Dancing with the Stars exemplifies the current state of our nations’ priorities. The American version of the international smash hit series Strictly Come Dancing, while meant for entertainment purposes; has proven controversial on more than one account. Every Thursday night, since January 5, 2006; viewers have gotten the chance to scrutinize the sleek movements of various professional dancers such as Cheryl Burke, Ashly DelGrosso and Max Chmerkovskiy. In addition to being entertained by dance professionals, who delivered a powerful punch night after night; we were amused by celebrity dancers including Lisa Rinna, Jerry Rice and Drew Lachey.
With their work cut out for them, professional Ballroom/Latin dancers took on their projects; turning actors/actresses, one jump-kicking female wrestler and a highly revered football player into dancing machines. While it was clear that many of the celebrity dancers worked extremely hard to meet the challenge, there was one man who remained unwavering in his stance. P. Smith aka Master P made it clear to the world that he was not about to change for anyone. Sporting his ‘P’ originals, deemed his good luck charms, the celebrity rapper inched across the ballroom floor with as much movement as someone suffering with paralysis.
Though his antics were hilarious in the beginning, I became gradually annoyed by his drowning slogan “I’m just doin’ this for da hood.” I wished I could have told him that, if he really wanted to do something for the hood, he could have respected the skill of Ballroom dancing by not sporting a backwards cap and tennis shoes while performing. We all have our arguments about not changing for anyone and, yet, we do it every day in some shape, form or fashion. To “do it for the hood” would have been to show respect from the perspective of an African American, rapper, father, husband and survivor of the ghetto. We must choose our battles wisely and never relinquish our integrity to save face.
Still, the more defiant P was the more people voted for him, keeping him in the running during Fridays’ 30-minute results show. Instead of removing the grit from their eyes and recognizing that P was no good on the dance floor, it was said that the show was racist. As an African American, I didn’t get that impression at all. I was baffled by how so many could consider anything Master P did as dancing. Each routine was crucified in a desperate attempt to prove that he belonged. While I felt sorry for his partner, it was not fair for so many others to be eliminated well in advance of P’s rendition of a ‘Rhythm-less Nation.”
By the third round, I began to see the show as a perfect example of the backwards priorities of our society. Here we had thousands of people casting their votes to save Master P from his own dancing destruction and some of those very same will never cast their vote in political elections. While our society is increasingly weakening, our favorite dancers received more attention than the state of our union. Again I say, we must choose our battles wisely.
The great deal of time the world has spent emailing and calling in for their favorite dancing duo should be highly reflective of what we intend to do in world matters. Master P surviving as long as he did, due to thousands of votes, illustrates the power of our society; if we exert our energy and focus our attention toward becoming a greater nation. Since the start of Dancing with the Stars, people have put forth so much effort to ensure that their vote counts. For the duration of the show, popular music tunes will blare from television sets, while onlookers are dazzled by stylish fashions and swift footwork. They will continue to cast their votes, in hopes of their favorite dancers rising to the top.
My question is what will happen when the show is over? Will our society maintain that same enthusiasm or will we go back to a stagnant mentality? Why is it that when the show ends many will never again cast their vote? So much effort has gone to supporting our favorite dancers, while a great many fail to fight for the future of their own families. Where will our priorities lie when the time for the presidential election arrives? During Gubernatorial debates, will the television set exist as a dark hole never to reflect light again? With our troops dying daily, will we settle for leaders who continue to wage futile wars?
While children sit in overcrowded classrooms, thick with poverty and disillusionment, will their parents do what it takes to make a difference? If websites could be formed in order to launch campaigns to rescue Master P from elimination, why can’t we launch campaigns to make a difference in our schools, neighborhoods and justice systems? If we could take the time to cast our votes in a dance competition, why is it that many people will cower beneath defeat in matters of world awakening?
It would seem that our society has become so entangled in its own bickering that the bigger picture has been devoured within the mouth of madness. At present, more weight has been placed upon stopping prayer and bible reading than gouging out corrupt figures in authoritative positions. It would seem that it is more acceptable to be open to perversity, drugs, gangs and indecency than it is to be a Christian. We are told not to pray and yet we can be political hypocrites all day long. Where do our priorities lie?
Our votes should be cast in favor of better and brighter school systems. We should be enthusiastic about the education of our children, not leaving them to sit through parent-teacher conferences where the parent is non-existent. Little children will learn the lyrics to the hottest videos, before they even know what it is to formulate age-appropriate sentences. Perhaps it is time to tune ourselves out from reality shows just long enough to see our own realisms as they exist at present. Once the television set is silenced, we will still be here, hoping and praying for a change that will never come until we become an active nation; tuned up for greatness.
Master P’s history on Dancing with the Stars was highly reminiscent of the last election. Though you may win the popular vote, you are not guaranteed to secure the appointment. I wish the day would soon arrive when our nation would stop running a popularity contest and start actually ‘doing it for the hood.”