I applaud the general sentiment and intention of the NAACP STOP! Campaign:
The STOP Campaign is an initiative of the NAACP Youth & College Division that seeks to “STOP” the demeaning images of African Americans in the media, particularly with respect to the portrayal of African American women. Images reflected in songs like “I Was Getting Some…” and music videos that show half-dressed women being objectified by men.
· STOP Defaming Our Women… by respecting all African American Women and not describing them in profane and derogatory terms
· STOP Degrading Our Community… by not supporting hurtful images that portray negative images of the African American community
· STOP Denigrating Our History… by not supporting words and media that diminishes our proud history and insults our ancestors
· STOP Accepting Disrespect… by not patronizing companies and artists that put forth demeaning and disrespectful images in our community
· START Standing Up… by standing up against anyone who diminishes the capacity of young people
· START the Diversity… by supporting balance and diversity of content in the entertainment industry to create positive role models for young people and by demanding more African Americans and other people of color in decision making positions in the entertainment industry
I hope the efforts of one of the nations’ oldest civil rights organizations will have a great impact on the African-American youth culture, as well as the culture at large. Personally, as opposed to the current media images of African-American life like those seen on the CW network’s “Girlfriends,” I would love to see images of a monogamous-marriage, two-parent family, speaking of one another in love, living contently among the diverse cultures of our country, and making sacrifices in lifestyle and status so as to help the needy and oppressed. I would be glad to hear R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rap music promote the majesty of people made in the image of God rather than the “to the left”-solution in their lyrics – even where the lyrics are not vulgar in tone – for such lyrics are still demeaning to African-Americans. Maybe the NAACP’s campaign will yield these sorts of results.
However, I am not sure how the NAACP can both call for citizens to stand up “against anyone who diminishes the capacity of young people” and continue to support the pro-choice position on the abortion of children without standing against themselves. I do applaud the efforts. But if we are calling for a higher morality toward African-American women especially, then we need to raise the bar higher so that we can do more than “stop.”