XXL, Too Short and Protecting Our Young Girls

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XXL Magazine learned a valuable lesson this week:  Not to allow “fatherly advice” to be given by a man who has made an entire career out of defining himself to be a proud sexual deviant.  The rapper Too Short was granted the magazine’s platform to give an “advice” video to young boys about how to “turn a girl out.”

In the video, Too Short explains that for boys who are first entering high school, they shouldn’t waste their time trying to get girls to kiss them.  Short’s logic?  Why ask for something that you can simply take, and why settle for a kiss when there are so many more sexual goodies in the bag of an underage female.

So, being the “father figure” that XXL has decided that he should become, Too Short explains how you can push a girl against the wall and put your hand down her pants to “play mind games” and convince her to give you what you desire.  It’s sad that teaching various forms of sexual aggression has become the new way to “keep it real.”  But this is yet another example of a situation where “keeping it real” goes wrong.

ColorofChange.org has issued an online petition against XXL and its editor, Vanessa Satten, calling for the editor to resign and for the magazine to make things right.  In a world where three out of five black girls are victims of sexual assault before the age 18, the last thing we need are major publications allowing rappers to train young boys to continue the trend.

I am sad to say that as a teenager, I listened to Too Short.  He was introduced to me by my friends and taught me things that did not make me into a better man.  I was sad when Too Short was allowed to create intergenerational dysfunction by appearing on the album of his “protégé” Wiz Khalifa.  In the song (“On my Level”), Too Short raps about getting women high so he can have sex with them; there’s nothing like a pathetic 45-year old to teach young men that they can be even more trifling than they already are.

Unfortunately, the appearance by Too Short has become par for the course in hip hop music today.  Media outlets and corporations have allowed profitability to override their compassion, rewarding artists for being violent, ignorant and counter-productive.   Rappers have become the most powerful megapastors in the black community, and many of them are hell bent on teaching a gospel of black self-destruction.

XXL may not care anything about the black community or about what happens to young black girls, but the rest of us do.  There is a time and place where good people must stand up against tyranny and let the music industry know that we will protect our children at all costs.  XXL and Vanessa Satten know that what they did was wrong, and it’s up to us to “encourage” them to do the right thing.

It’s time to turn the corner on hip hop.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University. To have Dr. Bo commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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