Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rise up Hip Hop Nation, Wise Up: The Choice is Yours

As always, I'd like to begin by offering peace and respect to my sisters and brothers all across the globe living their lives the best they can; especially in times that just seem to get harder with each passing day. Right now, my own life is very hectic and trying, but I had to take a moment to write this piece. With this historic election now less than two weeks away, there is one message I feel must be expressed clearly: The result of this one election will not change world dynamics, but it will change our role in future possibilities.

When thinking of the appropriate title for this essay, Black Sheep’s classic record came to mind. And for us, the choice is critical, the choice will have long lasting effects, and the choice is clear:

On November 4th, we either put the first nail in the coffin of white supremacy and white nationalism…or we put the final nail in the coffin of our own relevance in national dynamics.

While the result will also have important effects on the economy, wars, culture issues, and other political issues, this choice will most significantly speak to this broader historical consequence. I’ve written in previous blog entries that this race is all about race. An ever growing list of code words has been developed to "other" Obama (muslim, terrorist, socialist, liberal, leftist, anti-american, inexperienced, elitist). The message is the same = he is not white….despite his white mother (Remember the one drop rule).

For many whites in this country, an Obama presidency is absolutely unacceptable because it undermines the entire reality they have created in their minds. The Emperor has no clothes. We’ve known this truth, but many in this country are still not ready to see it. And many can’t handle the truth. That is why we have the lynch mobs coming out of hiding and back to the forefront of Amerikkka. So while it is true that African Americans and youth are invested in Obama and a loss would be felt deeply by many (see: The Fire This Time), I have argued that the possibility for social upheaval and violence may be more likely with an Obama win than loss.

I teach at a college in South LA (serving cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne, Watts, Compton and South LA). Discussing the election with my classes, I discovered a mixture of those that are following the election and those that are not. Those most excited tend to be older African Americans. Some are even planning block parties to celebrate the historic moment if Obama wins and becomes the first African American president.

Younger students, the hip hop youth, are less passionate about the election. While some are excited about the possibility of a black president, they are also into a lot of other things and not “following” as closely.…Many being realists from low income communities are naturally cynical about the political process and would not be surprised by a stolen election or Obama loss due to racism. Most know their lives won’t be affected directly so they are not as personally invested as older students. So while they are wearing Obama t-shirts and many will vote, if Obama loses, they will go about their business November 5th no differently than they did November 3rd. So I don’t see hip hop (black youth) taking it to the streets if Obama loses, although I know it doesn't take much to start something...I was actually in LA when the Rodney King verdict came down and while the buzz was incredulous that even with "taped evidence we still got got" no one expected what they would see hours later and days after that...fires all around the never know, someone might start something and it won’t take much to escalate, especially given the hard times... but I do believe that there is more chance of a "violent uproar" by white nationalists with an Obama win...some folks are just not ready....

At a sociology conference this summer, many voiced a concern that an Obama win would symbolize the end of racism in many people’s minds (that we had “overcome”), despite the reality of a completely racialized society. What now seems to be more likely is that an Obama win will expose more than anything in recent history how far we have NOT “come”. And for that reason alone, all must understand the real stakes of this election. This truth must be exposed and addressed boldly in order to really progress toward a more just society. If Obama wins, the scab of an American sore that was never treated properly will finally be off and the real healing can begin. This is what is at stake.

If Obama loses, white nationalism, and the political party that is sustained by it, gets a reprieve and will use that power to make sure no such “close call” happens again anytime soon. Think Prison Industrial Complex and disenfranchisement will be taken to another level…anti-immigrant sentiments stoked, Patriot Act expanded…If the masses (of people of all backgrounds) inspired by Obama can even get over such a tough loss, they will be so well controlled, their efforts to challenge the status quo will prove most difficult. An historic opportunity would be lost and irrelevance could be the true result of election night returns. The next two weeks will probably just get uglier with desperation setting in, and white nationalists protecting their interests by any means necessary. Are you (hip hop) ready to do the same?

So you can get with this:

Yes We Can Obama Song by

Or you can get with that:

Read article here:

The choice is yours. So Rise up Hip Hop Nation…and VOTE for your future relevance.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wright to the Point

Because this blog was created specifically for social and political commentaries, I've created a new blog for my personal postings. For those that want to visit my personal blog, see sidebar for link. Thanks for your continued support!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Always The Plan?...Pretty much.

