in college, i opened up a textbook to a title that named a white man as the father of jazz. we watch the vma’s whitewash our whole situation, and we are uncomfortable and we ache, but what can we do. we watch how our art forms are being torn, mocked, and disrespected and there is a pain that shoots through, but what can we do. we watch as black women bodies are used as props for a white woman’s racist and oppressive whim, but what can we do. it was not that long ago that black artists were not even allowed to be on the cover of their own albums. not that long ago, when micheal jackson was the first and only black artist whose videos were allowed on mtv. not that long ago, when what we do was called ‘nigger music/negro music.’ but what can we do. we can stop letting the wolf in the door. we can stop thinking it’s cute, it’s a trend, that it’s sad, but, oh well. we can stop attributing it to the times, the current social culture, the melding of america, because it is none of this. it is a blatant takeover. a theft happening right before our eyes. it is our music, our energy, our sonic dna. what comes from us is ours, and it is extraordinary, and special, tender and sacred. why do we not protect it. why do we allow people to come into our house and leave with what they desire. it hurts to see, to experience, us opening our doors to capitalism and watch it convince us out of ourselves. right now, our music industry/ our art is still us, but it is slowly being widened, and if we do not take this seriously, 10 years from now it will be 50% white, and 20 years from now, we may barely even remember it is ours, we will see nothing of ourselves in our child. we have seen it happen time and time again. to us. and it will only stop when we say no. who we are is not for sale, or mimicry, or dishonoring. we can not chalk everything up to making money, to getting that paper, we must remember that it is our legacy we are selling.