Monday, June 6, 2011

Rihanna ~ "Man Down", BET & Parental Duty

This is the opening part of the new Rihanna "Man Down" video which was originally aired on BET last week. In this part, the character played by Rihanna, kills a man in the response to the man's actions which were revealed in the end of the video which I will post as time allows. In the later part of the video, we discover that the character played by Rhianna, killed the man in response to a rape, or sexual assault. Rihanna claims not only does the video offer a "positive message" for those "like me" , but she also claims that  these type of images empower women who would not otherwise speak up. The question is, is that so and do her assertions have any bearing on reality?

Pt. 2 ~ The reason for the murder (what appears to be rape or sexual abuse)

Rape, Sexual Abuse & A Higher Standard 

As I have stated, we understand the seriousness of this issue. Sexual abuse, rape and molestation are not subjects to be minimized or overlooked as being problematic within the secular or church world. The problem, however is vigilantism as portrayed within the video in exchange for the hurt and pain. In this video there is no healing and there is no call to a higher moral standard by anyone, rapist or victim. This video is simply a display of cold and calculating revenge where the realization is that someone has lost control and a mother has lost a son. What is not identified, is that humanity has lost it's value all together.

The Push-back

A group known as the Parents Television Council, along with the public decency advocacy groups called Industry Ears, and  the Enough Is Enough Campaign has deemed the video as inappropriate stating the following:

‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime. Viacom’s standards and practices department has reached another new low,”...“If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy,” ~ Paula Porter spokesperson PTC former BET voice
Another PTc representative stated the following regarding the video and it's presentation and ultimately its purpose:

“Rihanna’s personal story and status as a celebrity superstar provided a golden opportunity for the singer to send an important message to female victims of rape and domestic violence. Instead of telling victims they should seek help, Rihanna released a music video that gives retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability. The message of the disturbing video could not be more off base,” ~ Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education PTC.
The BET Angle

Rihanna's video premiered on BET, which allows us to further ask does BET even like black people? The reason is that not only does this video provide a controversial response to a very serious subject, the question has been raised does it actually violate the media standards claimed by the Viacom media giant as declared through their CEO of BET , Deborah Lee. Mrs. Lee stated in the following interview that she (BET) had to be the "grown up in the room" in denying opportunities for the airing of certain video imagery deemed inappropriate for television such as material by Kanye West and Ciara and others and particularly the "women" of Hip-Hop fame.

Mrs. Lee, has also vowed to set forth a better image of the Black Community in general in the following interview:

Rihanna's Response

In Response to all of this Rhianna has claimed the following:

"I'm a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS! What's up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I'm just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!" she wrote early Thursday afternoon. "Cuz we all know how difficult/embarrassing it is to communicate touchy subject matters to anyone especially our parents!... And this is why!Cuz we turn the other cheek! U can't hide your kids from society,or they'll never learn how to adapt!This is the REAL WORLD!... The music industry isn't exactly Parents R Us! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they don't turn out like US" ~ Rihanna to critics
Certainly the pain of teh past experiences cannot be denied and Rihanna has not been healed in any sense from her past beyond Chris Brown. The problem is that not only does Rihanna blame parents for not being attentive to their children's needs, she takes absolutely no responsibility for how your child interprets anything that she does or says, whether it is in video or music. In addition she claims that it's the parents job or duty to make sure that your child doesn't turn out "like US", indicating that there are more in the industry messed up like she is. 

Question: Does any sane parent need Rihanna to make that pronouncement? Is there any sane parent on the planet who would like their child to aspire to BET imagery or the imagery as seen in the modern entertainment or hip-hop industry? 

To me, this all adds up to even more reasons to avoid this industry or any association with it (as in hip-hop gospel) When the industry and artists are only given to money, wealth and fame at the expense of their own audience, and without any responsibility of the message, it's a dangerous and sad day. We've known this all along, but now the artists speak for themselves. 



  1. Deborah Lee/BET, does not like black people at all! This is one of many stations I wish would not be allowed to air programs. I stopped watching BET years ago before I was saved. Ms. Lee has mislead and hurt the black community for years. The slew of advertised reality shows are dysfunctional and disgusting at best.
    Response to the sick & twisted Rihanna,(way before the Chris Brown incident)has never been allowed in my home. And I have no problem telling everyone that I know, don't even think about letting your children watch this demon possessed woman~

