A Village would have raised this baby right...lol
I’ll never forget the day that I was watching Blue Print on BET, Nelly was on the couch looking as delicious as always, but it would be what he said next that would wake up my understanding of “it takes a village.” When asked how does Nelly feel about the backlash he receives from the Tip Drill video since he is supposed to be a role model, Nelly replied [paraphrased]:
“My children have never seen, nor heard Tip Drill in my house, or at all…and I made the video/song. What that tells me is that you are unable to filter what your children watch and listen to and point the blame at me when they are subjected to such material. It starts at home first.”
Bam! There it was, a slap in the face to all parents for sucking at Millenium Parenting 101. A celebrity basically told you that somewhere in his busy schedule of not always being in the same household, yet alone the same country, as his children he has managed to still find time to parent them “correctly”. So what is your excuse? So what if you have 3 jobs and sleep while your kids do homework. So what if you see your kids only on the weekend. So what if your baby’s daddy/mama is bugging this week. A celebrity is telling you that YOU were not the proper role model in your household so your children turned to him, and that is NOT his fault because the only children he is concerned about is his own when it comes to setting the proper example…well not exactly, but you catch my drift.
Picture this, teens and parents alike are idolizing the images that they see these celebrities, particularly rappers, portray on their televisions daily without ever taking into consideration that these are false replicas of their home lives. Snoop raps about sleeping with several women, crip walking, always high, etc. When in reality, his own kids are in extra curricular activities. He makes sure that they have positive outlets to keep them out of the same negative influences that he had growing up. OutKast makes jokes about getting married and remembering what “a pimp taught you”, while Big Boi has a lovely home life that he keeps very much to himself so that the outside world can’t taint it. David Banner has a DOCTORATE degree that will never find its way up into his music because it doesn’t sell records, and Diddy probably will never rap about how he keeps making millions without a single consecutive album on the charts. This is a clear disconnect in the village’s line of communication.
Let me use Nelly’s daughter as an example ( and I do so with the utmost respect and purely for demonstration purposes). Let’s say Nelly protects only his daughter from Tip Drill, but here is this other child at home watching Tip Drill because it was made available to him since his parents aren’t as strict as Nelly. As time passes, both children will grow up and , for the sake of this demonstration, will meet and fall in love. This young gentleman is a fan of Nelly’s and wishes to impress him whenever in his presence, but behind closed doors he believes in the Tip Drill theory and has enough influence over his daughter to make her the next Tip Drill Vixen, because Daddy isn’t her main focus any more. Can anyone say Montana Fishburne? Or what about the kids who were featured on T.I’s television show? He told these kids that he was a changed man, there was a better way of handling things…and then turns around and gets arrested on some drug charges (allegedly…*side eye*). To a kid who looks up to him that sends a mixed message, but should he look up to T.I.? Or should he look up to the single mother at home struggling to keep up with her other 3 children while this teen is refusing to follow house rules? This same teen could one day grow up to be the thug that he thinks T.I. to be ( since T.I. doesn’t always stick to his word…allegedly) and be the very thug that robs T.I.’s son of a chain, or start a fight in a club deja vu style….catch my drift?
The theory of “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” still stands true, but the meaning has somewhat gotten lost in its translation from an African Proverb to an Urban Legend. Parents, becoming an active part of the village shields your child in the future. You will have had a hand in raising the child next door, possibly preventing them from obtaining psycho killer habits because they knew that someone was there to care for them. Grandmothers down the street with readily available switches will remind them that their best behavior is to be expected at all times. Strangers pinching will be the extra pair of eyes in the back of your head for the mannish male attempting to sneak a peek or a feel at your daughter’s rear end. The theory is rather narcissistic, actually. It is all about gaining control of the elements around you to better protect you and your family. You can’t be in fighting stance and expect to win if you don’t know that your opponent is already suited up and standing outside your door. Now that I think about it…. it takes a Village to keep you from getting your ass whooped…lol. But I digress. Speaking up to tell the kids on metro platforms to behave, if only temporary, will indirectly cut down on the metro cops profiling you when having innocent fun with your friends after a night on the town. It is all rather cyclical…..
I’ve been and continue to be a spoke on this village’s wheel. In true Forrest Gump Fashion, ” if you lean on my back and I lean on your back, that way we wont have to sleep in the mud.” Drop your pride, MOTHERS, no one is saying that you are a bad mother and that you don’t know how to raise your kids….unless they truly are saying you’re a bad mother and don’t know how to raise your kids…lol. But accept the extra set of healthy eyes, the extra set of helping hands…..it will all work out fine in the morning. Maybe we can return to the days when we slept with doors unlocked because we know that out neighbors are watching out for us just as we are watching out for them. Maybe we will feel safer to send our children down the street because every door step will view and guide the path of our child while in our absence….maybe, just maybe…… a Villager can dream, cant I?
~*My Mother’s Daughter*~