Foolish Idolatry

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So, I was speaking with one of my students the other day about role models. He told me that his role model is Lil Wayne because he is a thug. This didn't surprise me at all because, in dealing with these young people on a daily basis, I know and understand that they see womanizing, doing drugs, drinking and being a criminal glorified on a daily basis by rappers and the girls get told that showing their bodies and doing anything for their man is better than being smart glorified by these video vixens. What I did do that he didn't expect was challenge him and pick his brain. I asked him what his definition of a thug was. He said, 'Somebody that robs, kills, steals, and is hard.' I said so, you mean to tell me that you want to be like a person that robs people, kills people and steals from people. Why are you in school trying to get an education then? That type of person won't do anything but end up in jail and you don't need an education for that. He told me that he really didn't want to do that but that he thought that Lil Wayne is a "G" and "Bout that life". I asked him about what life? I said Lil Wayne has been rapping since he was a little boy so how much of a thug or a G could he have been? How many people could he have robbed, killed or stolen from to earn any kind of street cred at the age of nine? Then, I asked him did he think Drake was a thug and a "G" too? Of course, he said yes. I told him what thug do you know danced and sang on the Mickey Mouse club with Brittney Spears when they were growing up. Drake is just a dressed up pretty boy who has his lyrics written by someone else and is personified as a gangster. I told him that most of these rappers have college degrees and have never been any kind of thug in their life and are selling you all a dream. They are telling you a story of a life they never lived and getting you to believe it and, while they are living in their million dollar condos and driving Lamborghini's, you are struggling to survive or acting out the things they make seem cool and ruining your life with a jail sentence. I told him to make sure that he does his research on a person before committing himself to be like them. Don't let someone else make you a fool. I told him the person he needed to idolize are the male teachers he's around everyday, his basketball coach Mr. Bellamy or our principal Mr. Clark. Real men, that he can walk up to and talk to, ask questions of and learn about REAL life from, not some idiot rapper who could give to farts about him, his mother, his brothers or their struggles in the hoods of Palmetto. We never got to finish our conversation because I had a lecture and notes to give but, I would hope that the things I talked to him about would somehow nag him deep down inside until he saw the error of his ways. If this is the state and the minds of the youth in our communities, we have ALOT more work to do than I ever anticipated and I'm determined to change them, one mind at a time.