Obama gets Personal

I enjoyed reading this article on Obama: Obama Reaches Out With Tough Love.  Obama addressed a black church and discussed what we talk about all the time in the black community in barber shops, our kitchens and in social events all the time; personal responsibility. 

Obama hit on the issue of education; that seeking education and learning is not “acting white”.  He also hit on something that I have stressed time after time again:

“In Chicago, sometimes when I talk to the black chambers of commerce, I say, ‘You know what would be a good economic development plan for our community would be if we make sure folks weren’t throwing their garbage out of their cars,’ ” Obama told a group of black state legislators in a speech in South Carolina last month.

I could not agree with Obama more; since when did poor or working class translate into being dirty?  For the life of me I do not understand when you ride through some of our black neighborhoods and there is trash all over the place; we vandalize our public bus stops and deface our property.  Why do some of us do this?  Why do we destroy the very same areas that we live in? 

A lot of our parents/grandparents grew up poor and/or working class communities; and every picture of my grandparents, uncles and aunts that I saw, not once did they look dirty, not once did I see trash in front of their homes.  They took pride in the little that they had.  What happened to the sense of pride for ourselves and our neighbors? 

This article also highlighted Obama challenging some of our hip-hop artist:

On the other hand, Lennox Yearwood Jr., 37, who runs a group called the Hip Hop Caucus and seeks to organize voting drives and other political activity for people born after 1964, said: “There’s so much more to this generation than saying ‘ho’ and the N-word and talking about guns and drugs.”

Yearwood added, referring to Obama: “Before he makes an overall statement about hip-hop, he should know more about the complete culture of hip-hop.”

Yearwood claims that there is so much more to my generation then just using the word nigger and ho.  Well the music we put out today surly doens’t reflect it.  Perhaps his organization should join The March for Decency in Music March today in New York to show that there is another aspect to hip-hop, one that record companies don’t want to support.  Perhaps if all these hip-hop organizations who complain that the real artist aren’t getting record deals and air play would stand up make their voices heard then a change would begin.  We only hear these hip-hop organizations speak out when people complain about today’s popular rap artist and their lyrics that spew from ignorance and self hatred.

I know what I am about to say may piss some people off but I don’t care.  I am a 31 year old black man who grew up with hip-hop, and not once have I defined myself by a music genre. 

I am not “Hip-Hop”  I am black. 

Hip-Hop is a musical genre within black culture.  I can not stand when black men and women of my genereation say: “I am Hip-Hop”  or “I am of the Hip-Hop Culture” Our culture and history run deeper then a music genre.  We had a message and a culture way before hip-hop was even thought of.  Perhaps that is the problem with my generation, we are looking for answers to life’s questions and struggles from music that does not shed light on our complete history.  I know when hip-hop started, it addressed these issues and honored our past. Those days are long gone….. 

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One Response

  1. Native you are correct hip hop has promoted a lot of foolish, negative and reprehensible images and ideas

    Also it is sickening the way some people who no better try to defend the vile hip hop under free speech or by saying that these guys are just talking about what the see growing.

    Which is non sense
    1) they are exageratting the degredation and voilence although we all no thier is too much violence in black america

    2) They see other things besides violence these folks act as if they have expirence no love in thier entire lives.

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