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Sound-Off: Ashley Judd Was Right about Hip Hop

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My people, my people, when will we face the music and save ourselves from ourselves?

Here we go again, yet another well-meaning White person who makes a common sense, very reasonable, factually based statement about something (in this case rap music) that we all know is TRUE and what do we do? We jump all over her and demand that she apologize for "offending us." Really?

Seriously, what will it take for us to stop the madness? Who among us in his or her right mind can actually defend openly mysoginistic, hateful and demeaning lyrics geared toward Black women and Black culture? I am no C. Delores Tucker, but I find myself asking some hard questions lately relative to where we are as Black people when it comes to how we value our most precious commodity: Black women.

The fact is that we all whisper quietly and talk privately about the damage we know these lyrics and the Hip-Hop culture have on our young people, yet we dare not speak out loud because to do so is grounds for losing our "Black card." I agree with Christelyn Russell Karazin who founded the popular "Beyond Black & White" blog and "Now Wedding No Womb" movement, who said, "I think we have become completely apathetic as Black people. We walk around like zombies in a group think that is dangerous. We have accepted this bad behavior for so long that it is entrenched in our DNA." Karazin continued, "I worry about what I call 'The guardians of all things dark and lovely', these self-appointed guardians of Blackness spend all of their time deciding who can speak, who cannot, who is Black and who is not really Black. They justify bad behavior by our men against Black women, and what they don't realize is that they are in turn teaching others in the larger culture how to treat us as Black women."

The real issue here though is that Ashley Judd was someone that Black women could count on as an ally — a fellow sister (of a different hue) in the struggle for decent and respectful treatment of women of color. I doubt she will want to be so now. She has been attacked and vilified by other Black women. As always, we love to rally around foolishness. We love to hate on the wrong people. Sadly, we love to create imaginary enemies of our Black culture when the real enemy lurks within.

Sophia Nelson, is a national columnist that covers politics and culture in Washington, DC. She is author of the forthcoming book, "Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama."
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