Monday, June 06, 2005

The latest in 'Urban' entertainment

If there's one thing I really can't stand its political correctness. I say if something is true then it should be okay to say it. If my car insurance can charge me more or less based on my grades in school (via "good student discounts") because its been shown that better students have fewer accidents, why can't the same kind of evidence-based discrimation be used even if it is based on race?

I mean I realize that at one time in our country race was used as the sole reason behind enslaving an entire race and treating them like property, which is clearly a bad thing. But at what point do we as a country move beyond that?

So, now, instead of calling things the way we see them we have to call them the way we think no will be offended if we call them. A comedy with black leads in it is an "urban" comedy. Check your local UPN listings for all your favorite "urban" sitcoms. Last time I checked, Friends was in a pretty big city, but no one ever called it an "urban" comedy. Rap music is "urban" music. Do kids in the suburbs not listen to rap music? The fact that rap artists are at the top of the Billboard charts would seem to imply that its appeal is universal and not just "urban". It could be argued that it is called "urban" music because it originates in the city. But I would dare to say that Nashville is a pretty big city, but I haven't heard anyone call the Boot Scoot Boogie a classical "urban" anthem. The Mormon Tabernacle choir practices and performs regularly in downtown Salt Lake City. Why isn't that "urban" music?

Basically, urban = black. And no, I won't say urban = african-american because a) The vast majority of black people are not from Africa, at least not anytime recently; and b) Some African aren't black. I don't insist in being called "Euro-American". Partly because I don't have a lot of great feelings toward Europe in general lately. But primarily because I was born in America. But back to my topic sentence. If we are just replacing one word for another without changing the meaning, then what is the point? Does black have a negative connotation that urban doesn't? If we use 'urban' to mean 'black' then any negative connotation for the one will just be transfered to the other eventually. So maybe we should just start treating people as people.

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