Obama Knew It Was Coming All Along

The Fire this Time...or Risk Irrelevance

We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is.
– James Baldwin

When I first started this blog I posted an article titled
The Fire this Time, with the title being an obvious reference to James Baldwin's classic text The Fire Next Time
(a must read for its timeless insight into America’s psyche).

Forty-five years ago Baldwin poignantly and boldly asserted the inevitable: if America did not deal with its racial nightmare honestly and forthrightly, the oppressed would rage. And we did…in the summers of 1968…and then again in the rebellion of 1992.

But in this essay, I asserted that the fire this time would be different. I ended with this statement:

The fire this time is based not only on rage but resolve. We are getting better organized. We are utilizing technology and communicating more effectively. We are acting locally but thinking globally. We are keeping it more real and not falling for the hegemonic hustle. We now understand that like us, hip hop and the revolution will never die whether it’s televised or not. The Fire this Time is an eternal flame for justice. Rise up Hip Hop Nation! The torch is now yours. Let’s get free.

But as I told my classes yesterday, even with the masses awakening to the hoodwink of corporate capitalism and the politics of fear,
I am wondering if those wanting change will have enough resolve to offset the fire of those that will do all they can do to save white supremacy (as demonstrated by political rallies that are looking more like lynch mobs every day).

While African Americans will be disappointed if Obama loses, I don't see any major unrest because we are used to racism, stolen elections, disappointments and tragedies. We've adapted to survive in this social and political environment and are too jaded to be surprised if it happens again. Upset sure...surprised never. In terms of African Americans and grassroots organizing, the real threat of an Obama loss is irrelevance.

Some Whites however, are only now reconciling with a reality that they have ignored their whole lives. They do not know how to survive in a world that is not like the one they've created in their own minds where their own supremacy is law. So with this election, violence seems much more probable with an Obama win, with disaffected whites not accepting reality.

Whether the fear mongers, or the agents of change (as I argued in the Fire this Time) win is up to the conscious among us with our actions being the arbiter.

Nowhere is this case more clearly stated than in James Baldwin’s classic text The Fire Next Time and this excerpt from the last page says it well:

When I was very young, and was dealing with my buddies in those wine- and urine-stained hallways, something in me wondered, What will happen to all that beauty? For black people, though I am that some of us, black and white, do not know it yet, are very beautiful.
...I could also see that the intransigence and ignorance of the white world might make that vengeance inevitable - a vengeance that does not really depend on, and cannot really be executed by, any person or organization, and that cannot be prevented by any police force or army: historical vengeance, a cosmic vengeance, based on the law that we recognize when we say, "Whatever goes up must come down." And here we are, at the center of the arc, trapped in the gaudiest, most valuable, and most improbable water wheel the world has ever seen. Everything now, we must assume, is in our hands; we have no right to assume otherwise. If we-and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create the consciousness of the others-do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world If we do not dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophecy, recreated from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!

Final thought from my essay the Fire this Time:

As we continue to fight the many battles that plague our communities through service and activism, we must not lose sight of the larger race war that will continue to hover until it is effectively addressed. In other words, we must treat the symptoms to save the people now, but also expose the root to save humanity.

Interview with James Baldwin

I wish I had time to really write more about all the craziness that is going on...RE: this historic election and economic crisis. But I've already foreshadowed much of it in previous blog entries so if you haven't already, please read some of those:

Palin (Playin' Plain) Politics...LOL

"Privatizing Profits, Socializing Losses"

WARGAMES - The Fall of Empire

Racism 101 Must See Video

Lynch Mob 2008 - An Important Read

I want to share an article I read this morning on a blog...I think it captures the latest election dynamics well. I told my classes that with the real prospect of an Obama presidency, McCain and his supporters are now using more desperate tactics, and more overt racism will be boiling to the surface. Obama has to watch his back...but so do the rest of us who this 2008 lynch mob will target if Obama wins. In the blog I wrote titled Wargames, I ended with this thought:

....the politics of fear is what really fueled a lot of the other Bush devastating policies. And while it seemed most people had finally smelled the coffee of manipulation, this election is going to reveal if the politics of fear may still hold the same power it did to elect Bush for a second term......The politics of fear will dominate the rest of this campaign and although no one will ever admit it, the major factor will not be about Obama's experience; it will be about his race. The language will be coded but the politics of fear will be a test of white supremacy's saliency. If Obama loses, that will be the reason why without a doubt.

Please read article and the comments that follow at the link below:

The Unthinkable