Pop Culture, Race & Politics

Why Shawty Lo’s “All My Babies’ Mamas” Might Not Be So Bad

By now, everybody and their grandmother has heard of the new Oxygen special “All My Babies’ Mamas” featuring one-hit-wonder-cum-ATL trap culture-savant Shawty Lo. Or L-O as many of us “Dey Know” him. Get it? Good.

Between Twitter and the screams, of the black intelligentsia running down the street yelling “mama nooooooooooooooo” I’m convinced that the only way you may NOT have heard about it is a) you’re Black but have no Black friends and aren’t quite sure what “Black” Twitter means or b) you’re an actual white person who also doesn’t know what the Oxygen Network is either.

If you are either, some may consider you lucky. I, however, am not one of them. This may come as a surprise to you all but I have no issue with this show at all.

Really.

Yo’ mama. Okay, Shawty Lo’s Baby mama.

Look, I get it. The premise alone leaves much to be desired. Rapper with an obvious allergy to birth control has 11 kids by 10 women. Somebody break out the public service announcements. There’s a stereotype. There’s another one. Oh no, somebody stop the train. I’m with you..except, it’s too late. He’s already got the kids. And the multitude of baby mamas. So all that’s left to do now is hope that he takes care of his kids and gets along with his baby mamas, whether or not a special exists.

And by George, it actually looks like he does.

Real talk, this special is NO worse than a show full of women cavorting around town tossing drinks on another whose SOLE accomplishment is having either been knocked up or “wifed” by a man who has questionable decision making skills but raw athletic talent. And lord knows there’s very little redeeming value to Real Housewives of Any City. I’m not saying the shows aren’t entertaining, but what can you take away from those shows? They’re just drama and pop culture sayings.

And it’s a special. A look at a unique family situation that seems to be…working. Just pretend Mike Wallace is involved and there’s a ticking clock in the background.

I’m not big proponent of T.I. and Tiny’s show, but you know what, at least you get to see a family man and a man who deeply cares about the upbringing and morals of his children. In fact, T.I.’s show ruins his albums for me. And that’s the same principle I have to apply to “All My Babies’ Mamas”. Now, I’ll concede that the only thing I’m basing this on is the 13-minute trailer for the show (since removed – maybe the angry protests are working) which I was prepared to hate but by the time it was over, I was like, “well, damn, this might actually be a good show or at least worth watching.”

While we can lament that he’s got all of these children, as long as he’s taking care of his brood then what else can we say. The kids are HERE already. And from the looks of the trailer, it actually seems somewhat compelling. You’ve got these 10 women who all seem to know and follow some baby mama hierarchy and almost respect it. They all know each other and and hang out to some degree. And what’s most important, they have established some sort of actual family structure. Who can’t get behind that?

In fact, the most disturbing part of the show was the rather…um…aesthetic variance of the women with whom L-O has chosen to procreate. Forget birth control, he needs stronger glasses. But you know what, that could be his taste and who I am to begrudge that man his tastes. Hell, they’re his skeletons, not mine.

So let’s say this show comes on, and we see a bunch of individuals working together to make sure that they’re kids are given all of the opportunities they can have? Of course there are going to be dramas. Hell, in the trailer there was an issue with one of the kids being able to go to private school while some others didn’t have that opportunity. That’s some real decision making issue right there. In fact, the ONE area I’m skeptical about is his 18-or 19-year-old girlfriend being in the mix. I’d rather see the show without her involved. But she’s apart of the family. If the man can afford to take care of his children and is doing so then I can’t be but so mad. Maybe the folks at Oxygen saw something in him and his family that made them think that it wouldn’t be just drama. Again, RHOA, LHH:Anywhere, Jumpshot Jumpoffs…short of the drama, what is the worthwhile takeaway here?

“All My Baby Mamas”? At least we get a father. Yes, he’s not married to any of them (though he did want to marry one of them) but that’s in the past too.

