AllHipHop.com Editorial  

The X Fact(her): When Soldiers Snap

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Soldiers have perhaps the hardest job

in the world. They wake up in the morning happy to be alive, strap on

their gear and go kill people before they kill them. It’s like being an

inner-city police officer but worse.

When news of a U.S. solider opening

fire on a stress clinic at Iraq military base Camp Liberty (these

military names are great propaganda) broke, it came as no real surprise

to me. Monday’s attack is the sixth time that a serviceman was killed

by a fellow serviceman since Operation Iraqi Freedom began in March

2003. This week’s shooting ended in five dead. A suspect is alleged to

be in custody.

What makes a solder snap?

To help understand this, let’s look at

Hip Hop’s weird fascination with the military. The most memorable being

Master P’s No Limit soldiers. They even had army tanks

in their music videos. Now, most crews emulate the ranks of the

military. 50 Cent is probably the hardest drill sergeant there is

forcing his foot soldiers to obey command for risk being stripped of

their rank. Ask Young Buck

what happened when he stepped out of line. For every rapper that goes

against his platoons orders there is another willing to write away his

rights as an independently thinking man and fall right in line.

A good reason why soldiers snap is due

to the insurmountable pressure put upon them to perform (in the case of

Hip Hop, to sell records) and to not question authority. No-hit wonder

Canibus was actually a former solider yet he couldn’t survive the

minefield that was the music industry. In Camp Bad Boy, any artist that

doesn’t follow the rules of Master Chief Diddy gets the boot. The Lox

questioned things and went AWOL. On the flip side Shyne tried to

protect this superior as a show of gratitude and ended up in prison.

It’s almost as if being a solder, no matter was field you are fighting

on, is a no win situation.

The fact that this week’s slaying took

place at a stress clinic isn’t just ironic but sad. How can you help a

person that is going to walk out the door and return to the same

stressful situation that made them walk in the door?

Imagine waking up every morning with

the weighted stress of having to liberate the world, kill people

(innocent or guilty) and marching blindly into warfare at the command

of your superior officers. At some point whether you agree with the

mission at hand or not, you will begin to question if this is the right

thing for you to be doing. Then comes the guilt of taking part in the

killing of thousands of people. Let’s not even get into the soldiers who victimize the innocent people they are deployed to liberate.

Shouldn’t we be surprised that more soldiers aren’t losing it? Hell, in the ’80s postal workers were murking each other over the pressure to deliver mail on time (hence the term “going postal”).

War doesn’t just kill our enemy; it

damages our young men and women, who join the armed forces in hope of

having a better life. Instead they come back mentally and physically

broken or in a pine box.

The X Fact(her) is a weekly column that appears on 99problems.org.

Started on Inauguration Day 2009 by the League of Young Voter’s

Education Fund, 99problems.org is a non-profit initiative that aims

to keep young people engaged in the political process through activism

and community involvement. Please visit 99problems.org to find out how

you can get involved right now! For more on Chloé A. Hilliard visit

www.chloehilliard.com

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