Something to ponder.

Anna Renee

Felicia Monique said...

Excellent points, Val. I see and appreciate Eminem for the talented (and angry) man that he is, period.

However, I also believe that he takes what other MCs may voice/produce one step further...and is able to do this because of his whiteness. The media (read: white America) having "beef" with one of their own isn't the same as them having issue with Jay Z or 50 Cent. For the latter, it may mark the end of their careers, investigations, false charges, or some Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson, and Mike Vick type ish. Dr. Dre loved producing Em, and having him say all the things that he knows a Black man could not.

Val said...

@Lin

"...men dressing in drag has been longheld showbiz tradition dating back to Shakespearean times, up & through the days of vaudeville..."

Just because it's a tradition doesn't mean it's right. And just because something is successful doesn't make it right either.

Remember, Blackface was a long held tradition too.

Val said...

@Anna Renee

Being placed on a pedestal can be demeaning too because it's a way of controlling someone.

Those on the pedestal have to behave in ways that adhere to certain expectations in order to remain on the pedestal.

Val said...

@Felicia Monique

Ha! I didn't think Dr. Dre's influence in all of this. You're right.

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Soldier Of Love

I've lost the use of my heart
But I'm still alive
Still looking for the life
The endless pool on the other side
It's a wild wild west
I'm doing my best

I'm at the borderline of my faith,
I'm at the hinterland of my devotion
In the frontline of this battle of mine
But I'm still alive

I'm a soldier of love.
Every day and night
I'm soldier of love
All the days of my life

I've been torn up inside (oh!)
I've been left behind (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound
(oooh oohhh)

I know that love will come (that love will come)
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love (soldier of love)
Every day and night
I'm a soldier of love
All the days of my life

I am lost
But I don't doubt (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound

I know that love will come
I know that love will come
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(4x)

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(3x)

Still waiting for love to come

Miss Keri Baby!

Tracee!

Solange!

Solange!
The only interesting Knowles

un·for·get·ta·ble: Earning a permanent place in the memory; memorable: an unforgettable experience.

Alicia says...

Rest in Peace Mitrice

Rest in Peace Mitrice
Mitrice Richardson