We get parenting. And kids that seem to truly love their father. He can’t be THAT bad if all of his kids actually love him right?

And that’s the kind of quality programming we’d like to see right? (Okay, maybe that one is a stretch.)

So what’s the real big deal about it then? It isn’t setting us back any further than any other show. If T.I. and Tiny doesn’t set us back, then I’m not sure how this will….aside from the stereotypical name…but I’m saying, the rapper’s name is Shawty Lo and he is from the camp that brought us “Laffy Taffy”. And he’s got 11 kids. By 10 different women. Cut them some slack.

Look I realize there are petitions circulating to cancel the show and the NAACP – an organization whose current uselessness needs its own special – are all calling for a boycott or whatever is offended n-words do nowadays. And I get it, the negative stereotypes present and the devolution of these women into stereotypical caricatures isn’t cool, but nobody’s petitioning to end RHOA or LHH. And those shows are likely much worse than this. This is a special. A documentary if you will. Those are SHOWS that air weekly that add nothint to the Black diaspora except phrases like “this b*tch done shook the table.”. But we have an issue with this? Chickens coming home to roost? This is like folks taking on Soul Plane but going out to support Tyler Perry. Basically, Black folks, we have our priorities out of wack again. But I’m not surprised. So I ask…

…what’s the real problem?

-VSB P aka PJANGO JACKSON aka MR. 1 KID 1 MAMA aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is a co-founder of VSB and co-author of Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • DG

    “Aesthetic variance”…Ha!!!

    PJ…you’re a (hood) scholar and a gentleman for this…lol

    • Todd

      Peej is a smooth crminal for that line. Now all he needs are the shoes to do that ill lean and the oddly sexually suggestive video blog interlude. :)

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I do what I can. It’s a gift and a curse.

  • iamnotakata

    Umm so what exactly is “black twitter” I have been hearing about it but I’m not quite sure if I’ve actually seen it. Or is it just f*ckery from brown people of twitter? I don’t know….Now about Shawty No… I really need him to get his life and have his tubes tied, a hysterectomy, penal extraction, whatever it takes for his ratchet a*s not to have any more kids….when will the f*ckery stop!! I am so sick of people producing all this d@mn offspring then naming a # of babies moms and dads….marriage much?

    • Kidsister

      I’m asking the same about Black Twitter.

      • Sweet GA Brown

        +1 someone please explain.

      • Tentpole

        Black Twitter is the same as going to a all black high school.

        • jazzyLia

          … and getting your info / gossip from the most ratchet folks on campus

    • Todd

      “Black Twitter” is the collective grapevine of information that passes around the Black community on Twitter. Since Black folk tend to follow a core group of accounts with a significant overlap, info gets passed around “Black Twitter” in a hurry.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        that was a very astute definition and description of Black twitter.

  • Amber

    I thought I was alone out here in my confusion as to why people are getting so upset and taking it personal. This is clearly this man’s REAL life, a true, unique family situation. As far as I know, it is only a one-time special thing. I am interested, and want to see how their whole family dynamic works.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Yep. I honestly think that if this was a white family on 60 minutes, folks would be curious without all of the vitriol.

      • Kema

        I saw the preview. IMO it looks like Sister Wives Atlanta.

        • a boy and his demondog 06

          i bet this show will show little about shawty and the kids, but will be more about those black women acting a damn fool…..that’s what all of these shoes are about

      • niksmit

        As someone who watches Sister Wives, this family is on TV with a series that’s definitely beyond its first season. Religion, schmidgeon–that is the White version of All My Baby Mamas.

      • annette_b

        @ PJ:
        If they were a white family on 60 Minutes and they lived in Utah, folks might not even be all that curious since this would be nothing new at all.

    • Asiyah

      Perhaps the problem is that it isn’t conventional. We tend to be xenophobic and dislike anything that deviates from the norm. That’s just my armchair psychology though.

