Monday, October 13, 2008

Byron Hurt Presents Barack & Curtis

TwitThis




"We are Not Allowed to be Seen as People Who have Baggy Jeans
and a Hugo Boss Suit in the Same Closet"
-Michaela Angela Davis

It is interesting to see how the film turned about based on the raw footage
that was available on youtube last week.

I found Ras Baraka's comments to be show a nuanced understanding
of Black masculinity and the general difference between how it
is lived and how it is PRESENTED to the world how it is lived.

Young Birkhold holds it down with the George Bush/50 Cent
analysis. When he said that that Hip Hop does the dirty work of, say
it with me now,
White Supremacist Patriarchal Capitalism, I shuddered.

There is a distinction between Spike Lee and calling hip hop modern
day minstrelsy and saying that 50 Cent and Bush are similar and that
50 is doing the work of
White Supremacist Patriarchal Capitalism.

That went to the bone gristle.

But then again, remember my post earlier this year where a white
man commented about how Hip Hop teaches teens to be afraid
of Black men. He wrote,

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

The great thing about this doc is that, in many ways it is an nice
counterpoint to CNN's Black in America.

On a personal note, every since I watched Barack and Curtis, I have kept
thinking to myself,
where is our narrative, where is the conversation
about our sexuality?
Then it hit me. I think we are going to have to
make it ourselves.

Tracey has made a film about street harassment, Black Woman Walking,
and there is also a documentary on street harassment titled
Hey Shorty (made by young women at Girls for Gender Equity).
There is also the hollaback.nyc website. But, to my knowledge,
there hasn't been anything done on Black Female Sexuality.

What is interesting about Tracey's film is the range of responses
that it triggers. In the last month or so I have noticed some
interesting conversations about it at The CW Experience ,
All Hip Hop.com and What About Our Daughters and Essence.

On the
strength of the fact that we are both writers, and that she is
a filmmaker,
I think it is time for a short doc on Black Female
Sexuality. I am thinking we can look at the public representation of
Black female sexuality perhaps we can do one on Michelle Obama
and Karrine Steffans.


Byron has inspired me.

24 comments:

BP said...

The connection between 50 cent and white supremacist capitalist patriarchy was the comment that struck a chord with me. I wish the documentary was longer and I think we need to extend the dialogue to other images of black masculinity.

I agree with you, M!! I think we need to work on a documentary that discusses black female sexuality. I think in some ways I struggle with comparing two black females (or males) as it seems like a too simplistic comparison but I also see the flip side of why the need to do so..Let's wrap.

BianyP

M.Dot. said...

Allo Love.

Yeah Man. Thats all I kept thinking about.

Tracey is going to KILL me when she see's this post, but that is what was on my heart on the moment, feel me?

We can rap, for certain. In fact...I think im about to call you.

Triple B said...

Mya Baker did a documentary about black female sexuality a few years ago (2004?) It's titled "Silence: In Search of Black Female Sexuality in America." Of course this topic runs deep, but I think it was good start and long overdue, even at that time.

M.Dot. said...

Hey Tripe B...Thank you

Here is a link to excerpt Mya's film.

http://www.nationalfilmnetwork.com/store/
ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=89&VDS=1

WHY ISN'T THIS ON YOUTUBE...Arg reminds me
of when shit I wanna read is on JSTOR and
my bootleg password be acting up.

Courtney said...

M... I think this is exactly what you are supposed to be doing. All of it ties to the majority of posts you present. I'ma email you.

administrator said...

M.Dot. -
I get google alerts for "street harassment" and was directed to this blog post today. I wrote my master's thesis last year on street harassment and now I'm in the midst of researching for a book on the topic. I'd never heard of "Black Woman Walking" before I clicked on the link from your site - so thanks.

I'm currently conducting an informal, anonymous online survey about stranger interactions in public (to collect people's views, experiences, stories). https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=2zNzxBfuyVVLMKcoXoEtjQ_3d_3d If it'd be of interest to you & your blog readers, please feel free to take it and share it widely. I'm trying to collect a range of experiences. Men can take it as well.

Thanks, Holly Kearl

M.Dot. said...

Holly this sounds fresh.

Can you send me a survey monkey button.

I will see if I can fit your survey into a post on street harassment.

