Dr Boyce Watkins: Is bad parenting to blame for the success of BET?

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BET Hip Hop Awards 2013 - Show

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

When I bring up the psychological influence of white-owned companies like BET and Clear Channel, and the poison they consistently sprinkle onto black children (like giving awards and maximum airplay to Lil Wayne, an artist who proudly boasts about killing little babies, “shooting your grandmother up” and “leaving a n*ggaz brains on the street”) , someone almost inevitably says, “It’s up to parents to monitor what their children watch and listen to. If parents were to do a better job, there would be no problem.”

I agree that good parenting is important, but here’s another view:

1) Drugs, violence and incarceration have undermined the structure of the black family, so many homes don’t have good parents or any parents for that matter.

2) Even many good parents are frustrated that their kids are being bullied by kids who’ve gone through 10 years of “Thug Indoctrination” on the radio. One little girl told me about some girls beating her up at school (they called her a THOT, the term created by the rapper 2Chainz….it means “That Hoe Over There”), but said she can’t tell anybody because “they’ll beat me up for being a snitch.”

3) To tell people that good parenting is the catch-all solution for toxic musical influence is like letting a drug dealer sell crack in an elementary school and saying, “Well, good parents will tell their kids not to smoke crack.”

If parents should be held accountable for how they raise their kids, then record labels, radio conglomerates and television networks should be held accountable for the messages they promote to children. You can’t just blame the parents and then bop your head to your favorite Lil Wayne song while 82 young people were shot up in Chicago this weekend. This sh*t is real.

Speaking of white-owned companies like BET, I wonder if black people would be allowed to create and own a company called “Jewish Entertainment Television” and then promote messages telling Jews to demean themselves, kill each other, use drugs and call their women bitches and hoes? How would that work out?

In this interview, Dr. Monikah Ogando Halsey, a psychologist, explains exactly how toxic music impacts the minds of young children. So, ask yourself, “What happens when 10 million black boys are repeating the chorus ‘All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe’?”

A lot of “leaders” and public figures in the black community are getting paid by BET, and that’s why you’ll never see them confronted on an aggregate scale. So, I hope those who care about this issue will join me in asking these companies to hold themselves accountable. Years ago, FatherMichael Pfleger nearly went to prison after climbing on a billboard promoting violent gangster rap and spray painting over it. I don’t have half of this man’s courage, but I do believe that we should continue his important work.

As Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu said in the film “Hoodwinked”: “Life and death are created by the power of the tongue.” Music and media shape entire generations, which is why Hitler made media control an important part of his strategy.


Dr Boyce Watkins is a Finance PhD and author of the audiobook, “Commercialized hip-hop, the gospel of self-destruction.”  To have Dr Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 




  1. Deborah Bee

    July 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I believe one of the problems of the Black community is the reliance upon religion. Religion doesn’t keep Blacks out of prison, or from beating their spouses, or taking drugs, etc.; as prisons have become a direct line for many Black youth. No one teaches them about responsibility, respect, etc. About how to act as an adult, to demand and get respect. Instead the thug life seems to be the easy answer for way too many. We have to demand more from the NAACP and other Black organizations, and STOP attaching religion to everything. We’ve become a joke to society, an example to society as to what you don’t want your children to become. It’s time to for a rebirth of our culture and our priorities.

    • Robert Lewis

      July 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Religion will keep your butt out of jail and the drug game, if you’d go to Church and live by the Word.

    • Redbone

      July 9, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      The NAACP ain’t God. Religion is a destroyer of black culture. The black community’s problem is we don’t know the difference between “PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP” with our God verses “RELIGION”.

      Bro Robert I do understand what your saying, but every time somebody even mentions the word “GOD” that person is immediately miss-read, judged and taken out of context.

      I “WILL” that God destroys all demonic negative hip-hop-rap music… and that picture / video is just down right demented and disgustingly nasty nasty nasty nasty!!! That is the filthy azz bullshyt that’s destroying out children. I’m sick of all of it….!!!!!! Redbone

  2. jean shealey

    July 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    i could not agree more.