  • Iceprincess2

    “Forget birth control, he needs stronger glasses.” DEAD!! Boi you going to hell wit gasoline draws on for dat one. Bwahahaaahaaaa

    • Perverted Alchemist

      I mean…you can’t blame Panama for saying it. They do look a little…homely? *shrugs*.
      But hey, he’s from Atlanta and that’s practically all you’ll see around those parts.

      *shots fired*

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        that’s so not true. ATL is home to many a lovely woman.

      • a boy and his demondog 06

        oh my dude….there are many a banger in Atlanta! pound for pound i’d contend that the finest of black women are in atlanta and they’re not spread out and sporadic like in other cities

        but i only been there a few times so yeah….

  • Eps

    So is this a one time deal or an entire season of shows?

    • Sweet GA Brown

      oNE TIME DEAL

    • Perverted Alchemist

      An entire season if he gets huge ratings- don’t encourage him…

      • Tristan

        my bet is on the whole season coming…oxygen needs “star” power besides pretendng ppl still care about Natalie chin and the fat one

        • Perverted Alchemist

          POP OFF!!! POP OFF!!!

          LMAO!!!

        • WIP

          I watched that wedding special (not Natalie, can’t think of other girl’s name)- watched every episode. She crazy. And she hit him! That show was all kinds of wrong.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      It’s a special. A one-time shot.

  • Iceprincess2

    I don’t think this is cool at all. There’s a fine line between entertainment & exploitation. This is gonna add so much fuel to the racist white people’s fire. They’re gonna be like, “see, this is what (all) black people do. This is how they are. Cut all food stamps & Medicaid blah blah blah.” I’m sure shawty lo don’t see it that way, as long as oxygen cutting the check. But it’s not cute & folks should be aware of what they put out there. My $.02

    • iamnotakata

      +1

    • Kidsister

      My 2520 coworker watched the trailer for the new LHH season and was super excited. She is currently finishing up season two and was super excited to talk with me about it. I indulged her but I was surely embarrassed.

      • Iceprincess2

        I mean, that’s even a lil different than this shawty lo thing. There are shows like that with every race, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Shas of Sunset, ect. But when you glorify 11 out of wedlock kids with 10 women, that’s a new low. No pun intended lol. Oxygen Dont GAF, they laughing all the way to the bank. As for L-O, he’s either too blind or greedy to care. He don’t mind selling his soul for a check, ala flavor flave. How come he even needs the money? Didnt Fiddy give him a million bucks not too long ago? *kanye shrug*

        • Sweet GA Brown

          Gigi on Shas of Sunset be acting up.

        • Rewind

          How is that different from John & Kate plus 8? Or any of the shows that let you see the life of polygamy? Or the shows that are about a married couple with damn near 20 kids who get supported by corporate sponsorships from having so many kids at one time? Or the Octomom and all the expore AND money she got for having 8 kids in one shot?

          See….as much as the things Black people do embarass me, it’s our fault why we are so damn stupid that we turn blinders to the fact that other races do the EXACT SAME THING on levels of ratchet porportions that can’t even begin to be measured.

          The only things that can be said is 1) he’s a rapper 2) his ladies may be hood rats and 3) they aren’t married. But Kate isn’t married either and she’s still getting celeb status for all 8 of her funny looking kids. So the Black pointing finger blaming has to stop. Seriously.

          • Tristan

            Black people we tend to rock the sash of shame more than other race. Shawty Lo can never embarrass me, he just a has been rapper with suspicious mating choices.

            • Rewind

              That’s the way I look at it. He isn’t me, I’m not him, no harm done, no foul.

    • Adonis

      @TUK

      I HEAR YOU. But I rather be hated on for being exemplary, that giving whites BS mental justification for racial bias. Get SL off the d@mn tv.

      • That Ugly Kid

        I feel you. All I’m saying is that if you’re against the stereotypes, be so for the sake of US (Blacks). Because of the effect it could have on our communities, etc. Don’t be against a stereotype because you’re afraid of what whites will think. Because a lot of them hate us whether we’re exemplary or not. It’s just wasted energy fretting about what certain people, who don’t know you’re struggle, and don’t even TRY to understand your struggle, think about you.

