So, I got this email from Jonathan Pitts-Wiley who does the Buzz section for The Root.

He’s got beef with BET and the ignorant choices of that network in portraying African-American culture.. I always do — it’s lack of class always appalls so I offer this slice to you. Read his whole recap entitled ahem: Dear BET: What The F^@k Was That over at his personal blog.

It was around the time that Taraji P. Henson, Tyrese and a possibly drunk Ving Rhames took a Baby Boy sketch too far that the BET Awards lost me.

Before that, the show had been riddle with the chuckle-inducing–Aaron Hall trying breathe through his set with Guy; the mildly embarrassing but somehow digestible–Don Cornelius during the O’Jays tribute; and the applause-worthy–Jay Z performing “DOA.”

But the Baby Boy sketch made a show already failing to respectably honor Michael Jackson something that could only careen headlong into coonery. The kind of coonery that brought shame goosebumps to my skin up until Janet Jackson walked out on stage and showed BET and those who participated in this farce what grace and class and simplicity really looks like.

I understand Michael Jackson’s death threw a monkey wrench into their show’s plans. But you know what? Don’t one monkey wrench stop no show. They didn’t have to make some historic adjustment to acknowledge Michael’s passing; they merely needed to honor him; to gracefully acknowledge that his musical contributions were such that marking his passing was far bigger than anything that was scheduled to take place that night.

But they didn’t.

Instead, it was The Niggers Acting Up While Sometimes Acknowledging the Death of a Cultural Icon Who They Claim to Admire and Respect Show

Many spoke words of reverence, but they rang hollow. The energy of the show was of the macabre sort: Death was acknowledged, but not respected. Gravitas didn’t truly enter the building until Janet Jackson walked onstage and reminded people her big brother had died. The mood didn’t respect a legend’s passing until one song was sung in his honor.

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