Over the weekend, one of my loyal readers emailed me audio of Power 105's The Breakfast Club poking fun at boxer Floyd Mayweather's alleged illiteracy. It wasn't easy ignoring the trending topic of 50 Cent's ignorant public humiliation of Mayweather on social media platform Twitter.com. But I managed to ignore it -- until I received emails from loyal readers who gave me a different perspective on the ignorance.
For instance, did you know that nearly half of all black people can't read? The irony is that half of the people who laughed at Mayweather can't read above a 4th grade level themselves.
Here are a few more facts that aren't a laughing matter:
1. Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.
2. 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.
3. Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate
I don't have to tell you that the majority of these statistics involve black people.
So when we laugh at Floyd Mayweather (or Mary J Blige), we are laughing at ourselves.
Loyal reader Love N writes:
Good Afternoon Sandra,
I am a hit/miss reader of your blog, but have always appreciated the effort you put into it. Anyway, I don't know why.... But the Charlamagne/50 Cent vs. Floyd thing has been on my mind all weekend. I see that you haven't posted the dialog from Friday's Breakfast Show on your site, but the comments have been rampant on social media. A LOT of people think it's funny, but I don't in the least! Here's my problem... Why are we the only race that will volley up our "so called" success stories for the sake of a laugh??? When in actuality, when you (the black community readers) finish your HeHeHes & HaHaHas, the noise you hear in the background is THEM laughing at you!
I will be the first to say that Floyd is a clown! But to place his illiteracy on display for the sake of a few laughs is shameful. What's even worse is Floyd's so called response! Yes, everyone knows that Floyd has money!! My hope is one day he will learn that money does not make you successful. It illustrates what you have accomplished, but TRUE SUCCESS in life is measured by the life's you've changed!
I really want to see on Monday (after the BF Club has had time to reflect) if they will issue some sort of apology for their role in the matter. They probably won't, but you can't preach "Do Better" and when it's your time, not Do Better! Just thought I'd share my thoughts as I'm anxious to read (no pun intended) what your readers have to say!
Loyal reader Omar Slim White writes:
It baffles me that our people would chastise another brother in public because you may feel his reading skills aren't the best.
"We're trying to demoralize a black man in a country where it was prohibited and illegal for us to READ/WRITE; and a country where, if a BlacK man was caught trying to read or write, would receive from 40 lashes up to 100 in the deep south. If a slave tried to write for another slave he received 200 lashes on his back for the 1st offense and 700 lashes for the 2nd offense. If a slave owner taught his slave the basics of reading and writing, he was fined $250-500 which is valued at $7500-$15,000 today. The same illegality of education we had to undergo back then is still reflected today w/all these poor schools, careless teachers, insufficient supplies. This is a systematic agenda just like it was back then because masters feared smart slaves communicating and reaching revolts w/ other slaves. We should be ashamed of ourselves for even trying to disparage Floyd for something like this especially when just 60 years ago James Hood was met with guards with a shotgun when he tried to enter the UNIV of Alabama, where Brown v. Board of Education left black communities with 1 teacher attempting 2 teach 60 students with 3 to 4 students having to share books; and where just 2 years ago the students of Frederick Douglass Academy in Detroit protested for better education and they got suspended for it. Wisen up my people. We must uplift our brothers and sisters, not mimick our oppressors and belittle them.