You may want to reach out to some of the other bloggers who have written about street harassment.

the prisoner's wife said...

yes, there needs to be an exploration of black female sexuality.

this one seems pretty interesting
http://www.soulsofblackgirls.com

the prisoner's wife said...

i finally watched the documentary.

wow.

yeah, Birkhold killed it, but Ras Baraka nearly brought a tear to my eye. it's just that i have so much in my head. i feel like to some extent, this notion of pop culture Black masculinity, the part celebrated by the mainstream, the 50s, the Jay-zs, the Shottas, played a VERY large role in the incarceration of my dude. it's not even Black American masculinity...it's across the diaspora. our men are being fed this lie that you must ALWAYS be hard & flex to prove you're not a punk...when sometimes the true measure of strength is being able to show restraint.

*too many thoughts in my head* i wish this were longer.

Model Minority said...

played a VERY large role in the incarceration of my dude
======

Real Spit. Me thinks its time that I interview you. I was in the car w/ Filthy last night, and we had an entire conversation about the HOMOEROTICISM OF "Punks Jump Up to Get Beatdown"...I mean Really...

The fact that you HAVE a baby boo, and a husbear that is lock d, ALONG with the tools to analyze what they are up against, gives you in my opinion, a unique perspective on all this ish...Imma holler at chu w/in the next week re-next steps.

the prisoner's wife said...

sounds like a plan. just holla.

the prisoner's wife said...

and LOL@that song...i distinctly remember that being one of the songs i played constantly in my brick walkman in like 7th grade.

brownstocking said...

i can't wait for the doc! i study black women and media representation, and i'm just now getting interested in representation in film, so i will be waiting with baited breath!

Model Minority said...

Arrg. I just posted a response that got deleted. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRLLLWWWLLL.

Krisna Best said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krisna Best said...

M Dot.

Hey, we've been thinking about this film a lot too, but we're coming from a bit different angle. Let us know how this strikes you.

http://democracyandhiphop.blogspot.com/2008/10/hate-it-or-love-it-underdog-is-on-top.html

Also, I feel you on the point about "Where's our narrative?" This is essential to our point as well.

Model Minority said...

Krisna,

I read your piece and we differ in that I think that NWA provided social commentary, 50 is simply accumulating Capital.

That being said, 50, is more interested in accumulating CAPITAL than he is with providing social commentary.

The sooner we realize this, the better off we will be.

Many of us have this romantisized view of Hip Hop,I did, but I don't any longer.

Krisna Best said...

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it. You bring up some important questions.

While I agree that there is a difference between the two, I think the phrase "social commentary" tends to get overused as a way to falsely polarize "conscious" and "unconscious" hip-hop (not saying that you are trying to do this). For us there is no such difference. Everything is social commentary. I just don't think it helps us to understand the basis for these artists by making these kinds of comparisons.

N.W.A was the product of a different historical development than 50, no doubt. But they are both similar in the sense that they have a basis in reality. 50 does not represent a vacuum in hip-hop. His success isn't inflated by "the industry", but is hinged on the contradictions in material life between barbarism and freedom. 50 is a legitimate expression of the society that we live in that is torn between these extremes and if he wasn't, he would lose all relevance and be dispensed with.

Second, as far as "accumulating capital", N.W.A was just as interested in material success as 50 is today. And they were as emphatically violent and misogynistic. But 50 grew out of post-gangsta rap, post-coastal, bling-bling era of hip-hop. Bling was the outgrowth of gangsta rap that couldn't reconcile itself between its working class hood themes and its crass drive for material gain. Bling as such was a negation of gangsta rap.

50 was an inheritor of this new form, and much of his commercial success is rooted within this vein. But 50's continued relevance has a lot to do with his apparent return to gangsta rap. It isn't the same as N.W.A. in terms of form (Chevys, khakis, Raiders regalia, jheri curls, etc), but the substance of the violence, anger, and rebellion is consistent. And for us, that is indicative of a working class that is struggling to break free of capitalism.

Just some thoughts. I haven't completely worked this out, but the one thing I'm sure about is that 50 is hip-hop, through and through.

Model Minority said...

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

I call it social commentary because, that is the extent to which I see it as being political.
Many people think that it is revolutionary. Its not, in my opinion. Its social commentary, all of it. I am not doing and NWA vs Common ish. All of it.

