“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
And if the ”radiant stars of love and brotherhood” are shining over our great nation in dazzling beauty, my eyes have been lifted over this past weekend to realize, once again, that racism is alive and well.
On the July cover of Cosmopolitan, a popular women’s magazine, is R&B/Hip Hop star Rihanna. I have to admit that I am not a fan of her music, and I only really know of her from watching Good Morning America, when the Chris Brown scandal was happening. Needless to say, she is a very beautiful girl, and the Cosmopolitan cover is neither overly sexy, nor shocking, or is it in any way, erotic (See Above).
I spent this past weekend at my lake house in North East Georgia. The town close by has Ingles, a Fred’s, a few privately owned stores and restaurants, and well, that’s it. Thursday, at Fred’s (a store similar to Big Lots or an overpriced Dollar Store) I am browsing through the ten whole magazines on the rack. There’s the Inquirer, Sun, an out of date Maxim, among others, but it’s the Cosmopolitan that shocks me. Despite sitting on the top left, the store has it covered.
I was all gung-ho, thinking I was going to find a Playboy behind the beige plastic cover, but I only found disappointment and curiosity.
“Why would they cover that magazine,” I asked my wife.
“Because it says sex on the cover,” she answered.
And at first that made a lot of sense. I guess you wouldn’t want the kids seeing that word, or something.
The next day I hit up Ingles and their broader magazine selection. I’m looking and looking for a pass-the-boredom read and I’m about to give into this teen-zine with Justin Bieber on the cover when I see the Cosmopolitan and it hits me.
If they were going to cover the Cosmopolitan for having the word sex on the cover, so why was the Maxim, with words – have better sex – on the cover, not covered!
Well, I asked why when I returned to Fred’s Saturday. The cashier tells me that they had lot of complaints and threats from people who claimed that by Rihenna’s presence on the cover offended them because she is, well, black.
I became very appalled when the woman told me that the store even tried to drop the magazine until the next issue, but the vendor would not allow it, thankfully.
It is a shame to know that such sickness lives on in small communities such as the one call a second home. Like MLK, Jr., I too look forward to a day when the entirety of humanity will judge an individual’s character not by the color of their skin; nor by religious affiliation, ethnicity, and social status, but rather by deed and action.
But until that day, the dark cloud of hate and prejudice will shower us when we least expect it.
I’m always open to listen to your views, opinions, and stories.