Black Entertainers (BEs) are not really “respected” in the sense that you are suggesting, in terms of being leaders or being able to fully influence Africans in America.
First off, you have to understand, BEs are not self created; they are not self reproducing, these BEs are a product of the larger White Entertainment apparatus which is a branch of the Global White Propaganda Apparatus that created, funds, and sustains all entertainment media (sports, music, movies), news media, print publications, the internet, etc.
The large media corporations and big media moguls literally invent BEs they decide what they wear, where they will appear, what they will say, how they will say it, even what causes they will support; like when Will Smith just went to Israel to pose with IDF soldiers.
By the time you see a BE on the global stage or in a blockbuster movies, understand, you are looking at a product, a carefully controlled product on display. I’m not taking anything away from their talent, but they don’t have power, so they are not leaders, they don’t construct agendas or even set the trends for the Black community.
The opinion of these A-List BEs is not there’s. Bey’s Blonde wig and skin bleaching Diva look, whatever liquor the Minstrels are popping in their videos, the 3rd Word nation that’s manufacturing MJs latest shoe line, the decision to “kill ni99as,” or “fuck bitches” in their next single; none of that is the decision of the BE, it’s made by their handlers, by their “owners,” or whom they are contracted to.
Dr. Claud Anderson exposed the true powerlessness of BEs when he approached them to fund his PowerNomics programs; they told him flat out; “I can’t be associated with anything that’s too Black.” Dr. Anderson said they told him he was “too Black,” but he never heard them refer to any cause as too White, too Jewish, too anything else, but none of them wanted to be down with anything that’s “too Black.”
These BEs need permission to speak out on a cause, any cause; that’s why you see them supporting issues that the larger White population supports while ignore issues relevant to Africa and the African Diaspora. Their accountants, lawyers, agents, managers, etc. all are there to support them, but also police them and keep them from going off script; they all answer to the mega media corporations and the big media moguls. Even the so-called Black moguls like Dr. Dre, Puffy, Jay Z and dem. Watch how there’s always a White or Jewish “partner,” or some type of corporate “partner” in all of their ventures. Why don’t you ever see folks like Dre, Puffy, Jay, 50, Oprah, Pill Cosby, come together and totally box out the Whites; they have the same money as the Whites, but they don’t have institutional power, which is more important than money, cuz institutional power allows you to print and dictate the value of money. These BEs know if they go off script then they will have the rug pulled out from under them, so they know to bring along a White, Jew, Asian, Arab, corporate “partner” along when they make major moves.
The main purpose of BEs, aside from entertaining us, generating obscene profits for all Races except the Black Race, and creating new styles and art forms for Whites to steal, is to sell the Black masses on fantasies. Fantasies that we can make it in the System if we are talented and work hard enough, that we can buy or spend our way to freedom, that consumption and social status is all there is to strive for, that Western Materialism is all, and consumption is the very purpose of life.
So, Blacks don’t respect BEs because most of them don’t even understand BEs and what they stand for. How can you respect something that you don’t understand? There’s admiration, lust, and infatuation, but not respect.
If we truly respected BEs we’d demand more from them, we’d study them, we’d hold them to higher standards.
Respect means to literally “look agin,” to look deeper, to look intently, not to be nice to, or to even like; you can Respect an enemy, you should Respect you enemies. We don’t show our BEs respect nor do they show us any.
These artist are disposable, when they “fall off” we move on to the next hot shit. We took Jay off the shelf and put Lil Wayne there, we take Lil Wayne off and not Fetty Wap is there, and his expiration date is already coming up.
I’ve taken to calling these BEs “Shit Hop Artist, Modern Day Minstrels, and Ball Chasers;” for all the above stated reasons and more.
I also call them that to distinguish them from the true Hip Hop Artist, the true African Griots and Performers, and the true Athletes. There are few, but a significant number of Artist out there who truly fulfill the role of Artist, they are truly “Our Artist,” not the products of the White Propaganda Apparatus.
These Entertainers who are so much more than Entertainers, they are educators, they are Pan-Africanist, they use their talents and status to oppose the Systems and Institutions of White Domination and Oppression.
When your people are under genocidal oppression you can’t just be an artist, a teacher, a mailman, a janitor, an entertainer; you are obligated to be a Revolutionist, you are obligated to contribute what resources and talents you have to the liberation of your people, not just to “do ya job,” and that’s it. That’s a betrayal of your obligation, and of your ancestor’s sacrifices to get you here. Our true African Artist understand this and fulfill their obligation to the rest of us.
These Artist, Griots, and Athletes don’t usually get to be on the Award Shows (for pimps and hoes), they don’t appear on the magazine covers, they don’t get the lucrative endorsement deals, and they don’t “sell us death,” and promote obscene consumption and materialism to our youth.
These Artist are respected by their fans, but they don’t just have fans they have students, they have allies in the struggle.
Oh, and let me say that these true Black Artist are not saints or Gods, or anywhere near perfect, anymore than we are, and we don’t need them to be. They just need to represent themselves and the cause to the best of their abilities, just like the rest of us.