I was alarmed at the reports of boycotting of the television remake of Alex Haley’s "Roots" miniseries, and even more remiss to find out it was Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus leading the boycott charge.
But then I remembered he, by his own admission throughout the years, is not a role model.
With the rise in social media comes the unfortunate occurrence where the most popular tend to become the trending standard bearers, or at least agent provocateurs, stimulating some form of corrupting thought to those who gladly accept brainwashing.
I shed my loyalty long ago for entertainment braggarts who mistake their personal financial gains, created through a once positive vehicle known as hip hop, for African American triumph.
Snoop took to Instagram to deliver an expletive filled, and culturally offensive, tirade directed towards the effort to re-educate a new generation that most likely hadn’t seen the original series or read the book.
Last time I checked, "Roots" was not required reading in any schools except independent African centered education institutions. This generation who believes that Kanye West’s fashion quest is more of a liberator’s story than Harriet Tubman’s do indeed need to see Haley’s true account of his ancestry’s bloody journey through America.
“How the [f–k] they gonna put Roots on Memorial Day? They gonna just keep beating that [s–t] in our heads of how they did us, huh?” he said in a video post. “I don’t understand America. They just want to keep showing the abuse that we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago. But, guess what? We taking the same abuse.”
This was part of the ridiculous rant by Snoop. Why wouldn’t you broadcast "Roots" on Memorial Day? The land of the free clearly wasn't free and the true brave were the ones who decided to endure and manifest a new reality amid torture and the worst level of human degradation and fear engineering imaginable.
In fact, his statement that "we taking the same abuse" is even more reason to show the series with a fresh voice because today we are in a land where a few gains still struggle against the tide of white privilege.
Recently, I saw a VICE documentary where the self-purported real Nancy Botwin from the television series "Weeds" was revealed as Dr. Dina Browner, a white suburban woman from Los Angeles who is also the medical weed consultant for 2 Chainz, Timbaland and, ironically, the primary emissary of cannabis himself, Snoop Dogg.
Do you not know that black folks in this country are convicted more times than any other race for any drug crime, including weed, while it is still being legalized? Do you help that crusade, or trade the real fight for a cute, weed-dealing doctor from Hollywood, which enables the white privilege engendering all aspects of society?
“When you all going to make a [motherf–king] series about the success black folks is having? The only success we have is Roots and 12 Years a Slave and [s–t] like that, huh? [F–k] ya’ll. I ain’t watching that [s–t],” he said. “[F–k] them television shows. Let’s create our own [s–t] based on today, how we live, and how we inspire people today.”
Unfortunately, Snoop fails to see that history repeats itself when you don’t recognize the past. If we only celebrate the success of a few, dissect the narrative of the upwardly mobile regions of societies of color and forget that State laws and penal institutions prey on the weaker of our society then we are destined to continue to repeat history.
Snoop views this past Memorial Day as a painful reminder of a past we should not rehash. I, however, recognize it as a wonderful memoriam to the shiny opulence experienced by some of the "Toby's" in black society who should strive to call out their true names of Kunta Kinte and be truly free.