The Piling it on Theory--Why Kanye and not John Mayer???
When some people do things they are just dead wrong. Their actions can not be defended. However, when African-Americans commit an egregious act, many Whites may wonder why the Black community rallies to their defense. It is not that the Black community condones or approves of these actions, but rather it has to do with the modern day phenomenon called: Piling it on. To put this theory to the test look at the Kanye West ordeal and the John Mayer Fiasco.
At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Kanye West rudely interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video. Kanye rushed the stage and politely, but inappropriately pointed out that he felt Beyonce should have won the award. He was booed and then left the stage. Normally people would talk about this incident the next day, but it wouldn't be a major news story on all the networks. I even heard one person say that Kanye assaulted Taylor Swift. Kanye seemed to feel remorse and apologized to Taylor Swift and her mother. This was not enough for some people, they wanted to “pile it on”. Jay Leno even brought Kanye's dead mother into the fray in order to make him feel bad. As if that wasn't enough, the media baited President Obama into commenting on the situation. President Obama called Kanye West a “Jackass”, in what he thought was an off-the-record conversation. Little did he know that his words were being taped. Even former President Jimmy Carter commented on the situation. Soon the media was asking every prominent person what they thought of Kanye West. I am not condoning the actions of Kanye West. He was wrong, but the coverage in the media was extremely excessive and negative.
Thus far, I did not mention the race of the person that Kanye offended. Since Taylor Swift is not Black, it may have seemed to many African-Americans that race was the reason that the media “piled it on”. I hope that is not the case, but history says otherwise. When black people commit crimes or acts against one another, it is rarely covered in a sensational way. When an African-American does something against a non-African-American, then the media coverage becomes extremely sensationalized. It's not something that is obvious at the beginning, but as things drag on and you are able to look back and reflect, you can see the disparity in the treatment by the media.
When you compare the coverage of the Kanye West incident with the John Mayer incident, which one received the "Piling it on" treatment? It has to be Kanye's gaffe. John Mayer's situation barely made a blip on the Mainstream media's radar screen. Can you really say with a straight face that Kanye's actions were more offensive than John Mayer's? No!! So the question that I have is why the discrepancy? Is John Mayer being protected? Or is my "Piling it on" theory correct?
What are the solutions to the “Piling it on” modern day phenomenon? Hopefully this book will open up a dialogue in order to explore solutions. That is my hope for many of the things discussed in this book. I hope people can discuss racial stereotypes/ slurs and how it erodes cooperation between the races and breeds distrust. I hope people can learn from the racial miscues of famous people and not make the same mistakes. I hope people will examine how the media influences the way we feel towards other races. Talk to people of all races and don't rely on the media to shape your views on other races. Let's look at polarizing racial events and see how our views on these events are shaped by stereotypes and life experiences. I hope people will see through the methods of racists and see that they are not that creative. They attempt to boost themselves up by childishly tearing other races down. Above all, if you learn nothing new from this book, I just want you to examine yourself and see if there is any room for improvement. And remember, there are more of us (non-racists) then there are of them. (racists)
Excerpt from Plain Talk Vol.1