        • Sweet GA Brown

          I agree with you TUK. I dont care who thinks what. And I dont mind talking to my fellow coworkers that are 2520s about how Kenya is “gone with the wind fabulous” either. Its tv and makes for good conversation.

    • Todd

      Word. I’m not saying that everything has to be a Black History Month special, but yeesh. They could actively avoid playing to bad racial stereotypes. With a show like this, I wonder if Shawty Lo is secretly in the employ to the KKK. It would explain his life from working the block to Laffy Taffy (which nearly destroyed hip-hop by the way) to this bit of outright coonery. Did they steal the soft script from an old Amos ‘n Andy show? LOL

      • Maris

        This made me LOL!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      You really think this show NOT existing has the opposite effect? Folks think what they do. It’s not like this makes anything worse.

      It has to be clearly a race thing cuz like I said upthread, I do believe that if this was about a white family working it out somehow, it would be approached and looked at differently.

      • Bunni

        I’m not even remotely uncomfortable about this show, because this is the first time that ALL races have ratchetness on TV….No way is Shawty Lo and his million babies worse than Honey Boo Boo on TLC and Buckwild on MTV…with the Washington Heights show starting soon, we have all races collectively embarrassed by prime time TV….

        …except the asian persuasion….they know better lol

        one special will not set us back…..lets focus on getting Trinidad James off the radio first lol

        • niksmit

          I saw a pilot or something for some Korea Town show or something, so nah, they don’t know better either. Every group has a some folk that need to be smacked with sense. The better question is why they haven’t made to air yet. Even the Persians have beat them.

          • esa

            my understanding of Asian culture is the subservience of the individual to the Family. under no circumstances must one shame the Family name. and they know this all too well. more often than not suicide is the result, rather than the American trend towards acting out.
            .
            however, as more generations of Asian Americans assimilate (because they can be very big on assimilation and very supportive of the white power structure as a means to get money), there may be more breaks from the domination of the family name. my best illustration of this is artist Dave Choe. he had a series on Vice. i didn’t watch it but i do love Dave. he’ got his come up when Facebook went public and became a media darling last year for a hot minute. highlight reel includes Barbara Walters having Dave tag her with spraypaint on camera. it was appalling and brilliant on so many levels ~*~

        • WIP

          Ok, hispanics got all those towing shows. black folks have hip-hop/wives. white people have bachelor, teen mom. Persian people got the Shahs…really that show was just boring so, I guess they have that. Asian folks got nothing at all. is nothing better in this case? Are there any Asian people on TV??

        • Asiyah

          It’s funny because as much as Washington Heights might exploit my Dominican people I’ll probably still watch it so that we can be “on the map” for something other than playing baseball.

      • Kamau

        False equivalence, Panama. If our community were on par with the white community vis a vis education, health, income/wealth, media representation, crime statistics, etc. then one could make a fair comparison. Sure whites have Honey Boo Boo, their own Real Housewives series, and various shows poking fun at their underclass. However, the preponderance of their popular images is positive, or at least balanced. Lest we not forget that they control both their narrative and, unfortunately, ours as well. We refuse to take responsibility for ourselves and our media output.

        It is intellectually lazy and counterproductive to fall back on the “if they can do it, why can’t we do it too” theme when we remain last in almost every positive index and first in almost every negative one. I, for one, do not wish to follow anyone off a cliff.

        If we had the balance of images afforded to whites in the popular media, then there might be room for some occasional coonery. However, now is not that time.

        Each show like this sets us back just a little bit further as we continue to be happily complicit in the weakening of our own community.

        • lavidaj

          Kamau, I enthusiastically, unequivocally agree with every word you just said! Thank you! +1,000,000,000,000,000

        • in60657

          Kamau’s comment is right on the money!

