Monday, September 3, 2007

Why, Jesse?

Can somebody tell me what the hell Jesse Jackson is doing protesting THIS video?

Some background: The voice in the animated rap video posted above is a dude named Bomani, and I had his song "Read a Book" up on my MySpace a few months ago. Betts performed with him, and he sang the song at the gig. It's interesting to me, because Bomani routinely calls himself a poet, and not a rapper. Yeah, that's him.

Now in all fairness, I can understand where some people are hot at some of the images in the video. I am reminded of certain racist images like the sambo, and maybe seeing the "b-o-o-k" on the girl's ass was a bit much. But for real. Satire is one of the oldest devices in art. If an artist can't satirize something as ridiculous as Lil John and the whole Southern Crunk rap phenomenon, then what the hell are we sentencing Black people to? I've heard Jesse Jackson say that this video empowers the Michael Richardses and Imuses of the world. To which I say: Since when did Black people have to empower White people to be racist?

I'm at a loss to understand why Jesse is coming out against a nice young dude trying to say something NEW in the midst of all this ridiculous commercial hiphop. Maybe y'all get it better than I do. If so, tell me.

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