Kenneth L. Hardin: It’s time for another old man rant

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 26, 2024

By Kenneth L. Hardin

As I approach my 59th birthday next month, the older I get the softer I’ve become. There used to be a time I would have a lot to say publicly about almost everything going on in and around me. But lately, I’m either too mentally exhausted or have learned that people are going to be idiots and cowards no matter what you say, so just let it be. Noted Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, the late Carl Gustav Jung, said, “The deep critical thinker has become the misfit of the world. This is not a coincidence. To maintain order and control, you must isolate the intellectual, the sage, the philosopher and the savant before their ideas awaken people.” Too late, brother Carl. The stupid have already taken control as evidenced by watching the news, surfing the web, looking at our failed leadership, the attitudes of the sheep who believe in them and the overall condition of our country. My metaphorical front lawn is growing out of control because I’ve let people stomp on it unabated lately with my verbal hesitancy and willful silence, so I figure it’s time for an old man rant.

I abhor those whose ego, value and self-worth are dependent upon whether other people like and approve of them. I don’t care for any celebrity, who revels in the adoration of insecure people that live through them and elevate them to a level of prestige, which feel they can circumvent societal rules, break laws and treat people with disregard while fearing no consequences. This extends to Sean Combs, better known as “Puffy, Puff Daddy, P-Diddy, Diddy” or whatever other ridiculous moniker he invents to give himself street credibility. He’s a punk and a coward.

If you haven’t seen the video of him brutally assaulting his then-girlfriend in the hallway of a hotel back in 2016, then consider yourself fortunate that your cerebrum avoided having to ingest and analyze this sad spectacle. It was captured on a video surveillance camera as she tried in vain to sneak away from him with shoes in hand. Diddy punched her in the face, threw her to the floor, kicked her several times, threw glass objects at her and dragged her down the hall like an animal carcass he had hunted and shot. This assault occurred in 2016, and although the quiet part of the dark internet has been abuzz for years about his penchant for allegedly physically and sexually abusing men and women, nothing official has ever been made public until now. So many people were complicit and fell under his celebrity spell. New York’s mayor gave him a key to the city and Howard University bestowed an honorary degree after cashing his $1 million donation check. Since he’s been exposed, all those who carried his water for so long are now suddenly morally outraged at his behavior. The victim in the taped assault filed a 35-page rape and assault suit against Diddy last November, which was settled for $30 million the next day. I guess it paid to endure that Mike Tyson-style beatdown and profit from it rather than taking a violent narcissistic sociopath off the streets.

After the lawsuit was settled, and other people began coming forward filing similar suits, this coward went on the offensive. Instead of showing contrition and accepting accountability, he issued a statement that read, “For the last couple of weeks I have sat silently and watched people try to assassinate my character, destroy my reputation and my legacy. It’s sickening all the allegations that have been made against me by individuals looking for a quick payday. Let me be absolutely clear. I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.” Insert eye roll here.

Fast forward six months to May 19, two days after CNN aired his fight tape, and you hear a different message from the coward. Gone are the dark sunglasses and defiant arrogance he surrounded himself with against all the allegations. As I watched the video of him looking solemnly into the camera pointed squarely at his face, I threw up a little in my mouth listening to his insincere attempt at atonement. It was blatantly obvious he didn’t write the words coming out of his mouth nor did he believe them. I wondered how many takes it took to get it right before they yelled, “cut.” His video is the biggest bunch of insincere excrement I’ve ever heard. The marketing crisis manager who drafted this garbage should be ashamed of themselves. It successfully checked off all the sympathy boxes by mentioning drug addiction, mental health, seeking therapy and asking for the Lord’s forgiveness. He said all the right words, but they were empty, hollow and meaningless. It’s evident all he’s concerned about is losing his fortune, being charged with a federal crime, losing his celebrity status and being canceled. He brutally assaulted her in 2016, so why is he publicly apologizing and so repentant eight years later? I have no use for any man who viciously and violently puts their hands on a woman. So, to hell with Puffy/Diddy/Sean Combs and any other coward who physically hurts women. My rant is done.

Kenneth L. (Kenny) Hardin is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.