Rich versus Wealthy: Kaba Modern, Ramiele Malubay, and JabbaWockeeZ

Friday, April 04, 2008

So hearing that Ramiele Malubay has been dismissed from American Idol it got me thinking - where does everyone go from here?

I'm glad to see all these Asian faces in the popular culture - and that alone is significant to the AA community - but I've also been wondering for a while, especially with Kaba Modern and JabbaWockeeZ- what's next for them as individuals - and in the end, how significant is it to the Asian American community or other communities of color when asking the question of how far we've really come?

Are these just little blips on the radar screen that really don't mean as much as we may think, or are they extremely significant because of the inspiration that comes along with seeing someone represent the AA community in major media, even if just for a short time?

If one person is touched by the Asian face they see on the television, could that inspire them to do something great - to cross boundaries they might not have before? Can rock and roll really save the world?

I have to admit that while I think it only helps the AA and other communities of color - and being on television can only be a boon to each person (and they're definitely great building blocks because nothing is made in a day and I love seeing the inspiration they bring) - I also can't help but think of Chris Rock and the difference between being rich and being wealthy - the difference in being an NBA player who gets paid huge sums of money, and the owner that actually pays them.

As a community - in part or in whole - I have to think that we're more rich than wealthy - and while I know you can never become wealthy without being rich first (and that it's better than sleeping on the street), I'm hoping I see the time when we're wealthy as a community - when we're not just getting paid - but we're the ones cutting the checks.