Star Jones has recently launched a campaign to take on the show “Basketball Wives.” For Star, the depiction of Black women on the hit show coupled with the violence and abuse needs to stop. Jones recently vented:
“It may be ‘comfortable’ to be quiet when women of color slap the crap out of each other & run across tables barefoot, but #ENOUGHisENOUGH.”
I congratulate Star on her bold and aggressive challenge to a fiasco that has become the new “Jerry Springer Show.” The idea of bringing together a bunch of Black women and encouraging them to bully one another, engage in shallow behavior, and throw punches on camera is the saddest embarrassment to Black women since BET’s “Uncut.”
It’s astonishing that women such as the ever-so-ignorant Evelyn Lozada have been propped up by mainstream media as role models for young girls. Similar to the boys who learn Black male manhood from Lil Wayne, these young women are ignoring their parents and learning Black womanhood from heroes, such as Lozada, Tami Roman, and the other brawlers who should probably come to work with brass knuckles.
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In fact, I’d like to lay out a few lessons that these young women are learning from their long-haired, thin-skinned professors:
1) No matter how rotten and eroded you are on the inside, you can always increase your self-worth through the possession of material objects: The images of Evelyn rolling up in a Range Rover, wearing expensive shoes, and packing a $2,000 weave leave an impact on any girl trying to get the attention of the cute little boy in English class. While the girl might be tempted to gain his affection by engaging him with intelligent conversation, Professor Evelyn teaches her that she can get the party started faster by batting her eyelashes and flipping up her skirt. Instantly, she becomes the most popular girl in school.
2) You can always get money without having a real job: Do any of the women on”Basketball Wives” actually have careers that go beyond being stars of reality TV? Although I’m sure many of them used their “skillz” to get ahead (wink, wink), I’d love to see what they’ve accomplished to earn their national platforms of influence. I would hate to see my daughters give up the value of hard work and education to instead line up with hundreds of other women trying to sleep with an athlete who has had waaaaaay too many sex partners already. But then again, that’s just me.
Watch the latest fight on “Basketball Wives” here:
3) How to flip your weave with an attitude: I am always intrigued by the “mean girls” bullying that I see on “Basketball Wives.” The idea of being loving and nurturing toward other human beings has little value in a world where TV shows will do any ridiculous thing to get ratings. Each week, we are treated to a lovely testosterone fest that would put the NFL playoffs to shame – women jumping across tables, slapping each other, and engaging in ferocious gossip attacks that might leave a 12-year-old girl suicidal. Good for you VH1, you ruin at least a few thousand young lives every single week.
4) If I am pretty enough, that makes me a good and classy person: Many of the women on “Basketball Wives” are as pretty as their weaves are long. I wonder if our society has become a place where any crass, disgusting human being can be transformed into an angel by putting on enough makeup — like cow manure being converted into a birthday cake. I can’t imagine any intelligent man wanting to be the husband of any of the “basketball wives.” Everything that makes a woman into a loving Mother, wife, and role model seems to be missing from this group of televised gang bangers who are being allowed to influence an entire generation.
5) I am only as good as the man I had a baby with: Let’s be clear, most of the “Basketball Wives” have never been married to anyone. I’ve suggested changing the name of the show to “Basketball Baby Mamas” or “Basketball Wifeys” (“wifey” is a term used to describe the woman who stands by the man’s side for years without ever getting a ring). I must confess that when I speak to my own daughters, I remind them that simply dating a successful or wealthy man is not the same as going into the world and accomplishing things on their own. Fortunately, millions of successful Black women probably agree, and Attorney Star Jones is one of them.
Good job, Star, I’m, oh, so proud of you. I loved the way you took on the behemoth ex-stripper Nene Leakes during her neck-swingathon on “Celebrity Apprentice.” You made it clear that when given a choice, we can either engage the foolishness or we can elevate. By using your platform for such a productive purpose, you have also elevated and inspired me; you’ve also reminded me of the power of extraordinary Black women. Now, let’s go kill the demon of ignorance and raise our young girls to fulfill their truest destiny.
What do you think?
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of the forthcoming book, “The Rapp Sheet: Rising Above Psychological Poison.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.