I remember watching Eddie Murphy Raw as a child. I was only five years old, yet fascinated by its candidness. “Uncensored, Uncut, Irresistibly Raw”was the tagline. Two years later I turned seven and Miami rap group 2 Live Crew was telling the world how horny they were in their controversial record appropriately titled, “Me So Horny.” Neither example is necessarily appropriate, but in that era people were comfortable telling their truth through art–no matter how unadulterated.
I have a shoe-on-the-other-foot type of writing style that sets out to broaden the reader’s perspective. My words give voice to the silent, the silenced and the misunderstood. My goal is for readers to be more understanding and less judgmental while reminding them of what the truth is. This approach provides the platform for a firm stance to be taken on the topic at hand.
Walk into any home in America and you’ll see a pink elephant in every room, everything that no one is saying needs to be said. There’s too much hypersensitivity and political correctness. I believe in acceptance, but I also believe in correction. I believe in tolerance, but I also believe in accountability. Everything and everyone isn’t racist or homophobic. Not everyone is “hating” on you–someone is telling you the damn truth. And the truth changes things.
Up until a few days ago, most of hip-hop was comfortable with its mediocre punch lines and materialistic flow. Then Kendrick Lamar opened his mouth. On rapper Big Sean’s song “Control,” Lamar calls out rappers by name–even the name of fellow MC, Big Sean. Kendrick Lamar’s intention is to strip hip-hop of its materialism and misogyny and get back to its roots of lyricism, battle rap and true art form. This was long overdue and hip-hop will progress as a direct result of it. We’ve had enough. He’s had enough.
Enough is enough–enough with the forced apologies and apology tours. Everything doesn’t require an “I’m sorry.” Shout out to the reemergence of feminism. Men have tried to suppress the voices of women for decades. We hear you loud and clear. Shout out to civil rights fighters and leaders refusing to fade away and continuing to fight the good fight. Shout out to hip-hop for maturing and collectively taking a genuine interest in high fashion…but enough of the skirts, long shirts and leggings, gentlemen. Different isn’t always dope.
In all seriousness, we need more tact, more honesty and less political correctness. Don’t focus on being “appropriate.” Focus on being true. Tell the truth in a way that doesn’t set out to offend. Truth doesn’t hurt; it heals. Growth isn’t always comfortable. Don’t let a sensitive society push you away from God’s instruction. Speak truth now and give America its Band-Aid later.
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is also the go-to style & etiquette impresario and public speaker. Bereola is working on his next book, “GENTLEWOMAN: Etiquette for a Lady, from a Gentleman.” For more info, visit: Bereolaesque.com, Twitter & Facebook.