Moral Authority isn’t easy to come by. It requires a lifetime of selflessness, kindness, charity and goodwill to others before it can be accorded to someone.
It isn’t hard to find such people scattered throughout religious history – Moses, Martin Luther
Gandhi, Mother Theresa
Pope Paul II, the reverend Billy Graham, Martin Luther King
etc..It get’s even tougher when you venture into the world of politics – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln
come to my mind – but none others (perhaps you can help fill in the blanks).
In the world of entertainment you can practically forget about it – Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, R Kelly, Bill Cosby – I certainly would have – until this name popped up today.
Mr. Marsalis is one of those people who go quietly about their lives doing what they love without much fanfare, while, unbeknownst to themselves, acquiring the kind of Moral Authority that gives them license to speak Truth to Power.
Hear the power of these words, that if spoken by most other men, would be brushed aside with a dismissive “F… Him!’
Specifically, he said that hip-hop is indicative of “how we’ve lost our grip on our morality in the black community… using pornography and profanity and addressing ourselves in the lowest, most disrespectful form.”
He continued by comparing the popularization of rap to minstrel shows. “You can’t have a pipeline of filth be your default position, and it’s free. Now, the nation is entertained by that. It’s not free,” he remarked. “Just like the toll the minstrel show took on black folks and on white folks. Now all this ‘nigga’ this, ‘bitch’ that, ‘ho’ that, it’s just a fact at this point.”
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts – For Sale: Child’s Soul Price: 30 Pieces of Silver and The Great Disconnect and Goodbye Hollywood.. the moral decay of our Great country has much to do with the abdication of many Americans of their role as the keepers of Decency and Innocence. When are the grown-ups going to stand together with one voice and say “Enough is Enough.” When will we as a people – regardless of gender, race, religion – join together and push back against the normalization of filthy, gratuitous rap, violent video games, 24 hour a day sexualized television content etc..etc..
As an interesting aside, Mr. Marsalis won a Pulitzer Prize for this:
while Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for this:
You be the judge of which artist elevates the spirit and which does not.
Also from Mr. Lamar, this:
Apparently he invited a young female fan onstage (a white fan) to sing? one of his lyrical miracles but then became offended when she used the exact same N-Word he uses about a thousand times a day. Perhaps if Mr. Lamar didn’t use the N-Word with such prolificosity he wouldn’t hear others using it so much, thus avoiding offense to his delicate sensibilities.
Hmmm..perhaps that’s Mr. Marsalis’ point?