Hip-Hop is always vilified. Guns, crime, jewelry, flamboyance, extreme rhetoric, vulgarity.
Malcolm X once said that governments often oppress people and then chastise them when they express their discontent or attempt a revolution.
It is always easy to rationalize hate of the oppressed, especially for the privileged classes who don’t understand what it means to have nothing, to be hated, and to have their voice suppressed.
The culture of the caucasian community likes to apply harsh & strict values on society, meanwhile, their societal representatives are often caught in scandals in which they are indulging in hypocritical activities.
These ‘strict values’ emanate from a sort of, Disney-esque fairy tale conceptualization of reality, in which man is an innocent child being ‘corrupted’ by cultures like hip-hop. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Lion King. My point is not to criticize Disney, but on the contrary, the misconstruing of such fairy-tale enterprises which often establish, engrain & enforce social constructs.
The irony is that the reality is quite the opposite.
Hip-Hop was born out of the corruption of social representatives, from politics to big business. Drawing influence from the ideologies of fanaticism, white supremacy & the Jim Crow culture became a form of institutionalized disenfranchisement which perpetuates almost permanently a state of destitute poverty.
Meanwhile the “white man”, the “Donald Sterlings” of America do whatever it takes behind closed doors to secure their fortunes, which are ironically usually made off the backs of non-whites.
The system of disenfranchisement and racism in America is closely linked to its view of the rest of the world. The late Edward Said, a prominent Palestinian intellectual, labeled this self-righteous dogma of the ‘white man’ as Orientalism, which he argued, revealed a long-standing tradition of Western Civilization’s oversimplification of Eastern (or non-Western) culture. its tools of invasion and oppression abroad, from the Middle East, to Africa, to South America, to the Far East. This ideological bigotry formed much of the cultural foundations of the Occident, or the West, which was essentially used as a justification of the enslavement and exploitation of the Orient. It was responsible for the trans-atlantic slave trade, and the modern system of disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the US.
That is why perhaps the majority of the anti-supremacist collective uprisings which arose in the 19th and 20th centuries occurred in South America, Asia, the Middle East & Africa. And all the while the propaganda and military systems have been at work in the West. Fox News is our Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi’s propaganda artist.
In their collaborative album, Distant Relatives, legendary MC Nas & Reggae godson Damien Marley express these grievances thoroughly. The following is one of the tracks off the album, “Road to Zion”, with undertones that capture the the trials of modern man, the modern Black man, in a turbulent world.
Let it also be known that just like any genre of music or medium of art can be exploited for the sake of political interests, so too can hip-hop. Since the deaths of giants B.I.G. & Pac, hip-hop’s mainstream has been left largely devoid of even the most remote references to oppression & black consciousness. Among the leaders of movement in today’s America are Kanye West & Jay-Z, whose albums never fall short of addressing personal & social grievances.
As an Arab-American, I would like to express that the modern struggle for freedom is shared by most minorities. I once heard a prominent figure within the African-American community suggest, “the Muslim is the new (black man)”. With Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment at its peak, not to mention the deprivation of the Palestinians at its worst condition, it is more than necessary for me to underline the importance of the role played by the cultures of the Middle East in contributing to hip-hop & the initiative for genuine art & freedom. Thanks to OkayPlayer, I came across Here is a track by another legendary MC, none other than Method Man of the Wu, titled P.L.O. Style, which surfaced at a time when the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict reached heights of unprecedented contention.
Ya apparently we can’t criticize Jews for their monopoly on victimhood but they can mock the Armenian Genocide without reprisal.
I have always suggested that various entities have benefitted off the suppression of historic crimes against humanity. There are many that remain either unknown or unsettled. The issue of racism and slavery in America is one of those issues. In my case, I would say that it is Islamophobic and prejudiced view of white privilege which has prioritized whites & Jews at the top of the conversation on social justice.
And we can’t even criticize Jews, Israel or anything remotely of Judaic persuasion without being ostracized as an extremist Holocaust-denier. Not only is this completely wrong, it creates a monopoly of victimhood and suppresses free speech. Furthermore it reaffirms the existing belief that White Americans have privileges in this country not enjoyed by other minorities.
