Rewarding improprieties, inappropriate behaviors

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Isn’t it ironic how today you can become famous and gain economic wealth from highlighting your past indiscretions or sordid actions? It seems in many cases that the coarser and more inappropriately you present yourself, the more likely you are to gain national notoriety and fame. This scenario has played out over and over as if America has an obsession with discretionary indecent behaviors.

In some cases you would think the person with the sordid past would try to apologize and excuse that behavior, but in so many cases, violators exploit their previous deviant behavior to make a name for themselves. While we all make mistakes (and in many cases are given a second chance), it seems contentious when the person in question shows no remorse or atonement and continues to exploit that behavior—all too often with the support of the public.

Now really, what message are we generating—especially when we adamantly present ourselves as a nation supposedly claiming to support basic moral Christian family values? The hypocrisy and blatant disregard so many of us have for moral values or decency is overwhelming. In fact our complicity in supporting inappropriate and indecent behavior supports it continuance.

While this support for inappropriate behaviors occurs among us all, it appears to be more acceptable and visible among the African American populations. I say this because you have some rappers who feel they don’t have street credibility unless they have a past riddled with crime, drugs, and time in jail. Too often, many of these rappers spew negative images of drugs, crime and vivid disrespect for women—objectifying them as sexual objects and calling them anything but ladies.

We have young women reaching national acclaim as former strippers or pole dancers. In fact, in this country you can make a sex tape and become famous and wealthy. This sensation we have for inappropriate and indecent behavior continues with the reality shows projecting the worse social interaction possible among women—women who are the most rude and shallow. Their backstabbing behavior is celebrated and they continue to experience financial success and popularity.

We have a national Black female talk show host who capitalizes on spilling dirt on celebrities, especially Black figures. The public will continue to be exposed to these deplorable manifestations of the worst we have to offer because of the public is complicit in welcoming such behavior, whether willingly or simply by acquiescing.

Apparently, indecency and inappropriateness sells. When all is said and done, it is about the Benjamins. Sadly, not much is said about our law abiding, morally conscientious daughters and sons who work hard seeking an education and work diligently in their chosen professions. These unsung heroes/heroines will never reach the national acclaim or recognition that seems to follow so many nationally noted celebrities with sordid histories.

The perpetrators themselves in their attempts to gain fame and fortune exploit unsavory, inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, you find some who act as if their bad behavior is a badge of honor to solicit attention and acceptance.

I get that sensationalism is a commodity that sells. Sordid and despicable behavior warrants our attention and dollars. Call it entertainment if you want, but it is contributing to a generation that is becoming desensitized—becoming immune to morality and decency.

Let’s face it: we are the willing contributors to our own moral decline, spiraling downward from all that is right and decent. I can only hope that there are enough spiritually conscious, moral people willing to help alter this demoralizing trend that is keeping us from recognizing and fighting for the true human beauty found through resurrecting respect and dignity.