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I found this on another site, and thought it spoke volumes. Nayo
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What It Iz: Paper Tigers

The civil rights generation left us behind "” they only wake up and pay attention to hip hop when they want to criticize us for our taste in music.




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By jimi izrael

Black history and black historians have failed the hip hop generation.
I know this is a provocative statement. But before you get all bent out of shape, here's what I mean: by perpetuating iconography and pageantry over the substantive lessons of the past, our elders have left us with colorful T-shirts but little else. Without downplaying their contribution, I say unequivocally that in the rush to use the urinal in the "whites only" bathroom, our parents somehow forgot what was important. They forgot the dog's bite and the ring of the police baton upside their heads. And they forgot to pass along much beyond documentary films and sloganeering to a generation that needs the tenets of black empowerment now more than ever.

No one takes a grown man with a perm very seriously. Not in the '70s, not now. Not ever.
Old folks wag their fingers at the young'uns, but they must know that the hip hop generation can't take black history month seriously. Because they don't take us seriously. Oh sure, occasionally one of these civil rights relics will wake up to chastise hip hop and nod back to sleep. Sometimes they stay awake long enough to run for office, like Al Sharpton.

The Rev. Al fancies himself a friend of the hip-hop community, but just like all his friends, he only embraces us when the cameras are rolling. Fifteen years after Tawana Brawley and the Sharpton/Ennis talk-show brawl, he wants to run for president and expects to be taken seriously. But he brings a name built as the face of the race card, tainting and diluting issues to the point that whatever injustice may have actually been done gets discounted the moment he speaks into a microphone. Sharpton is a camera slut too horny for the soundbite and not horny enough for any foreplay that would really get some change jumping off. I dug his hunger strike for Vieques, but even that was engineered for maximum media coverage.

Al Sharpton once held a hip hop summit to discuss politics, inviting Salt, Play and Right On! Magazine's Cynthia Horner. Get outta here wit dat. Anyone who ever thought that Play was politically relevant or had any voice in the hip hop community is detached. Along with Maxine Waters, Ben Chavis, Russell Simmons and Louis Farrakhan, Sharpton is all talk, trying to encourage hip-hoppers to turn their numbers into political clout, while failing to educate them about the political process. Sharpton is hoping his civil right stripes will convince a hip-hop generation to vote. But nobody is checking for any brother with a conk laying down any political-hype in 2004. I've said it once and I'll say it again: no one takes a grown man with a perm very seriously. Not in the '70s, not now. Not ever. Whatever clout Sharpton has as a kitschy quasi-political knick-knack won't be enough. You have to bring skills to the table to even rate "” every MC knows that. If I voted for him and he won, with no relevant political experience, what the hell would he do? Voting for someone just because they are the only black alternative is bananas. Might as well vote for Nader.

What about our other "leaders"? The NAACP can't be taken seriously by a youth movement sophisticated enough to recognize media hat-tricks and ignore the roars of paper tigers. The NAACP is a once-proud organization that has become less a force for change than a gang of bourgeois Negroes with just enough media sex appeal to harass the establishment about penny ante-ness. Forget about more blacks on must-see TV, because white people aren't that hard up to see us no how. And forget about reparations: you can throw away those Tommy Hilfiger catalogues and that stack of Cadillac brochures you've been collecting. T'hell with whether the word "nigger" stays in the dictionary: by the age of two, every American already knows what it means, so no one will be looking it up anyways. The NAACP could stay relevant by staying young and encouraging everyone to be a force for change in their own communities. But lately, they have the unmitigated gall to nominate R. Kelly for an Image Award.

I think vilifying Kelly would be a mistake, and I said as much in an earlier column. But he was out of pocket, and he's got some 'splainin' to do. Kelly misused us all as, minister by his side, as he rededicated his life to the Lord on BET "” remember that? Next thing you know, the Pied Piper of R&B (!) is talking about sticking his key in your little girl's ignition. And now we should give him an award? For his image? Not bloody likely. The NAACP may still be able to shake few guilty dollars out of whitey's corporate set-aside tree, but the streets are watching, and we don't see the kind of leadership fostered by black history champions of old. While the R. Kelly nomination is abhorrent, truth be told, the NAACP flushed its credibility some time ago.

