by Ashley Jones
Following the "disturbance" caused by Dr. Boyce Watkins regarding a Mountain Dew commercial a couple of weeks ago, we are reminded of how Black ignorance is financed and promoted by large corporations. Mountain Dew obviously thought because another African-American created the commercial of an ebonics-talking, violent, drug-addicted (the drug being Mountain Dew) goat it would be ok to mass-promote those stereotypes to the masses in an effort to gain "street cred" in the Black community.
Thanks to Dr. Watkins, Paul Porter, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Airicka Gordon-Taylor, and others, corporations now know that the Black community refuses to stand on the sidelines while negative stereotypes about the worst of us continue to be mass marketed and promoted. While we've successfully put out one fire, there's a larger forrest that's ablaze and needs to be tamed, and ultimately ceased.
The aforementioned leaders who spoke out against Mountain Dew must use that same effort and enthusiasm to put an end to Black ignorance in our backyards. These leaders should be attending City Hall meetings where schools in urban communities are being shut down. These leaders should be working with local authorities to get corner drug dealers off of the block. These leaders should be challenging city mayors where jobs are scarce, yet guns are easily attained. There is a lot of work to be done.
But the aforementioned leaders can't do these things alone. They need your help and support. The same way you picked up the phone to call PepsiCo's headquarters in protest of the racist Mountain Dew commercial, you need to pick up your phone and organize weekly meetings in your living room to discuss and execute a strategy for rebuilding the Black community.
There is no better time than now with unlimited access to the world through the Internet to organize change that can have an infinite impact on our children's future.