Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What You Watchin' Common? A Response To Common's Comments About Obama's Legacy Pt 1.

Painting courtesy of the artist.

One of the lies we(Black people) tell ourselves is that we're making progress...We're 
not making progress. We tend to equate progress with concessions. We can no
longer make that mistake...

...There is no difference between the Democratic and the Republican Party. The 
similarities are greater than the differences in those parties. What's the 
difference between Lynch' em Johnson and Goldwater? None!

But a lot of you (Black people) running around, talking about you Democrat, 
and the Democrats got you in the biggest trick going! They tell you "it ain't our fault,
it's the Dixiecrats' (another way of saying Republican) fault!" There's no such thing as 
a Dixiecrat! The only difference between George Wallace and Lyndon Johnson is one 
of them's wife got cancer. But you go for it.  You go for it because you're chumps...
You enjoy being lied to...

Excerpts from a 1968 address to the Black Panthers by H. Rap Brown (now Imam Jamil Al-Amin)





For all intended purposes, I am a huge fan of  legendary rapper Common, and I thoroughly
enjoy most of his work, especially his 2014 album "Nobody's Smiling",  which I still rock to this day. At a time when Black youth are being socialized and conditioned to render any Black person dead or alive, and over the age of 30 as old, dead and/or irrelevant, while simultaneously rocking apparel with Marilyn Monroe's 1950's, old dead image plastered on it, I found it comforting that a legendary rapper produced a relevant and remarkable album about the plight of today's urban youth, especially in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, complete with guest appearances from younger contemporary rappers. This was achieved without trying too hard to sound "updated" or appeal to only a younger audience. I found it very insightful, and something that every music fan and art enthusiast should enjoy. 

I even found myself coming to his defense somewhat after the backlash concerning comments he made in a 2015 interview with former host of  The Daily Show Jon Stewart about Blacks "getting past the history of racism and slavery" by extending their hands in love, and not fists. This and other comments raised the ire of many Blacks, which led to calling Common names such as Uncle Tom, sellout, and mostly the word used so popularly now, coon.  While wildly disagreeing with his stance concering racism in America and how to deal with it, I can neither agree with the oversimplification and the dismissive nature of those who oppose his view by simple name calling, and especially a sellout, or a coon. It goes to show how those who utter these words ad nauseam do not have any idea what they mean.

Common's stance towards racism is a typical Black Christian stance, a passive, "turn-the-other-cheek" stance, which goes over well concerning both White conservatives and liberals' interests. Neither of the two can fathom the idea of Blacks and other people of color or minorities going beyond mere marching, singing and voting, and becoming more aggressive and even militant in seeking justice from a country which has basically turned a deaf ear to the cries of the slain and marginalized.

But what worries me about Common, as well as others who uphold this approach is the lack of understanding of who really benefits from constantly turning the cheek at those who continue  to strike, maim, and kill Blacks without any impunity. It's not about Blacks wanting mere "payback" or "getback",  or "kill Whitey" but there is nothing in place in this country to deter these hateful people from committing these heinous crimes. Years of singing "all you need is love" and passing ineffective hate crime and civil rights bills have produced nothing, at least for Black people, and in particular Black men. 

While he and others like to push Dr. Martin Luther King's philosophy of non-violence, even at the expense of self-defense, it seems that it only encourages the aggressors to amplify their "terror" (YEAH I SAID IT...TERROR!) and terrorism. The reality remains that these actions stem from a ideological belief, and only the removing of these racial fallacies that encourage racists and bigots to disenfranchise and slaughter those who they deem inferior and blame for the moral decay of the nation( nevermind the statistics proving otherwise) will begin the process of healing. Love cannot conquer hate, despite what Marvin Gaye said. 

NOTE: I didn't mean to go this far into depth concerning Common's past comments on The Daily Show, however after careful consideration I felt I had to elaborate further on it, due to the emergence of a peculiar pattern that seems to land Common on shows like The Daily Show, and recently Chelsea, with host Chelsea Handler, which provides Blacks who hold similar views a platform to broadcast their "views" and "opinions". In reflecting on this I'm reminded of a statement 
by Frances Stoner Saunders in her book The Cultural Cold War which stated;

"The most effective propaganda was defined by the CIA as the kind where the subject moves to the position you desire, but for reasons he believes to be his own."
Seems like a long time ago when Mos Def (now Yasiin Bey) boldly declared on Bill Maher's show that Osama Bin Laden was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Nowadays Bill spends time talking about "radical Muslims" and "terrorists" with panels of people, and not one of them will include an
actual Muslim. Which makes Common's appearances on these shows nowadays all the more suspect. And no I'm not calling him an agent. 





Now let's get to the heart of the matter....


PART 2 COMING SOON....





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