Rapper Shawty Lo; “All My Babies’ Mamas” Reportedly Canceled by Oxygen.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Allison Samuels at the Daily Beast is reporting that the Oxygen Network allegedly came to its senses and realized that putting out a show featuring a rapper bragging about having 11 kids with 10 different women might not be so great for their brand. The massive public backlash has hopefully let the network know that there are some people of color who don’t appreciate having our culture mutilated in public with such embarrassing images of familial irresponsibility. Also, Oxygen Network isn’t known for producing this kind of vile programming: insulting black people has always been the job of BET.
Samuels gives credit to various petitions for getting Oxygen Network to cut the show. She also asks an even more important question: How in the &*(^* did this show concept ever come to be in the first place? She says that it was Oxygen’s insensitivity that likely served as the culprit.
How could a network ever assume that a show about an African-American rapper with 11 kids by 10 women would be OK and not immediately deemed racist? How could it not see that it was offending, insulting, and mocking an entire segment of the African-American community? The answer is pretty simple. The network saw it; the network just didn’t care.
Samuels is correct: The beast of capitalism cares nothing for the negative externalities it produces, at least when the victims appear to be as disorganized, docile and powerless as the black community. Corporations are accustomed to black people quietly gulping down large quantities of whatever psychological poison they drop onto our community, and our job is to simply sit back and take it. Oxygen just received the memo, however, that not all of us are addicted to the slave mentality.
The rise of Rapper Shawty Lo to reality TV greatness is mind-boggling, to say the least. No one hates the brother for having so many children. The problem is that there are some of us who grow tired of seeing dysfunction celebrated and marketed by major corporations. As a business school professor, I can tell you that marketing DOES WORK. When an image is presented repeatedly to millions of people, it doesn’t take long before that portrayal is embraced by those who see it. Not every black boy is going to run out and get 10 babies’ mamas, but seeing Rapper Shawty Lo earn millions from his “little investments” makes this lifestyle look a little more acceptable.
A great example that comes to mind is a conversation I had with a teacher who said that she asked her students to write down their long-term goals. One little girl said that her dream was to grow up and become a Basketball Wife. The child even laid out her strategy to bag an athlete and have a baby with him, since she’s been raised to think that it’s acceptable to define her self-worth based on who she’s had s*x with. From the last I checked, at least half of the so-called “Basketball Wives” have never been married to anyone, so, a better title for the show might be “Basketball Babies’ Mamas.” Apparently, becoming pregnant by a man who runs from house-to-house spreading his seed (and possibly his numerous infections) has become all the rage, at least according to reality TV.
I was proud to see our community’s reaction to “All My Babies’ Mamas.” I am sorry that Rapper Shawty Lo won’t be able to pay his child support by marketing his lifestyle to the world, but the truth is that he made his own bed. As we see more and more stories about celebs having serious financial problems due to child support obligations, I hope that brothers will learn that having a bunch of kids with a bunch of women is a great way to end up broke. Bringing so many kids into the world with no means to provide for them is harmful to yourself, your children and your community. We must ask each other to do better.
Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins