[Kamikaze] Don't Be A Jerk | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] Don't Be A Jerk

photo

Brad Franklin

We have become a society that applauds bad behavior. We have become a nation that shuns decorum and champions those who break rank with tact. We have become a country that no longer respects authority, title or office. We live among people who have lost respect for their fellow man. We no longer have the ability or desire to disagree without being disagreeable. Some say they breathe the breath of patriots but encourage their children to not respect the office of president.

We elect lawmakers who teach our kids that adults can and will act like children when they don't get their way. Shouting, yelling, threatening, lying, stealing, cheating have become the rule and not the exception. It disgusts me. It further disgusts me that people have tolerance for it or make excuses for it.

In the past week, America has witnessed several instances of rudeness. No matter what color, what creed, what religion, or tax bracket you are in, we (at least I) expect every human being to least conduct themselves as if they have some modicum of home-training. Its not a "black" thing as some folks have tried to pin it. Not an "artist" thing. Not an "athlete" thing. Whether or not someone else would have been treated differently is irrelevant. You don't put out a fire by starting another one as a distraction. Wrong is wrong, and being uncouth is being uncouth.

You can be Joe Wilson, the senator from South Carolina who heckled the President. Conservatives want to paint him as some kind of hero. Pundits want to quickly hold up the freedom-of-speech flag but in actuality he forever cemented himself as a jerk. That one moment where he lost self-control will haunt him and may cost him an election next year.

You can be Serena Williams, arguably the greatest women's tennis player of all time. An exceptional athlete (and a rich one) who has been trained by an albeit-overzealous, Joe Jackson-like father to be a champion. No adrenaline rush or competitive drive is an excuse for the choice of words she used. Even on his worst child-like tirades, John McEnroe never threatened physical harm on a line judge. There are those who say she shouldn't apologize, either. Fact of the matter is that rant cost her $10,000 and maybe a suspension. It may have cost her another U.S. Open title. Reasons notwithstanding, she was a jerk. and she will have to deal with the consequences.

Or you can be Kanye West, a self-described genius and problem child. He's an award-winning producer/rapper with millions in the bank and hordes of adoring fans. He just lost his mom (I can relate). He was liquored up (I can relate). I can even respect his inclination to always speak his mind. I have that same inclination as most of you can attest. However, there is a time and place for every outburst, and simply put, Mr. West acted like a schoolyard bully who thinks his offbeat shenanigans are cute. In fact, we've grown tired of them.

I've checked your record, sir, and this tendency to "interrupt" folks and "keep it real" has only happened at MTV events to young starstruck artists like Taylor Swift. You don't expect retribution, I'm sure. Real tough guy, aren't you?

The bottom line is this. We have to start rewarding, showcasing and reporting good, proper behavior. We have become a nation where some men( and women) have no honor. We have to do better. We have to set a better example for our kids. How? By letting them know that you do "not" mistake rudeness, brazen, callous, uncouth or tacky behavior for genius, nonconformity, rebellion, activism or uniqueness. Just because you're loud doesn't mean you're "saying" anything. It just means you're an ass.

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff

Previous Comments

ID
152100
Comment

Like many of your columns, I'll be making copies and using this in class for discussion! Thanks for writing this.

Author
lls32001
Date
2009-09-18T21:50:53-06:00
ID
152102
Comment

This is great! Thanks for the reality check. Respect, manners and self-control do matter.

Author
Bob Lowery
Date
2009-09-18T22:17:10-06:00
ID
152151
Comment

I think Joe Wilson is the only one that has publicly been rewarded for his behavior. He was not known for having accomplished much as a legislator, now he is a conservative hero. In the cases of Kanye and Serena, they have fans, but none of their fans came to their aid in the support of their misdeeds. Joe Wilson has literally been applauded and elevated because of his behavior. The unsettling thing is that conservatives look at what Joe Wilson did as a good thing and encourage others to do the same. People that support Kanye and Serena are disappointed in their behavior.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-09-21T08:50:07-06:00
ID
152155
Comment

Is this the same Kamikaze who used to lead the F*** George Bush chants? Nothing stinks so much as the foul odor of hypocrisy.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-09-21T09:33:13-06:00
ID
152158
Comment

Nice try Rex.. Simply put..so that I need not address this again... I have NO problem...repeat NO problem with Joe wilson calling Obama a liar. Its HIS opinion, everyone is entitled to one. However, call him a liar to Fox after the speech, call him a liar in your blog, call him a liar at YOUR next speech to constituents if you wish. Go up to him after the speech and call him a liar to his face. whatever...BUT...The CHAMBERS, while a Sitting President is speaking is NOT the forum. Period. I would not have interrupted Bush or anyone in those sacred halls. Every lawmaker Ive spoken with says that Joe Wilson broke code with that outburst. Even folks who disagree with Obama. So try something else! As for me, I was at a CONCERT, that I had been booked to perform at in the Czech Republic. In a privately owned CLUB (w/alcohol being served), in front of a thousand young Czech hip-hop fans, doing MY songs. Different venue totally. Dont be ridiculous! Had I been performing in Congressional Chambers I would have kept my comments to myself. Wouldnt have been the place. When I performed the song at Jubilee Jam and had soldiers on the stage, I withheld my Bush comments. See Rex...I KNOW "when" and "where" to speak my mind. Ive got home training sir. ...and if you cant see the difference in a rap concert and listening to the PResident give a speech in Chambers at the Capital then I dont know what to tell you.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-09-21T10:32:42-06:00
ID
152160
Comment

So actual content doesn't matter so much as context? Please. Don't decry the lack of civility in society and turn around and pour gas on the fire.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-09-21T10:41:37-06:00
ID
152161
Comment

Reximus: It pretty much can be summed up in a commonly held belief, "it is not what you do, but how you do it". I am fascinated by the degree that some of you will go to in finding equivalents. I wish one conservative would have the guts and honesty to admit that they would not be looking at this thing the way they do if the situation was reversed. Forget political affiliation, if the question was asked if this kind of behavior should be condoned, everyone would say no. The only reason that it is acceptable is because of the recipient. As far as Kaze and his lyrics, that is comparing apples and oranges. One, he did his in the proper setting. Two, the audience at his concerts are there to hear what he has to say. In the case of the President, the audience was there to hear his speech and not a disrespectful outburst by Rep. Wilson. Honestly, people should be asking him why this is the only thing he is known for up to this point from his time as being a legislator. Of course content matters. If you go to a 'G' Rated movie, you would not appreciate 'R' Rated content, whereas if you knowingly went to a 'R' Rated movie, you would expect that content.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-09-21T10:52:54-06:00
ID
152162
Comment

First of all Rex..some of my old performances could never have been mistaken for civil LOL. they got preeettty wild. Lack of civility sometimes works on rap stages. Thanks for noticing. All that unnecessary attention was a real boost to my career btw. People just couldnt stop talking or blogging about it lol. For the record...It only helps. Secondly, everyone has their freedom to speak their mind. As Kim Wade stated on my radio show yesterday, some people are just not going to like some people..and that Rex is THEIR choice. I happened to think that Bush sucked. would have told him to his face had I ever come across him. But would NEVER...NEVER had blurted it out while he was speaking and defintely NOT in the capital. THAT sir..is disrespect. Interrupting someone when they are talking or when they have the floor IS bad behavior. So again..Try something else Rex..that wont fly. There is a time and place for every ourburst of opinion. And since youre so put off by my Bush comments then Im sure youre pissed at Joe Wilson for WHERE(not what) he made his outburst right?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-09-21T10:59:09-06:00
ID
152164
Comment

Thanks Golden. "Its not WHAT you do. But HOW you do it" ..as a wise man once said. Its the ability to tell someone to "Go To Hell" in such a way that they actually enjoy the trip!!!!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-09-21T11:02:13-06:00
ID
152165
Comment

First of all, I'm no conservative. Secondly,I'm not condoning what Wilson did. It was wrong. And West is just a little punk who needs a good butt kicking.What I'm saying is that you can't lead a chant like that , anywhere, and then go boo hooing about things like decorum and such without coming off as a total hypocrite.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-09-21T11:02:14-06:00
ID
152166
Comment

I am sick and tired of Serena Williams being compared with John McEnroe and at the end of the day, McEnroe comes out smelling like a rose. I have followed both careers and McEnroe got away with many, many, many displays of un-sportsman like behavior and his mouth was a living toilet. I watched him throw his racket in the direction of a judge. What I would like to see happen is for the evidenced fact of the on line judge calling several erroneous foot-fouls against Serene that were just plain WRONG!!! It is amazing to me how so many Americans could cheer against Serena and for someone from a land foreign to America. Her apponent was favored to win because of the obvious. Some of the commentators said that she was favored bacause of her age and the fact that she was a young mother who had returned after two years. WOW! These young black women have been through RACIAL HELL. Don't get me wrong, I hated to see Serena pushed to that type of breaking point. This,however,is a type of risky remedy and ALL judges will think twice about exibiting such blatant unfair prejudice behavior. What is so hypocritical is the fact that they allowed Serena to play with Venus is their doubles match. Now, they are talking about financial penalities and sanctions. They did not give up the chicken during the playoffs because they needed her eggs. Just saying.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-09-21T11:02:35-06:00
ID
152167
Comment

