Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mama On: Thinking Before You Speak

"WHAT did I tell you?"

Tonight, I watched the VMA award show and witnessed a man moving contrary to everything that has brought him to this point in time. DEEP in my heart, I heard my mother's voice loud and exceedingly clear. She said, "Kanye West has lost his mind, and I KNOW his mother is embarrassed." The Mamaknologist in me agreed wholeheartedly. His interruption of another artist was rude and inappropriate. His language, though not entirely lewd, was unacceptable. His behavior and the manner in which he chose to voice his opinion was ... wrong.

And we all know, his mama didn't raise him like that.

It is my belief that Dr. Donda West, in all the years of raising her child used that key phrase ("What did I tell you?") with all of the power any Mamaknologist could muster -- and I am sure that she moved emphasis and aggression throughout the phrase with strong intent. I'm pretty sure that this is what she meant when she said:

  • "WHAT did I tell you?" Translation: Are you listening when I tell you what I know about the world?
  • "What DID I tell you?" Translation: I'm going to repeat this because you need to get a clear understanding. The world is going to hold you responsible for getting it right.
  • "What did I tell you?" Translation: Son, I've laid my life on the line for yours because I want yours to be better than mine. Take the gift and grow into a good man.
  • "What did I TELL you?" Translation: Son, why aren't you listening? You can't be a child forever and this life is not a dress rehearsal.
  • "What did I tell YOU?" Translation: Son, I'm not giving this gift to anyone but you. Please use it well.
So, here's the Mamaknologist take, delivered as a direct message: Crazy is not cute, Kanye. Your mother, armed with all of the acquired wisdom of her Mamaknology, provided the blueprint. It is now up to you to build a life worth living. People maybe watching, but you need to man up and get some help. There is no shame in recognizing a need for support, and the Mamaknologist in me hears the voices of both my mother and yours, because I know that your mama DID tell you.

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