The Haitian community is in an uproar over a remark that Hot 97’s DJ Cipha Sounds made about Haitian women. In a moment of moronic jesting, Cipha Sounds presented the threat of acquiring HIV as his reason for not being with Haitian women. Some have asserted that Haitian sensitivity is high right now due to the earthquake and the cholera outbreak that followed. It is true that any event associated with ones’ country will generate increasing sensitivity. However, to state that this is the reason for the Haitian community’s abhorrence of such an atrocious statement is wrong. Even if the earthquake and the cholera outbreak did not happen, Haitians would have reacted in like fashion. Indeed, they must. Nothing short of firing Cipha Sounds will suffice.
In response to the call of listeners, Cipha Sounds issued an apology on the airwaves. This apology seems to serve a triple purpose: to apologize for what was said; to clarify that he was the one that said it; and to take a subliminal shot at those who are not regular listeners that called and complained. Apparently, he found time to reflect on those who don’t tune in — which are all the wiser for it – instead of fully focusing on the impact of his stupidity. In light of this apology, including Hot 97’s decision to suspend him and provide moral training, some have felt that this is all that is needed. Left out of these reflections is the reality that if that remark was made concerning other nationalities or religious groups that are, apparently, deemed more valuable, tougher actions would have resulted.
Inaction by Hot 97 would have been a display of their view on Haitians. It would also have shown their view of how they think the public feels about these types of remarks. Business wise, all these reflections are done by entertainment entities because of potential damages that may result. If nothing was done, that would have indicated that they didn’t see a significant risk. Whatever their true reasons for taking action – it may be that they truly disapproved, it is clear that they felt something needed to be done. However, they did not go far enough.
In punishment, consideration should be given to the impact of the action. Consider the young Haitian women who are now subject to verbal onslaughts from some students who don’t care about the significance of what comes out of their mouths. It is no secret that some youngsters don’t reflect much on what they say. Combine that reality with what Cipha Sounds have said and you’ll still be nowhere near the effects of his on air remark. The real impact of that remark, from a social standpoint, is nothing short of a degradation of Haitian women. The self-esteem of younger women, who are especially vulnerable, will be severely affected by the hearing of such a remark.
The myth of Haitians and HIV has been an issue that arose in the past. Apparently, it is still in the minds of some as something to laugh about. Cipha Sounds’ 15 minutes are up. It is time to unplug.
- Hot 97 DJ Cipha Sounds suspended indefinitely for Haitian HIV remarks (inquisitr.com)
- Haitian Community Asks Hot 97 To Fire DJ Cipha Sounds For Haitian ‘HIV’ Remark (hiphopwired.com)