UnNews:African-American parents upset over BET cartoon

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3 September 2007

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Read A Book!

TV LAND - Black Entertainment Television (BET) launched an educational cartoon named "Read A Book" last July and, now, African-American parents are upset over it. The cartoon encourages black youth to read books to improve their knowledge and education.

It also encourages them to:

  • drink water instead of malt liquor.
  • raise the kids they have sired out of wedlock.
  • buy land and a house instead of SUVs and spinning rims.
  • brush their teeth.
  • use deodorant.

These are the things that African-Americans in U. S. ghettos are accused of refraining from doing, so, it is believed, taking this advice would improve the quality of their lives.

Yet parents are outraged! William Jefferson said, "They cannot be serious. The last thing I want my sons and daughters to do is to read books. Instead, I want them to live the 'gansta' lifestyle so they can pay for my retirement."

Carol Burns said, "I always teach my children to buy spinning rims and SUVs instead of some land and a nice house. Now BET is trying to say that they know what is better for my children than I do."

Onion Horton said, "Black people have a right to drink 40-oz. malt liquor instead of water. Water just don't taste as good, or make you feel as good as malt liquor."

The Reverend Al Sharpton said, "This is not Reading Rainbow, and D'Mite is not LeVar Burton. We, as African-Americans, have a right to choose what to do with our lives, who we blame, and determine whether we want to keep on living as racial stereotypes; that is our right as well. This over-serious cartoon needs to be banned, because it promotes a positive lifestyle that will put civil rights activists like myself out of business if every African-American follows its advice."

BET released a statement: "We will keep on showing 'Read a Book,' despite what the critics say. We think that, as African-Americans, we have the duty of promoting a more positive life-style. We refuse to pull the cartoon off of the air. We have planned others like 'Stay in School,' 'Don't Do Drugs,' 'Get a Job,' and 'Be Responsible for your Life.'"