  • AfroPetite

    I won’t be watching. I have my eyes set on the “Beat Funeral Ever” on TLC. One of the writers of the “Baby Back Ribs” jingle passed away and he had an epic BBQ funeral complete with live pigs, a BBQ fountain, and a BBQ pit which served as his casket. That’s some coonery at its finest if you ask me.

    • AfroPetite

      Best Funeral Ever *****

    • Iceprincess2

      Omg! Best. Funeral. Ever. :-)

      • Iceprincess2

        Lmao I totally missed that that was name of the show when I left my comment! Perfect name rotfl

    • Latonya

      Have you seen the sisterhood wives on TLC? Ratchet at it finest!

      • Iceprincess2

        I don’t watch honey boo boo or any of that other ratchet ish on TLC. The only show I watch on there is “4 weddings.” That’s my joint.

        • Sweet GA Brown

          A sometimes 4 Weddings is ratchet too. I understand ppl are on a budget but they cant really believe that they stand a chance to win a vacation if they have a cold buffet line with paper plates and plastic forks and they are low on fried chicken.

          • Todd

            ROTFLMAO Seriously? *smh*

          • Iceprincess2

            Lol! True, true. Party favors be a leaf glued to a stick rotflmao

          • Iceprincess2

            Lol! True, true. Party favors be a leaf glued to a stick rotflmao

          • Iceprincess2

            Lol! I kno rite? Party favors be a leaf glued to a stick rotflmao

            • Iceprincess2

              Damn! My bad yall. Sorry for the multiples. My phone trippin smh

              • Perverted Alchemist

                “Sorry for the multiples”

                That’s what she said…

                • camilleblue

                  lol

        • Asiyah

          I can’t stand 4 weddings! It just perpetuates and accentuates the stereotype that women are nothing but competitive, egotistical, catty b*tches who only wish to get married to have an awesome wedding.

      • AfroPetite

        Yes I have lol Finding out that the husband in the interracial marriage gave up Judaism for his wife was really touching for me. His family won’t speak to him or their children :-(

        As for the pastor who openly admitted to his daughters that he was fcking women every which way in his youth……too much. I’m sure my parents have their pasts but I would never want it to be brought to my attention like that.

        • Latonya

          “Those church people” were so messy! Who goes to someone house and have argument on quoting scriptures. The pastor that was teach his daughters about sex was doing a little bit to much. Watching that show remind me of why I don’t go to a black church.

        • Sweet GA Brown

          I actually had respect for the father that taught his daughters how to use condoms. I respect a pastor that is transparent at home and in the pulpit. IJS

          The born again jew thing is a little to much. I can see why they were kicked out the church after being there 6 weeks. Something aint right with that couple and Im not buying what they are selling.

          • camilleblue

            I tried to watch it – but once they starting arguing about quoting scriptures, I tuned out. That show fed the stereotype about “church folks” being uppity and judgemental. For them to be “1st ladies”, they ‘shole was ready to get at each other real quick. And I’m sorry, but the Jewish/Black couple – I really wanted him to stop talking about how “fine” his was is because #sheisnot!

            • Sweet GA Brown

              I could appreciate the part where they argued. They were telling the crazy one to chill with the scriptures and just have a woman to woman talk but she couldnt handle that. The crazy one is whats wrong with church ppl. She didnt know how to relax and take of the evangelist title. She probably wears it to sleep.

    • Think2Inspire

      My eyes are on this work of beauty.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6tizOZ7cis

      I didn’t the Amish got down like that.

    • Perverted Alchemist

      Stop lying woman! You know damn well you’re going to watch “Totally T-Boz” on TLC, LMAO!!!

      • WIP

        “Totally T-Boz” could possibly end up being the most boring reality show ever.

        • Perverted Alchemist

          Shoot, let het tell it, it’s the most entertaining thing you’ll ever see in your life LOL!

