…constantly citing that 1 in 6 women are raped without ever specifying
- 1 in 3 Native/First Nations women are raped, and 80+% of the time by non-Native (almost exclusively white) men - and the cases are almost never even investigated.
- The rates of rape of women crossing the border into the U.S….
I have struggled with my love of hip-hop, growing up poor but white, and what positions of privilege I carry.From the article I wrote:
I don’t mean to co-opt anything; I’m just trying to express myself in a way that’s creative and real to me. I also haven’t encountered any deliberate racism in the genre either. Ergo, there are no problems. QED.
No, wrong. Just because I see no problems, does not mean that problems do not exist. I am privileged enough to be able to ignore racism in society, and racism in myself if I so choose.
As a white male who can pass for straight, I am someone who has many advantages in society and culture just by the fact that society skews in my favor. This means that when it comes to matters of racism, it’s not for me to ultimately decide whether my actions are racist. Just because I think I’m a nice guy, and just because I do my best to examine anti-racism and work to become an effective “ally” doesn’t mean that I can’t unknowingly do or say something racist or exclusionary. In my everyday life, I also never intend to come off like a jerk or be misunderstood— that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen! Being defensive does nobody any favors.
Yes! This is my issue with a lot of this stuff… it’s not the music so much as the steadfast refusal to acknowledge the social context — when people go “oh, well this isn’t mean-spirited so there’s no way it could possibly offend anybody”, that is a position that can only be taken from a state of privilege, where the words or rhetoric you’re using to “lampoon” a culture could never be applied to you in the first place.
Honestly, I think the issue of privilege in rap is a larger systemic issue at this point that’s started to extend beyond the purely racial. The advent of this whole post-modern wink-and-nod rap coming from guys like Lil B and Odd Future sort of has different problems along the same lines — when people took Lil B to task over the “I’m Gay” album title, his response was that “words don’t mean anything” and argued that words shouldn’t offend anybody since people call him gay, and it doesn’t bother him, because he knows that he’s not gay. And nobody can bring up the reality of a lot of Odd Future’s questionable lyrical choices about women and sexual violence without being shouted down as “taking things too seriously”.
That’s a strange position to take, saying that semi-ironic gay slurs shouldn’t offend gay people because they don’t offend a heterosexual, or that explicit rape talk is okay as long as you’re “obviously joking” (see also: eminem) — and it’s a myopic, privileged standpoint to defend. If you’re not a member of a group, you DON’T have a right to dictate what “should” or “shouldn’t” be offensive to people in it.
That being said, however, I recognize the ugly dynamic at work when white people start coming down on young black artists like Odd Future and telling them what’s “appropriate” to rap about; it smacks of the paternalistic and isn’t really a behavior I want to exhibit myself. I do, however, think it’s important to be able to talk about this stuff without issuing bold proclamations or sweeping value judgements.
Middle-class white people have the privilege of playing with and shaping their own identities in a way that most American minorities never get to experience. Most of Middle America is going to view all members of a non-Caucasian and non-middle class group as an exchangeable mass of people with the same motivations, agendas, and passions. So when a white guy dresses up like a “pirate gangster” in a music video to pour fake 40’s on white girls in booty shorts playing “video ho”, there is undoubtedly an element of racism at work, whether intentional or not, just like when Salem writes a fake trap-rap song about gangbanging, or when Kid Rock subverts rap tropes to boldly proclaim his trailer park credibility.
I think the crux of the argument, ultimately, is that most racism is something that’s DONE, not something that is EMBODIED, and a lot of people are unwilling to recognize that they can engage in casual racism without harboring conscious prejudice or ill-will towards a minority group. A lot of times, racism is the sole product of ignorance, not enmity, and only by learning to recognize and acknowledge that will we ever get past this weird “separate but equal” dynamic that is emerging in the rapidly expanding multi-cultural world of hip hop.
A mountain could be a symbol of the book. The mountain could represent the mountains.
great stuff! but instead of chanting they shouldve all overwhelmed the police and brutally murdered scott walker on camera for all to see then overthrew their capitalists overlords and reclaimed the means of production
dude who writes for family guy is a piece of shit just like every single fan of the show. who knew????