Posted by: forquilombo | April 20, 2011

While the Rest of the World Fights For Freedom…

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”-Martin Luther King, Jr.

For many in the so-called “black community” there is a strong longing to have a “culture” in which to relate to. In my opinion, individuals from all “racial” and “cultural” backgrounds offer a unique opportunity for those of different ethnicities to learn from and work with each other, in a perfect world. Being a so-called “African-American” myself, I can relate to the seemingly urgent need to find a place or group in which to belong to. I grew up not knowing who my ancestors were, what customs and traditions they shared or even where they were from. I don’t necessarily like the term “African-American” for the simple fact that because I am a descendant of a people who were enslaved I can’t go to Africa and find my lineage, tribe, clan, etc. I was born in North America so I consider myself an American.

In an effort to identify something tangible with which to show each other and the world in general just how collective we as “African-Americans” are, many of today’s youth have embraced “Hip-Hop” as a culture. I have a serious problem with this for the simple fact that the dominant social, moral, and cultural “values” among many in the so-called “Hip-Hop Generation/culture” include the belief and systemic practice in and of the following: aversion to work, avoiding responsibility for one’s own actions, insatiable appetite for violence (especially gang affiliated), contentment with little to no education, sexual promiscuity, short-term thinking, drunkenness, and an anti-entrepreneurial spirit, the reckless pursuit of excitement, a materialistic “bling-bling” narcissism/boastfully dramatized sense of self, little self-control, ridiculing the pursuit of education and the speaking of correct English, universal acceptance of alcohol and substance abuse, promiscuity, high STD/HIV/AIDS rates, unrivaled incarceration rates, reckless spending habits instead of saving and investing money wisely, poor eating habits, the glorification of black on black on brown violence, a total disregard for authority, and the universal disrespect for women (especially of color).

Oddly and sadly enough it is the negative aspects of Urban African-Americans that seem to be widely accepted, thus portrayed by mass media outlets, as realistic. Therefore, in the pursuit of capitalistic gains, our children are targeted, sought after, and exploited. Although this negative mindset is not widely accepted by the whole of the so-called “black community,” the few “bad apples,” goons, and shot-callers have long since spoiled it for those of us whom do not believe the hype, so to speak.

As far as the video above is concerned, it is a vivid demonstration of the ramifications of accepting and embracing the negative aspects of the so-called Hip-Hop culture. In my opinion, the continued allowance of these types of mindsets and depictions being used as a direct representation of the so-called black community as a whole is as ignorant a move as those that believe this self-destructive lifestyle is anything but an ideology of weak individuals that know not of the vast contributions made by those that have died and lived through the extreme subjugation of the peculiar institution, Jim Crow laws, the Black Codes of the South, racial segregation, etc.

Ignorance is indeed big business these days as far as Hip-Hop and RAP is concerned. From corporate America to the local street vendor at the swap meet, Hip-Hip music, mannerisms, style of dress, and performers are all commonly utilized to sell a product. This is not uncommon as rock and roll, jazz, country, and folk music were all used by past generations for similar gains and agendas. The difference is that these latter forms of “self-expression” were never incorporated or readily accepted as a bona fide culture or the norm of an entire race or class of Americans like this generation of so-called “African-American” youth.

To add more fuel to the fire already raging out of control, we have educators advocating the teaching “Ebonics” to students. There are intuitions of higher learning where the curriculum includes subjects designed to explain the life and times of certain successful rap artists in the same regard as Booker T. Washington, Frederic Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., or any other respectful historic African-American pioneer that stood for positive change for ALL people (regardless of color, sex, age, religious preference, educational background, etc.). And there are classes where rappers are “teaching” subjects in some institutions of higher learning. In my opinion this is a travesty of the American Educational System and of no perceivable, constructive value as far as the imminent Global Revolution is concerned.

If we continue embracing ignorance and ignoring how this ignorance will honestly affect future generations of young Americans, it will only ensure that this once “Great Nation” will not enter into the next millennia as a Global Leader. We won’t stand a chance if the acknowledgement and unanimous acceptance of this cancer in the so-called Hip-Hop “culture” continues to spread, untreated, is continually embraced and practiced by the rest of America’s youth, not just the ones stuck in the urban communities and ghettos. Or is it already too late?

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