What image pops into your head when I say yellow-toothed, sand-dancing, bug-eyed, jive talkin’, chicken eatin’, minstrel-sambo? You might think of a mural on Rudy Giuliani’s dining room wall. I myself think of Flavor Flav. In case you hadn’t heard, about a month ago, Flav opened a fried chicken shack. Now what would a ‘stepin Fetchit’ disciple know about fried chicken? I know, it sounds like the set up for a very unflattering punchline. Ironically, flav is viewed as just that, a punchline. The good news is that he has worked hard for many years to be just that. The bad news is that he was rewarded with large amounts of money to be just that. One-hundred years from now as the T-1000′s are marching over our shattered skull bits, the history of the world will be reviewed. My guess is that Flav will be examined as he is today for his contributions to the plight of the blacks.
Read any article on him, particularly one that deals with his poultry endeavors, and you are sure to read comments that range from heralding him as a black entrepreneur, to those inquiring about sales on tar and feathers. Generally speaking, Flav brings more shame than pride to the black community, but he has his supporters. Hell, somehow or another Chuck D has been able to keep from verbally lashing Flav in the media, no matter how they tried to prod him. Is this just Chuck’s resistance to ‘divide and conquer’, or does he have a wealth of personal insight of the man that makes his view less volatile? Flav was barely tolerable when the music wasn’t playing 20 years ago. That display on ‘Flavor Of Love’, was just stomach churning. And just as a footnote, let me say that F.O.L. was the highest rated show VH1 ever had. Hence, F.O.L. 2&3. Think about it. The whites would rather see Flavor acting as the most ignorant black man on the planet, than anything any white person ever did on that station. What does that say about American society? What does it say about the change in American society, or the lack of change?
This is the source of the angst that the blacks have for Mr. F (as his ex-lover Brigette Neilson used to call him). Is it possible Flav has no concept of how he is perceived? Is it all a joke to him? Or is the money all that counts? Blacks and chicken go back like . . . blacks and chicken. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with a black man selling chicken. The problem is usually with them eating it. And that problem has always been and apparently still is all about perception. I think though that, it just ratchets up the stigma when one of the loudest and most unapologetic minstrels in recent memory, turns around and says he wants to sell fried chicken (mmmmm mmm, lawd have mercy). Lets be real, Flav could have sold Flava Flav clocks, top hats, popsicles, sun glasses, gold teeth, sweat suits, and even (novelty) crack pipes. I would have accepted Flava Flav pizza, sandwiches, falafels, and even seafood (no catfish). But it just had to be fried chicken. He even says that he will be behind the counter frying the chicken himself, to bring in the customers. Do you want an ex-crack head with a penchant for depositing his seed anywhere warm and moist, manning tubs of hot cooking grease? That would be debatable at best. What I do know, is that we all feel more comfortable when people get rewarded for being ‘better’ not worse. The other thing I know is if Flav had a tight corn-row in his head, he would have already negotiated “The Flava Of Chicken” for VH1.
I am THE CSS. Those of you who know me know that I am a man who says pretty much what is on his mind. At times I seem to have little regard for the thoughts or feelings of others. I have been labeled a robot, a monster, detached, and other unfavorable things in my short lifetime. Less than a handful however have ever queried as to why that might be. And to be quite fair, I haven’t extended an invitation to my “inner demons”. Well that is about to change. ... Read More..