In France it is illegal to deny the Holocaust. In Turkey, America’s NATO ally, it is illegal to MENTION the Armenian Genocide. How ironic. Look at the difference; in one country you are jailed for denial; in another; you are jailed for awareness. Both are US allies. The double-standard is clear. Who benefits? That is self-explanatory. And I am the anti-semite despite the lack of recognition of the genocide of MY people. And I am the anti-semite despite the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the theft of their land?
It’s time to gather the courage to clear the air once and for all. I do believe the Jews suffered a holocaust. I do not believe that holocaust to justify the recreation of a religious state which might have existed 5,000 years prior to the more natural civilization of the Palestinians. Furthermore, I think that granting the Jews the amnesty they earned after the Holocaust raised their social status to one of privilege and amnesty, thereby making it difficult to criticize the policies of Israel and the influence of Jewish politics on international affairs.
This advertisement posted by Starbucks, for which they are now apologizing, forced me to write this article. I am disgusted by the world’s silence on the issue of the armenian genocide. When former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raised speculation about his remarks regarding the accuracy of the number of victims during the Holocaust, the world was outraged. But when The Young Turk Network’s Cenk Uygur shows reluctance in labeling the Armenian genocide as such due ‘context, details and apparently some uncertainties,’ there is no way of being ‘sure’ a genocide was committed. Yet again, a double standard.
I will say, as Amal Clooney represents the case for recognition of the Armenian Genocide as I write this article now, the monopoly of victimhood will end because it will prove its own ulterior motives. The Armenians will see justice.
Republicans are the biggest socialists.
They claim to be self-reliant but in fact, it seems to me that if you are a republican you get a lot of social perks.
During my tenure at the office of Senator Marco Rubio, I got 25 calls a day from conservative constituents complaining about Obama’s socialism while simultaneously demanding medicare and medicaid expediency.
A true proponent of free market enterprise and democracy does not need the financial perks that come with organized religion and collective security.
Republicanism is the modern socialism and religion is their currency, welfare is their security. I feel like the majority of democrats are ironically self-reliant, established and skilled contributors to the economy. Republicans are looking for help from the government – they feel entitled because of their patriotism.
Republican nationalism, and the need for social acceptance by republican officials who appeal to the fanatical emotions of the ordinary man, is quite reminiscent of Hitlerian politics. The nationalist who hated immigrants, racial diversity, and who relied on state-sponsored welfare for sustenance had nothing to offer the world, and so he retreated to power-hunger and political vanity. It reminds me of George Bush.
American Republicanism, British Imperialism, German Nazism, Israeli Zionism – these are all forms of collective religion used for sustainment, power and the theft of individual freedom, secularism and sovereignty.
All of these systems rely on war and slavery, propaganda and state-perks for sustenance. And yet, Republicans have the audacity to claim self-reliance.
The need for power stems from the individuals desire for expression – but his lack of humility allows for the infiltration of pride, which then diverts the attention from the desire for expression to the desire for suppressing the expression of others. It is a sense of entitlement; bigotry, really.
This has been the cause of crime and misery throughout the history of the world up until today.
At the heart of all angry ideologies is the sense of exclusive domain: Hitler had no problem with the jews: he had a problem with Jews who protested against state-fascism – most of whom were likely dark skinned. Why else would the Nazi party facilitate the exodus of ‘some’ Jews to the land of Palestine under the banner of Zionism and post-holocaust sympathy. What better way to control the world’s vast resources, especially those present in the Middle East, such as oil.
But the greatest resource is the human mind, from which tyrants have prospered a fortune. These are the tactics of imperialists and dogmatists, who seek to spread a hypocritical ideology that relies not on human innovation, skill and discipline but rather a blind anger and a dependence on the services of other human beings.
1. A sense of entitlement and exclusiveness emanates from the Arabian peninsula, namely from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen & the UAE, which has its roots embedded in a version of an Islamic narrative that ties the Arabs of this region to ancient jewish and semitic tribes.
2. This has concentrated wealth in the particular tribe of Al Saud, leaving the spoils of the Middle East’s vast oil reserves in the hands of this family, tribe and what has become a political ‘cult’.
