A Few Thoughts on Lance Armstrong and His Dishonesty

Lance ArmstrongA few thoughts on all the hoopla being made about Lance Armstrong and him going on Oprah for 2 and half hours to apologize for being dishonest…Some folks are angry with Lance which is understandable.. They feel betrayed. He let them down.. Many enthusiastically cheered for Armstrong as he won Tour De France after Tour De France and felt like a death-blow was delivered when he finally came clean on his dishonesty.. It’s the ultimate disappointment for fans.. Armstrong is now the poster boy for dishonesty.

It’s interesting watching all these corporations demand that Lance give them their money back because he was so dishonest. They claim they don’t wanna support someone so dishonest .. One has to wonder how many of those same companies were this outspoken, demanding their money back for dishonest politicians whose campaigns they contributed to?

It’s interesting see there are so many who are beside themselves and livid at Lance Armstrong for being dishonest but still to this day are staunchly defending and even forgiving to George W Bush and Dick Cheney for their dishonesty around the Iraq War and Weapons of Mass Destruction.  I recall when folks said Bush & Cheney should be impeached for being dishonest and many folks all over the country hit the freaking roof..Many to this day while standing on mountain tops demanding Lance be punished aren’t so vocal about punishment for Bush or Cheney and for that matter even our current president and some of the lies he’s told.. Let’s reflect on that for a minute.. Why so contradictory?

How many people are dead because of the dishonesty of those we put into office? How many billions have been squandered because of their dishonesty? Look I get it and have no defense for Lance Armstrong.. He was dishonest. However, I’m clear about this, Lance didn’t cost me Billions.. The economy ain’t messed with 23 million people unemployed because Lance was dishonest.. The Middle class isn’t shrinking because Lance Armstrong was dishonest. We want accountability from Lance but none from the people who we’ve continuously rewarded with votes, and generous campaign support who lie to us more often and in way worse insidious ways than Lance could ever.. We want Lance to sit down and confess his misdeeds to Oprah.. But when can expect Bush, Cheney or the heads Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citigroup and other big time Wall Street banks to sit down and confess? When will we push for that?

George Bush looked like he was ready to knock Kanye out when describing his reaction to West's remarks about him hating Black people

I guess the strong lesson to be learned from our kids is, its easy to be mad at Lance and get all righteous but punk down when it comes to Bush, Cheney and others… Yes I said punk down..You see the problem here is,  Bush and Cheney were never prosecuted for being dishonest and many clapped when they were given a pass…Y’all remember that? Don’t front.

When President Obama said some BS about ‘Its time for us to move forward‘ many of y’all cheered and ‘great job‘, ‘right on Mr Prez‘  ‘Hooray, we luv our President‘.. So you moved forward with Bush and Cheney being prosecuted for a long list of war crimes but your stuck on Lance.. Y’all ain’t ready to move forward on that.. You want your money back,  his trophies taken and a more sincere apology. You want him stripped of his titles, but not to keen on having Bush stripped of his Presidency and having it be deemed illegitimate. Y’all ain’t ready to move forward on that..

This all goes back to the fake ass sports writers who ‘supposedly took a stance by not electing anyone to the Baseball Hall of Fame.. Many stood up and applauded. You said emphatically. “dishonesty should not be rewarded.. bravo sports writers’..  I get that?

With that being said, imagine if those media outlets those baseball writers worked for took similar stances during election season and said.. We can not reward dishonesty, hence we will not endorse a candidate for a particular offices.  The New York Times made headlines by leaving a huge chunk of the front page blank.. We said this was needed. Imagine if that same New York Times left the front page blank for lying candidates seeking endorsements?

See those news outlets can do some easy shyt and say no to Barry Bonds and we give them high fives like they actually did something great. But wont bat an eye when those same outlets take millions from lying politicians and write glowing endorsement editorials…And we wonder why our kids are cheating on tests & acting reckless-Look at the adults in their lives..Our collective stance on dishonesty is inconsistent. If your up in arms and all self-righteous about Lance Armstrong cheating, but you’re running around cheating on your spouse, tests or taxes your just as much a dishonest creep as he is!

Everyone is talking about how Lance sat down to speak to confess his misdeeds to Oprah.. When can we get Bush, Cheney to sit down and confess their misdeeds to Oprah? When can we get the heads of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citigroup and other big time Wall Street banks to sit on Oprah’s couch and confess? When will we push for that?

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Editorial: How Cristal Hustled Hip Hop

Everybody in Hiphop Hates Chris, but so what?!
How Cristal hustled Hiphop
By: Hadji Williams aka Black Canseco-June 22 2006

Hadji Williams author of Don't Knock the Hustle

Hadji Williams author of Don’t Knock the Hustle

After spitting its virtues for ten summers, Jay-Z and his hiphop minions are now boycotting Cristal, a hiphop staple after Frederic Rouzaud, the brands managing director made what many are calling elitist and racist comments against the hiphop community’s economic support of Cristal in a recent interview in The Economist magazine. (www.targetmarketnews.com)

What can we do? We cant forbid people from buying it. Im sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business. Rouzaud said of hiphops pallets.