  3. BR

    July 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    This young lady, Ms. Bee, hit a lot of nails on the head…religion teaches you to follow a beaten path; spirituality teaches you to create your own path…Dr. Kunjufu also uncovered another myth; don’t let that little boy rush limbo mislead you by repeatedly saying “the liberal media”…ain’t nothing liberal about this country’s media that’s controlled by corporate…let’s stop making noise (protesting), instead let’s create a voice(hold on to your money), because we seem to be following the same routine…1)GET ANGRY, 2)PROTEST, 3)FORGET…and you do know what the definition of insanity is!!!???

  4. Michael E. Brown

    July 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Religion is not the issue. The issue is how a white owned corporation is using its media position to influence negatively the mind of the young African-American male (primarily). I don’t like Hip Hop as it is today and as it has been for the past 25 years. A lot of kids model their identities based on what is said in these songs ( if you can call them that!). Rick Ross is a clown used by the big corporations to generate continued revenue from the next generation of young minds who are emotionally immature enough to glamorize what these rappers say as reality. And these pawns (rappers/athletes) don’t care about the impact of what they are producing as long as they can, and do, “wake up in a Bugatti!” This is by the “system’s” design. And, if you say what “system”, read the US Constitution,…and you will understand what sort of system was established in this country by the ratification of this bogus, illegal document (I say “illegal”, because this is a stolen land…and none of us have a “right” to be here; much more write a document establishing white privilege, power and for them a superior social position in the society!). From calling each other nigger, my bitch, baby daddy, baby momma and every other negative term that demeans, disrespects and demoralizes our own to the creation of this foolishness called “Bloods”, “Crips” and throwing up signs to killing children, grandmothers and innocent bystanders over idiocy; is all apart of the plan of the “system” to keep the African-American outside the main stream of the culture. These rappers feed right into it, as long as they get “paid”. And we look like buffoons to the other ethnic groups. We have always been a strong, resilient people; who come from a native culture of innovation and intelligence. But, you have been taught a Eurocentric historical perspective, so there is not even knowledge that we have been major contributors to the advancement of the human race. All of the earth’s peoples have contributed to the development of humanity, not just white Europeans. But, this is what is taught to you all through your formative years. WhY? Design of the “system,” to perpetuate the white ideal and maintain their dominate social position in this social experiment called America. So, the issue is not how religion has impacted us, but how the “white problem” (not the “black problem”)has, and is continuing to enslave our people; just in a different context today! Today’s enslavement is of the mind, using visual media, music, fashion and athletics as the vehicles to set the standards in the African_American mind and heart. Listen, I could go on and on about the truth of what America really is! You know the “racist” have traded their white sheets for congressional seats (i.e. Conservatives, Teapartiers, etc). We are still fighting for equal rights in this country. Its not over! This country was not established for you or me, or anyone who is not “white”. This is the hard reality. Because, we like to think because we are making money we are accepted as equal. Yeah, until your son is pulled over when he was doing nothing wrong or when your grandmother is held down and repeatedly punched in her face by a “white” CHPS officer, or your name is Rodney King, Michael Jackson, Emmitt Till or the five boys in NY who were released recently after having spent 25 in prison for a “rape” that there was evidence that they didn’t do, but still was found guilty anyway…….I could go on, but, I’ve said enough to make the point that this country is established on a system of “racism” and that until a “new” constitution is written, this is what it will always be for my people. the enslavement will just take different forms as we advance technologically. We have to be aware of, and remain angry about social this social injustice.

  5. Deborah Bee

    July 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Robert Lewis: “Religion will keep your butt out of jail and the drug game, if you’d go to Church and live by the Word”. The majority of Blacks are raised in religious homes, and the majority of inmates are Black. It doesn’t seem as if religion kept their ” butt out of jail”. Whites used the Bible as reasoning to enslave Blacks. Slavery is over, yet as the rest of the world has awakened to reality, responsibility, education, etc., we have enslaved ourselves. We should make education our religion.

