Tuesday, November 22, 2005

50 Cent movie shooting

Plant a seed of pathology, cultivate it, and watch it sprout. The gansta rapper who goes by the pseudonym "50 Cent" stars in a movie that has provided a forum for violence:
One Pittsburgh-area movie house has said get lost to 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' after a fatal shooting.

The Loews Cineplex in West Homestead yanked the rapper's controversial semi-autobiographical flick on Thursday, a day after a 30-year-old man was gunned down near a concession stand.

The man, Shelton Flowers, had come to the multiplex just east of Pittsburgh for the opening night of Fiddy's film debut. Police say Flowers got into an argument with others inside the bathroom around 11 p.m. The altercation spilled out into the concession area. Gunshots erupted and Flowers
was struck twice.

He was taken to an area hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.

The guy has had a hell of a rough life, and is only symptomatic of a larger pathology that is the contemporary hip-hop culture. But the black community in the US is in many ways facing dire challenges that are compounding as America changes increasingly into a knowledge-based, skill society.

The hip-hop culture is largely a modern day minstrel show. There are some black moguls, but for the most part the labels are controlled by white executives who traffic in pathologies that suburbia thinks are entertaining but not to be taken seriously, while urban kids absorb and internalize the pernicious influence.

That there are so many black celebrities glorifying the culture makes survival at 'ground zero' that much harder. Better not to have such 'role models' at all. Hispanics, for example, have very few celebrities to look up to compared to blacks--consequently, to some degree, Hispanics are more apt to work hard and live modestly. Blacks on the other hand see behavior that basically relegates them to a lifetime of poverty put on a pedestal and imitate it. It's disgusting. The black community needs less 50-Cent and more James Earl Jones.

In addition to the gansta-glory lifestyle, the 70% out-of-wedlock birthrate among blacks mean that most black children do not have a stable father figure. This makes them more vulnerable to the culture's more pernicious influences, and deprives them of a role model who gets up every morning and goes off to work.

Morally posturing by refusing to admit problems that are blatantly obvious does not do anyone any good. I've been heavily criticized for stating the unremarkable fact that African Americans, on average, score about one standard deviation lower on IQ tests than whites and for railing against the destructive hip hop culture. But if a social stigma arose around out-of-wedlock birth and hip hop, in conjunction with a discarding of the "education is a white thing" attitude among the black community, things could get better. Stymying illegal immigration, which floods the labor market with expendable, unskilled workers willing to put in for minimum wage, or less if under-the-table, would help, too.

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