The first career I became interested in was anthropology. When I was eleven or twelve, I read several books by or about Margaret Mead. I was also curious about how human behavior developed. As a witness to group conflict in the South — class and racial — I was already in a culture worthy of study. I still find myself asking: ‘What made him (or them) do that?’ quite often. Earlier tonight, I was browsing blog entries when I happened across one about singer Chaka Khan‘s adult son being charged with murder. The blogger, True Focus, had plenty to say about ‘bad’ celebrities.
Living in a time in which the line between truth and fiction has virtually disappeared, as evidenced in recent events, one can never be too skeptical. Let’s remember that today society says “it’s ok, even expected, to use whatever and whomever you can to succeed.” As a result we have Britney Spears, who marries twice (or at least pretends to marry) for publicity; not to be undone, Janet Jackson grabs the headlines with indecent exposure before the world for publicity; Michael Jackson flirts with the charges of pedophilia for a chance at ‘wowing’ a crowd dancing on a hood of an SUV for publicity; Martin Lawrence was arrested for erratic behavior just days before he had a new movie coming out for publicity; Kobe Bryant is accused by a woman who could not have had a spottier background — he got publicity; Snoop Dogg arrives at an award ceremony in a swat-like style armored car while the blinding camera flashes capture cops drawing guns. . .and when it’s all over (you know the story, charges are dropped, settlement is reached, or case is dismissed on a technicality) we glorify them. They are bigger than ever. We’ve all played our small parts in a ‘reality’ movie that will play on a global scale, and we didn’t even know it.
The blog entry is poorly reasoned and badly written. But, another aspect of it stands out, as well. All of the celebrities the fellow is taking to the woodshed, with the exception of Britney Spears, are African-American. Considering that most public figures are white, including those who may be guilty of bad behavior, one wonders why he chose to flagellate black celebrities.
The blogger does not stop digging. He goes on to accuse Chaka Khan of having her son kill someone to obtain publicity for her new album.
Will Chaka Khan, a celebrity in grave need of some publicity-rev draw the line at the attention that a murder charge against her son may bring her way?
. . .Oh by the way, Damien Holland is an aspiring music producer, whose superstar mother Chaka Khan has a new CD release due out October 5, 2004 on Sanctuary Records.
Blogger Casper, of Chromatic Musings, responded that the charges had already been dropped against Holland because of a lack of evidence. It appears that Holland and the young man killed scuffled over possession of a shotgun. The gun went off.
So, we have a blogger who singled out African-American celebrities for accusations of criminal behavior. He then molded a claim that the black celebrity mother of a biracial man is so depraved she would suborn killing to promote her work. To an unbiased observer, there is no reasonable basis for his behavior. If he is going to criticize celebrities, he should have a legitimate basis for doing so. And, he should not decide who to criticize based on the color of the person’s skin.
I am much too squeamish to be an anthropologist. The first time the indigenes wanted me to eat an insect or I couldn’t get a nice, warm shower, that would be all she wrote. But, studying behavior in any microcosm, including the blogosphere, can be enlightening. What made him do that?
Note 2: There is more good blogging at Mac-a-ro-nies.