(AllHipHop News) ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard spoke with The Daily Caller about Hip-Hop’s relationship with social issues like poverty, crime, and injustice.
“Hip-Hop is a symptom of the problem,” said Broussard . “It’s not the root cause of the problem.”
As the president of the Christian Men’s Movement K.I.N.G., Broussard has taken on the duty of fulfilling the organization”s mission of healing and empowering men of African descent through the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Part of that objective includes bringing light to systematic racism that still affects the black family and the Hip-Hop community.
“You’ll literally have black people going to prison for crimes that white people are not going to prison for,” said Broussard. “This impacts the family.”
Broussard points to two recent respective studies done by the Sentencing Commission and Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy that revealed that there are significant racial gaps in both prison sentencing and household wealth in the United States.
The Sentencing Commission analysis found that black men were sentenced to nearly 20% longer sentences than white men for similar crimes. The gap increased after 2005 when the Supreme Court ruled that federal district judges can use “judicial discretion” in sentencing.
The Brandeis study found a 30% difference in the relative wealth growth between black and white families between 1984 and 2009. With home ownership being the biggest contributor to net worth, the collapse of the housing bubble and the Great Recession of 2008 caused a black-white divide of $85,070 in median net worth in 1984 to skyrocket to a difference of $236,500 in 2009.
White Americans also tend to start off in society at a better financial status than African-Americans. Whites are 5 times more likely to receive a family inheritance than blacks, and 80% of black students graduate from college with debt as opposed to only 64% of white students.
Broussard offers a defense of rap artists as being the voice of those individuals being affected by these government policies and economic inequalities.
“[Young rappers] are writing about the things that they see and may, in some cases, experience in their neighborhoods,” said Broussard. “Poverty, injustice, crime, fatherlessness, family breakdown — because all this exists in their community.”
On the other hand, Broussard also believes that rappers are responsible for the themes and images they display to young listeners who may not have experienced that lifestyle.
“Music that [some rappers] are putting out is reaching people who don’t live in that neighborhood and reality,” said Broussard. “You have young kids who are from nice, two-parent households… and they may be dumbing themselves down to act like the rapper that they idolize.”
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