It’s fraying, fading and unfastening. I can’t wait until more people catch a glimpse of what’s masquerading underneath the NAACP’s raggedy “people’s champ” cape.
They’ve recently targeted Nielsen Media Research for undercounting Black and Latino television viewers in the company’s “people meter” rating system. Nielsen reports what programs television audiences are watching and serves as the leading source for networks in determining success and allocation of advertising dollars. Their fear is that this type of discrimination will eliminate sitcoms specifically aimed at black audiences.
If that happens, I’d like to be the first in popping the cork off the champagne bottle at that celebration. When was the last time NAACP president Kwesi Mfume turned on a TV? It only takes one good channel surf to realize that the NAACP’s major concern should be the quality of black programming and the commercials aimed at black audiences.
For black people, television is more like tell-a-lie.
The idiot box does a bang-up job in depicting how we live and even portrays dogs as having more emotional depth than us. Networks repeatedly cast black women as hood-rat sex fiends and black men as clowns who oblige any opportunity to crack a joke.
But not only do black viewers get to see buffoonery at its best, we get bombarded by fast food, liquor and birth control advertisements. Is this the kind of hundreds of millions of dollars that Mfume is all up in arms about losing?
I would much rather see the president of the NAACP launch a “turn off the tube” campaign than rally for the survival of such Sambo programming. The fact these shows were not created for black viewers is so blatant that you have to wonder how they missed the real problem.
The NAACP’s cape is slowly coming off, and all I see is a lack of perspective with sellout written all over it. We don’t need an organization jumping at every incident of discrimination. We need one that can see the bigger picture.
NAACP, you’re fired!
Monica Harden is a senior magazine production student from Hockley, Texas. She is an assistant opinions editor for The Famuan. Contact her at email@example.com