Honesty is incredible.
I was honest in my piece, "If You Want to Change Society...",
and the Racilicious readers turned around and gave me some feed back
that took it to a whole other level. I found myself writing so many
responses that I knew I just had to go ahead and post about it.
A reader, a white dude from the suburbs, wrote the first response
that had my wig twisted. The comment is incredible because
we know that white kids buy and listen to rap, but we never
hear them reflect on how it has impacted them. The commenter,
Vodalus, speaks on violence, hip hop and being from the
suburbs. He writes,
The above comment made me wonder how T.I. and David Banner
It seems to me, as a suburban white kid, that another problem with rap music is that it conflates black youth culture with violence. It teaches non-black listeners that black youth who listen to hip-hop and dress like rappers are likely to be violent. Recognizing that this is largely a false assumption and rooting out the biases stemming from that conflation has been hard work for me. It’s also work that I don’t think I could have accomplished when I was growing up in the suburbs.
I wish that rappers would stand up and admit that they are delivering prepacked stereotypes straight to the suburbs. Not only are they teaching black youth to disrespect themselves but rap teaches non-blacks youths to fear and disdain young blacks. -Vodalus
would have responded if they were asked how do they feel about
white teenage boys consuming their music? Singing along, buying it
Someone also made a comment that reminded me that we lack
a fundamental understanding of capitalism. Capital being productive property.
In the 1800's we Negros were productive property. Now productive property
is a house with a rental unit or stocks, bonds and dividends. Capitalism seeks
to make as much profit as possible of all capital. Hence why you can't stop
gentrification. I was reminded of this when a Racilicious commenter,
Phil Deeze, noticed how on the new VH1 documentary on video vixens
there was no mention of the consumer.
Well of course. There will also never be any mention of the consumer,
of unionizing he vixens or the similarities between the vixens and Venus
Hottentot. Phil writes,
And, sadly the component that wasn’t mentioned was the consumer. Someone is out there watching the booty-shaking and grinding. Someone is out there buying the CD’s and going to the concerts. People of all races. But black folks are responsible for the images out there because most of the images that are out there for black folks are harmful images.I also read something that would have MLK break-dancing in his grave.
A commenter aptly named, Devils Advocate, made the power argument.
I ride for being a more human human, not a more power driven being.
I want to not that his analysis was both well thought out and cynical.
When I read stuff like this I think, thank god they weren't on the US
Abolitionist committee otherwise I would be sharecropping in
Alabama right now. Devils Advocate writes,
Another commenter, Kjen said in 38 words what it would take me to , wink, say
People are beasts who are made docile by having their needs readily met by a network made possible by advanced tools. Without this network, we would not even be having this discussion on morality.
Instead of talking about how we can make the community better, why don’t we just continue to find new ways to exploit each other’s needs more profitably? I mean, that’s what drug dealing, prostitution, and war-profiteering are all about. And hip-hop too. And academia.
Call it cynical if you want, but as I look at the empires of today and yesterday, morality (and religion) serves only to control laborers, allowing the managers to do as they please. What if the black community stopped trying to heal itself and just succumbed to that desire to exploit? After all, isn’t that what brought this nation’s founders their great power today?
The “close your legs” argument always disturbs me because of how it continues to disempower men. It encourages men to distance themselves from the only people they have control over, themselves, and blame women for the s**t they do.Alexandra caught something about the Hip Hop vs. America piece
that I noticed, but didn't know how to analyze. Raw Patriarchy. Remember
when David said "close your legs", then hit on Time writer Lola Ogunnaike and
mumbled on the under that he was going to open hers and she blushed!
Alexandra nails it when she writes,
Great Post.I am always struck by the willingness to blame the victim. I would imagine
I especially agree with part of we don’t want to hold rappers accountable because dont’ want to hold ourselves accountable......David Banner also undermined his comments by hitting on the female panelist after she agreed with his comment. How are you going to tell women to close their legs in one breath and say I’m gonna get another open hers in another. All she did was agree with him, he didn’t have to say that.
The men act this way because women want thugs and dope dealers argument annoyed me too is he serious with that.
that Sasha means well, but the trifecta of Capitalism, White Supremacy
and Patriarchy is largely responsible for plethora of ills that impoverished
Black, White Latino and Asian teens are suffering from. Here comes Moniyhan.
I believe if more girls from poor communities were taught to respect themselves and their bodies, rates of teen pregnancy, stds, and generational cycles of poverty would decrease....I don’t believe in trying to force rappers, filmmakers, etc. to only create certain types of music or movies. Yes I know that the images of black people and women in entertainment is often stereotypical and indicative of how societies them but I can’t change that...you are right, after school programs are not the solution to teen pregnancy, stds, generational cycles of poverty, low academic test scores etc. If a child is not being raised properly and all the other children in the neighborhood are in the same boat, nothing is going to change that until you get the parent’s to change or someone else steps in.I hope she isn't a teacher.
I close out with a little bit of Audre Lorde, who I have been reading
the last two weeks. You notice the influence?
Raising Black children -female and male- in the mouth of a racist,
sexist suicidal dragon is perilous and chancy. If they cannot love
and resist at the same time, they will probably not survive. And in
order to survive they must let go. This is what mothers teach- love,
survival- that is, self determination and letting go. For each of these,
the ability feel strongly and to recognize those feelings is
central: how to feel love, how to neither discount fear nor be
overwhelmed by it, hot to enjoy feeling deeply.
I wish to raise a Black man who will not be destroyed by, nor settle for,
those corruptions called power by the white fathers who mean his destruction
as surely as they mean mine. I wish to raise a Black man who will recognize that the legitimate objects of his hostility are not women, but the particulars of
a structure that programs him to fear and despise women as well as his own
From the essay, Man Child, Sister Outsider