Saturday, March 01, 2014

I Explain The Country's Continuing Race Problem In A Way Even A Numbnut Should Be Able To Understand.

Oh man I can hear it now. I just admitted the existence of a race problem in this country, which means legions of angry middle aged white men just went ballistic. Quickest way to get a middle aged white guy riled up is to say even a trace of racism still lingers in this nation. They will huff and puff and yell and scream about Obama (we'll get to him in a second), about African-American NFL coaches and bosses at their work. The smarter ones might even realize there is a sitting African-American Supreme Court Justice, along with two of the last four Secretaries of State. That's it. Case closed.

Not so fast. You could write more than a few books on what's still not right about race relations in this country, but I'll throw two things out at you that oughta make it crystal clear. First, from the world of the criminal justice system:

Rap lyrics and videos are turning up as evidence in courtrooms across the country with alarming regularity. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey found that in 18 cases in which various courts considered the admissibility of rap as evidence, the lyrics were allowed nearly 80 percent of the time.

And I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole/No one could steer me right but mama tried, mama tried.....

Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, as you can hear with your own ears, Merle Haggard clearly planned from the beginning a life of homicidal mayhem. Under the law you have no choice but to find him guilty.

And do I dare bring up the authority's negligence in allowing Johnny Cash to die of old age a free man after his confessions of not only shooting a man for no other reason than to watch him die, but to the brutal stabbing death of a beautiful young woman.

I plunged a knife into her breast/And told her she was going to rest/She cried "Oh Willy, don't murder me/I'm not prepared for eternity."

I took her by her golden curls/I drug her down to the river-side/An I there threw her in to drown/And I watched her as she floated down

Not to mention the drug use:

Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds/I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down...

Merle and Johnny could write whatever they wanted knowing that to use their lyrics against them in a court of law would be ridiculous. Yet entering a rapper's words into evidence works about 8 in 10 times.

Do you see now how more than an African-American on the Supreme Court might be needed to ensure all people are treated fairly by the judicial system?

Let's stay in the world of music for a second. Remember when Paul Ryan told the world Rage Against The Machine was his favorite band? Most people who had a reaction at all just kinda chuckled, "ha ha...that silly guy listens to hard rock"

But......let's take a look at a few of the lyrics the man who was nominated to be Vice-President of the United States says he enjoys:

Bam! Here's the plan/Mother-FUCK Uncle Sam... 

The present curriculum, I put my FIST in 'em!/Eurocentric, every last one of 'em/See right through the red, white and blue disguise/With lecture I puncture the STRUCTURE of lies! 

What? The land of the free?/Whoever told you that is your enemy

And that's just the start. There's plenty more where those came from.

Now Paul Ryan is free to listen to whatever he wants, I love Rage myself. But I want you to think about something....

What if it had been Barack Obama that said this was one of his favorite bands? You think that would have flown under the radar of the nation? Or do you think maybe Sean Hannity, his friend O'Reilly and the rest of the Fox News goons would have shouted fear into the heart of every white heart over 50 until they were red in the face and foaming at the mouth?

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly told White House adviser Valerie Jarrett that the Obama administration has to enlist the help of “gangsta rappers” if it really wants to help young men of color. 
“You are going to have to get people like Jay-Z, all right, Kanye West, all of these gangsta rappers to knock it off. That’s number one,” said O’Reilly, who attended the launch of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative Thursday.

That actually came from yesterday's news. Guess we have our answer.

So my friends, the day Barack Obama is as free to talk about the music he listens to as Paul Ryan, the day young rappers have the same artistic freedom as old cowboys, we may....may be able to start thinking about a post-racial society. But he's not, and they're not. So there is still a race problem in this country, and I for one will not rest until every bloodthirsty redneck is in a cage where he belongs. Here is all the evidence you need:


Miss Margo said...

Great post, Drug Monkey, and I think you made your argument very well.

This post actually made me reconsider what I thought I knew about music--pop music in particular.

You're right: country western, folk, and heavy metal are full of violence...especially of the woman-killin variety. Not all of it...but plenty of it.

So why does rap/hip-hop get picked on...? I guess we all know the answer to that...

P.S. I know this is anecdotal evidence, but 2007 I was in a bar and this drunk older white guy started to make conversation with me. He started to complain, vociferously, that he was a Democrat and that the Dems couldn't find any (and I QUOTE) "normal Americans" to run for the candidacy.

I guess women and biracial men are not "normal Americans."

Finally: in 2007-2008, every single person I heard saying that America "wasn't ready" for a black or female president was a middle-aged white guy. Every single one.

That includes my Ex, the millionaire Surgeon. He was convinced nobody would vote for a black dude.

Anonymous said...

White people? Getting away with harsh lyrics? That's awful.