Re 50 and money. Of course NWA wanted to MAKE money, but there was no idea how much money there was to be made. Black radio/College radio was still the only vehicle that would fuck with the music. NWA had no idea WHAT could be done dollar wise.
I stand by the notion that there was a pureness to their music because of that.

Whereas 50 has seen Russel, Puff, Dre and Em, a standard has been set. The man had an affair with Kim Osorio/Editor of the Source, in furtherance of his career. Why not, it could only help his career, as it pertained to appearing in The Source, or he could use her to stir beef.

To not take into consideration the way capitalism transformed Rap is dangerous.
Thats like not taking into consideration
how Crack transformed Oakland, Philly, Detroit....

We all live with a tension between HOW much we want to root our art in art and HOW THAT MAY AFFECT OUR CAKE and to assume anything different is asinine. You do it, I do it, 50 does it.

That being said yeah 50 certainly says something about society, but let me ask you this,
If he rapped about Killing White Women, would
anyone buy his albums?
Given the history of Black Men being lynched for LOOKING like they were thinking about a White woman sexually, what does it mean for him to get so much cake off of talk about killing Black men?

Furthermore, your assessment that he belongs, is a apart of, and an expression of society is completely accurate.

My question, again, IS WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT US AS A SOCIETY?

Do blog search for my piece on Mobb Deep and Patriarchy and "If You Want to Change Society Close Your Legs" and "Hip Hop Ain't Political" to get sense of my background and my critique of rap.

Its been good chatting with you.
If you respond, I am thinking about forumalting this exchange into an interview.

Its rare that I come across Hip Hop meet someone who loves it as much as I do, and is willing to have a critique or for that matter has the capacity and willingness to go there with mine.

Krisna Best said...

You make several good points here.

First is your clarification of the economic divergence between N.W.A and 50. Noted, and well said.

Secondly, you grounded "social commentary" for me. I still stand by my point that all of hip-hop is social commentary, so it isn't a phrase that does us much good. BUT, when you definitively state that N.W.A wasn't "revolutionary" and you do not fall into the "conscious hip-hop" traps that polarize hip-hop, I couldn't agree with you more.

I mean, revolutionary is relative, right? N.W.A was revolutionary to the extent they were on the forefront of creating a form of hip-hop that had not been done. But in terms of the content being of a coherent political character, you're right. Ain't no way.

And this is why Jeff Chang's point that hip-hop or any art can't convey coherent politics is paramount. Art conveys politics, yes. But not in any logical way that is free from the contradictions of our society. This is not art's job, which leads me to my next point.

We are in VIOLENT agreement about the "influence" of capitalism on hip-hop. David Drake, a hip-hop writer, once wrote, "If capitalism killed hip-hop, it was an abortion." It took me a minute to get that, but his point is that hip-hop has grown out of the womb of capitalism; that it was never something external to it. With this said, hip-hop must never be considered apart from its social and historical context.

But we have to be equally careful about the conclusions we draw from this. Hip-hop can't be capitalist; this kind of formulation I don't think is even grammatically correct, let alone theoretically (this is not a shot at you, btw, but to the traditional argument). The only thing that can be capitalist is a society whose mode of production is based on value production. This obviously implicates the WHOLE of society. But hip-hop's historical and continuing "value" (I mean value in the philosophical sense here) is that it reflects the working class's TENSION between capitalism as a legitimate form of society and its daily struggle against it.

The embrace of capitalism we see manifesting most superficially in the drive for commodities and representations of wealth (status cars, bling, etc.), but there is also contained within all this apparent "embrace" a negation of the conditions of such a society. This is the critical point where bling-bling as an independent form broke away from its gangsta rap beginnings. It was a declamation of the poverty element, the street thug aspect. It said that this wealth shouldn't be the privilege of the few, and it did this by decisively breaking with the embrace of the working class ethos that composed gangsta rap.