        • Tristan

          nah r&b divas on tvone….this girl made me watch i actually was rooting for faith to throw a drink

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I saw tha twittahs getting a lovely guffaw at that. Now, given the number of shows of somewhat ridiculous proportion all over the screens nowadays, why does this speial get such extra special hatred. That’s my point. Best Funeral Ever? Ninjas were all over that.

  • Lady Ngo

    Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, i rebuke it ALL in the name of Jesus. Shawty Lo and his shenanigans (including his “musical career” and this nonsense show), Baby Mamas 4-10 and whichever one of them had 2 babies by him unless the kids are twins or both were born before the majority of the rest of ‘em, Django Unchained, Abraham Lincoln the white supremacist vampire slayer or whatever that movie is supposed to be about…all of it! *kicks over a wooden stool*

    At the end of the day though, who really cares? If the true concern is over the image of the black community, let me just say that anyone who watches this (or any other reality show with a black cast) and thinks we’re all like that, chances are they already thought that anyway. Not a single difference is made.

    • chameleonic

      i think its an adequate representation. im pissed off at how common it is to be this reckless with your power for creating life and to be a female who embraces being knocked up by such a person or risking it in the first place. lets not fake like most people in our community arent single moms or reckless, irresponsible males. THAT is what upsets me. the absolute destruction of our family structures.

      this show is like airing dirty laundry and honestly, i dont care. it is what it is. all i have to do is make sure i dont fall prey to that and im seperating myself. i dont wanna be associated. i just happened to be black. im pissed off. and im tired of telling myself it doesnt have to be me because the truth is its ALL of us now. its accurate and now the whole of us are associated. it. is. absolutely. ridiculous. how many people f*ck up reproducing and sustaining the family structure and ‘My Collection of Baby Mommas’ is supposed to be a hail mary??

      this isnt the cabbage patch. these arent dolls. they arent toys. you dont f*ck around with LIFE. that show is the most upsetting sh*t ive ever seen in my life it absolutely represents 90% of our community.

      • Todd

        I wouldn’t say 90% because I see plenty of responsible parents. However, we all know someone who is in this tomfoolery, and it drains on all of us. When you have such a weak structure, it causes chaos.

      • Perverted Alchemist

        If I said this same thing verbatim (which I have, by the way), I would have been called an Uncle Tom *snickers*.

      • Rewind

        Unfortunately, that’s the angry way to see it. And that means it is not totally true.
        -
        Not all of Black America are ghetto, loud, obnoxious, illiterate baby making machines. But a large amount of Black America is, and because they are the obvious targets of whatever finger pointing can be used at any time, they will always be the ones we don’t want representing us.
        -
        But that’s the real problem. Why do we still like America dictate that one black person represents all Black people? If in the past 5 years, 7 of the 8 massive shootings done in America were done by White men, why aren’t White men painted as gun toting psychotics? Because they aren’t all like that, and the vast majority believes that. So its our job to believe in ourselves the same way.

        • Kema

          Not all of Black America are ghetto, loud, obnoxious, illiterate baby making machines. But a large amount of Black America is…”

          I would take out the black part. A large part of AMERICA is like that. Honey boo boo is not the exception. They just have had better PR. Lol

          • Rewind

            Yea you’re right…because just trying to go across country is scary as FAWK when you see all these damn people with all these damn kids being HOOD as hell and none of them are Black or any other color.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        Yeah, I think you’re over stating tremendously with the 90 percent thing. It does affect a substantial number of our families and always has. But I’d also be willilng to bet its more of a class issue at this point than just a race one.

        • Tentpole

          Not entirely. on one side you have Obama. One the other side you have real houswives of atlanta, basketball wives and a whole host of negative images. There is no balance. Whites have a cruise ship filled with CEO’s and on the other side a handful of honey bobo’s. So it does matter.

          • H.H.H.

