Did you watch this Own show with motivational speaker Iyanla Vanzant? The one where she trys to talk to DMX about getting his mind and life right. DMX says he went there to get help for his sex addiction. DMX was fairly recently on a vh1 show with his estranged wife, and in that situation, the assumption could be that he was trying to get help with his sex issues on there, too.
Do you realize that we’re at a point in human history where we look to television personalities for major life advice? First, it was Richard Bey. But Richard is all but forgotten. Richard is probably ready to go on a talk show to get his own fish tank in order (there probably mad algae up in it at this point). Of course, there’s your man Maury. He speaks blackspeak to his guests sometimes—to even the white guests. Paternity tests, lie detector tests, herpes tests, come one come all. Papsmears. Live anal-wart removals. Step up front.
DMX’s eldest son Xavier is in a lot of pain. He’s articulate. He’s sincere. He seems like a nice young man with great success on his horizon. But he’s on TV with Ivanla, talking about his pain. “Are you aware that your father is an addict. Are you aware that he has a disease”—these are the questions that Iyanla tosses to him.
But moments earlier, the same “sista” asked DMX if he was currently on drugs, and then told him that he needs to be clean so that his vessel is clean so he can properly receive “God”. THEN she asks this man if “God” was in the room when he was doing cocaine. The question makes you wonder, like, does Iyanla have an inside track that races straight to God? Like, can she just txt “God”? Is she in a book club with “God”? Does she do Pilates with “God”? Does she go to Red Mango with “God”? Did God tell her that “God” has no love for drug addicts? And later, there’s the spirited exclamation (Xavier fighting the tears): you’re “talking to someone with a diseased mind. A wounded heart.” A duh.
Shame on you Own. You exploited the crap outta Earl Simmons—a man who is emotionally and physically broken. Won’t say that he’s spiritually broken because when the “was God in the room when you did cocaine” question came up, the rapper’s answer was “yes”. Sometimes, in the black community, God has a heavier hand than science. In today’s technologically advanced society, however, sometimes, the meds and brain doctors that the crazy white people mess with might be able to help some black people. Matter of fact, there are plenty of successful black folks in these highly specialized fields. In the ‘hood, there’s a church and a liquor store on every block. Clearly, the traditional ‘hood offerings haven’t been able to fix Earl Simmons’ life.
Simple and plain, DMX has issues that no one understands because he’s probably never been diagnosed with whatever it is he’s rolling with. People are looking to the man to be on point and be accountable for his actions and sure, towards the end Iyanla says that the man needs treatment NOW. But having that man up on the small screen like that is just shameful. Trying to get something remotely “sensible” outta DMX right now is straight up impossible and I believe that Iyanla is sophisticated enough to understand this.
At one point, Xavier picks up a guitar and serenades his dad. It was a touching moment that probably would have gone a long way in private. On TV, it feels like American Idol, Depression Edition. At the very end, X stands and asks his son for a hug. Unfortunately, Pops and Junior didn’t get to a place where there was a peaceful journey on the horizon. X being X, he demands a hug. You can see the pain in Xavier’s heart. He’s torn and trembling in his seat and halfway wants to stand and give the dad who just admitted that he wasn’t the best dad a hug. But then Iyanla buts in and runs her trap at that crucial moment where something more positive could have come out of the exchange. X storms out. Bad looks all around. X would have been better off with Uncle Ben—or Aunt Jemima. Either of them would have better served the Simmons family.