Before you say it, I agree that this is not enough. We must go further. But the point is that popular hip-hop makes us acknowledge the working class content of its philosophy. How many cats you know these days that wanna start they own businesses? A gang of em right? Me too. This is emblematic of a society that will no longer accept the conditions of capitalism as their parents did. Our parents and grandparents who slaved their asses off day-in and day-out in the factories, fields, offices, and mines were, in the final analysis, no freer and no happier because of it. We saw it grind them down to bits and many of them were fired in order to avoid paying them a pension. This doesn't mean they labored in vain. The generation before us produced some of the most marvelous manifestations of working class and people of color revolt that we have ever seen in the world. But the point is that our generation has broken in many ways with the character and conditions of work today. On the surface, this desire to create independent businesses appears as merely replicating the capital relation, except that we are on the advantageous side of the relationship. But underneath is an instinct that objects tooth and nail to the conditions of work which is a LITERALLY dehumanizing process that robs us of our creative potentialities, it is a partial rupture with the legitimacy of capitalism. So the form with which this very revolutionary content gets expressed is in a underdeveloped and uneven way, but this will necessarily change when our generation begins to move en masse and innovate new types of broad political organization.

So as for what this says about our society is the critical question, M. What it says is that as long as we live under such extreme antagonisms, such violent contradictions, the resistance it produces to it will necessarily reflect this contradiction. BUT, this isn't the full conclusion. What the hip-hop generation lacks is mass political forms to express the revolutionary TENDENCY within hip-hop. But we will create those forms as sure as the Civil Rights and Black Power generations, as the Garvey generation and CIO generation created theirs. These movements had their contradictions as well, but they were able to surmount some of those by creating independent spheres of power. We have yet to do this.

Your example of the white woman reminds me a lot of the whole "black on black crime" thing. This is where I start to disagree with you. There's a white supremacist tinge to the black-on-black-crime concept because it pathologizes, if you will, black behavior. Black folks commit crime not because of a pathology or because of false consciousness, but because of much larger structural circumstances and is related to my point about this generation breaking with the conditions of work. They see the old arrangement as providing no road out of the circumstances of our society, not because they believe in their inferiority or whatever the conclusions of this bogus psychoanalysis are. This takes me back to LBoogie's piece on Barack & Curtis. No one is gonna say that Barack Obama is pathological when he continues to rain carpet bombs on people in Afghanistan who are also people of color. They'll either see it as "justice" or, as we see it, as an inherent part of the capitalist drive for world hegemony. The film is presenting this as something to aspire to!

So to make the comparison that 50 rapping about killing white women is somehow the same as 50 killing "niggaz" conflates the problem by pathologizing his actions and making it racial when it isn't. 50's relenteless murder sprees is grounded in the same rage as that of N.W.A. This is the red thread between them.

But that's also where this Birkhold dude is killing me. I wanna reach into the monitor and jack his intellectual ass up. Comparing black men in the street to slave masters is disgusting. Black folks in the street are surviving the only way they can, not systemtically exploiting the labor-power of a group of people for profit. And even if one makes the case that drug dealers and pimps are exploiting folks for profit, this in no way compares to the millenial process by which modern industrial society was built (slavery). Street crime is a condition forced on to people who are not given an alternative. This is not to apologize for it (or for the exploitation of women), but to explain it and to make sense of the layered complexity of the working class that does unfortunately feed off of itself.

Again, we need new forms to express this burgeoning, but contradicted revolutionary angst. The Black Panther Party, let's not forget, who originated some of the most militant forms of community organization was made up of the very thugs who we now unfortunately label "minstrels".

This Byron Hurt film is in every way a perfect indication of the backwardness of the Left today. Under the guise of "progressivism", of "social commentary", of "militancy", some of the most racist, knee-jerk politics surfaces. And the reason this is is because they have lost the subjectivity to working people, to people of color. They can't see in their activity, in their self-activity, a different world, even though it is there. They are objects by which the supposed subjectivity of the Left tramples over it and tells it how unconscious and "white supremacist patriarchal capitalist" it is. And in this case they do it by throwing up Barack Obama as some model all people of color should aspire to.

To be or not to be the model minority, right? I think the name of your blog is so dope because it takes up the urgency of this question. The model minority is the real white supremacist patriarchal capitalism's example of what other people of color should aspire to. Docile, hard-working, dilligent, and upwardly mobile. But this is a bullshit approximation of Asian-Americans. Asian-Americans have contributed in every possible way to the militancy, determination, and revolutionary character of the working class. Workers in South Korea are smashing the model minority myth through their self-activity in the form of the labor unrest that has seized that country. Just like it wouldn't make sense to pathologize this in Asian-Americans, we shouldn't do it to black youth or black men (again, this ain't aimed at you).