Hip hop wasn't fooled by placards of Martin Luther King and Harriet Tubman lining the borders of our first-grade classrooms. In an age when Malcolm X is just a movie, Rosa Parks is suing hip-hoppers, Bobby Seale is hocking a cookbook and Jesse Jackson has his own baby-mama drama the hip hop generation needs less history and more future. We can't relate to the whites-only bathroom, and asking us to is just silly. We can't relate to brother in black berets spouting off about Mao, because most of those brothers are dead, and the spirit of their revolt "” their quest to be free or die trying "” has died with them. All anyone wants these days is a job with benefits "” to get a corner office with a view by any means necessary. That's an important revolution, but there are still more battles to wage, certainly for the hip hop generation. We may be the most college educated, media-savvy, economically liquid group of blacks this country has ever seen, but we have little idea how to harness that energy, and doubt whether our history holds any clues.

The black revolutionaries of old are reborn as the new conservative class, quick to degrade hip hop music but slow to change the politics that incubate and contextualize hip hop's harsh scenarios. It's true: hip hop has become an endless thunder of drums, but once, hip hop was the thermometer of the inner city. It was its own black history lesson.

The historians have little notion of what it means to be young, gifted and black in America these days, and they have left us with little by way of usable, practical guidance. A whole generation of disaffected youth has come up of age virtually ignored until they were on the brink of crisis. Even then, the civil rights elders respond by pasting up more iconography, shouting down more young people merely for being young and printing up more T-shirts.

But black history, as glorious as it was, is the past. Our generation is the present. And as we fly into a tailspin of disorganization and confusion, there doesn't seem to be enough black history in the world to help us. The next generation got lost in the rush to middle-class status. The damage has been done.


First published: February 4, 2004

About the Author

jimi izrael is an opinion writer and journalist based in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He can be contacted at jimiizrael@hotmail.com.
Original Post

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Yes, indeed, it does speak volumes!!

It paints a true and accurate picture of the problem with the hip-hop generation!! They do need direction ... have no idea where they are going ... and will never get there because when one doesn't know their past, they won't even be able to recognize their future even when they arrive in it! Roll Eyes

The present is the most they can ever hope to achieve. And that's kinda sad to me. Frown

BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Free your mind, and the rest will follow.


[This message was edited by EbonyRose on February 06, 2004 at 10:21 PM.]
What about our other "leaders"? The NAACP can't be taken seriously by a youth movement sophisticated enough to recognize media hat-tricks and ignore the roars of paper tigers. The NAACP is a once-proud organization that has become less a force for change than a gang of bourgeois Negroes with just enough media sex appeal to harass the establishment about penny ante-ness. --jimi iZreal

our elders have left us with colorful T-shirts but little else. -- jimi izreal

EbonyRose: You're right VOLUMES!!

Izreal is saying that this generation has exactly what we gave them -- T-shirts and slogans. I might add --- Color.

The Civil Rights Movement won the war of OPEN REPRESSION. But without achieving identity.

But black history, as glorious as it was, is the past. Our generation is the present. And as we fly into a tailspin of disorganization and confusion, there doesn't seem to be enough black history in the world to help us. The next generation got lost in the rush to middle-class status. --- jimi izreal

Sound without substance.

Recognition without identity.


PEADE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I strongly believe that the Civil Rights movement died at the end of the 1960's. The movement that has existed for the past 30 years is the Black Power/Black Nationlist Movement as it was brought to the forefront in the 1990's. Actually, I think that the Black Power/Black Nationlist Movement has always been in existence since the first slave came to the shores of the New World. Examples of this are the overthrow of the French in Haiti, Marcus Garvey and UNIA which boasted 1 million members in the U.S. alone at the turn of the 20th century, the Black Panther movement, the N.O.I., Malcolm X, the Mau Mau, etc. Once you realize all of the years that Black Power was the pervasive ideology, I think that you'll see it[The Civil Rights Movement] was only a small part of a larger human rights movement.