            “Whites have a cruise ship filled with CEO’s and on the other side a handful of honey bobo’s. So it does matter.”

            whites also have the state of kentucky. and the appalachian and ozark mountains. so there’s that…

            but with that being said, charmy and pjackson have a point. the majority of blacks, and the majority of americans have a predilection toward rachetness, but the limited avenues of black portrayals leave the a.a. community in a abject disadvantage.

  • Tes

    The problem, for me, comes into play when there are children involved. The shows we watch for shameful entertainment are of adults participating in their own f*ckery and messed up decisions. Including children in that dynamic just seems wrong.

    Sure there are shows like Toddlers and Tiaras or whatever that do exploit these children, and while some people have a fascination with that, I personally do not, for the same reason stated; these are kids! Kids should be kids as long as they can without the burden of being in front of cameras.

    It’s not cute, it’s not cool, it’s not edgy and innovative, it’s just plain exploitative. I’m not even gonna mention any of the stereotypes this type of show is going to further dump on my people.

    Also and most importantly, who in the hell is seeking out Shawty Lo for ANYthing? Seriously? That’s the best, quality television they could come up with? Boo, Oxygen. Just boo.

    • Todd

      I’ve always found Toddlers and Tiaras disturbing as well. I’m not what’s worse: tarting up girls my daughter’s age to look like pedo wet dreams or the mothers who look like they’re on the Holly Petraeus workout plan and have given up all hope for anything other than the occasional shower, straight looking a hot mess.

      But yeah, all of those kids on the Shawty Lo show are like…wow. No. Just no.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      That’s the only legit criticism I can understand and oddly not the one most people are levying against the show. If its all about the exploitation of kids, then okay. But its not. Folks are mad that it exists b/c it makes us look bad…while watching the season 3 premier of LHH last night. GTFOH.

      • Denene@MyBrownBaby

        *Delurking and commenting for the first time ever after years of reading this blog, which I adore.* Panama: you are wrong. The petition, at 20K+ signatures strong, specifically says that this show is exploiting SL’s children and that those babies need counseling, not a TV show. Indeed, our disgust with Oxygen’s show is, in part, steeped in the advancement of stereotypes saddled on the necks of black folk, specifically parents, who can’t ever seem to be shown anywhere in American media in any kind of positive light. But the petition’s creator, Sabrina Lamb, has been very clear that, above all else, she wants to derail its airing specifically because it exploits the 11 children who are going to have cameras trained on them and their parents’ dysfunctional relationships—kids with no power to stop the train wreck that will surely come the moment their faces are splayed all across television sets, newspapers, radio and news shows and highly-critical blogs nationwide. Do those kids deserve that? I think not.

        I’d like to add that as a mother and a woman who is deeply invested in giving voice to black and Latino parents, this show’s existence, particularly in a media landscape almost completely devoid of narratives that show us raising kids in healthy, thoughtful, non-stereotypical ways, is disgusting. Let’s be very clear: the existence of this show within that cultural dynamic does an incredible disservice to those of us who ARE getting it right, and especially our children, who are taking cues on “how to be” and “how others are” not just from us, their parents, but the images splayed in technicolor across our TV sets. Let’s not pretend that the airing of this show will have zero affect on all of our children—how they are perceived, how their parents are perceived, how black love is perceived, etc.

        Frankly, I’m tired of being invited into the national parenting debate only when somebody wants to discuss dysfunction: want to talk about poor education, ask a black mom; want to talk about poverty, ask a black mom; want to highlight a fool ass man who had a bunch of babies with a bunch of women, go ahead, train that camera on that washed up black rapper and all the dusty, loud black welfare queens who laid up and had all those babies that our taxpayer dollars are paying for. (Obviously, I have no idea if those women are poor and on the government dole or if SL is a bad dad or the mother of his children are loud, but people who watched the preview sure did walk away stereotyping them as such.)

        How, exactly, does this help us, then? It doesn’t. And frankly, I’m deeply disturbed that you used this very space to discourage your community (which I’m proud to be a part of) from seeing “Red Tails,” but think it’s totally cool to advocate we get behind “All My Babies Mamas.” I just don’t get it.

