Why We Should Vote For Kerry

I was both shocked and amazed by Bakari Kitwana's piece about Hip Hop

NOT voting for Kerry entitled "Why We (Hip Hop) Shouldn't Vote For

John Kerry". I understand his frustrations with the Democratic party.

But to vote for Bush is political suicide. You don't believe me? Ask

the Arab/Muslim voters who liked Bush over Gore in 2000. They regret

that one BIG TIME right about now. But any African American could and

should have told them better.

Now Hip Hop is testing itself in the political arena and getting beat

down worse than Stevie Wonder fighting Tyson in his prime.

The Democratic Party has done SO LITTLE for all minorities. Who could

argue that? They have been phony for so long. They have coasted on

Civil Rights Era achievements for SO LONG it makes me sick. They owe

AMERICA so much more. No one will deny this. But the Republicans

make it their JOB to shut out and deny all minorities as a rule

(Condi, Powell and a few others are accept ions to this rule). But

lets be clear about that.

The truth of the matter is that who is in office, has NEVER been the

sole solution to our problems (African Americans, minorities in

general and Hip Hop cats specifically).

Regardless of who is in office. We need to make steps to create

business. We need to get our credit straight so that we can own homes

in the communities we live in. We need to be buying up clubs and

making safe havens for Hip Hop to exist in. We need to be owning

buildings so that we can have after school classes on b-boying,

MC'ing, parental counseling and money management. Neither Bush nor

Kerry can do that for you.

What president has ever "delivered" the people? None. The people

deliver themselves.

You see, Bakari Kitwana's article, is the REASON why Hip Hop is not

taken seriously as a political tool. It is the reason, O.G.

politicians laugh at us, or ignore us straight up. Because we flip

flop all day. We don't have our positions concrete. They

(politicians on BOTH sides) know this.

Is Hip Hop for abortion or against it? Does Hip Hop support gay

marriage or do we not want that? Does Hip Hop support reparations for

African Americans? Does the so-called "Hip Hop Nation" step in stride

WITH the African American community or is it apart from it

ideologically? So many questions and so few answers.

Welcome to the real world Hip Hoppers. We don't have the power we

think we do. WE don't have the strategies we need to win. We are

newbies to the political fight and this is our first reality check.

Hip Hop is not going to save the world- know this. All it can do is

give us a medium to present issues on. Hip Hop is a great political

tool because it facilitates global communication on social, spiritual

and political issues. But Hip Hop itself will never be the reason

anyone stays IN or is put OUT of the oval office. This art and

sub-culture is not single minded in its nature and was never meant to


But don't take my word for it, get informed. Go see Michael Moore's

movies. Go get "Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 911" at

www.guerillafunk.com . After that, if you feel like staying broke, if

you feel like dying Iraq is what you need right about now, if you want

Bush, Cheney and Haliburton to cash more checks with your blood- go

ahead and vote Bush. Or, if you want to stay here, and die broke,

again vote for Bush. Maybe, you can vote for some weak third party

goon like Nader (who is the reason Bush got in anyway- among others).

But no president will deliver you. Understand that you're gonna have

to man up, woman up, read up and live up to a higher understanding of

self and get a new political standard. While your working on that-

VOTE FOR JOHN KERRY WITHOUT FAIL. Vote like your life depends on it-

because it does.

Adisa Banjoko is a pioneer Hip Hip Hop journalist from the Bay Area

and author to the new book "Lyrical Swords Vol 1: Hip Hop and Politics

in the Mix" available now at www.lyricalswords.com.