A while back I read an article about two baristas who got fired from work at a coffee shop near Duke university. The reason they got fired was because they were playing rap music through the stores sound system. The customer who complained was Duke’s VP of Student Affairs Larry Moneta. I have nothing at all against rap music and if the words are not offensive I don’t think Larry or anyone would have complained, however the song was Get Paid by Young Dolph.
If you Google the song lyrics you will see that anyone should be offended by the lyrics. It uses the N word over and over and the F word in context later in the song. Now, I’m not a prude but there are a few lessons to learn from this song and from the firing.
The first lesson from the song is that its offensive for people who are not African Americans, to say the N word, but yet an artist who wants people to sing their songs, by putting it in their lyrics naturally adds this word to the vocabulary of all of its listeners regardless of their color. This confuses the heck out of me. If a word is offensive to you than why do you promote the word? Makes no sense. The lesson here is if you are going to write music with a message don’t complain if people take your message out of context, like me writing this blog, some are going to be offended by what I say here and I’m good with it. Get in line.
The next lesson is that your employer owns the sound system and it’s their customer. You chose to impose your message of these lyrics on their customer. He paid for the advertising, the building, insurance and all of the overhead costs to not only bring that customer in the door but to pay you to serve them as well. And, in his absence you decided to take over control of the sound system without his authorization without the common sense to know what is and isn’t appropriate as far as music goes for a business and frankly you deserved to get fired.
The real lesson here comes from the lyrics itself. The use of the N word in today’s music is offensive to me because I understand slavery as much as anyone else who is alive today. No one alive today can say they know exactly what it was like to be a slave to a slave master because no one alive today experienced it first hand and if they were, they would happy to be free from the oppression and from being owned.
This is the reason I am so passionate about the subject. I do not know what it was like for many who were brought here to be a slave for life but I do know what it is like to be owned. I was a slave to my business and to debt for so long that I have an understanding of what it is like to be a slave. As a self employed business owner I was owned by the banks, insurance companies, government regulators, my employees and vendors. I went to work 70 to 80 hours every week for them.
But it was my fault because I borrowed the money.
I’d like to say no one forced me but unless you have ever faced massive amounts of bills with the only way to pay them was borrowing money, you won’t understand. We often do the same to ourselves personally.
I can’t fix the fact that 150 years ago that we had slaves in this country. All I have to say about that time is that it wasn’t fair but I, nor anyone living today caused it to happen. Now can we move on to something that matters today?
Fighter jets don’t have rearview mirrors. Today hundreds of millions of people are slaves to their house, car payment, Master Card, Visa, American Express, and the list goes on and on. The more you work the more credit they give and the more you become a slave. Do they care if you go bankrupt? Of course not then they will take all of your assets, if you have any left that they don’t already own and you get to start over with awful credit which makes everything cost more. If you have bad credit you can’t get a mortgage, your car insurance costs two to three times as much and it can even stop you from getting a job. Many employers check credit before they hire someone.
If you are a slave today its your fault. The first step to getting out of slavery is to stop doing what is causing you to be a slave, borrowing money. But for some that seems impossible. What you really need is two things. Increase your income and stop borrowing. If you do not know how to increase your income in business you need more qualified leads. If you are an employee you need to learn how to start and run your own business and you will need to learn to do so on the side, in you spare time, however much or little that is.
In both cases seek help. Harriet Tubman was a slave who escaped and made it her life’s passion to help other slaves to get free from slavery. It’s a phenomenal story I suggest you research it. I was a slave to debt and I have made it my life’s mission to help others who desire help to get free from slavery by increasing their income and eliminating their debt.
To your lifelong prosperity,
P.S. Comment below and let me know an area of business that’ been a struggle to you. I’ll write an upcoming post to address the issue. If you’d like to find out how your business can be more profitable with less stress let’s have a conversation about it. Schedule now click here.