In the eighties singer Sade released the hit “Smooth Operator.” Today, she’s returned to radio after a long hiatus, but before I can listen to her latest hit, I’m interrupted by radio DJs weighing in on some modern day smooth operators. These smooth operators-Tiger Woods and Senator John Edwards-have me agitated not only because their scandals are generating buzz that takes airtime away from my smooth R&B but because they are now part of the problem rather than the solution. The problem I’m referring to is infidelity. Infidelity is a multifaceted problem that goes beyond the loss of political support and/or endorsement deals. And while everyone is entitled to their private lives, when you’re in the limelight and a iconic figure that people model themselves after or aspire to be like, it’s no longer just a personal moral failure.
Of course neither Tiger nor Senator Edwards are the first or last political leader or athlete to go astray. In fact infidelity is so pervasive in certain music genres (e.g. hip hop) it’s become normalized, is the same to follow for these other groups as well? I hope not! As a heterosexual black woman, who is well aware of the devastating HIV epidemic in the black community, the last thing I need is another celebrity feeding my kids and my village (community) thoughts that it’s okay not to be monogamous. And it’s okay to ignore the countless numbers of black women who were infected with HIV because their partners were unfaithful. Because truth be told-it’s not okay.
ASHA Call Center Manager
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