THE CURSE OF PROFANITY

DSCN0616While working in my backyard vegetable garden yesterday, I could not avoid hearing my neighbor’s loud music.  I only heard one very lengthy song that consisted of a few repetitive lyrics.  I could not understand all of the words, yet, there were four repetitious words that sounded like, “b- -tch f- -king my ride.”  What I found most repugnant was this young female (early 20s) has a male toddler in her home listening to her perception of music.

Yesterday evening I was in my front yard when two middle school females were walking past my home talking to each other while repeatedly using a profane word (f- -king) loud enough that I could hear the entire conversation.  I immediately admonished them by saying, “Such pretty young ladies with such ugly mouths,” and they both became silent as they looked at me.  I conducted a workshop last month, and one of the female attendees used profanity and I immediately commented, “Such ugly words hurt my ears,” as I mockingly grabbed my ears.  She immediately apologized to me.

A few weeks ago, several elementary age girls (all are under 10 y/o) were sitting on one of their steps using profanity and I believe her mother was in the house.  I could distinctly hear their use of profanity two houses away and I immediately yelled down the street, “Such language.”  They all looked at me in silence for a few minutes before resuming their conversation-without the profanity.  As long as I remained outside, I did not hear them use any more profanity.

Please, do not misunderstand me.  In no way am I saying or even implying that only young Black African American females curse.  I also confront numerous young boys and older men for using profanity in my presence.  Most of the time when I confront a child or an adult, they usually apologize immediately.

My primary concern about females cursing is that our females are the first teachers of our babies and our babies’ first method of learning is by observational learning.  In other words, they learn from what they see or hear their mothers do or say.  This is why Willie Lynch (read my Willie Lynch post) targeted Black African American females as the focal point of his infamous slave manifesto.  It is indeed a truism that “The hand that rocks the cradle, can build up or tear down their world.”

By no means am I professing to be, “holier than thou,” because I was a sailor and I cursed like one.  Furthermore, as a child, I too did a lot of cursing among my male peers although I never cursed in the presence of an adult and rarely cursed in the presence of my female peers.  That was indeed a “no-no” because should my mother find out that I was cursing, I would have an unpleasant encounter with her extension cord.

In fact, when I wrote my first book, “It’s Time To Stop Blaming The White Man,” (all underlined words are links) I spent several days trying to decide if I would use the one and only curse word in the entire book because I knew my mother would read it.  I finally concluded that the use of that curse word (l-i-e) was necessary to make my point.  As a child, we were taught by mother that the word “l-i-e” was a curse word and we were never to use it.  I am 62 years old and to this day, my mother has never heard me say the word “l-i-e.”  Although she did read it in my book, I was spared an encounter with her extension cord.

My father was a barber and as a pre-teen and teenager, I spent a lot of time working in his shop, which exposed me to his customers.  I could not avoid hearing the conversations of all of his male customers and of course there was a great deal of cursing.  However, the moment a female customer entered the shop, the entire conversation would change while she was there. In the event that one of the drunken male customers used profanity, every other male in the shop would immediately admonish him by saying, “Don’t you see that Lady sitting there?”  Without hesitation, he would repeatedly beg her forgiveness.  Of course, during my early years, it was very rare that I heard adult females cursing.  It was considered “un-Lady-like” for females to curse in the presence of children or adult males.

We must also realize that there is a very thin line between the use of profanity/cursing and violence.  We never know where someone is emotionally.  For instance, if you and I are engaged in a friendly conversation with both of us using profanity, it could only be a matter of time before it escalates out of control.  You might use a curse word that might trigger a negative reaction from me or vice a versa and it will only get worse from there.

The following was taken from page 105 of my first book, “It’s Time To Stop Blaming The White Man,” which was self-published in 1992:

MEDIA INFLUENCE

We are told in God’s word that in the last days, mankind will be exposed to evil inventions.  Most of the current inventions that have been created in the past fifty years are still in the experimental stages.  Unfortunately, the human race is the guinea pig.  The powers to be have taken it upon themselves to turn the entire world into one giant laboratory.  This current generation is being subjected to the brunt of these experiments.  The generation of the fifties is the first television generation.  As a result, this generation is a classic example of an experiment that has gone amuck.

A decade ago you could go to a theater with your children and all could enjoy a family outing.  All that you had to do was preview the movie ratings before making the selection.  The ratings were very informative and helpful.  A movie with a General (G) rating meant that the entire family could enjoy it without anyone feeling offended or having to blush.  Today, this G rating is usually synonymous with G for Gory and Graphic. It is not a movie designed for the squeamish.  There will often be an excessive amount of blood and guts.

A movie with a “PG” rating once stood for Parental Guidance.  It was up to the parents to decide if they wanted to subject their children to an increased amount of violent acts.  Even then, these acts of violence left much to the imagination.  The audience was not inundated with explicit acts of violence.  Today, this PG rating is synonymous with pornographic.  There is blood and guts, plenty of cursing and explicit sexual acts.  There is nothing left to the imagination.

An R rating once meant that it was absolutely restricted to an audience under a certain age (usually seventeen).  A decade ago, an R rating meant that you would be exposed to an increased amount of blood and guts.  It meant that you would also see some nudity.  However, supposedly, this nudity was in “good taste.”  Today, an “R” rating means that you will be exposed to the raunchiest films possible.  Anything and everything goes blood, guts, sex, anything!

In its quest to compete with Hollywood and pay television, the television networks have convinced the FCC to rescind its restriction on what network television could broadcast.  In the early part of the 1980s, the FCC lifted its restrictions on network television.  The FCC said that these networks would be responsible to no one except themselves.  Today, you can see the ramifications of that decision.  All you have to do is turn on your television set anytime of the day, and you will have your variety of blood, guts, violence, and sex on virtually any channel that you select.

