Thursday, August 10, 2006

Where's Snoop on "Where My Dogs At?" & The Assault on Black Women ...

We slip into a pop-culture moment. Steve Gorman in Reuters reports on yet another episode in the never-ending saga of our image problem:

A new MTV cartoon depicting black women squatting on all fours tethered to leashes and defecating on the floor is drawing fire from several prominent African Americans who call the episode degrading.

In it, a look-alike of rap star Snoop Dogg strolls into a pet shop with two bikini-clad black women on leashes. They hunch over on all fours and scratch themselves as he orders one of them to "hand me my latte." At the end of the segment, the Snoopathon Dogg Esquire character dons a rubber glove to clean up excrement left on the floor by one of the women.

Stanley Crouch, itching it for relevance, quickly pipes in:

columnist Stanley Crouch, condemned the segment as misogynist, racist and crude, and they questioned the sincerity of MTV's contention that it was satirizing the outlandish behavior of a real-life rapper.

Crouch suggested in a column this week that the "Where My Dogs At?" segment was an extension of dehumanizing images contained in gangsta rap videos aired by MTV and projected "around the world as 'real' black culture."

There's no surprise here: this is classic Snoop Dogg, laughing on the way to the bank. In this, we hear of no statement from Snoop (who continues to snicker on the way to the bank), nor is anyone in the community holding Snoop somehow responsible for the continuing proliferation of Saturday afternoon images shortly after the morning cartoon line-up (who is now in the bank). It then gets a bit difficult to place sole blame on MTV - perhaps, it's appropriate to argue that MTV exercised some bad taste in programming ...

On a more serious note, MTV is a representation of pop-cultural attitudes and - right now - pop-culture ain't feeling sistas. Which explains the nasal snorts and snickers of zealous White yuppie MTV producers having fun at our expense - isn't that what Viacom is all about? Which explains having sistas on all fours. This is nothing new, but it's been reaching a recent pitch as of late. Let's get real for a moment about this:

1) Regardless of what you feel about Star Jones, we can all agree that Barbara Walters & "The View" did her wrong. They wanted an overweight Black woman with that old school, Jim Crow "fat nanny" appeal to make the White girls look good. Then, they engineered her demise so Rosie O'Donnell (a Walters' friend) could take the open spot. Yet, Jones is portrayed as the agitator and her career now spirals into oblivion;

2) Never mind her politics and the controversy, there was an extreme and unprecedented amount of lampooning in the national press regarding the Fall of Cynthia McKinney (we note MSNBC's Scarborough Country segment yesterday evening which was a bit over the top). Still, McKinney doesn't help her cause after devolving into that Pink moment during her concession speech;

3) Secretary of State Condi Rice is being racially vandalized in Arab newspapers;

4) And Oprah can't seem to shake scandalous rumors about lesbian relationships.