I'm sorry for my long-winded ass reply. And I still didn't get to your essential point about women's narrative, which is CRUCIAL. Perhaps your interview idea will give us the space to tackle this question. All in all, I think the work your doing on the blog is critical. We don't agree with everything, its all good, you don't agree with everything we say either. But as you alluded to, we share a common appreciation for the dynamism of hip-hop and the hip-hop generation that too many if not all hip-hop intellectuals and conservatives and so-called Leftists will never get. I will continue to read.

Peace and much, much respect.

Krisna

Model Minority said...

It took me a minute to get that, but his point is that hip-hop has grown out of the womb of capitalism; that it was never something external to it. With this said, hip-hop must never be considered apart from its social and historical context.
===========
Yes and no.
Yes to the extent that Black labor historically has allways been exploited.

No. Because THERE WAS NO MONEY IN HIP HOP in the begining. It was Low Income Music, By Low INcome Kids, For Low in come kids.

If you call hip hop revolutionary, define revolutionary. Just saying that it is "relative" is double dutching around the elephant, giraffe and the zebra in the room.

But hip-hop's historical and continuing "value" (I mean value in the philosophical sense here) is that it reflects the working class's TENSION between capitalism as a legitimate form of society and its daily struggle against it.
============
Where is the working class tension dominant paradigm within hip hop?
K, arn't you being light weight nostalgic?
What is working class about 50 who is arguably one of the richest Black men in the country?

I disagree w/ regard to Bling Bling. The fact that it jumped the shark is indicative of how clever it is, and how many folks are interested
in "having" vs. "being". There is nothing different between bling bling and diamonds are a girls best friend.

I almost told you you could kiss my b.lck ass when I read the blow statement:
This is where I start to disagree with you. There's a white supremacist tinge to the black-on-black-crime concept because it pathologizes, if you will, black behavior.
=========
People who pathologize Black people hold a special place right up there with the folks responsible for the crack epidemic.

If I believed what you said I would hate myself, where I come from and my family.
I know that poverty is the Seed. I know that we aren't born to commit crime.

So to make the comparison that 50 rapping about killing white women is somehow the same as 50 killing "niggaz" conflates the problem by pathologizing his actions and making it racial when it isn't
====================
You see love, both Birkhold and I believe that Black men Killing Black men is racist.
Walk with me now. How can it NOT be racial when they only kill each other, BUT the people responsible for the oppressive SYSTEM in which they find themselves in ARE NOT BLACK MEN. YET they are not killing them.

By no means am I advocating it. But, they kill No judges, No popo, no CO's, no Po's, No legislators, none of the people are responsible for upholding a system that says they are worth more (mortgages being paid) locked up, than they are on at home/on the street.

Thank you for honing in on that, because taking that intellectual leap allows us to cook with that HOT fish grease.

We don't do the thug/virtuous negro dichotomy.
We believe that VICTIMS CAN BE PERPETRATORS.
We also think that EVERY PERSON HAS AGENCY.

Of course former Pimps and Dboys and prostitutes
can join the panthers/nation. We all have agency.

I try not to dwell in binary thinking mode,
and this notions is indicative of that.
In fact, my first post when I return is going to be on how we need to think about how Black people (are you black? btw, shit on the internet you never know) can be BOTH VICTIMS AND PERPETRATORS.

Why is it, in your opinion, white supremest- esque for me to question WHY RAPPERS TALKING ABOUT KILLING BLACK MEN IS ACCEPTABLE but THEM TALKING ABOUT KILLING white women isn't.
Here is the rub love.

People buy what makes them feel comfortable.
For me that is brunch, pedicures and tight dresses.
For others is 50 mix tapes, Rims and Ipods.
For others its expensive Liberal art educations,
Soho Condo's and s'classes.

If 50 is a capitalist, he knows that it isn't in his best interest to rap about killing White women, White teens and arguably, White people, wouldn't go for that. The murder of black men is acceptable, arguably in the same what that the murder of Iraqi's is acceptable. So he gets a pass.

White Supremest, Patriarchal Cap?
Why ISN'T hip hop doing the work of this WSPC?
We have agreed that is patriarchal.
We have agreed that is Cap.
Perhaps, after seeing my above statement on Victims and perpetrators, we can come to agree on the white supremest aspect.

