"Gangsta rap is a ridiculous minstrel show, in countenance and in message. I shudder to think of what the result might be if most whites in America came to believe that this truly represented the majority of blacks...”
Back in aught-four, I penned a piece for WorldNetDaily entitled “‘Cultcha,’ Cosby and the Con Men”. Resulting in a flood of hate mail second only to my Barak Obama Church exposé, it was an ironic barb on top of the one comedian and actor Bill Cosby had begun delivering to black audiences apropos their accountability for societal ills within the black community. Many black people balked at hearing such messages primarily due to the fact that they’ve been brainwashed into the belief that the aforementioned societal ills were solely the fault of rich white men in $50,000 suits, cloistered in shadowy rooms paneled in dark, exotic woods, their mission in life (besides amassing obscene fortunes) being that of devising new, diabolical ways to “get blackie”.
The irony is that Cosby frequently imparted his message in the presence of some of America’s most prominent black “leaders”, many of whom are responsible for perpetuating the culture of victimization in which so many black people live. Their veiled mortification was not lost on those who know them for what they are.
Although the Don Imus Racist Remark Debacle that oversaturated the airwaves two weeks ago was pushed off of the headlines by the actions of a madman on the Virginia Tech campus, a seed was planted that has not only since sprouted, but is already overgrowing its pot, so to speak. If I have anything to say about it, this proverbial botanical will take on the character of the supernatural vines in the film “Jumanji”.
I am gratified that despite the inordinately sensitive climate, certain people in the media were able to put sensibility over sensitivity and point out publicly what Americans (judging by calls to talk radio shows, letters and emails to television news programs) had already observed: That black profiteers, activists, politicians and consumers had brought the cavalier use of derisive ethnic references upon themselves.
On April 16, 2007, The Oprah Winfrey Show conducted one of their “town hall” segments which featured black journalists, record executives, rappers and other luminaries to discuss the dynamics and underlying issues concerning the subject. Among these were Grammy-winning rapper Common, former NAACP CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis, and rap/hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, to name just a few.
“Our real problem is that we’re not willing to accept responsibility for our role in this… We’ve allowed our kids to adopt a hip-hop culture that’s been perverted and corrupted by prison values. They are defining our women in pop culture as bitches and hos. … We are defining ourselves. Then, we get upset and want to hold Don Imus to a higher standard than we hold ourselves to. That is unacceptable.”
- Newspaper columnist Jason Whitlock on “Oprah”
Truer words, as they say, may never have been spoken. This, however is coming from a journalist who apparently holds to journalistic standards. He’s no record executive or civil rights activist whose livelihood depends upon selling that culture.
“Black people didn’t invent ‘nappy-headed hos’ [referring to Don Imus’s claim that they indeed had coined such phrases]. Don Imus’s statements were offensive to everyone.”
- Russell Simmons on “Oprah”
Back to Imus again, which of course wasn’t the issue at hand. Deflecting the blame didn’t go over in the town hall forum, however, for anyone who did so.
“At times, the show became heated when Stanley Crouch, a syndicated columnist for the The New York Daily News made several references to gansta rap artists as participants in a ‘minstrel show’ to entertain white society by perpetuating old and modern-day stereotypes of Black people.”
- From The Oprah Winfrey Show website
Gee – perhaps these are the truer words that may never have been spoken. Indeed, although there is a distinct demarcation between hip-hop and gangsta rap music, hip-hop as a cultural phenomenon includes the profane latter genre, and its proponents tend to uphold the fallacy that it is simply acceptable and natural personalized cultural expression. Gangsta rap is a ridiculous minstrel show, in countenance and in message. I shudder to think of what the result might be if most whites in America came to believe that this truly represented the majority of blacks.
