Friday, August 25, 2017

Monument-al Mistakes

                In such a stupid and graceless age, perhaps it was bound to happen. And now it has. Fans of Britney Spears are calling for Louisiana officials to replace Confederate monuments with statues of…Britney Spears. There is a petition on, already signed by over 5,500 people, entreating the state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, to “do the right thing: Replace the Confederate statues with an actual hero and influential human being, Britney Spears.” What would “Stonewall” Jackson know of heroism? Was Robert E. Lee really anywhere near as influential as Britney?
                The petition continues: “Not only has Britney proven her talent, but she’s proven her strength of character by not only overcoming highly publicized mental breakdown, but by continuously working towards improving herself. She’s an inspiration to millions.” (Emphases mine). This petition parroted one started a week ago that asked fans of rapper Missy Elliot to sign off on a plea to replace a Confederate statue in Portsmouth, Virginia, with one celebrating the African-American performer nicknamed “Misdemeanor.”
                It’s not only statues of confederates that are coming down, but those of some Founders, as well. Who better to replace them than pop stars, hip-hop “artists” and rappers? And what could be a better reflection of the “fundamental change” that has washed across the country? When I first read of the aforementioned petitions, I must admit, I had never heard of Missy Elliot…and I thought Britney Spears was a lightweight. So, I “Googled” their music. I clicked on the very first song I came across from each artist (and only that song) to examine their lyrics. What I found was remarkable. I henceforth compare and contrast a few snippets from Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jefferson, with a few from Britney and Missy.

Robert E. Lee: “There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil.”

Britney: “I’m a slave for you (take that) I cannot hold it I cannot control it
                I’m a slave (it just feels right) for you (it just feels good)
                I won’t deny it, I’m not trying to hide it (baby)

Robert E. Lee: “I wish that I owned every slave in the South, for I would free them all to end this war.”

Britney: “Get it get it, get it get it (oh)
                 Get it get it, get it get it (oh)
                 Get it get it, get it get it (oh)
                I’m a slave for you (here we go now)
                I cannot hold it, I cannot control it
                I’m a slave for you, (here we go) I won’t deny it, (yeah)
                I’m not trying to hide it

Thomas Jefferson: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Missy Elliot: “I’d like to know ya so I could show ya
                        Put the pussy on ya like I told ya
                        Gimme all your numbers so I could phone ya
                      Your girl actin’ stank then call me over
                       Not on the bed, lay me on your sofa
                     Phone before you come, I need to shave my chocha

Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Missy Elliot: “Just make sure you ahead of the game
                        Just ‘cause I got a lot of fame supa
                       Prince couldn’t get me change my name papa
                       Kunta Kinte a slave again, no sir
                       Picture black sayin,’ “Oh, yes a master.”

                The Britney Spear’s song just quoted was from a c.d. cleverly titled, “Britney,” released in 2001. The song’s title? “I’m A Slave For U.” What better replacement for a statue of a shallow slave-holder the likes of Robert E. Lee than a statue dedicated to such a “talented hero” as Ms. B.S.? I mean, Britney has worked to improve herself, and is an inspiration to millions!
                Missy Elliot’s heretofore cited opus is aptly titled “Work It,” and can be found on the c.d. “Under Construction,” released in 2002. It won Video of the Year Award honors in its category in 2003 and garnered Ms. Misdemeanor the award for Best Female Solo Rap Performance in 2004.
               Odd, the offensive statues that folks are demanding come down are of those who may have owned slaves. The ones folks are demanding go up are of those who’d apparently like to be slaves.
   This is an exciting trend! We could have a statue of Eminem replace those of Madison and Morris! A bust of BeyoncĂ© could replace one of Samuel Adams. The Sex Pistols would surely better adorn a monument than any group of Founders or Confederates.

   Better Snoop Dogg than Boss Hogg, right?   

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