Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
My favorite part of any racial uproar in America is when the trolls & fake supremacists materialize and ask the obligatory question: Where’s Al Sharpton? They see the Black community fighting back against a perceived injustice and immediately mock it–us–by using Al as an reverse scapegoat, subsequently blaming him for things he has no direct influence over then dragging him through the circumstantial mud when he speaks out about it. They do the same thing to President Barack Obama, but he’ll be out of office soon, detached from the America he loves that apparently hate him so much.
But back to Al Sharpton.
Contrary to popular misconception, the entire Black community doesn’t side with Mr. or Reverend or Dr. Sharpton like they think we do. Granted, he does seem to come to the rescue when families need a mouthpiece, but unfortunately no one ever really cares. There are even recorded instances of African-American families telling him to stay away from their tragedy. That’s deep. In the midst of an obvious lack of critical leadership, we tell one of the closest things we have to a tangible leader to step off. Meanwhile I can’t have a conversation about being Black in America without trying to convince whoever it is that Tupac is really dead, get over it.
Speaking of leadership, I think Al–if I may call him that–is going about this whole “our fearless leader” thing wrong. Instead of doing what appears to merely be advanced ambulance chasing, bullying his way to the podium through sobbing relatives and grieving loved ones to helm the good fight, he should be in the communities, talking to the youth about the future, working with local council to make necessary changes in Urban America, you know, leading the people. That will impact our cause more than impetuous, spontaneous, unsolicited mouthpiecing.
At some event recently, rapper 2 Chainz, a well known, moderately successful rapper, was approached and confronted by a gaggle of misplaced gang members. (It was a chapter of a gang from South Central Los Angeles that relocated to Atlanta, Georgia.)
In essence, these types of commomplace occurances are also racial profiling. The subject is targeted because he is African-American.
The video is currently floating in cyberspace, and though the details are sketchy if even existent at all, one thing is for sure. Black men are continually and continously not receiving quality levels of local leadership and mentoring. If they–we–did, I can guarantee you that certain pockets of Urban America would be totally different places than they are today. That’s a sad reality to face, but a reality nonetheless. A likely link in an outdated, dilapidated chain, and that chain can be broken with leadership. I nominate Al Sharpton.
For what it’s worth, this has nothing to do with police brutality or teen pregnancy or under-aged drinking or gang violence or any of the other social ills people attempt to lazily wrap around issues that nuzzle up to the African American community. It’s about Al Sharpton, one of the most visible, recognizable faces in Black America, using his powers for good, for once.
Words by Tony Grands
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