Rihanna v. Farrakhan

I don’t know about anybody else, but my daughter is definitely not “swine” nor am I. Especially given the loaded meaning it has within the Muslim faith. She is a HUGE Rihanna fan and I enjoy some of her music.

I have a complicated history in my feelings for the Minister (that I will not go into because I believe one’s religion and beliefs are personal). I will say that I am familiar and have heard him speak in person several times. I also have great admiration and affection for the Muslim faith although I do not ascribe to it. With that said… really?

Now, I have taken issue with Rihanna’s clothing sometimes and definitely her lyrics (Rude Boy, What’s My Name) since my daughter is intently watching. Then I remember myself at 14- the music and artists that I loved (and still do). And the belief that I’ve held since then, that my mother did her job and did not put that burden on the artist. Do entertainers have some responsibility to the youth? Yes, because the youth have made them. However, they are performers and much of their act is just that, an act. My daughter and I talk about appropriate dress and behavior for young women and many times my daughter shakes her head at the clothing that female stars choose to wear. These are teachable moments.

In a four-hour speech, I am hopeful that Farrakahn had something better to say. However snippets about the positives of Scientology and standing by his friend Gadhafi, do not instill confidence. And quite honestly, I have not heard him rip any male performers for filthy lyrics or flashing us with their boxers because their pants are scraping the floor or skinny jeans so tight that I have a clear view of everything I don’t care to see. Her dancing is reminiscent of many moves from Africa and the diaspora, so while they are erotic they are also rooted in tradition and history.

I am not certain that this was not an attempt to get some media coverage. There was a time that I would have never said anything like this about the Minister but I think long ago he was “led astray.”

And good for Rihanna for responding and keeping it moving. You can not please everyone, all the time.

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