Beyoncé, Role Model?

When Time recently named the world’s “most influential” people, the formerly-influential magazine decided to put the mononymous Beyoncé on the cover. The gifted singer has also won high praise from none other than President Obama, who called her the perfect “role model” for his daughters. Meanwhile, Mrs. Obama has expressed her desire to trade places with Beyoncé for just one day.

Well, the object of their admiration has released a song called “Partition,” which includes these charming lyrics:

Now my mascara running, red lipstick smudged
Oh, he’s so horny yeah he wants to f***.
He popped all my buttons and he ripped my blouse,
He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown.

Not exactly Mary Wells singing “My Guy” or Lesley Gore doing “It’s My Party.” The video version features a nearly-naked Beyoncé at her sultriest, and the entire album has been described as “misogynistic, risqué, and irresponsible.” There is no issue with adults opting for this form of entertainment – but does President Obama really believe Beyoncé is a perfect role model for his children? Would he allow his daughters to watch the video and sing the lyrics? And what’s the thinking at Pepsi, which is paying Beyoncé $50 million to promote its soda?

Then there’s Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z, who performed at President Obama’s inauguration last year and who claims to exchange text messages with the president. You know Jay-Z. He’s the rapper who became ultra-rich by referring to women as “bitches” and “hos” – and now he has the ear (and phone number) of our president. Only in America.

Barack and Michelle Obama seem very genuine in their desire to help poor children, but their pals are damaging poor children. Jay-Z degrades women and glorifies violence, while Beyoncé implicitly tells young girls to sex it up. Who has more influence? The First Family? Or the First Family of Entertainment?

Talk to educators in poor neighborhoods and they will tell you that the debasement of our culture, of which music is a big part, has coarsened children in general and put high-risk kids in a dangerous place. Taking drugs, having sex, and being violent is not only socially acceptable in many precincts, it is downright glamorous.

So here’s some unsolicited advice for President Obama: If you really want poor black children to have a better shot in life, why not send a three-word text to Jay-Z: “Knock it off!” And ask him to pass the message along to his wife.

As for Michelle Obama, she should be on television every day telling young women that getting pregnant outside of marriage is destructive, both to mother and child. The real role models for young black children are Barack and Michelle Obama, not their very talented but misguided pals.