Tag Archives: kids
By right, I really ought not to be calling my 11-year-old godson a babe or a suckling. In fact, he’d probably bomb-rush me and refuse to speak to me ever again for attempting to publicly brand him as such, so…I won’t!
The media has been littered with commentary stemming from Vybz Kartel’s Cake Soap and alleged advocacy of the skin-lightening practice. I’ve read Mamachel’s thoughts on it (while trying not to choke over my lunch due to laughter), Annie Paul’s reflection and Yard Edge’s perspective as well. I’ve also read at length in local papers about the same issue.
None of these could prepare me for the conversation I had with said godchild on BlackBerry Messenger yesterday.
It went something like this:
Him (via broadcast message, no less!!): People have teeth and some r blue but u know what I have light skin
Me: WHAT?! X_X
Him (undoubtedly puzzled at my inability to comprehend ‘the hell his message means): Why you say what?
Me (wondering if I’m going to lose ‘cool points’ by revealing I’m clueless as to this new young people slang): What does “People have teeth and some r blue but u know what I have light skin” mean?!
Him (exasperated at the simpleton his godmother seems to be, I guess): That is supposed to be that. And I say stuff like that most of the times.
Me: That is SO random!!!
Him (smugly, I’d imagine): I know
Me: Is light skin important?
Him: To me.
STOP THE PRESSES. WHAT?! At this point, the alarm bell that was tinkling in the back of my head was starting to get a little louder. I realised that this was one of those instances where I needed to step in and perform my duties as godmother by protecting and nourishing this child’s moral/spiritual/etc values.
Me (after figuring out how to break it down for the young man, and confident in the depth of my explanation): Being light-skinned isn’t important. At the end of the day we all look the same inside. If a bomb were to fall out of the sky right now and every1′s skin fell off, nobody would know light/dark skinned people apart from each other
Him (again, I guess, convinced his godmother is a fool): LOOLOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, there endeth the relevant portion of our conversation. Try as I might, I couldn’t extract the reason or source for the importance he’s placed on being light-skinned.
I’d love to find someone to point an accusatory finger at, blaming them for corrupting my sweet boy’s mind, and…well, I kind of want to blame Vybz Kartel – and other mainstream celebs who put lighter skin on a “pedal-stool”. Why? This child listens to Kartel ALL the time. He knows the lyrics to lots of his songs (whereas I don’t!) and knows how to use them in conversation wittily. Example, his dad got a new pair of shoes… Godchild: “Ey, where you get dem new Clarks from Dawdie?” (an obvious reference to Kartel’s Clarks) … Me: *face-palm*
On Twitter, as recently as last week I’d imagine, someone said – re the Vybz Kartel/people bleaching thing – that Kartel and other entertainers cannot be held responsible for the actions of the people listening to their music. People need to take responsibility for their own actions instead of placing the blame on an external source.
Now, how the hell do I apply this to an 11-year-old who: a) doesn’t live with me and b) doesn’t seem to be adversely affected by anything he listens to. Wait…maybe I should scratch that last point; the importance he’s placed on being ‘light-skinned’ is novel and, if I’m guessing correctly, appeared around the same time that Cake Soap hit the airwaves.
So, now I’d like to pose this question. Do you think that music with lyrical content that could have an adverse effect on impressionable minds should be taken off the airwaves entirely, aired after 8pm (for argument’s sakes) or left as-is?
Music can be offensive – and harmful – with or without the use of profanity. Perhaps it would be wise for broadcasters to see past the ‘if it doesn’t have profanity then it’s perfectly fine to air’ mentality and think about the possible social ramifications of airing certain songs during peak hours, i.e. when their listeners include kids of all ages.
Is it too much to ask for broadcasters to be more socially aware, though? Believe me, I’m not saying take all offensive music off-air – nor am I calling all dancehall music offensive – but perhaps it would be best to restrict the available hours on-air for certain songs.
I’m ending this entry with an invitation for discussion – and advice on tackling my godson and the light-skinned phenomenon.
Come visit me nuh, we can have some Cinnamon Coffee!