The Rock & Rape of Black Women
Min. Paul Scott
"Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good..like a black girl should."
The Rolling Stones
During my morning commute, I usually station surf to pass the time. As much as I like black radio, when I find myself deciphering Lil Wayne lyrics, it's time to turn the dial. Most of the time I'll luck up on an old Earth Wind and Fire jam to put me in a mellow mood, but yesterday, I heard something that made me throw on my breaks in the middle of a busy intersection; an oldies rock station was blasting a song that celebrated the rape of black girls...
Back in '71, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones released a hit record called "Brown Sugar." The song begins with a lyric about a slave owner getting his thrills off of beating black women and raping them. He goes on to rejoice over how good sex with black women is.
I guess the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.
Years later, since the black militants didn't snatch him off stage and beat his behind, he felt it safe to record "Some Girls" in which he, after talking about the materialistic attitudes of women of other nationalities, proudly proclaimed that "black girls just want to f*** all night."
The reason why a discussion over old Rock and Roll lyrics is relevant in 2009 is quite simple.
Although we have discussed the misogynistic lyrics of Hip Hop artists , for well over a decade, we have left rockers such as Mick Jagger out of the conversation. We call it disgraceful when a black male rapper makes a record calling a black woman a "ho" but when Lou Reed refers to black women as "colored girls" on "Walk on the Wild Side," we call that a classic.
Does this mean that sistas shouldn't get upset when rappers see them only as "Ho's ?"
Of course they should.
But The Stones and 'em were dissin' sistas long before the Bad Boys made "Veronica" or Slick Rick first performed "Treat em Like a Prostitute."
Also, as social scientists such as Dr. Amos Wilson and Bobby Wright have taught us, we must trace the historical roots of the pathological behavior exhibited by some black men.
If we are to stop the misogynistic lyrics in Hip Hop, we must admit that the rappers are mimicking white men who have abused black women for hundreds of years with impunity.
The relationship between white men and black women has always been a taboo subject in the African America community.
Many in my generation never dared ask great grandma how she wound up with those green eyes and that buttermilk complexion as we sat around the Sunday dinner table. So, we just wrote it off as having some "Indian" in our family tree and continued grubbin'.
In reality, during slavery and into the early 20th century, many black women were raped by white men while their husbands cowered in corners. This feeling of helplessness resulted in misplaced aggression in black men in which they began to blame black women for being raped. This disorder has now manifested itself in the actions of their great, great grandsons.
While many of the relationships between white men and black women were forced, that was not always the case.
According to historian E. Franklin Frazier, in his book, "Black Bourgeoisie,"
"In giving themselves to their white masters, there were certain concrete advantages to be gained." These advantages ranged from better food and clothing to the possibility that their mulatto children would enjoy special privileges or even be emancipated.
So, maybe some black women actually felt honored that Jagger thought enough of them to shout them out on a record. Perhaps that is why, more recently, there was little fallout when a lost tape (Oh, Foolish Pride) by white rapper, Eminem, on which he disrespected black women, was discovered.
What is most disturbing is that songs such as "Brown Sugar" are still played on the radio, today, without protest, while Hip Hop is under constant scrutiny.
Even though some may say that this is a case of digging up ancient history, there is no statute of limitations on the degradation of black women and Mick Jagger and the rest should be held accountable in the same manner as those wrinkled, old Nazi war criminals.
Most importantly, we, as black men, must fight against the abuse of black women in honor of our ancestors who couldn't.
We must never forget the horrors of that period of our history no matter how it is celebrated in song.
We must always remember, as Styles P once rapped,
"Even though my skin's kinda light that means my ancestors were raped by somebody white."
Min. Paul Scott is founder of the Messianic Afrikan Nation ministry in Durham NC. He can be reached at (919) 972-8305