  2. Rape, Sexual Abuse & A Higher Standard

    As a saved, Holy Ghost filled believer Rape/Sexual Assault counselor with the State of IL, I am not at all surprised at the video and the fault out about it. For centuries women and children (boys and girls) have been victims of rape and sexual assault by family members, acquaintances,co-workers, neighbors and clergy with many offenders not paying any price, penalties or restitutions for their crimes or actions. If caught and charges are filed if money is to gotten the case is settled without the perpetrator admitting any quilt and the case is closed. Where is the justice in that? I am not a fan and neither do I watch BET as the program glorifies Hip Hop, gansta rap, and sexually explicit provacative videos of women. Where is the backlash and fury about these videos? I am not a proponent of violence, but when people are not saved (on Bible order) you get non-christian reactions and opinions to situations that are real in our world. Parents are the ones responsible for their own children. Whatever you do not want your children exposed to stop supporting it. Stop watching BET and the like, stop buying the records, phones with access to the internet, get off Facebook, myspace and every other social network. Go back to raising and instilling values, morals and ethics into your own children. Stop letting TV and every other media outlet raise your child. When will we own our own stuff? God Bless. I enjoy reading your blog Pasroe Burnett. Stay on the wall Man of God.

  3. Lady D,

    Amen my sistah! Rihanna, Jay Z, Beyonce/Sasha, Kanye and the lot are certainly full of the demonic in both agenda and presentation.

    Unfortunately, many in the church have idolized these folk so much until when they come to the church they are given special seats, treated like stars and individuals who have upheld certain standards and values.

    I was thinking about something else that links with that thought also...with all the criticism in other areas, West Angeles COGIC does not operate with a "star mentality" from what I've heard. I have had many people tell me that it doesn't matter who the "star" is that attends West Angeles, they are treated like anyone else in need of God and salvation. Now, some may have alternate reports, but that's what I have heard.

    With all that said, the church becomes more a facilitator of messages like this through silence, gazing and attaching themselves to these artists for the association of "fame"...lot of these leaders like to claim "I know Jay-Z" etc... instead of "I had Jay Z on the alter and we cast the devil out of him" It's something else.

  4. Thank you Anon 7/7/11/5:37,

    You made many good points. If I may deal with one particular line of thought that you raised.

    You said:Parents are the ones responsible for their own children. Whatever you do not want your children exposed to stop supporting it.

    That thought needs to be shouted from the rooftop of every city in the US. It is soooooooo true!

    Now, I believe that the artist has a responsibility to the public for the message and the content of their message. one of the reasons is that they target the kids. The kids make them famous with their dollars and the dollars of their parents. Theirs is irresponsible as an artist. Then to simply present a message and claim no responsibility only shows the selfishness in which they move.

    So yes, parents have the ultimate commission to raise the kids but there is no way to inoculate the kids from their influence. If they are not exposed to it at home, they will see it at school and as stated it's all by design.

    Rihanna states that she doesn't have kids and therefore she doesn't's YOUR job. Well then, stop marketing to my child. Stop providing messages geared toward them. I mean we saw that with cigarettes, why can't they see the same with music?

  5. Oooh, I almost forgot, we can kill this mess IF it wasn't supported and given money to live. unfortunately, these cats love money too much, even in the church to stop giving this beast life.

    Gospel artists crossing over and claiming taht they are serving Christ...Hip-hop artists immitating everythign they see the worldly artist doing etc...a shame and a sham!

  6. Thank You for posting this article and keeping us informed. I agree with Lady D Rihanna is demon possessed. I don't watch BET and yes I have read about Deborah Lee and the type of programming allowed on this station proves she doesn't care about black people, especially black women. If I still had younger children this woman would be banned from my house.

  7. To Anon, there have been outcry's about the gangster rap and the many video's but big money alwatys has a way to snuff something out. I remember the Luke thing in the day, it was huge.

    Here is the problem with putting the responsibility on the parents alone, some parents dont have a lot of sense and indulge into the nonsense so what happens to those children? should they just be perverted because their parents are not sense.

    If everyone is not responsible then we end up with comments like Rihanna's (which is a slap in the face of all parents) and this kind of BET thing and Children will be undoubtedly influenced. lets be real they will try to get our children to indulge in it. Thats how the devil works.

    Debbie Lee is lost to me, how can you look at BET and call it a success? what brand are they talking about, a brand to poison the minds of our people?

  8. True Paul, some of the parents are more silly than children. I mean look at the school. Child has a conflict, doesn't do something they should have done and parent is called...then the parent starts cussin at school officials and becoming indignant claiming that they are there "for my child"...

    The child then looses all sense and respect for authority and looks at authority as a hamper to happiness.

    Now, the truth is that our children are under-served in many cases. But the truth also is that there is a system and if we take time to know the system we will get results. So the solution is not in ignorance, it's in having knowledge and getting an understanding.

    So yes, some parents don't care less what the kids watch 'cause some of them are clubbin'', but as Eddie says, "Watch This"...the other parents, that "know the Lord" are out chasing their blessing, looking for their season, serving the church and haven't taken time to MINISTER to their family.

    There is a price to pay for all things. Some have resigned that they will pay that price as long as they can get what they want out of teh deal.


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