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America should be ashamed of the Blackout at the Grammys

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

America should be ashamed of the Blackout at the Grammys

By Roger Caldwell

      The Grammys represent power and money in America, and it is a closed fraternity and sorority where the decisions are made by a select group. It does not make sense, on this television show that there was no rap, or hip-hop as a choice in any of the major winning categories. In 2015, to not recognize rap and hip-hip as an American music genre created by African Americans is a disservice to the country and our race.

In marketing campaigns around the country, and the world, there is rap, and hip-hop. If the Grammys is trying to attract a younger demographic, it is important to be inclusive. Maybe it was a mistake, or maybe the show’s decision makers wanted to leave a final inspiring spiritual statement, but the Black musical contribution was celebrated at the end of the show. There were very few Blacks and Latinos who were chosen as finalist in the different categories during the show, and it seemed to be an exclusive closed white party.

I was always under the impression that musicians and artist were liberal, and they operated from a diverse and innovative mind set, and their work revolutionized universal thought. This made their work all-inclusive and it represented all races, cultures, and philosophical thinking. But at the 2015 Grammys, it appeared that the decisions and winners are chosen by wealthy rich white people promoting their culture.

I understand that the producers and the financial backers can decide how the different categories are determined, who will host the show and be a presenter. But in 2015, I would expect a broader brush of rock, jazz, R&B, country, Latin, reggae, rap, hip-hop, classical, Asian, and African music to be displayed and promoted.

On many different levels Kanye West is misunderstood and at times is clowning, but he also is an advocate for change in an exclusive social club that is not transparent and accountable to no one. For too long the same decision makers, have forgotten or ignored the Black, Latin, and Asian American musicians, who have a right to be chosen as winners, and appreciated for their contribution to the awards.

“I’ve won 21 Grammys, but never won a Grammy against a white artist…. So when the Grammys’ nomination come out, and ‘Yeezus’ is the top one or two albums on every list, but only gets two nominations from the Grammys, what are they trying to say,” says Mr. West.

It is time for the fans, artists, and musicians to raise their voices in unison, and say the awards are not fair and racist. These discriminatory policies and practices have gone on too long and there is a need for change. American music is diverse and it impacts every culture and race, and it is time for the Grammys to be contemporary, inclusive, transparent and fair.



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