        • mena

          I actually agree with everything you just stated.

          However Red Tails sucked but your point was understood.

        • Kamau

          This!

        • Twyn

          But this is these kids reality and there is nothing you can do about it at this point. Maybe we should focus on things we can do now, like mentoring young boys and girls so this doesn’t end up being their reality. And how can one judge a show that hasn’t aired yet? How do you know these children have any issues? They may be more sane and better off than your kids, or other kids who are raised in a two-parent household. I think it is pretty bold to assume these kids need counseling just because they have multiple brothers and sisters and their parents are not married. Really? And at this point, who really cares about what white ppl think of us. Get over it…please already.

          • Denene@MyBrownBaby

            “They may be more sane or better off than your kids…”

            I hardly think so, dear. And you know how I can judge a show that hasn’t aired? I watched Oxygen’s 15-minute preview, full of bickering women jockeying with their children for time and attention from a 35-year-old FATHER OF 11 KIDS WITH 10 DIFFERENT WOMEN, while he was skipping around like a damn imbecile, mumbling and carrying on while his 19-year-old girlfriend, who is the same age as his four oldest kids (!!!), smelled and picked his toes—this chick was picking his toes for the camera. the hell?!—talmbout she’s the head of the household now and will wrest the finances from the bottom b%tch mom who “thinks” she’s in charge. Seriously? I mean, forreal forreal? The only way those babies won’t be clowned by every child/teenager/armchair critic across the land is if they’re getting private tutoring and being kept far away from schoolyards, TVs, radios, phones and the internet. But I guess that private tutoring gets a little hard to handle when you have to split a check 22 ways.

            If we as a people raising up the next generation can’t see how those kids will be hurt by this, then we are failing them. Epically.

            Now, I can agree with you that mentoring programs are great, but it’s rather short-sighted to think there is only one way to help our children thrive or that we as a people can do only one good thing at a time to help ourselves. I happen to think that controlling our collective image is one of the more important things we can do to help our kids. It’s not just about “what white people think of us,” dear heart. It’s about how we see ourselves.

            And for the record: I don’t have a problem with single moms and dads who are raising their kids alone or co-parenting with a partner to whom they’re not married, and I categorically DO NOT think all kids being raised in single parent homes need counseling. You kinda hopped on that train and ran it all the way off the tracks, but I’m not a passenger on that one. Never have been. Never will be.

    • Asiyah

      Toddlers and Tiaras…that’s that ish I don’t like!

  • Robin

    The question should be what isn’t the problem with this particular show. I think you touched on a lot different bases but there’s no home run with this one. Unfortunately, there’s not enough positive black ‘characters’ or ‘reality stars’ on television in the first place for us to just call this entertainment. This show doesn’t necessarily put us back it keeps us right where we are. No forward movement and its almost like Oxygen is saying “Here’s a reminder just in case you forgot about ‘these kind of people’.” Now, I’m sure Shawty Lo is taking care of his kids (has too) and yes the children are here alive and well but me (an African American Woman) just can not get over the concept of this show : An irresponsible black man who decided to spread his seed all over half of Georgia and now has 11 offspring to look after. Oh, and 10 baby mamas. By the way they are all black. Let the drama begin! Lights, Camera, Action? Really? SMH That’s not entertainment. It’s shameful and humiliating.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I’m with you and that was my initial concern. But I watched the trailer and real talk…the drama looked mad…tame compared to anything else I’ve seen on TV. Sure they had individual personality differences but they all seemed to get along for the sake of the kids. It was oddly not disturbing.

      • Robin

        Sorry Panama, I saw the trailer too…. I just can’t do it. Its way too embarassing and I feel its another bullet in chamber for the ignorant non-colored society to say see, I told you they are like this. No support from me on that show. I will NOT be watching it. I’ll stick to my scripted dramas like Scandal and Deception. lol