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Why 50 Cent may want to practice what he preaches in Floyd Mayweather Challenge

By now 50 Cent or Floyd Mayweather fans know about the ALS Challenge that 50 Cent proposed for his former friend and heavyweight champion. The Breakfast Club's Charlamagne Tha God made it worse by posting a long recording of a "drop" (short radio script) of Floyd Mayweather trying to read. While some are laughing at 50 Cent making fun of illiteracy and others are happy to see Floyd being challenged by someone other than T.I., the bigger issue here is 50 Cent picked the wrong battle to make.

Heavyweight champion responds to rapper 50 Cent in ALS Challenge. Believe it or not, the two of them used to be good friends at one time.
Heavyweight champion responds to rapper 50 Cent in ALS Challenge. Believe it or not, the two of them used to be good friends at one time.
Instagram/Internet Fair Use
Rapper Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson addresses the media after Floyd Mayweather Jr's unanimous decision victory against Miguel Cotto after their WBA super welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 5, 2012 in Las Vegas.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

His own ex-girlfriend, former talk show host Chelsea Handler was on "The Howard Stern Show" and called 50 Cent out for his own education.

"He’s not a grammatical genius so it’s kind of like silly because I’m like, 'This is so stupid'," she said, when describing what it was like to communicate with him by phone.

When Howard Stern asked her would she go out with a guy who "doesn't know grammar," her response was, "No, I can't. You should’ve seen some of the texts he used to send me."

Howard Stern egged it on by asking her if she corrected the spelling of 50 Cent's texts.

"I didn’t even bother," she said. "As if he’s all of a sudden going to get an education now."

Now 50 Cent has created several videos and done interviews complaining about Floyd Mayweather, including the T.I. versus Tiny debacle, but what was 50 Cent's response to Chelsea Handler making fun of his spelling? Nothing.

50 Cent turned attention away from the Ice Bucket Challenge associated with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and instead opted to talk about English as a Second Language (ESL). While the rapper wants the boxer to read one page of a Harry Potter book, can 50 Cent effectively spell the words on that same page?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 1999 and 2012, the dropout rate for males declined from 12 to 7 percent. However, African-Americans still rank the second highest as dropouts, with rates declining from 13 to 8 percent. And while both the rapper and the boxer managed to make millions in spite of being high school dropouts, the odds are against the average African-American male (or female) being able to do so.

There's also no promise that those who do graduate can't be functioning illiterates. Statistic Brain reported that 19 percent of high school graduates can't read, 14 percent (32 million) of adults can't read, 21 percent of adults read below a fifth-grade level and 63 percent of inmates can't read.

The bullish feud about illiteracy is nothing to laugh about. Although Charlamagne Tha God is known for rubbing people the wrong way, he also knows who he can get away with doing this to. Interviews with Lyfe Jennings, Nelly and Fredro Starr are completely different than his behavior with Lil Mama or rants about Drake. Apparently selling tickets matters more to him than making fun of someone's education regardless of the fact that the radio personality also dropped out of high school and did time in prison while both 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather continued to collect more checks in a year than he probably has his entire life. Judging from Floyd's $72.2 million response, many critics might want to mute their mouths, too.

Other artists who have been honest about their own educational backgrounds (ex. millionaire and "American Idol" winner Fantasia) were ridiculed and even left social media for awhile to calm down. But judging from the horrendous spelling of the people who make the most jokes about illiteracy, these questions remain: Should you choose to improve your own mediocre education instead of making fun of someone else? And why is 50 Cent getting more attention for obsessing over Floyd's life instead of getting even a quarter of these mentions for his own rap CDs?

Shamontiel is also The Wire Examiner, and for the gladiators, she's the Scandal Examiner, too.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest TV, book, music and movie reviews; photo galleries; entertainment saving tips and other entries, or subscribe to her National African American Entertainment channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews, and follow this Pinterest board to read her celebrity interviews.

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