BET has been catching fire following the BET Hip Hop Awards that aired this past Tuesday. As you all know the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March was this past Saturday and the historic event was not aired on BET. I watched via the live stream provided on the Justice or Else website the event however did air on C-SPAN. People are angry that the “black entertainment” network did not air the Justice or Else event and then goes and airs the Hip Hop awards during the initial democratic debate. The awards began at 8PM and the debate began at 8:30PM. If you notice this is not the first time that BET has aired a major event in conflict with a national sociopolitical event such as a presidential debate. This is not the first time where BET programming has failed its audience. BET has a short yet heartbreaking history of being the distraction for our community during times of significance.
I wasn’t going to address this issue again because we’ve had the conversation about BET and what they stand for in today’s market but this time I wanted to come at it from a different angle. I’ve mentioned in a few recent blogs the Telecommunications Act of 1996 but we’re going to go a little deeper into the situation. Did you know, a federal appeals court reversed the FCC rule change in June 2004.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia prevents further deregulation of media ownership for now. The court ruled to block new FCC guidelines in September 2003, three months after FCC deregulated media ownership rules. So let’s go back to the Empire analogy I used a couple blogs ago. Luscious purchases APEX Radio, which is a real entity, blocking Lyon Dynasty from playing their music on air. The same thing happens in real life and the same thing happens in television all due to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This allowed Clear Channel to change their name to iHeartMedia and buy up every radio station they can find and what channel is a subsidiary of iHeartMedia…BET along with all your other favorites. So between Viacom and iHeartMedia they own all of the radio, television, and print media. We already know which entities own the internet.
If the oppressor owns the television, radio, and newspaper why do you think that s/he would allow us to participate in something as important as politics? Why would they allow us to hear thought provoking music? Why are you wondering why radio and television has lost its level of integrity over the last two decades? This was in direct response to the initial Million Man March! They realized that music is a universal language that can inspire even the grittiest gangster to become enlightened and stop feeding into the message of the oppressor. Pair that with the “War on Drugs” and you rid us of our leaders leaving us to our own devices which in some cities are an illegal gun or drugs put on the streets by the government. Look at Chicago, the OGs are locked up for a lifetime leaving the youth without guidance filling them with resentment and disrespect as the economy slowly fails the working and middle class families. This is not a coincidence and I am not a conspiracy theorist. That term was created by the FBI to target those who question the moves they make. Don’t ever stop asking questions because this media hierarchy is another plan to make the rich richer while the poor get poorer. This hierarchy was set up for us to become new slaves, corporate slaves, and those same people say Kanye is crazy.