Lil Wayne & “How To Love”…. One Woman’s Commentary

By Neysa Ellery Taylor
There’s a lot of buzz about Lil Wayne’s new video, “How to Love.” Most people agree that it is shining a bright light on several community ills. From domestic violence to molestation to HIV awareness, this video attempts to illustrate them all. Ok, enough of that. Let’s change the channel to another rump-shaking, titillating video.

Let me be clear, I am a Lil Wayne fan. I have Weezy F Baby on the ipod right now. I’m not even anti-rumpshaking. I am a fervent supporter of the 1st Amendment. I believe that GROWN people can listen to and watch whatever music/video/movie they want to watch as long as the people that made the art were consenting adults. That is a pretty liberal view, right? So what possible problem do I have with the “How to Love” video? Actually, let me answer a question with a question: What do you do after you watch the video? Do you go back to business as usual? Or do you change something in your personal life or in your community?

I know you are cringing and thinking, “Neysa! It’s just a video!” But why watch the video? Why post and comment about how important it is to see stories like this if we don’t do anything about it? Instead of just seeing great art about a tragic situation, I would rather work so the illustration is no longer needed. Doesn’t that make more sense? How many more “conscious” videos or movies are we going to watch? We turn to BET/MTV/Youtube or go to the nearest movie theater and watch the same storyline over and over again. Remember 2Pac’s “Brenda’s Got a Baby?” Or Eve’s “Love is Blind?” Luda’s “Runaway Love?” What about Precious? What about anything by Tyler Perry? I know you’ve seen at least one of these. So I got it. I understand the facts.

Fact 1: Our daughters are being stalked by predators.

Fact 2: Our sons are dying trying to define their manhood.

Fact 3: It’s our fault.

I know, I know. No one likes to have the finger pointed at them, but we can’t expect children to fend for themselves; can we? Nope. We are charged with not only providing for them, but for protecting them. We are supposed to position them to fulfill their potential. That is our job. And to be honest, lots of folks are falling down on the job. If you notice I didn’t say lots of parents, I said lots of folks. We are all stakeholders in our community. We all have to be better.
So, what are you to do? How can you be better?

Read to your child.
Do not practice or participate in behavior that you don’t want your child to follow.
Attend an academic school function.
Know your child’s friends.
Establish boundaries.
Get your child involved in some extra-curricular activity.
Talk to your child.
Kiss and hug your child.
Don’t trust everyone with your child. Just because so-&-So is cool, does not mean they are a qualified sitter.
If your child confides in you, believe them and fight for them.
Pray for your child and with your child.

Community (This includes parents too. Yep, you have double the work.):
Mentor a child.
Speak at a youth event.
Share your story as a cautionary tale.
Be an advocate for a family member that is not parenting well.
Attend your lil’ cousins school event if their parent can’t attend.
Give to organizations that provide tutoring or scholarships.
Speak to kids you see out during your daily life.
Praise good behavior.
Pray for the community.

Here is a list of organizations that would be happy to have your time and donations:
YMCA Black Achievers
Big Brother/Big Sisters
Black Girls Rock
Girl Scouts
Boy Scouts
Boys and Girls Club

Now you have the action steps. So go ahead, watch the video. Download it to the ipod. And turn the volume way up as you head out the door to DO SOMETHING to fix the problem.

Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work

8 replies
  1. introspektd123
    introspektd123 says:

    Neysa, your writing is phenom! This article was very powerful and eye am hopeful more of us begin to consider the w's in our lives thus the community…

  2. Brooke
    Brooke says:

    Yes, agreed. There was one interesting point that I would like some more information about. "be an advocate for a parent who is not parenting well." I'm not sure I know how to do that. I talk to, support, and encourage parents like this. However, I would really like to hear ways that I could be an advocate for a parent who is not parenting well.

    My recent post Best Cheap Dates

    • Neysa
      Neysa says:

      Here are ways you can be an advocate:
      1. If you have a family member who is not able to take their child to enrichment activities (museum, sporting events, cultural activities), then you step in and take them.
      2. If you have a family member that is a danger to their kids, speak up! Call the authorities. Talk to other responsible family members about staging an intervention.
      3. Offer to be an ally to a parent. Sometimes kids don't want to talk to their parents but will talk to a "cooler" auntie or uncle. Offer to have an open ear.

  3. Felicia
    Felicia says:

    So true….it takes a village!!

  4. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    Ok, I am so feeling this!

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