I heart Michael Eric Dyson.
Pastors, seminarians, and just plain ministry minded individuals could definitely learn something from this man.
ON CONFRONTING CULTURE
At a recent town-hall discussion sponsored by the television network BET, newly appointed Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson found himself sitting next to the chart-topping rappers Nelly and T.I.
Squaring off over sexism in rap, Dyson objected to Nelly’s explicit, late-night-viewing-only video for his song “Tip Drill.” The video features a man swiping a credit card through a girl’s behind. Dyson charged that, whether he realized it or not, Nelly had commercialized the trafficking of black women’s bodies in a way that had recalled slavery’s auction block.
With a cocked eye, T.I. asked Dyson, “Is it really that serious?”
Dyson retorted, “Of course it is.”
“Wait a minute,” Nelly said. “What was you doing watching my video?”
Dyson, 48, said, “I’m a cultural critic. That’s my job!” (link: author takes on hip hop culture from the inside)
Isn’t that what we should be doing?
He’s not just watching to simply critique but he’s taking it out from the ivory tower to the avenues of our culture in the media.
In an interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, Dyson elaborated on his views. “Our job is to get involved in that stuff, to speak about it with as much lucidity and cogency as we can muster and to get into the thick of the fight,” he said. “To speak in a way that more than 10 people can understand you is not to forfeit the rigor of one’s intellectual vocation, but it is the attempt to make it plainer.”
“I was treated like a king at Penn, but the political gravity of the situation this country is in made Washington, D.C., an irresistible stop for me to go to right now,” he says. “Some people are pastors where they stay 25 or 30 years at a particular church. Some people are evangelists, going out and reviving the troops in the field. I’m an evangelist.“