“ ‘I want to meet with people like Snoop Dogg,’ reverend [Sharpton] says; Russell Simmons calls comparing rap lyrics with radio host’s comments ‘misguided.’ ”
- MTV website, in column by Shaheem Reid, April 13 2007
That’s rich. Poverty Pimp extraordinaire Sharpton and profiteer Simmons: Does this seem like we have the foxes presuming they have the authority to work out minutiae of the henhouse security detail here? These two men are committed Leftists, evidenced by those they support politically, the company they keep, and the social dogma they preach. As such, they present a clear and present danger to America on many levels and ought to be suspect, regardless of their race. It’s the Left – which, by the way, includes far more whites than minorities – that’s had the biggest stake in and responsibility for keeping blacks dependant, ignorant and resentful. Sharpton, more politico and professional activist than entrepreneur (like Simmons), pretty much answers directly to these folks. Personally, I find Sharpton’s eminence in political and media circles to be a perverse joke; I remember when the “reverend” was a low-budget agitator in New York whom even most blacks in the city knew held allegiance only to the Church of Al Sharpton. The danger is that he’s been at it for so long he is able to articulate his convoluted logic very well (and very credibly, to some).
“Hip-hop is a worldwide cultural phenomena that transcends race and doesn’t engage in racial slurs. Don Imus’ racially motivated diatribe [a gross extrapolation] toward the Rutgers women’s basketball team was in no way connected to hip-hop culture. … Don Imus is not a hip-hop artist or a poet.”
- Russell Simmons, through his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, April 13, 2007
Doesn’t engage in racial slurs? Artists? Poets? No way connected to hip-hop culture? Give me an expletive deleted break! While the majority of hip-hop artists are talented people, the controversial, generally repulsive gangsta rappers who purvey nothing departing from belligerent, anti-social and pathologically narcissistic messages are the ones whom Imus picked up on and whose slang he used in his three word “racist and sexist rant [from the MTV article]”. With all the youth, black, white and otherwise adopting these speech patterns and freely using them as well as buying into a lifestyle that will either land them pregnant out of wedlock, riddled with STDs, in the penitentiary or dead (like some of their rapper icons), Simmons’ claim is akin to tobacco industry “researchers” past contentions that cigarettes are harmless.
“Russell Simmons and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HHSAN) announced yesterday (April 16) that they would host a private meeting to discuss the state of Hip-Hop in the wake of the Don Imus controversy. The closed-door meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 18 at 11 a.m. at the Manhattan home of Warner Music Group executive Lyor Cohen. According to the HHSAN’s Dr. Benjamin Chavis, the music industry’s top executives will be in attendance.
“ ‘The media is trying to make Hip-Hop the scapegoat here,’ Chavis said in an exclusive interview with BET.com. ‘This meeting will address this attack on Hip-Hop and what we need to do as a community,’ he continued.”
- Black Entertainment Television website, April 17, 2007
Sounds like a defensive mode to me. I don’t think I need to belabor my cynicism relative to the involvement of Chavis, a former NAACP CEO as well as a major player in Simmons’s Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HHSAN).
The Oprah town hall was a good idea, as is anything that will get Americans thinking. The foxes will talk about change, but their sense of self-preservation will preclude their sincerity or following up in any meaningful way. What people viewing such forums should heed is people with realistic perspectives like Jason Whitlock and Stanley Crouch.
The final analysis of the misogynist and ethnically derogatory speech phenomenon is, in this instance quite simple, as are so many issues that intellectual elites and recognized “experts” find necessary to complicate. It is the result of moral ambivalence, an ingredient introduced into American black communities by the Left. Hypocrites notwithstanding, it is conservatives who wish to reverse this and why we consistently promote traditional values.
So it would seem to behoove sincerely concerned black Americans to also heed the ever-growing crop of black conservatives the foxes who claim to represent “black America” are so quick to label Uncle Toms, Oreos, sellouts, and much worse. It amazes me that those who call others of their ethnic groups race traitors don’t realize the accusation is in itself a racist statement. Some of the hate mail I’ve gotten from these folks’ followers would curl your hair, even if it is nappy.
The hypocrisy of such views and behavior ought to give the reader pause, and is another noteworthy aspect to consider and discuss one day – if discussions ever get that far.
Note: I don’t know whether or not there will be a “Crack ’n’ Soul, Part 2”. The title just seemed to flow so well (like the Hall and Oates album “Rock and Soul, Part 1), I just decided to go with it.
Erik Rush is a New York-born columnist, author and speaker who lives in Colorado and writes columns of sociopolitical fare for WorldNetDaily as well as dozens of nationally-distributed print and online news sources.