Well, as a 15 year marketing vet, I’ve got a scoop for Marcy’s all-time great: Your boycotts too late, fam. In case you havent noticed, it works like this, folks: Hiphop, like the Blues, like most everything from the black community before gets mined for its cool cache. And this time, y’all been strip-mined and pimped as corporate cheerleaders. And basically for free, no less.

Rouzaud never cut any brother a check for any of those mic checks. The nouveau rich and the not-so riche been chasing Cris and those uppity brands because Jig, Puff and every other bruh with some BDS and MTV said the bottle was hot. And it workedCristal is the 8th most popular brand in 2005 behind Mercedes, Nike, Bentley and Rolls Royce. Meanwhile most of the Hampton’s, Hollywood and Wall Street are, as Mr. Rouzaud, put it curiously serene.

Fact is Rouzaud is shooting his mouth off now, because he knows Cristal doesn’t need hiphops praises anymore. The Jigs up and they’ve moved on. The whole black kid made good angle is played and upscale consumers aren’t feeling us anymore. You can only play dress-up for so long before the clock strikes. Theres a reason someone like David Beckham now carries more marketing muscle than any handful of ethnic celebs you can name. (Read KNOCK THE HUSTLE I warned y’all this was coming.)

Secondly, its called luxury for a reason, folks. Luxury always excludes. Luxury excludes by class, by price, and yes, by race. And I don’t care how much money you got, IT stops being luxury once enough negroes cop it. Sorry, but its true.

But young heads are still sleeping: In the eyes of most marketers Hiphop (and black folks at large) are just disposable media outlets. It’s all about reach, frequency and brand equity. Hov don’t have the reach n frequency he used to; in fact, hiphop doesnt. (Hate if you want, you know I’m right.)

Therefore most luxury brands are starting the slow steady exodus back to more exclusionary brand strategies paler faces in their ads, more upscale and selective partnerships and cross-promotional opportunities. They want their swagger back.

See, I know this game. While my cats hustled on the streets, I got my grind on the suite stoo many brands to mention. Never Cristal, but I did help a certain, +A vodka get mad bullish few summers back. (Yep, that was me. See KNOCK THE HUSTLE.)

Anyway, once I got hooked up with some Euros who owned a hard cider brand called K. You know why they called me?

We know that in order to really push this in the states we need to get it in the black community. That’s what these Irish cats told us, point-blank. They’d never been to the US but they knew that much. They asked me for a list of hiphop stars, hot urban clubs, etc. Their plan was simple: Get slick brothers and sisters hyping it up knowing full-well everybody else would be on it in a couple of years, if not sooner.

Unfortunately cats weren’t really feeling the hard cider so it never popped. But that’s how that part of the game works. We sit in rooms and politic and scheme. Sometimes checks get cut and next thing you know your favorite rap superhero is dipped in [INSERT BRAND HERE]. Rouzaud and his kind are no different. No matter what they say.

Now, I’m not saying that’s how/why Jay got with Cris. I’m sure Hov was a Cris fan back when he was just hyping Jaz; just as Run was lacing up Adidas before their contract, and LL rocked Kangols while he was slicing up Kool Moe

Anyway, Mr. Rouzauds sentiments are an orchestrated shout out to his base that he’s putting the velvet ropes back around the Cristal. But he’s not alone. While his my-clothes-arent-for-black-folks/Oprah-interview was a hoax, Tommy Hil’s announcement that the Hilfiger brand is moving out the urban arena and back to its upscale mainstream roots is quite legit. (Google the press releases for more info.)

You cant slam a door on folks that are walking out on you. Most of the companies that have gotten cool and rich off of hiphop cosigning are cashing out and moving on. Some are looking to Hispanic consumers. Many are going for NASCAR Dads and Soccer Mom sets. Others are chasing upscale Anglo roots. Some are trying to revive the X-treme thing, etc. But make no mistake: The bachelor party’s over and hiphop just got run thru by half the cats in the house. And now, they’re going home. So who cares if you don’t want to put out anymore?

My advice to the hiphop community is this: Keep these companies names out of your mouth and don’t ride for any INC until you know exactly who you’re dealing with. Do your due diligence. Most of these folks have no regard for you, your community, your culture, or your art. Youre just a means to an end; and when push comes to shove, theyre mean and focused about getting their ends.

And to every crime nigga that rhyme: they’ll touch your mic every time, cuz their minds are quicker. Much quicker.
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A 15-year vet of the marketing industry, Hadji Williams is author of KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to save your job and your life from Corporate America. Email him: author@knockthehustle.com

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