Bill O'Reilly to Blacks: Stop Listening to Gangsta Rap

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The article that I chose was titled Bill O'Reilly to Blacks: Stop Listening to Gangsta Rap, which was written as a rebuttal to Bill O'Reilly's controversial interview he had with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in which he claimed that "gangsta" rap is the root of many issues within black culture. He says that "gangsta" rappers like Jay-Z and Kanye West need to stop being such negative influences on youth and start utilizing their fame to tell kids what NOT to do, which O'Reilly calls "reverse peer pressure." In O'Reilly's perspective, young kids need to quit listening to rap, stop dressing in urban fashion, and start adopting quality role models to look up to.
Jamelle Bouie the author presents clearly constructed arguments against Bill O'Reilly's beliefs starting with the fact that Jay-Z and Kanye West are both examples of the American dream being achieved after hard work and "relentless drive." However Bill O'Reilly reduces them to gangster rappers that have nothing but negative impact on young America. These ideals are dangerous in Jamelle Bouie's eyes; he goes on to discuss the false idea of "proper" behavior being the key to getting out of low socio-economic status.
Bouie argues that O'Reilly is giving the message that by surrendering the rap/urban/"gangsta" style that the black community is associated with and adopting a more "proper" lifestyle is giving into the whole logic of racism. O'Reilly's implications of conforming to others and trying to avoid the things associated with "blackness" means blacks can earn a respected place in society by erasing identity.
Bouie's final argument is that Bill O'Reilly is guilty of causation-reversal by trying to say that gangster behavior created the ghetto, when really it is the ghetto that produced gangster behavior. In addition, these ghettos are a result of racial public policy throughout history; O'Reilly completely undermines this history when he makes his claims.

Questions:
What do you think about the arguments held by the author? Do you believe that O'Reilly has any valid points in his claims or do you think that he is doing what the author says and is disregarding the history of ghettos and racial public policy that lead to their existence in the first place?


Article here:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/28/bill-o-reilly-to-blacks-stop-listening-to-gangsta-music.html

2 Comments

It's not only Blacks. Degenerative forms of Rap is listened to by all races. My take, garbage in, garbage out

I definitely agree with the author in that correlation does not equal causation. In my opinion listening to rap does not make you a "gangsta". It has to do with SES, like the author says "school systems" and "police harassment". Crime is more prevalent in communities that are poor and most commonly, urban. I listen to rap, ie Kanye, Techn9ne, Kendrick etc and I'm not running around committing crimes, but I also come from a well off and supportive community. It's people like Bill O'Reilly that are spreading the ignorance about issues like this one. Just because a community is poor and crime ridden and the residents listen to rap doesn't mean rap=crime. Rap is a form of expression and rap and it's certainly not "garbage" or "terrible", it takes incredibly skill to do what rappers and rap producers do and the fact that people don't recognize this is sad. The attention shouldn't be directed at the people who create art but rather the systems put in place to stop crime that obviously aren't. If anything we should be angry with news networks for spreading ignorance like this, this is what's truly harming humanity.

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This page contains a single entry by loona013 published on March 4, 2014 12:02 PM.

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