False choices

What’s up fam, I hope everyone is enduring the summer better than I am. I was remiss in not letting the family know I had the opportunity to speak at a press conference with Al Sharpton a couple weeks ago dealing with decency in hip hop that is calling on the record industry and artists to stop using the n-word, b-word, and the h-word. For those of you that read the SuperSpade often, you know that we very rarely discuss entertainment or sports related issues and this post will be no different.

In a recent email exchange concerning Al’s efforts to clean up hip hop as it were, one of the most knee-jerk responses was along the lines of “Instead of Al Sharpton worrying about hip hop, he should talk about how blacks have no jobs, little access to higher education, crumbling infrastructure and ending the war?”

My response is as follows, (edited from multiple replies)

This type of “either or” defeatism is killing us! Are we so lazy that we can’t fight for decency in hip hop and be anti-war? Either or is what brought us X v King, Washington v DuBois, etc. We need a paradigm shift that emphasizes “both and” because if we believe we can only do one thing at a time, that is a complete disservice to our community. We are the leadership (you don’t have to be 45) and we are deft enough to navigate the nuances of different issues in ways our ancestors only dreamed of. 

Also, I am sure Al Sharpton realizes the bigger picture but always referring to major problems like the war, jobs, etc. is an intellectual cop out. All that does is uninspire people and provides an excuse to do nothing.

And I will keep harping on this. Whatever you think Al (or anybody else for that matter) SHOULD be doing is what YOU should be doing.

The real change we want to see comes from an abundance of small victories, much like we see with the decency in hip hop campaign. Do you really think we are going to wake up and march on Washington and force the president to adequately fund higher education, provide adequate housing, and end the war? It doesn’t work like that so instead of harping on how big our problems are, take a bite of it and together, we will win.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.


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