A serious message from The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to his friends in the Hip-Hop community, who are under attack by his enemies for meeting with him and supporting the upcoming 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March 10-10-15. #JusticeOrElsePosted by Minister Louis Farrakhan on Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The 2015 Bet Hip Hop Awards takes place on October 9th in Atlanta, Georgia and of course it will be the biggest night in hip hop. The 20th year anniversary of the Million Man March entitled ‘Justice or Else’ is occurring on the 10th. While it is clear which event is more important in light of all the police brutality cases and the death of unarmed black males would make logical sense that the Bet Hip Hop Awards would be scheduled for another weekend right?
Now this scheduling conflict would normally be one that you could chalk up to coincidence or bad timing, but there may just be more to it than that.
The more one looks into the Million Man March in Washington D.C. you cannot help but wonder if it may not be such a coincidence. The BET Hip Hop Awards usually take place within that week, but they have held the event later before. 2008 was on the 28th and the very first show in 2006 was actually in November so there is a precedent and clear option to not hold the event the same day as the Million Man March.
What exactly is the correlation that is so specific to this year? Minister Farrakhan has been very vocal this year about rappers being apart of this march. He has gone as far as to say rappers are the new leaders, as their words and message can reach an audience that almost no one else can. Farrakhan has been on the Breakfast Club, met with rappers such as Kanye West, Eminem, The Game, 2 Chainz, Young Thug and many more. He had given them a warning about being involved with him as he began to notice many of these rappers found themselves in legal trouble after they would meet.
“The Million Man March was one of the most historic organizing and mobilizing events in the history of Black people in the United States,” said Chicago-based Dr. Conrad Worrill, who was a main organizer of the March and the current president emeritus of the National United Black Front.
Congress shut down that day and President William Clinton was “out of town.” Mainstream media in American and media outlets from around the world were watching. The world did not see thieves, criminals and savages as usually portrayed through mainstream music, movies and other forms of media; on that day, the world saw a vastly different picture of the Black man in America. The world saw Black men demonstrating the willingness to shoulder the responsibility of improving themselves and the community. There was neither one fight nor one arrest that day. There was no smoking or drinking. The Washington Mall, where the March was held, was left as clean as it was found. Two of the best descriptions of the Million Man March include the word “miracle” and the phrase “a glimpse of heaven.”
This may be breaking news to some, but BET is not owned by a black person let alone anyone of color. It was bought by Viacom in 2000 for 3 billion dollars. Since then BET has been heavily criticized for being stereotypical, affecting the youth with negative images, and even former co-owner Shelia Johnson said she does not even watch it anymore and that was in 2005. It is somewhat fair to say that BET has very little invested in the black community’s progression.
BET has the power to move the date to accommodate the Million Man March. These are two separate entities, the Million Man March is not an award show competing for viewership. Let alone it being the 20th anniversary in a time where racial tensions appear to be as high as ever. The amount of police brutality that is being caught on camera and reported on through social media makes this years march quite possibly the most important since the inaugural march on Washington in 1995.
BET would be doing a disservice to hold their award show on the same weekend as the Million Man March. The two should happen but not at the expense of each other. It oddly symbolizes this debate that many have had saying entertainment often distracts people from social issues. A distraction is only what you make it, and BET would be in good taste by moving the event as it could appear to be undermining the movement of Minister Farrakhan.
Both events should be supported and for different reasons. BET would be creating a conflict that can easily be avoided. There will always be time to celebrate hip hop and all the accomplished artists, but that weekend has been already claimed for a more meaningful and historic cause.
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