In the rap classic “Fight the Power,” Chuck D said, “Gotta give ‘em what they want…gotta give ‘em what they need.” In this country, what we want isn’t necessarily what we need e.g. slavery, Jim Crow, clear cutting forest, robbing of Indians, child labor, the defense industrial complex, lifetime public assistance, fast food.
It is time for my annual venting blog post about a hodgepodge of subject relating to me being right and the status quo being clearly wrong.
Liberals: Heaven knows the left means well and their general thinking seems rooted in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. However, long-term assistance can create a segment of the public that is weak—always looking for help from others rather than developing the ability to provide for self. President Reagan was right about that; government is the problem. We need to create a climate where every kid has a fair shot at learning and growing in a career field. Failure wouldn’t be tough luck; it would be the result of being out worked.
Conservatives: My biggest problem with my conservative friends is that their plans for all Americans generally don’t involve all Americans in the discussions. I will admit that much of their core agenda is sound but they want to force feed corrective policies—as if the rest of America is their children. They simply don’t listen to anyone unlike them and that is a big mistake. If they did listen, they would discover that most Black southern voters are more conservative than liberal. Most rural Blacks hate the welfare state created my government and if the leaders of the civil rights movement from the 1950s and 1960s could see us now, they would say this wasn’t the plan.
Conservatives vs. Black nationalists: Are you kidding me! The idiots on right wing radio and Fox News who demonized Rev. Jeremiah Wright blew a great opportunity to improve America. President Obama needs Wright in his corner because Wright and nationalists are throwbacks to those who hate governmental involvement in our daily lives. Uncle Sam isn’t your daddy and surprisingly Clarence Thomas is the man who is most like Wright (pun intended.) I loved the book Justice Thomas wrote about his grandfather’s life skills. Once and for all—the conservative movement should create a relationship with the Black pride movement because these two groups’ messages of personal responsibility are the same.
Hip Hop Culture: While I respect artistic freedom, the current rap culture is detrimental to all youths. For us, rap reflected urban life but those suffering wanted better for their families. Today, “good kids” idolize thugs, pimps, bangers and dealers. When I am on a college campus, I can’t tell the students (budding professionals) from common thugs and strippers. In my day, we call those stupid high heels “come f me” pumps. When women ruin their feet, legs and backs from those shoes, Obamacare shouldn’t cover them because dumb is a preexisting condition.
President Obama’s Vision: While I love President Obama, I need to get Nixon-like for a second and make one thing perfectly clear. Obama vision for what America should be isn’t the reality of what America is. Is that the role of a president—to imagine what we should be and push toward that goal (FDR, Kennedy, Lincoln.) I just feel puzzled sometimes when the president says “we are better than that…we are fair…we are pure hearted.” No brother Obama, “you” are those things while most of us are a mess and a trip. His family raised a wonderful person but some of the things at the top of his agenda have regular folks scratching our heads. But, he is still my guy.
Schemes and Games: Theoretical people like me are often broke while hustlers stay paid with schemes and games. We have hustlers on my street and hustlers on Wall Street. It is now and has always been a dirty game and the simple rule of the game is to get and stay paid. I think most of official Washington today is driven by the desire to stay paid rather than the hope of a better America. Liberals don’t recognize that throwing taxpayers’ money at problems isn’t helping and ultra conservatives don’t realize that the tough boy approach isn’t working.
Silent Majority: I still believe that most Americans are good people who are put-off by drama coming out of Washington and the state houses. Jon Huntsman, Condi Rice and others seem as pure-hearted as me. When we get about the business of having a national effort to improve this great country from the bottom up, you should join us.
I will end this rambling blog post by highlighting the parts of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” that we loved in the pol sci department of my black college. Those lyrics are timeless.
Fight the Power–Public Enemy
Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight. As a matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight.
1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hitting your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you’re missing y’all
Swinging while I’m singing
Giving whatcha getting
Knowing what I know
While the Black bands sweating
And the rhythm rhymes rolling
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Fight the power
We’ve got to fight the powers that be