  6. Joe L.

    July 9, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    After over three decades in prison chaplain services, I can say all those that say religion is not the answer you are completely wrong , true religion is the answer, the secular world have replaced the laws of God with man’s idea of how things should be and all the laws of man have been a disaster for society, we are living in a time where man is defiant against any law that his human unregenerate nature does not like, total rebellion, look at Chicago and Detroit, they have become a law within themselves, crocked Politicians,NAACP, or no human factor will solve the problem.

  7. Devon

    July 9, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    How To Raise Good Kids

    get education

    get established financially

    get married

    move out the hood

    buy a home in a nice non violent middle class or upper middle class blk or mixed community with good schools and quiet streets where kids can run and play without getting shot

    first love then MARRIAGE then kids

    teach them black history and black pride

    read to babies when their born; buy black books for little kids no goo goo gaa gaa talk; dont stop reading to them; when they can sit up and hold things give them a crayon and let them scribble; write letters and numbers everyday so they can watch you

    Keep them from tv put parental block on all tvs except for learning channels for kids; NO music videos no radio that play rap music or ratchet music

    teach toddlers how to pick up their toys and when they dont take toys away for a day

    make kids sit down and take a time out and be quiet for ten minutes a few times a that teaches focus

    if they stomp and cry when they want something teach them to ask nice

    teach them manners; may i please have and thank you

    know your kids friends parents and make sure they are on same page as you when it comes to raising kids

    teach kids when they break rules or act up they will be held accountable

    dont be touchy about your kids know your kids if a grown up or teacher said they did something wrong dont cuss them out thank them for giving you heads up.

    teach kids to respect life even if they kill a bug tell them thats not nice teach them to not hurt animals or ppl

    teach them aint no free rides in life; make them do chores to earn their keep and teach them doing good in school is their job and if they dont do chores and do well in school they dont get rewards.

    teach that they are special but not better than anyone

    make sure they follow all your rules

    teach them you are not their friend or homie yall are mom and dad not their pals. set those boundaries

    teach them to respect ppl but dont take disrespect from anybody

    dont tolerate lying and stealing if they do it punish them; teach them their good name is important and when you lie and steal ppl dont trust you and if you let them lie about little things and steal little things they will lie about big things and steal big things

    teach them to hate street life and the streets and corners tell them nothing good is out there in those streets

    teach them to stay away from thugs gangs drug dealers and fast girls

    teach your kids to honor you BUT you must be honorable parents

    set good examples you cant drink and smoke weed then tell your kids dont drink and do drugs; you cant teacb your kids to excel and have a good work ethic if you are on welfare

    single mother dont have a man laying up in your house around your kids you set a bad example for sons and daughters…for son its oh i dont have to marry a woman all i have to do is find a woman and move in her house and sex her up and never put a ring on it….for girls its oh so mama got a man laying up in here and shes not so i guess its okay for me to expect nothing more than a dude that just wants to live with me in my house but never marry me. Also the biggest kind of sexual abuse of kids is men who prey on lonely single mothers to get to their kids. yall can fukk all yall want just dont bring it in your house around your kids.

    dont be mad if your kids get on your nerves sometimes thats what kids do thats why its important to make them sit down and be quiet for a while

    save moneh for college thats your job to pay for it and be 100 percent involved in their schooling from pre school to 12 grade and four years of college

    When they turn 16 get them their working papers so theg can get a jobby job flippin burgers or something and teach how to save money.

    dont my them designer sheit or jordans shoes its just stupid.

    take care of their health their teeth and emotional health; hug them often tell them you love them spend time with them smile at them; if your mad with them more than you are pleased with them thats serious yall need to fix that.

    never tell a kid
    i wish i never had you….
    i could have aborted you…
    you are stupid or dumb but its ok to tell them their behavior is stupid or dumb
    i cant stand you
    you stupid just like your daddy
    your daddy aint shit

    words hurt kids

    thats it.

  8. Dark Chocolate

    July 10, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Ghetto mentality is the lifeblood of BET.

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