Letters From FreakLoud: The Eleventh Hour

George Bush Does Not Care About Black People

Me and my girl sat stunned for a second when the words hit our ears.

Even though it’s an opinion that most colored folks I know have held as everyday truth, it was absolutely f*cking astonishing to hear it said on television. The only reason that we’d even stopped on CNN at the time was because we thought it was bizarre to see Kanye West standing next to Mike Myers all chummy like. And for some strange reason we had just been talking about Myers’ “So I Married an Axe Murderer” like 30 seconds before.

Honestly, we weren’t even really listening until he said it. After the shock wore off, we jumped on the internet to read the transcript and find a link to the video footage. If you haven’t seen it,

You can view the video here.

Even after digesting the entire incident, it wasn’t so much the sentiment that had our heads blown. It was the gargantuan balls that it took to say it in front of America.

It really made step back for a second. I had to re-evaluate how I felt about Kanye. I also had to re-evaluate myself.

Up until that point, as a hip-hop performer, a Chicagoan, and as a “conscious” black man, I had maliciously misjudged Mr. West. For many years I thought of him as an arrogant, overrated and generally dismissible character. Even now I don’t think of him as any less pompous, childish or overbearing. What I have to marvel at, though, is his willingness to put his whole shit out there into the American living room at such a critical time.

I’m sure that some will regard his statements as irresponsible, maybe even uneducated. And as I perused AM radio today, there was no shortage of right-wingers calling him all sorts of unkind things. Some even went so far as to say that it was all a publicity stunt. That it was all a ploy to attract some more attention to his recently released album (My downloaded copy, by the way, won’t get the greatest of ratings).

Funny, though. I haven’t heard anyone black arguing against him. And that’s not to say that I endorse the statement as fact. It’s just that it’s the kind of thing that most black people in this country feel but won’t say…especially if they find themselves among white people often. It’s the kind of thing that many of us grin and bear. Not because we’re afraid to say it, but just that it feels kind of useless to say in most cases.

If I say it around other black people it’s like “okay…and your point is…”

And I, for one, might hesitate to say it around the white people that I know because 1) They can’t do anything about it, and 2) because I try to keep from making anybody feel guilty about some shit that somebody else did. That’s not to say that anybody is completely non-prejudiced. In this country almost everyone is subject to pre-conceived notions about “other” groups. But many whites, that I’ve encountered (especially the liberal-types) have this horrible habit of trying to side with me against the “man”.

Sometimes I rather just be called a darkie.

Why? Because overt racism is some shit that can be dealt with in a myriad of ways. We can debate about it or we can punch each other’s eyes shut. Either way there’s some sort of communication.

It’s this latent shit that I have a hard time with. And apparently Mr. West is having a difficult time with it, too. But the difference between him and the rest of us is that he had the fortitude to say it when he felt it most, and when he had an opportunity to say it in front of the most people, unlike the black “leadership”, who very often have these opportunities to say what’s being felt by the people they supposedly represent but usually spend the opportunity to promote some cause or idea that is less potent.

I can’t be too hard on them, though. Especially since Al Sharpton’s been coming dangerously close to putting it all out there lately, and like I said, if the shoe were on my foot, I’m not quite sure I’d be able to be honest either.

Frankly, I feel a lot of ways about a lot of things that I usually can’t tell people. Whether it be an issue of race, justice, or general ignorance. Hell, I’d like to let my boss at work know that I think he needs to learn how to talk to people. But, in my head at least, it’s not as easy as just pulling him to the side and saying it. I tell myself that I’d rather remain tactful and be a good boy so that I may move up in the company without issue. But in the end, is the stress caused by my silence a fair price for success?

I imagine that as a result of the New Orleans tragedy, Kanye decided in favor of honesty. And for that I commend him. Its time somebody said something, and its time that it be said in front of everyone, not just behind closed doors amongst a like-minded few. And regardless of the flack that he’s receiving right now from people that don’t agree with him, his outburst has inspired me to have my own truth revolution. For the sake of my health, and the furthering of the principal of honesty in the universe I will try to use this space to be completely and brutally real with any issue that’s discussed.

I’m sure that this will make it easier for me to do this for free every week on a site full of people who often make me sick, especially the ones that claim to be experts in Hip-Hop but regurgitate the same uninformed opinions as the rest of the suburban fan boy internet massive.

We may tackle that dummy next week…

Until next time, do like the homie Ssquared says and Keep it Real!

p.s. George Bush does not care about poor people.


p.p.s hit up the myspace page and listen to my music…

Check me out!