Victory Against Hip-Hop Profiling:
Trial and Triumph of Irv and Chris Gotti
December 2, 2005, New York City: The Federal jury that unanimously cut Irv and Chris Gotti free of bogus money laundering charges sent a tumultuous shockwave up the prejudicial spine of the government prosecutors who were confident that this latest case of “Hip-Hop profiling” would send two of Hip-Hop’s most talented leaders to prison for 20 years.
After spending millions of dollars of tax payers money on the unsuccessful attempt to thwart and criminalized the global evolution of Hip-Hop culture, it appears that the government’s overzealous effort to take down Irv and Chris not only failed, but it exposed the extent to which some misguided officials will go to satisfy their “playa hating” prejudice against Hip-Hop.
I am speaking like this because if there was ever a time that truth needed to be spit about the phenomena of “Hip-Hop profiling,” it is now. We all should remember that is took years of protests and legal challenges that caused “racial profiling” to be declared illegal.
Hip-Hop profiling or rap profiling or cultural profiling is just as illegal as racial profiling.
Hip-Hop profiling is defined as an insidious form of cultural profiling and bigotry. It is the unwarranted and unjustifiable actions, practices, and polices of police and law enforcement officials that target Hip-Hop recording artists, poets, dancers, videographers, producers, executives, managers, crews, drivers and others employed in Hip-Hop culture for surveillance, harassment, arrest, and brutality as a direct or indirect result of cultural prejudice, bias, discrimination and ignorance.
What Irv and Chris Gotti had to unjustly endure and suffer should not be tolerated nor ignored. Government agents raided the Inc’s offices and many in the established media began a systematic campaign of character assassination and pre-trial hostile judgment against the Gotti brothers. The jury, however, in the face of a skillful frame-up, did the right thing. The case should have never gone to trial and Irv and Chris should not have ever been arrested because the government never had any real evidence to substantiate money laundering.
The good news is that at the end of the day the forces of right will ultimately prevail against the forces of wrong and evil. One lesson to be learned from the trial and triumph of Irv and Chris which includes members of their families, Inc’s artists and millions of loyal supporters throughout the world, is that ones perseverance and determination to stand up and speak out for that which is right and just is more powerful and long-lasting than giving in quickly to what may appear to be the expedience of “punkin’ out” or giving in to that which is wrong.