Kendrink Lamar has earned the respect of a few politicians and one happens to be the Leader of the Free World, President Barack Obama. Being allowed to pay a visit to oval office, having our Commander and Chief say give a nod to your lyricism and being given a key to Compton demonstrates the magnitude of Lamar’s career. However, not long ago Common was being portrayed as a thug, 2 Live Crew was fighting for their rights to say what they please, regardless of how nasty it was, and Eazy E was having poached salmon and roast beef with George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole. So what’s the deal with hip hop and politics. In short, they either hate it or they love it.
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On Monday during a discussion at Iowa Brown&Black Forum, a student asked Hillary Clinton to explain her white privilege. Clinton mentioned how fortunate she was to go to a great college, a wonderful neighborhood, and a great public high school. However, she did not come into contact with the benefits of wealth and privilege until she was 11.
No one was satisfied with her answer. Throughout this entire election season, Clinton has tiptoed around the issues of race while still trying say that she is in solidarity with people of color. Basically, she flip-flops. One moment she’s agreeing on an issue, and then saying something completely different. Of course she’s better than Trump, but by how much?
The reason why Clinton can’t fully answer a question about white privilege is the same reason that your coworker doesn’t understand why she can’t touch your hair while calling it nappy. Clinton doesn’t get it.
This time around “it” is what it means to be always unwanted by a society that was founded and controlled by old white men. She can smile and try to answer the questions. She can call herself your aubela. She can wave the Kwanzaa flag. No matter how hard she tries, she’s’ not fooling anyone. It’s all for election votes.
This game that she’s playing is dangerous. Now more than ever we need a presidential candidate that understands the struggles of people of color. False friends only impend progress. Don’t be fooled by Clinton’s smile because she’s looking right past you and staring at the White House.
Here are the facts. Kanye West released “Facts” on New Year’s Eve. The surprise track mainly discusses his past relationship with Nike, with many shots fired at the multi-billion dollar corporation, and current relationship with Adidas. West collaborated with Nike to create Nike Air Yeezy and Nike Air Yeezy 2. However, the relationship between artist and corporation dissolved badly and publicly with West blaming Nike for their lack of royalties and creative constraints. West decided that Adidas was a better home and signed for reportedly $10 million, more royalties and more creative freedom.
Here are the opinions. The song spoofed Future and Drake’s single “Jumpman.” Additionally, the jabs taken at Nike are applauded by some who see the expensive shoes as another disrupter in the black community. Micheal Jordan’s son, Marcus Jordan, responded to the song with a tweet stating “Yeezy just jumped over @Jumpman23 ??” LOL I needed a good laugh to start my #2016.” Lebron James, who recently signed a lifetime contract for $600 million, kept it professional when questioned about the song and firmly stood by his brand but also didn’t distant himself from West. Nick Young, also known as Swaggy P, has stood alongside West and raved about the song in an interview with Billboard.
While, I’m not rushing to congratulate West for going against a corporation, since he is still signed to another corporation that retails his sneakers at $200, the track was bold and did ruffle feathers. Will it get Nike worried? Probably not. Will it get people excited about Swish, his upcoming album. Probably.
2016 is looking like Yeezy’s year. On New Year’s, he released “Facts” discussed his dissolved relationship with Nike and current relationship with Adidas with a few disses at Nike. Not wanting to lose his momentum, West released “Real Friends/No More Parties In LA” that featured Kendrink Lamar and Ty Dolla $igns on January 8th. The single was well received and West went on to announce that his seventh solo album Swish would be released on February 11th. Earlier, Kim Kardashian tweeted that new music will be released every friday so the wait for West’s new album will not be quiet.
Bill Cosby will not face criminal charges for two of his alleged rapes. This still does not mean he is innocent and it definitely does not mean that he needs the support of the Black community. Since Bill Cosby was arrested people left and right have questioned whether or not he committed the crimes, the morality of the victims, and furthermore blamed everything on the fact that Bill Cosby was a successful Black man.
