Today in Hip Hop, getting people to vote is the latest and greatest trend. It is the best Hip Hop culture has ever embarked upon. Finally the seeds planted by Public Enemy, KRS ONE, Paris, Poor Righteous Teachers and so many others are bearing fruit. We shall see how this crop tastes in November. If we fail, it might do us some good to never again talk about what Hip Hop is capable of. If we cant get Bush out of office, we should admit that Hip Hop, IS just music.
But if we are victorious. If we can prove that Hip Hop is indeed a force of social change, then all of our critics should formally apologize.
For too long the Hip Hop community has only talked. Today I am proud to see us walking the walk of political and social responsibility. WE owe it to those before to follow through manifesting justice in this age. Yet still, there is much more to do.
However, most of the things Hip Hop can do for American politics and society; it does not need to vote for. It is important that in our strategy we stress using just as much SINCERITY AS STYLE. May times in Hip Hop we get into things because they look good, or tough or fun. Sometimes this political and social journey for justice will not be any of those things. Matter of fact it can and will be quite ugly. This is why we need to be sincere people. The first step of follow through comes from the head and the heart.
Because you do not need to vote to stop calling women b######. You do not need George Bush out of office to leave your gun at home, or throw it away all together. You do not need to vote to make sure the young people and the elders are safe at night in your hood. You do not need George Bush to take the streets back from the drug dealers. But you do need personal integrity, sincerity, and realistic strategies for success at the grassroots and the national levels.
No matter who is in office, WE can support local business, work closely with the religious organizations, pick up the trash off our streets and spend time teaching the kids in our community. All you need to do is pull the ballot box in your mind. Pull the ballot box in your heart, and show your sincerity is authentic. If we cannot be sincere on a personal level, we will never make moves on a local and you can forget about achieving anything on a national level.
In the Hip Hop community, many people talk about Masonic conspiracies. They talk about Skull and Bones and Area 51. They talk about alien abductions and ulterior motives for the Mars space program. Thats all well and good if you have time and energy to buy in on that stuff. I for one do not have that time or energy. Also, most people in the community can not grasp such concepts. I feel more than anything they distract people from authentically maturing politically and socially. Thats not the talk we need.
Plainly said, we dont need to get George Bush out because he is white, or republican, in bed with oil tycoons, supposed mason or skull and bones member etc. George Bush needs to be removed simply because he stole the last election from the people. He has taken our economy into the trash and has single handedly taken our country into a war we did not ask for and a land grab we will not gain a thing from. He is the wrong man for the job- period. He is also a thief of the people and a liar. That is sufficient to get the people to demand he leave office.
Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Louis Farrakhan, Assata Shakur and Angel Davis are admired for their sincerity just as much as they are revered for their effective strategies. Now, Im not asking to you be them. But you dont have to be them to act right at the club. You dont have to be Gandhi to want peace among the folks where you live. But no change will happen with out sincerity.
So please, vote. Tell your friends to register and when the day comes in November, lets do all we can to make sure we get Bush out of office. Do anything you can to support Hip Hops political strides at the grassroots and the national level. But most importantly, as you take that journey, do your best to make sure you stay diligent and sincere as you walk.
Adisa Banjoko is host of the Political Hip Hop show One Mic. You can tune in online at www.iciclenetworks.com.