Rex..I dont boo hoo...I'm pissed. Joe wilson needed an ass whoopin, Kanye needed an ass whoopin, and Serena's mother should have come down out of the stands and gave her daughter an ass-whoopin..right there! ..And if my mother God rest her soul, heard some of the things I said on stage, she would have surely whooped MY ass as well. thats why I urged her never to come until the latter years when I toned down. Joe wilson can lead "Obama is a LIAR chants" all over America if he wishes. Just dont do it while the Prez is speaking and DONT do it in chambers PERIOD. how hard is that to get?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-09-21T11:07:57-06:00
ID
152168
Comment

Reximus: That is a ridiculous assertion. You are missing the entire point. One aspect of an issue does not define it. It is not only what Joe Wilson said, but where he said it. To have to explain this sort of thing is just the nature of people not being able to admit the truth. There are a lot of things that are acceptable for you to say on the street that would be frowned upon if you yelled them out in church. Joe Wilson has reaped the benefits from being a lousy legislator but because he had he nerve to disrespectfully disrupt the President in the Congressional chamber. We can find much better role models than that. He could have simply acted like an adult and held a press conference afterwards to say whatever he would like. We will get more of this sort of behavior in the future because the net result was positive for the offender.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-09-21T11:15:42-06:00
ID
152169
Comment

You misunderstand my point altogether. I agree Wilson was severely out of bounds. What I'm saying is that a rapper commenting on the lack of civility is much like Mark Sanford lamenting the decline of marital values.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-09-21T11:33:32-06:00
ID
152172
Comment

Rappers are not one-dimensional, monolithic creatures Rex. Don't streotype. Some of them can speak to this issue as well as the decline of marital values, development, social issues, politics etc. Some of em even have radio and tv programs (wink wink) Again everyone is entitled to an opinion. Even rappers or ex-rappers. I can "speak" or write on any issue I wish. Listening is your choice. Reading is your choice. Just as you disagree with me here I wouldn't expect you to come to my house and interrupt dinner w/ my family to tell me. Or interrupt your pastor at church. Get it?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-09-21T12:03:49-06:00
ID
152173
Comment

Reximus: It is not about what was said, but how. People choose to go to Kaze's concerts or buy his music. He does not show up at your house and force you to listen. You only want to look at one side of the argument. I am all for whatever critiques people have of others, but there is a time and a place. Also, rap is not one uniform expression of music. There are all types of rap and rappers do not express themselves in the same way. Rap is like any other form of music. Some attempts to be educational while other goes after pure entertainment. Civility is in the nature of a conversation. If the recipient of words is receptive to what is being said, that suggest civility. If the recipient is not receptive, civility is not involved.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-09-21T12:20:54-06:00
ID
152180
Comment

Reximus, your rapper comment just above is an ad hominem attack that is also a generalization and stereotype. That's a funny way to criticize someone else who is arguing for civility in conversation. The discussion of Kaze's alleged hypocrisy aside ... Joe Wilson's other huge problem, beyond civility, is that he himself was lying when he yelled out that Obama was lying by correcting the lies that Wilson and his brethren were spreading about HR 3200 giving benefits to undocumented workers. That is, had he been telling the truth when he yelled it out, it would have been ever-so-slightly justifiable if still distasteful.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-09-21T14:59:33-06:00
ID
152193
Comment

It seems Serena got some Gansta in her after all. I knew she couldn't grow up around Dre Dre, Ice Cube, Stoop Dogg and nem and not be able to go gansta if she wanted to. I've been to Compton. I wanted to jack someone up the whole time I was there. Some people are saying Kanye is bipolar. He ain't bipolar, he's just crazy. Joe Wilson is simply a good ole boy.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-09-21T17:57:22-06:00
ID
152197
Comment

"We have become a society that applauds bad behavior. We have become a nation that shuns decorum and champions those who break rank with tact." That just about sums up most of hip-hop these days... I'll have to go with Reximus on this one. This whole article bleeds of hypocrisy. If you can't see it, we have an even bigger problem than I thought.

Author
News Junkie
Date
2009-09-22T08:39:23-06:00
ID
152198
Comment

Amen, Kaz. Rex, your argument is pretty weak (and you made it weaker with your attack on rappers -- nice job at introducing a bigoted stereotype). Justjess, fair enough with the McEnroe comment -- he was consistently out of line during his career -- but that doesn't make it okay that Serena did what she did. And I truly like Serena.

Author
Scott Albert Johnson
Date
2009-09-22T09:18:17-06:00
ID
152200
Comment

News Junkie: I think you all are exhibiting a shallow way of looking at something. I can not buy into the argument that you and Rex are trying to make. Hypocritical would be saying one thing and doing another or having a pretense of being virtous and actually not being that way. Nothing about what Kaz said or the fact that he is a rapper makes that hypocritical. Kaz's chosen profession caters to adult listening and is marketed that way. His audience volunteers to hear what he has to sIf he were forcing you to listen him like Joe Wilson did, maybe you could claim hypocrisy. Disagreeing with Kaz is just a way of supporting Wilson. An arsonist can tell you that your house is on fire if it actually is. So, even if you do not prefer Kaz's entertainment, he still can be accurate in his accessment of those three incidents. Joe Wilson is being reward for lacking taste and not being correct because to some, he put Obama in his "place".

