'Jimi O. Adesina, PhD
Professor of Sociology,
Department of Sociology,
Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0) 46 603 8172 (W)
Fax: +27 (0) 46 622 5570 (W)
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 353 1041
E-mail: J.Adesina@ru.ac.za

I normally would keep out of this kind of debates. We have more important things to deal with on this side of the pond than who appeared or did not appear on Oprah's Show, but Chika is really the ultimate. The sub-text (the only text, perhaps) of his piece is that Oprah did not invite him, like she did James Frey, to her show to talk about his book--a book I find quite offensive; a book that "seeks" to address a most crucial subject in a most puerile manner. Same goes for his objection to New York Times best seller listing. It is interesting how quickly he descends to using four-letter words. I wonder what Chika's grandmother would have done about that--probably wash his mouth with soap. If Oprah had been conned by Chika rather than James Frey, and Chika had become the multimillionaire rather than Frey, would we be hearing any of this? Again, a most important argument--about how book buying habit depends on a manufactured talking head on the TV set--is made in a most pedestrian way by Chika.

Whatever the street-language in New York that Chika wants to lash on to, that he cannot see how offensive the word "nigger" is to every self-respecting person of African descent is hugely problematic. That he is making money out of such self-flagellation is even more compelling. Now we have our "gangster hip-hop intellectuals."