Much controversy has surrounded the recent “Pimps Up, Ho’s Down” party organized by some Florida State University Law School students. A lot of people ask how FSU could be associated with such a degrading party.
Several in attendance wore Afro wigs and false gold teeth, similar to the style of 70s blaxploitation films like “Superfly” and “The Mack.” Sadly, some that attended didn’t see anything offensive about what went on.
In no way do I condone the party, nor am I justifying it.
However, I think that if we as black people didn’t glorify the pimp lifestyle, then others wouldn’t have that negative image to copy. My parents always taught me that whatever I say, whatever I do, is a reflection of them. And the same holds true for the black community.
Our entire race is always judged, characterized and stereotyped by the actions of a few. We must carry ourselves in the way that we want to be seen. If we don’t want others to represent our culture negatively, then our actions shouldn’t be a catalyst.
The party should have been a realistic mirror image of us. The students at the party really thought what they were doing was acceptable because of the images they are fed. When you have Nate Dogg and Ludacris singing about their ho’s in different area codes and the pimp lifestyle being lionized in urban magazines, it’s not just reaching black eyes and ears.
We should glorify the things in our culture that we are most proud of. Does a pimp really belong on a pedestal?
I’m not denying that this kind of lifestyle exists, but it’s not all that exists in our culture. It is not what defines our cultural beauty, and it should not be at the forefront of what we celebrate.
Remember the home training that our ancestors taught us. If we want to be treated like the proud, beautiful people we are, then we have to act like it.
Rahkia Nance, 19, is a sophomore newspaper journalism student from Herndon,Va. She can be reached at Petite8228@aol.com.