Street crime is a condition forced on to people who are not given an alternative. This is not to apologize for it (or for the exploitation of women), but to explain it and to make sense of the layered complexity of the working class that does unfortunately feed off of itself.
=================
Based on the depth of the exchange we are having, I am going to go ahead and presume that you have read Sartre. Krisna, the above statement is a sack of shit.
Everyone has agency.
Every time my dad decided to stop smoking crack or shit, START SMOKING IT, he chose to. Does that mean there weren't LARGER forces at work, a system of oppression yes. BUT HE HAD AGENCY and has it every day. So do you. So do I.

I feel you on the "opportunistic" left, but neither Birkhold or Byron fall into those categories. Check out their work. By doing so you will see that the things that you hold dear, they hold dear as well. Dignity for workers, dignity for Negros, dignity for women, dignity for humans.

Yes,
I will be formulating this exchange into a post.

All in all, I think the work your doing on the blog is critical.
=========
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
If you are every in NYC, holler.

Krisna Best said...

Wow.

A lot going on. A lot to talk about. I will try to get to what I can, but I shall leave you with the last word on this one.

It is obvious that 50 himself is not working class. Although, when you want to get down to it, a person's class (in my humble opinion) is about their relationship to production. 50 is still beholden to those cutting his checks. He's got lots a dough, no doubt, but he's at the "kiddy table when it comes to the real captains of industry".

The difference I'm making is that 50's music reflects a new working class ethos, degraded though it is, and a valid one for people who have have lost hope (if they ever had it) in a society whose only interest is to expand its profit margins.

50 is an artist, one of the most brilliant of our times. Hip-hop is an art and one of the most universal forms of aesthetic expression such as we have ever seen. Hip-hop does not exist without ordinary people giving it content, giving it a basis, giving its M.O. And if 50 didn't in some way indicate the thoughts, values, attitudes, of these ordinary folks (contradictions and all), he wouldn't exist. He couldn't. He doesn't represent the totality of the working class, but an important tension.

Your critique of 50 Cent seems to fall victim to this same binary thinking. You're taking the form of the music and accepting purely on those terms. For us at D&HHP, it is about finding in popular culture and music the contradictions of social life, with an emphasis on the working class CONTENT. "Low income" people still listen to 50, and if he did not speak to their sentiments, he would have no listeners at all.

But he also appeals to folks, just like N.W.A did, that aren't from the street. This is where I think LBoogie's point that 50 is a sort psychological release for everyday folks who are degraded by capitalism as a labor process. These folks think about shooting their boss, shooting the person who cuts them off, shooting random people, even though they could never do it. This anger doesn't find creative outlet, it usually manifests in very ugly ways. But again, I fall on my point about working class people finding a way to channel this rage into effective organizational forms, the only we will ever overcome the present society.

I don't think your question is white supremacist, what I think is the way it is formulated assumes that there is a racial character to 50 Cent talking about killing people. It is racial to the extent that black folks are segregated and so when crime occurs, it occurs to other black people. But the idea that black people killing other black people is racially motivated is racial in itself. Is it white supremacist? I don't think YOU are, but I think its CONCLUSIONS definitely are.

When working class people, lets say white working class people, kill other white folks, no one pathologizes that, but it happens more often than white folks killing other working class black folks. Your point about agency is important, but agency it and of itself can mean many different things. The agency to which you refer can (note, can) result in a conservative opportunism. That is precisely what REAL white supremacist forces employ to explain higher incarceration rates of people of color.

Agency is not existential. It is not an individual process (sorry Sartre). People change when they act as a class. It is in times of mass movement where people get a sense of their real individual value. But this process will not happen in reverse.

I can't say Birkhold reflects my perspective at all. What Birkhold is doing here is very racist, in my opinion, because it equates the street thug with slave masters. That is not only lazy as hell in its political analysis, but its conclusion can only mean that poor black people are a backwards force that needs saving. Where's the agency there?

And I think if you paid particular attention to my point about mass organization, about the labor unrest in South Korea, about the BPP, you'll see that agency is an essential part of our analysis. The difference is that we don't think that change happens by the average Joe picking up "Being and Nothingness" and finding liberation through abstract exercise.

I'm glad we has this exchange. It certainly brought out a lot more of the differences in our perspectives. And just to be clear, I'm not engaging with you to prove you wrong or to prove the supposed white supremacist character of your arguments. Not at all. I just think this is an important debate that has meaning for our generation, but unless we discuss and better understand the meaning, it can have serious consequences for our collective activity.