3. The Arabian peninsula was a series of loosely ruled mandates and kingdoms, until the Saudi defeat of the kingdom of Hejaz. Al Saud would refer to this as the unification of Saudi Arabia while in reality it was a conquest of land, likely supported by colonial agents such as the British and the Americans, who saw the economic and political gains of a religiously zealous and feared, imperial and unquestioned authority such as the House of Saud.
4. This contrasts with the culture that formed the modern nation-state of Syria, which sits on the other side of the political spectrum of Middle Eastern politics. Circumstance, geography and history carved a different fate for the Syrian nation-state. Diversity and a constant foreign threat dictated the politics of Syria, and focus on collective justice pinned the country against their neighbors, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey & Kuwait as pawns of global powers, namely the West (US, UK, France, Germany).
5. The establishment of Israel by the UK and with the help and support of the vast majority of Western countries, further exasperated and intensified the exclusivist culture of bigotry, racism, hypocrisy and fundamentalism. Like the Saudis, Israelis have used prejudiced narratives to horde semitism as their own.
6. History suggests however that semitism has roots in Syria, bilad al-Sham having linguistic ties to Shem, one of the sons of Noah, a prominent biblical figure in the religions of Islam & Judaism (amongst others).
7. In Saudi Arabia, (and in Israel, and in parts of the West) where capitalism has taken hold, a culture of ownership of other human beings and of natural resources has turned rampant and has led to the theft of basic human rights; rights to expression, freedom & dignity.
8. The emphasis on paranoias of individual power-hunger has led tribes and cults like al Saud to prey on their opponents and to garner support. Saudi Arabia is among the most destabilizing forces in the world, largely veiled by their luxurious lifestyles. They’ve successfully pinned all opponents and contentious movements as anti-freedom, similar to the American strategy as pinning foes as freedom-haters.
9. One man’s freedom is another man’s slavery. Saudi Arabia is a victim of the Western capitalist machine. Even America is a victim of the Capitalist machine. America is the bastard daughter of imperialism. In today’s world, it is battling itself. In America, war is fought between democrats and republicans and independents and etc. But the rest of the world is also fighting America’s war. In Iraq, pro-west vs anti-west groups split the nation. In Syria, Libya and Egypt, similar scenarios unfold.
10. Communism was portrayed by politicians and ideologues of the 19th and 20th centuries as a threat to the capitalism of the West when in reality it was merely a guised reflection of the same ideology bent on ownership of human beings and natural resources. This is what happens when ideas become our Gods. The ‘authentic’ resistance to Western imperialism turned out to be a hoax, a farce, a deception, carefully orchestrated.
11. Imperialism is the umbrella idea, and all other ideas are expressions of it. The enemy of imperialism is national sovereignty. Germany, America, Syria, the actual would-be nation-state of the Gulf, Japan, China, etc – these are all nations that are threatened by imperialism. Imperialism, the ideology that takes over nations, owns humans, and resources, is expressed in today’s world through Zionism, American Republicanism, Chinese Communism, Russian Oligarchy, Saudi Wahhabism, Lebanese Phalangism.
12. Once imperialism is rooted out, national & global criminals will be exposed. The world cannot afford such power-hunger. The crime is not desire. The crime is not excess. The crime is power-hunger. Anyone who says different is using it as a distraction. All men deserve freedom, dignity and the right to expression and prosperity – and the only barrier to these ambitions is the kind of ideology that seeks to justify suppressing them – imperial dogmatic religions.
13. The great evil is not atheism. It is not theism. It is both. Together, because ultimately the roots of both of these is a desire for power. The true believer is not held hostage to either vanity.
14. God save the Middle East and bring the world to justice.
Arabs are so easily manipulated.
Israel is laughing at all the Arabs calling for revolution in Egypt and Syria.
Because these revolutions are farce — only distractions orchestrated by Israel to distract Arabs from the real problem — Israeli expansionism and intervention in Arab affairs.
Meanwhile the House of Saud (the entire Gulf for that matter), the King of Jordan, and half of Lebanon sit on their asses and reap the benefits of anarchical capitalism and conservative sociological platforms.
When will the Arabs learn?
When will the Arabs abandon pretentiousness?
If you have abandoned truth and justice for glory and fame and vanity, then you are not Arab. You are a pawn of the imperialist.