Dear Black People, Stop. . .

. . . bringing your underage children to R-Rated movies. 

I went to see The Best Man Holiday and was disappointed to see women bring their 9/10 year olds to a movie intended for adults.

Before I rant, I must preface the rant with how much I LOVE this movie. Beautiful, successful brown folk are images that I need to see. Great character development, emotionally stimulating, smart, funny - a little heavy on the drama – but nonetheless great film. On par with, if not better than, the first installment – The Best Man.

Back to rant. There are several sexual scenes in the movie including a storyline around fellatio. If you bring your child to that, you are exercising poor parenting skills. Point. Blank. Period. Why is it not okay? Children should not be exposed to such things. They are sexualized too early. What do you think is going through your child's mind during those scenes? Do you care? I just believe it is a selfish, immature move.

I remember as a child (7 or so) being taken to see The Color Purple by my father. He was trying to do the daddy thing seeing that he and my mom were divorced and take us to a movie. That movie was not a good choice. I remember the scenes of Celie in bed with Mister (a forced enounter) and being confused and slightly afraid. He took all of us siblings. We have a wide age range. I am assuming he did not expect all of that to be in the film. I mean, I was not traumatized but I would have preferred to see a Disney movie at that age. My mom, for example, took us to the Look Who's Talking and Home Alone movies.

Side Note: What about these dancing pageant girls wearing weaves, makeup and twerking? Has society come to this?

I understand everyone has their own view of what is morally correct. Some of us ascribe to a religious belief system which outlines what is morally right and wrong. Some may embrace ethics. Is morality relative or is there an absolute truth? Complicated questions but I think we can make this particular issue really simple. Kids should be allowed to be just that – kids.

I was watching the Rev. Al Sharpton's interview with Oprah last night. In it, he raises some good points about standards being lowered within the black community. We allow our children to be exposed to too much. He spoke of the breakdown of the African American family, the breakdown of a sense of community. He discussed how the neighbors, church and community standards and expectations kept him in check. Now, it seems, we have deliberately eschewed community in exchange for individualism and materialism.

But, what about the children?

I firmly believe that every child deserves to have a pure, safe childhood. They should be able to explore the world and learn without the undue exposure to adult issues such as sex, violence and vulgarity. You get all of those in The Best Man Holiday. As an adult, I can process these themes as part of the human experience. I can understand the layers and motivations of the characters. Can a child? Should a child?

I wonder what the at-home discussion was like after the movie. There probably was no discussion. Just children processing things that they should not be exposed to at that age.

I am done.

*steps off soapbox*

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