I'm not in NYC, unfortunately. We are down here in the dirty, dirty NOLA. As for myself, you could say I'm "white" and that's how official society considers me, but I don't personally identify with it. I don't individualize this to say that all white folks have to do is renounce their whiteness and white supremacy goes away, but for me, not identifying as white compels me to struggle against white supremacy. I identify as hip-hop, I identify as working class, but this means that identification must translate into action. So if all I did was blog, this would not have much relevance.

Again, glad to have this with you.

Krisna Best said...

By the way, I through you a bone on D&HHP. Check it out.

Model Minority said...

What up KB,

Moi, a bone, your too kind.

50 is still beholden to those cutting his checks. He's got lots a dough, no doubt, but he's at the "kiddy table when it comes to the real captains of industry".
=======
He has more than those that come from where he comes from.
He has more most of those who buy his albums.
That he isn't Bill Gates is irrelevant.
He has been pumped with bullets and is worth arguably 10's of millions. Don't go changing the scope on me KB. That negro ain't been working class in since Get Rich.

It is racial to the extent that black folks are segregated and so when crime occurs, it occurs to other black people. But the idea that black people killing other black people is racially motivated is racial in itself.
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Yes and no. Yes if you are segregated, and you are more prone to do things near home, and you live near black people, I see that logic.
HOWEVER, CATS DON'T KILL the people that represent the system that oppresses them. They kill the men that look like them.
You are apologizing for them KB, and that doesn't help them OR US.


Agency is not existential. It is not an individual process (sorry Sartre). People change when they act as a class.
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People change everyday as individuals AND as groups. Stop apologizing for Pimps, Hustlers and D'Boys.

People can change. It happens every day.
The hope of transformation is sometime all that many of us have.


I can't say Birkhold reflects my perspective at all. What Birkhold is doing here is very racist, in my opinion, because it equates the street thug with slave masters. That is not only lazy as hell in its political analysis, but its conclusion can only mean that poor black people are a backwards force that needs saving. Where's the agency there?
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When I said "we", I meant Birkhold and I. My bad for not being clear.

YOU made me go look at the movie again so that I could check his quote. (BOY do I love evidence.)

Birkhold:
"Black Gangster Masculinity does the work of WSPC. It requires that you are willing to commit B on B murder, control Black female bodies, all in the name of getting paid.The Black Gangster Masculine Figure employs the same logic as the people who started the slave trade".

KB, what is racist about this statement?
And for that matter, what is untrue about it?

There's a white supremacist tinge to the black-on-black-crime concept because it pathologizes, if you will, black behavior. Black folks commit crime not because of a pathology or because of false consciousness, but because of much larger structural circumstances
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Aren't you pathologizing them into permanent victimhood? They have agency. They can choose.

We choose to:
Sell Crack
Blog
Smoke Trees
Have Babies
Join the Army
This does not MEAN THAT THESE CHOICES DON'T happen with in a OPPRESSIVE SYSTEM. Yet WE STILL CHOOSE.

I mean really.
Are you a Dope Dealer Apologist?
Let me ask you this? Do you think that D-boys/Pimps have agency?
Why is it so hard to see that they are BOTH fucked in the system (preschool to prison pipeline) and that by selling crack/pimping they fucking up hella hoods?

One of my "favorite Dboys" would call that two-fer.

The difference is that we don't think that change happens by the average Joe picking up "Being and Nothingness" and finding liberation through abstract exercise.
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Is there some anti intellectual shit lurking in that comment? Come on man. That ain't gonna get us no where.

(I read Sartre for the first time this August. I WAS OPEN homie. I am tying it in with Black feminism in an essay. FUN FUN FUN/NOT).

So you are white? Hmmmp. What do you think of the notion of Hip Hop socializing white men to fear Black men?

So, your in NO. I got a patna out there. Come to think of it, I ain't talk to her ass in Oct. Hmmp.

Thank you for putting South Korea on my radar. I had no idea.

Conversations like these are why I closed down the blog. :)

Didn't Short have an album titled "Can't Stay Away". Yeah, well, thats me when it comes to Thugs, Feminists and Hip Hop:/

Oh the dialogue has been a shot in the arm. For certain. I look forward to your response and your evidence:) Happy Halloween. Oh that Ish is prooly large in N.O...hunh?

On that note, be safe in them streets tonight love.

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