For decades, Bill Cosby was a pillar in the Black community. He had a statue in Disney World, several honorary degrees, and always had commentary on what the Black community was doing wrong. Now, all of that is gone and finally his crimes against women are recognized.
Over 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Several comedians have come forward and said that they’ve always known that Bill Cosby was a rapist. However, there are still individuals in the industry who would rather deny the validity of the victims’ stories so that can redeem Cosby by hearing his side of the story.
They believe that this is a part of a conspiracy to bring down a strong Black man. He is not the man that we need to rally behind. There are other Black men and women who are victims of true crimes that the media is too quick to forget. Trying to explain away Bill Cosby’s crimes does nothing for the Black community. Not everyone is saint. Every community has its monsters masquerading as saviors. Bill Cosby needs to face punishment for his crimes without being protected by the Black community.
Queen B has done it again. However, this time I’m not too sure what her master plan is. Just in case, you’ve been living under a rock or haven’t gotten your weekly Beyhive newsletter, Beyoncé plans on writing and possibly starring in a film about Saartjie Baartman.
Saartjie Baartman was a South African woman who during the 18th and 19th century was sexually abused. In addition to this sexual violence, Baartmen was displayed in human zoos. After her death, ignorant scientists dissected her body, and it wasn’t until 1976 that her body cast was removed from display. Over time, Baartmen became the symbol of the sexual exploitation and fetishization of Black women and their bodies.
Even though, this movie could be an influential step toward representing the dark history of Black women’s body that the history books like to forget, it is still problematic. If there’s going to be a movie about Saartjie Baartman, then it has to be done right. It has to be a complete portrayal of her struggle while in a world that explicitly treated Black women as animals. The question that’s lingering on everyone’s tongue is whether or not Beyonce will be able to do it right?
There’s no denying that Beyonce is a household name. She’s an influential force that has sold millions of records. However, when people watch the film of Saartjie Baartmen, they’ll first watch Beyoncé on the screen and then they will see Saartjie Baartmen. This time around Beyoncé star power on the silver screen might distract the audience from Baartmen’s story.
Another question we have to ask—Is Beyoncé the right one to be telling this story? There are hundreds of screenwriters and actresses who would jump at the opportunity to portray Baartman’s story on screen. Perhaps someone else who is sponsored by Beyonce can create the movie of a moment in history people try to forget.
On Wednesday December 30th, the “affluneza teen”, Ethan Couch, and his mother will be brought back to the United States. This of course happened after he and his mother fled to Mexico. Now captured, the question everyone is asking—Will they finally face punishment for their atrocious crimes?
Back in 2013, Ethan Couch killed four innocent civilians while driving drunk. At the time of this accident, Ethan was 16 and sentenced to 10 years of probation. Why such a light sentencing for such a serious crime? Well Ethan was not responsible for his actions because he suffered from affluenza, a disease of the privileged. He was never told right from wrong and got everything he ever wanted. He went to rehab; however for Ethan, probation was only a suggestion and he fled to Mexico with his mother.
It’s no surprise that Ethan did not stay. His reason for fleeing is the same reason that Lindsay Lohan can have multiple counts of drunk driving and still have a career. Money talks louder than rulebooks—also you have to have the right complexion for protection.
Ethan is a rich white male in America. The law was made for him. But for the rest of us, our lives are in constant danger and our rights are denied. This story of Ethan and his gross disrespect for human life and law is not unique to him. It is the story of several privileged millennials who believe that they are above the law.
In 2016, people need to take responsibility for their actions. Ignoring the issues of race and privileged has created a society where Black lives are lost, no longer protected, and not wanted. When we compare Black teens such as Tamir Rice, Emmett Till, or Trayvon Martin to Ethan Couch, what we see is a hatred and disregard for Black lives. Our lawful society would rather have a rich teen that is responsible for killing four people than our innocent Black teenagers.
The privileged are staying privileged. The rest of us are not. If society continues on this course, then the separation between the races, the rich, and the poor will only continue growing. There’s a virus haunting America and it’s been living with us for centuries. This virus is killing innocent Black men and women, and if we stay silent about our outrage, then we will continue dying.