Wednesday, July 31, 2013

poetic justice moralizes, it excuses hedonic uselessness, it eschews excellence...,


theroot | Buried beneath the ever-growing pile of rubble that is the negative reaction to CNN anchor Don Lemon's "tough love" comments about the black community was the excellent rebuttal by Global Grind's editor-in-chief, Michael Skolnik.

"It's a reflection, it's a mirror," said Skolnik when asked by Lemon if rap and hip-hop "glorify prison culture," specifically the apparently cutting-edge trend of wearing baggy pants.

"Don't break the mirror," continued Skolnik, visibly upset. "Look at yourself."

"Well, that's, it's that, well, isn't that what --" stuttered Lemon after the briefest moment of dead air. He seemed taken aback and most of all confused by Skolnik's call to self-reflection.

"Isn't that what I'm trying to do here by telling people, 'Hey listen, I love you, but these are things you need to work on'?" asked Lemon, still not getting it. "I'm just being honest here.'"

Pointing the finger and peering into a mirror are two very distinct actions. One requires little save griping, and the other forces you to do more than simply judge. Forgive me for quoting two of Oprah's favorite gurus, Dr. Phil and Iyanla Vanzant: A mirror compels you to "get real with yourself" and "do the work." A pointed finger is nothing but a cocked gun aimed at the dreaded and scary other. But like my great grandmother (and probably yours, too) always said, "When you point a finger at someone else, three more are pointing right back at you."