Would you allow two strangers to come into your home cursing, doing drugs and having sex on your living room sofa?  All of this “abhorrent” behavior would be occurring in the presence of your children.  You might say, “This is ridiculous.  I would never allow such behavior to occur in the presence of my children.”  However, it happens every time you turn on your television.  If you would not allow strangers to physically enter your home and participate in the above behavior, why do you allow Hollywood to bring this behavior into your homes?

Recently, it was alleged that a young African American film producer regressed by throwing a temper tantrum at one of the “white” man’s film festivals.  When he was asked why he was so upset, it is said that he replied, “I was robbed.  Had I been treated fairly and given that award, it would have meant that I would be given access to the European market.”  This writer took his wife to see the film in question and the first scene depicted a man and a woman in bed moaning and groaning, while supposedly engaged in the act of “slapping thighs.”  The next scene showed a child sitting in her bed listening to the antics of her parents.  This was the prelude of coming attractions.  The rest of the film depicted explicit sex scenes and an abundance of profanity.  Unfortunately, scenes like these are typical of many African American film producers.  Supposedly, it is about capturing the “European market.”  Most of the moviegoers in the United States are African Americans.  Therefore, if they were attempting to capture the “European market,” why are they degrading themselves and the African American race in their quest to compete with Hollywood?  Why not just produce films that are exclusively for the “European market?”

The tragedy is that these young film producers are extremely talented and artistic.  But they have become desensitized to blood, guts, sex and violence.  They erroneously believe that these scenes add substance to their creative abilities and talents. Consequently, their audiences are becoming just as desensitized to these scenes.  These young producers have rationalized that it is imperative that they give their audiences a sense of realism.  It is very important for their audiences to have a sense that they are being exposed to the “real world.”  Children are already sexually active and openly engage in the use of profanity in the “real world.”  These young producers erroneously believe that it is imperative that their scenes depict as much realism as possible. With this logic, it is just a matter of time before someone suggests the use of real bullets.  This will result in real murders to capture that sense of realism in the scenes.

Someone has to put the breaks on this madness.  At some point the parents must say, “Enough is enough.”  The adults must take their heads out of the sand and recognize the insanity of adopting the values of the dominant culture.  They must come to grips with the reality that historically, the “white” culture has stolen every one of the African Americans’ creations and inventions.  At some point, the African American race must recognize that they are the most imitated race in the world.  The African American race does not need to imitate anyone else.  All they have to do is be themselves.  They must dig beneath the layers of filth and corruption and find the “self” that their ancestors intended for them to be.

Of course, they can continue down the path in which they are currently going. Although, they must be ever mindful that while pointing their fingers at the “white” man, they are also pointing three fingers and a thumb at themselves.  As a result, at their present rate, they are at least three times as responsible for their current plight as the “white” man.  The African American must recognize that there is a definite correlation between its methods of entertainment and the deterioration of their family, community, and race.  They must realize that they are rapidly approaching a point of total desensitization and it is only a matter of time before they reach the point of no return.  A point when anything and everything goes!”

It is sad to say, as a people, we Black African Americans have reached that point where anything goes.  One of the most ridiculous statements I often hear is, “Excuse my French,” as the speaker freely allows curse words to roll easily off their tongues.  My immediate response is, “That is not French, that is profanity,” and the speaker usually looks at me in disdain.  Their leer suggests, “How dare you admonish me because I asked that you excuse my “French” before I said it.”  Somehow, the speaker feels free to curse if they foreworn their listeners beforehand.  Somewhere in their history, they learned to cloak curse words by calling it “French,” and somewhere in our culture, we have learned to accept cursing, if we lie and call it “French.”

Sadly, it has become the norm to allow our children from infancy on up to be exposed to the most obscene form of profanity via the music and movies they are allowed to watch and listen to, in addition to the cavalier use of profanity by parents and other adults in the presence of these children.

Without a doubt, this behavior weakens or even destroys all possibility of those of us who are their elders receiving our due respect from our younger generations.  When confronted for their use of profanity, too many of our children will quickly and nonchalantly say, “My bad” and continue with their conversation.  By repeatedly hearing and using profanity, too many of our young and old have become desensitized to hearing and using profanity; and for many others, this is the only form of communication they know.

Our children are dependent on us for receiving proper guidance and upbringing.  We must also understand that we, their elders will become dependent on our children in the future, and their lack of respect for us will result in the further destabilization of our culture.

Oh what a blessing it is that my people do not read, think or use common sense says the Pastors, Pimps and Politicians.

DON’T BLAME THE CHILDREN

We read in the paper and hear on the air

Of killing and stealing and crime everywhere.

We sigh and say as we notice the trend

“This young generation Where will it all end?”

But can we be sure that it’s their fault alone.

That maybe a part of it isn’t our own?

Are we less guilty who place in their way

Too many things that lead them astray?

Too much money to spend — too much idle time;

Too many movies of passion and crime;

Too many books not fit to be read;

Too much evil in what they hear said;

Too many children encouraged to roam

By too many parents who don’t stay at home.

Kids don’t make the movies; they don’t write the books

That paint gay pictures of gangsters and crooks.

They don’t make the liquor, they don’t run the bars.

They don’t make the laws and they don’t buy the cars.

They don’t peddle drugs that destroy the brain —

That’s done by older folks greedy for gain.

Delinquent teenagers!

Oh, how we condemn

The sins of the nation and blame it on them.

By the laws of the blameless the Savior made known

Who is amongst us to cast the first stone?

For in so many cases — it’s sad but it’s true,

The title “delinquent” fits older folks, too.

–Author Unknown

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