Like everyone I was shocked
to read that I and other African-Americans actually “cheered when 911
happened” and that I have “declared my solidarity with Al Qaeda”.
When I read my words taken out of context I was shocked and disappointed that
the Daily News would go this far to assassinate my character and distort my
Such statements with no
follow up explanation or interview from KRS-ONE as to what he may have meant
or even a complete quote of my point is simply irresponsible journalism on the
Daily News’ part. I would never just say something as crazy as “we
cheered when 911 happened!” I was making an objective point about how
many Hiphoppas as well as the oppressed peoples of the world felt that day.
I am a philosopher and a
critical thinker, I speak truth and I urge people to think critically about
themselves and their environment. Yes, my words are strong. Yes, my views are
controversial. But to call me a terrorist is simply wrong!
A young lady asked about
what we can do beyond voting to change the political state of things in our
country? I responded not by irresponsibly stating that “America has to
commit suicide if the world is to be a better place” and that’s
all. I am a poet and I speak poetically. My full statement was “America
has to commit suicide if the world is to be a better place.
If you want to go beyond
voting American interests must put a gun to its head and commit suicide because
as long as we are only interested in American interests we go out and invade
the rest of the world. The real question is are you a citizen of the United
States or are you a citizen of the world? And so for me, I would say voting
in a corrupt society adds more corruption.”
I was asked by the New Yorker
magazine to discuss “different and personal beliefs musicians hold and
the contribution artists like myself can make to the nation’s political
dialog”. My views were indeed different and most were personal. However,
when I was asked about why Hiphop has not engaged the current situation more
(meaning 911) my responds was “because it does not affect us, or at least
we don’t perceive that it effects us, 911 happened to them”. I went
on to say that “I am speaking for the culture now; I am not speaking my
personal opinion”. I continued to say; “911 effected them down the
block; the rich, the powerful those that are oppressing us as a culture. Sony,
RCA or BMG, Universal, the radio stations, Clear Channel, Viacom with BET and
MTV, those are our oppressors those are the people that we’re trying to
overcome in Hiphop everyday, this is a daily thing. We cheered when 911 happened
in New York and say that proudly here. Because when we were down at the trade
center we were getting hit over the head by cops, told that we can’t come
in this building, hustled down to the train station because of the way we dressed
and talked, and so on, we were racially profiled. So, when the planes hit the
building we were like; mmmm justice.” And just as I began to say “now
of course a lot of our friends and family were lost there as well” but
I was interrupted.
My intent is never to demean
or disrespect anyone’s loss or gain; and of course I did not literally
“cheer when 911 happened”. I made an objective statement about the
feelings of those who were oppressed by world trade policies. I was just as
saddened as everyone else on 911. However, for many of us that were racially
profiled and harassed by the World’s Trade Center’s security and
the police patrolling that area as well as the thousands of American protesters
that spoke out against the World Trade Organization months before in Seattle,
Washington there was a sense of justice, a sense of change, a wake up call watching
the twin towers fall.
These are not my views only;
these views represent a popular truth that few people are really ready to hear.
No one wished death on anyone or just sat and “cheered when 911 happened”.
But some of us can see through the bullshit! America must change its approach
to the world and its citizens. This, I believe is what all Americans should
be thinking about. How do we make our country better?
For years my career has
been one of promoting peace, love, unity and having fun; such has always been
Hiphop’s cultural principles. So how all of a sudden now can I be aligned
with Al Qaeda? What happened to honest debate and freedom of speech! I don’t
speak for the African American community exclusively, I speak for HIPHOP! And
let me be clear here; most of the Hiphop community is against the war in Iraq!
But to align me with Al Qaeda is clearly an attempt by the Daily News to interrupt
the street voice of our Hiphop community, KRS-ONE’s leadership and the
increased momentum of our Hiphop political movement.
I don’t think Al Qaeda
needs my solidarity nor did I ever offer it, so what’s the point. For
a major news organization to now align KRS-ONE with Al Qaeda shows the unwarranted
contempt that such an organization has for me. Such is grounds for a law suit!
Finally, no one should ever
believe anything that the one-sided Daily News has to say about the same Hiphop
community that it (the Daily News) has tried so desperately to undermine for
years. The only thing the Daily News seems to be interested in is scandal and
controversy and for years I have challenged the Daily News on its depictions
of Rap artists and Hiphop as a whole.
I know they don’t
like me. However, I don’t give a ---- either! They never cover our efforts
toward peace and all the charitable work we do within the Hiphop community.
They never air our grievances or how we feel about the state of the world, nor
have they ever aired our views on America’s invasion of Iraq simply because
they just don’t want to hear them. The Hiphop community forces America
to look at itself; and no one likes to take b.l.a.m.e. for their own for immaturity
Because Looking At Me ain’t Easy!
For the record, I am an
American philosopher. I speak and seek truth. If the slander that the Daily
News has printed regarding my political views has disrespectfully offended anyone
in any way I truly apologize. Again, it was never my or Hiphop’s intent
to disregard, disrespect or demean the tragedy of September 11th 2001 and those
that died that day.
However, we do have a voice
and a point of view and if you are not prepared to hear what Hiphop has to say
about its view of world events then don’t ask!