“Racism was here but they didn’t take it seriously, and they said that I was crazy.” – Final Solution, Sister Souljah
The auditorium was packed with reporters as the Republicans held their recently televised “Hip-Hop debate,” where they gathered to decide what to do with poor Black and Latino youth. Some of the suggestions were putting African Americans back on plantations and deporting all Latinos to Mexico. It was the most highly rated show of the week but since Nicki Minaj was scheduled to make a guest appearance on “Love & Hip Hop” that night, most of the ‘hood missed it….
While most of Hip-Hop has been focused on the beef between Common and Drake, or the birth of Jay and Beyonce’s baby girl, the Republican presidential candidates have been waging their traditional war against the poor. Let’s keep it real. No matter who wins the 2012 election, Blue Ivy Carter is gonna be good. However, chances are you won’t be. There are plans being made to have you back pickin’ cotton while rappin’ “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
Although, the Republicans may go in on each other in debates, what they have in common is their hatred of the ‘hood. Recently, news sources have reported on Ron Paul’s newsletters that contained articles that dissed Black people. How Rick Santorum, allegedly, said that Black folks were down with OPM (spending Other People’s Money.) Not to mention the OG “angry white man” himself, Newt “Gangsta” Gingrich, suggesting that poor kids should pick up brooms and become school janitors. (Picture Lil Tyrone and Lakesha walking around the high school gym with a mop and bucket singin’ “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”)
But when you try to put Newt and the boys on blast, they start braggin’ about how they are the “party of Lincoln” and are really our homies.
Because they think that most of us can’t read, they are able to con the people into believing half truths and straight up lies. But as The DOC said back in the day, “I am not illiterate, no , not even a little bit.” So it’s time to pull the sheets off of ’em.
In reality, Abraham Lincoln never freed anybody, as he only gave lip service to the problem by “freeing” slaves during the Civil War in areas where he had no control. He was also no friend of Black people. According to Lerone Bennet in his work, Forced into Glory, Lincoln said repeatedly that he was a White supremacist, and that he wanted to deny Blacks equal rights because of their race.” Not quite the Honest Abe you read about in history books, huh?
Also, it must be noted that it was a Republican that sold Black folks out and ended Reconstruction. The Reconstruction Era ended when, in 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes made a deal to remove troops from the Southern States so that he could become president (The Hayes-Tildan Compromise). Thus, unleashing an era of terror on the recently emancipated Black folks.
It is a historical fact that African Americans did not start gravitating towards the Democratic Party until the 1930’s, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” which, according to Dr. John Hope Franklin in From Slavery to Freedom, “gave many a sense of belonging that they had never experienced before.” And even after that, the southern Dixiecrats were notorious for being anti-Black.
However, the biggest sham the Right Wingers pull off is the play-on-words. The real enemy of poor and oppressed communities is a “conservative political ideology” (not a specific political party) that has been bounced around between both parties but is now in the hands of the Republicans. Since, according to Webster’s dictionary, “conservative” means “tending to preserve established institutions,” they are trying to keep the balance of power in this country in the hands of old rich, White men who do nothing but play golf all day and tell Negro jokes. They have been determined to conserve power by any means necessary and those means have been ugly, especially in recent history.
According to Cleveland Sellars in The River of No Return, in 1968, Republican Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon “ran for the presidency on a barely disguised ‘repress n**** and other malcontents platform’ and the streets ran red with blood immediately after he took office.”
Beginning with the era of Reaganomics, Hip-Hop ran head on with the Right Wing. As early as 1984, Melle Mel rapped on “Jesse” that, “They want a stronger nation at any cost/Even if it means everything will soon be lost.” The run-in that Tupac Shakur had with Conservatives in the early ’90s is a part of Hip-Hop history. What is interesting is that one of the architects of the Right Wing Rap Attack, Bill Bennett was quoted years later suggesting that one way to lower the crime rate would be to “abort every Black baby.”
Also, while most of the Hip-Hop Nation was focused on the East Coast/West Coast beef during the mid-’90s, Newt Gingrich and the Right Wing were staging a Republican Revolution to “take back America.”
One of the tools that the Conservatives have successfully used are the scare tactics where they either tried to convince Molly in Iowa that a big, Black boogie man was waiting in the bushes to get her (the Willie Horton ads). Or convince 8th grade drop out, Billy Bob in Alabama that the reason he couldn’t get a job was because some lazy “minority” took it (Jesse Helm’s “white hands ad”).
So, in 2012, we see history repeating itself. Same dirty tricks; different day.
While the feasibility of voting really helping the ‘hood is debatable, being ignorant of current events isn’t.
Like KRS said on “The Mind,” “Whether you know it or not/ You’re deep in politics/ All inside of it/ In fact, you’re the issue…”
“Don’t let this government, diss you.”
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s weekly “This Ain’t Hip Hop” is a column for intelligent Hip Hop Headz. His website is NoWarningShotsFired.com Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter (@truthminista).