Did you ever think a president of the United States would “honor” his office by granting an interview to someone who refers to himself as “The Pimp with a Limp?”
On the morning of September 11, when most of the nation was mourning those murdered 11 years ago, South Florida radio listeners were treated to the sound of the president of the United States talking with Miami’s top-rated Cuban-American disc jockey, Lazaro Mendez, better known by his stage name “DJ Laz” — “The Pimp with a Limp.”
|Clarence McKee contends that President Obama insulted blacks by appearing on a Miami radio program hosted by "The Pimp with a Limp."
Obama greeted Laz with his best slang “What’s goin’ on man?” When Laz said he was humbled to have Obama on his show, Obama responded, “I am the one who should be humbled . . . you’re big time . . . I’m hoping that I can get a little of that magic from you in this interview.”
If the president wanted to have an interview with a popular host of a South Florida radio station, he could have chosen someone like Bishop Victor T. Curry.
Curry not only leads the New Birth Baptist Church, one of the largest black churches in South Florida, he is also president of the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP. And, he hosts his own show on his Gospel radio station WMBM 1490 AM.
Curry is black and has a predominantly black following. Laz is Cuban-American with a large Hispanic audience. But, Obama did not need to go on a black radio station with a well-respected black leader like Bishop Curry. He already has Miami’s black voters in his pocket. He needed to court Laz’s Hispanic audience regardless of what the term “Pimp” has meant to blacks in Miami and elsewhere.
Wikipedia defines a “pimp” as an “agent for prostitutes who collects part of their earnings.” In television and movies, pimps are more often than not portrayed as black men driving fancy cars, wearing fancy clothes and adorned with jewelry waiting for their women, whom they often control through drugs, to either bring them the cash or face beatings or other dire consequences. Also, much of the hip hop craze and many of its artists have honored pimps in their lyrics and music videos featuring flashy jewelry and big cars. Remember the term pimp mobile?
Given this history, I was shocked to see Obama turn a blind eye to this hidden symbolism. It cheapened the office of president of the United States.
Obama went on to blast Romney and spent much time talking up his immigration program in a not so subtle move to appeal to Laz’s Hispanic — rather than black — audience. No questions or answers on the black on black violence epidemic in Miami, Chicago and elsewhere and no questions or answers on specific programs to deal with the high black and Hispanic unemployment rates. Obama ended the interview saying “I appreciate ya man . . . hope I get a chance to see ya in person sometime.” Slam dunk for Obama.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not about DJ Laz. As a former DJ, I have the highest regard for DJs and the competitive environment in which they work. In many ways, I respect his accomplishments. His mother was told that he would never walk and he overcame 17 surgeries and rose to the pinnacle of his craft. He is committed to children and has raised thousands of dollars for a children’s charity. He has said:
“I love kids and hate to see kids in pain. The bottom line is when you think you're having a bad day, or you're mad at the world and you just hate life, go visit the kid’s hospital and see what problems are really all about. You'll realize you don't have one.”
So, Laz is not the issue. I just don’t care for his nickname — it does not send a good message to the kids for whom he, by word and deed, cares so much. Too many black and brown kids in our inner cities look up the hip hop, pimp and drug dealer image. DJ Laz would do them all a favor by changing his nickname. They will still revere him.
That said, DJ Laz is not the object of my criticism. My criticism is of Barak Obama for using Laz’s show to send a political message. The problem is, he sent more than a political message — he sent a message of condoning the term “Pimp” and all that it stands for.
If George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, or even Bill Clinton had appeared on such a show given the nickname of the host, there would have been hell to pay by self- and race-respecting blacks and self- and gender-respecting women. You can also guess that the black clergy, politicians and leaders would have been critical.
But Obama, whose supporters accuse Republicans of waging a “War against Women, once again escaped any condemnation — by blacks, Hispanics or women. No wonder his top advisor, David Axelrod, has called him “Black Jesus.” When it comes to blacks, he apparently can do no wrong.
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as the Reagan presidential campaigns, including Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation. He was also appointed chairman of the District of Columbia Reagan-Bush Campaign and he chaired the District of Columbia Delegation to the Republican National Convention in Dallas. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.
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