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-09-22T10:17:52-06:00
ID
152204
Comment

I think musicians and artists have a right to say what they want in performance. That offends me much less than, say, the TVs set up in all airports blaring "news" and advertisements so loud it is impossible to think, read, or carry on a conversation. I remember when airports were quiet - a place of respite to think, read, relax or chat. Once I asked a representative at an airport if we could turn the TV down. He said, the customers will complain if we turn it down. When did it become okay to make everyone else listen to your mindless TV drivel? Ick. As for cussing, I have no issue with it, in proper context. As for the comment from Joe Wilson, I don't think you'd hear a democrat saying that to GBush, for example. Maybe "No, No" or some such. It makes Joe Wilson seem uncivilized to me. But agreed that he's probably been enjoying the free press coverage. Actually I think the Kanye thing is the same - free press coverage.

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-09-22T11:09:22-06:00
ID
152205
Comment

For all of the examples that speak to the contrary folks. Ive found it is an effort in futility to try and reason with folks who have made up their minds. A singular mode of thought. A monolithic ideal. The lack of research. Dangerous things. There is a deep seeded hatred of hip hop/rappers by some that refuse to look beyond their suppositions. When a simple bit of research, googling, asking, inquiring will turn up HUNDREDS of rappers/songs that champion positive thought. It will turn up Hundreds of Rappers with degrees and PHD's, and HUNDREDS of rappers who have parlayed music success into other fields. However, its easier to hold on to what you know because it allows you the ability to continue to be combative. Then there is simply the contingent who wishes to simply try and discredit what I do. Continue to stamp the rapper tag on me and continue to pigeonhole me without even knowing me or doing research on my background. Those that really know me KNOW who I am and my accomplishments outside of music and before music. Those who dont, get mad that a "rapper" has a voice. Not realizing I had a degree and career before music and now one after. If you KNOW me then you wouldnt be amazed, mad, or even question why I write a column, have gotten involved in development, have a radio show, and a political voice in this town. If you DONT really know me then you'll call me a hypocrite. Cool. To each his own. Fact is..as Golden pointed out. I was "paid" to go to the Czech Republic to perform(which probably makes you mad), Kids "PAID" to see me perform and hear my commentary(which angers you), and it was at a rap concert which is NOTHING like shouting in Congressional Chambers. The two arent the same...simple as that. Regardless how much you dislike me or my past profession..the fact is...ITS NOT THE SAME. PERIOD.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-09-22T11:11:19-06:00
ID
152218
Comment

"Kaz's chosen profession caters to adult listening and is marketed that way." Golden- I know you want to defend your friend (and that's honorable), but please be informed that hip hop is not marketed towards adults. Take a look at 106 & Park on BET and see who's really into hip hop. It's influencing a whole generation of "kids" (as Kaze called them) who have unfortunately fallen for the okie-doke. I did say "most" hip hop in my earlier post. I know there's some decent hip hop. There's some decent music in every genre. That particular genre just happens to be filled with MANY "artist" who degrade women, applaud bad behavior, and lack decorum & tact.

Author
News Junkie
Date
2009-09-22T18:50:14-06:00
ID
152224
Comment

Kaz: You are my frat brother and we came up in the same era, exposed to a lot of the same things, so maybe I just relate to you better than some. However, you demonstrated something that I have always suggested that I see lacking with conservatives/Republicans. You were willing to point out something that is wrong with people you can relate to or may even like, a good number of them have a problem doing that. Kanye and Serena are not heroes for the misdeeds they did and you stated as much. But you can see that the opposite is true of the reaction to Joe Wilson by conservatives. Conservatives follow that mandate that Reagan laid out that they should never say a bad word about another conservative. That is what keeps them from admitting some very obvious things. Racism is not everywhere disrupting everything, but to conservatives, it is no where. They all will say that it exist, but can never state a specific example of a conservative being racist. So, when you have Black conservatives like Angela McGlowan, they can only have one reaction to any incident involving race regardless of the situation or conservatives will turn on them. You and I are not limited in that way. We can speak our minds about Kanye, Serena AND Joe Wilson without fear. And that is how it should be. The "right" does not seem to recognize that it elevates its loonies to positions of power. Radicals on the left are marginalized for the most part. The "right" does not mind being lead by the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. I do not see the same thing happenning on the left. So, you continue to do what you do because it represents an independence that everyone should exhibit. There are times when people should just be able to agree that something is wrong and not encourage others to be that way.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2009-09-23T09:21:28-06:00

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