Importantly, I believe for young black people to get ahead today they need to get a "throw-back" ideology from Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X L'Oveture Toussaint and others who have been successful in carrying out their goals.

Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society
Malcolm X, 1965
We always forget that in order for anything to live and thrive it must be nurished and cared for.
We forget that after the original activists in the Civil rights movement paved the way for Black, AND ALL the other minorities in this country, women, the poor, etc., --all of the people that the civil rights leaders paved the way for in this country just strolled or raced down the newly paved road of civil rights and justice without looking back.
Everyone took advantage of the doors opened by the civil rights movement in instant and self-serving ways.
Once someone else paved the way for so many, the many had no intentions of looking out for anyone else other than themselves the same way they had been looked out for.

The civil rights movement opened up opportunities and caused positive changes in this country for all of America's oppressed groups in housing, employment, entertainment, sports, immigration, education, women's rights, gay rights, and on and on; but, after after African Americans primarily, along with others in this country who truely believed in equality and justice FOR ALL suffered imprisonment, beating, humiliations, torture and death to bring it about, it is primarily the African Americans that still suffer the most oppression in this country, however, now with the help of the people who have benefitted from their efforst and suffering: women (whom often are racist against blacks as some men are sexist against women)
Minorities that are in the this country now by the millions, who before the civil rights movement brought about change in discrimination in all areas, including immigration and naturalization, now it is other minorities and new immigrants to this country that eagarly jump on the white racist's bandwagon as well.
Some of the riches African Americans in this country are in the entertainment industry or the sports industry, however, blacks in the entertainment industry, rather than use the position as a platform to lift up our people are usually the main one perpetuating the worst stero-types of African Americans--not to mention how little money they actully give to poor communities that most of them come from.
Professional Athelets, with all of their millions of dollars often donate very little to their own African American communities or to African American children and teenagers that buy their products and where the people in this country to make sportwear, sneaker, etc., that these athletes push such a popular gear, that it is now just considered "casual" wear.
Gays in America, that have suffered a nealy parrallel oppression and discrimination as Blacks, are often just as racist against blacks as homo-phobic heterosexuals are homo-phobic against gays.

That just a few of the things that have kept the "civil rights" movement from moving forward, beyond the point that the original activists got it to.
Another thing that young people in particular have to understand also when assuming that the civil rights movement/leaders have forgotten about them or have not addressed their concerns, it that during the civil rights movement, IT WAS THE YOUNG PEOPLE that where many of the civil rights leaders, demonstrator, movers and shakers.
Most of our leaders are old and tired and have waited longer than they should have already for the next generation to take their place, but the next generation has not come through.
Even soldiers get tired, get old, retire, and die.
Yssys and sunnubian:

Yes. We do forget. Sadly, we forget ourselves. The .Civil Rights Movement was suffocated by "Me Too." Sunnubian describes it perfectly. When it happened you could feel it, but could do nothing. Take a look at the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Both are "loaded down" with everything from language to gender.

If there is to be a "new" movement, it MUST be about us. My "cry" is that we not be as near-sighted now as we were in the 70s. Please let us not again sign on with the color-based system of our society.

Of all the things that we are, our color is among the least.

Declaring our ancestral nationality is the valid doorway to the place where we belong in our nation, and the world.

Our children are showing us what happens when they have no idea of WHO they are.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

[This message was edited by James Wesley Chester on February 09, 2004 at 10:33 AM.]
We forget that after the original activists in the Civil rights movement paved the way for Black, AND ALL the other minorities in this country, women, the poor, etc., --all of the people that the civil rights leaders paved the way for in this country just strolled or raced down the newly paved road of civil rights and justice without looking back.


Oh, they looked back alright. They looked back to laugh, "whatcha still doin down there?" Why are you still oppressed in the land of opportunity?"


Everyone took advantage of the doors opened by the civil rights movement in instant and self-serving ways.

EVERYONE. And, I am horrified and amazed at the level of ignorance and self-righteous of many of these young immigrant children (17-30 year olds) who I often hear say how they are against Affirmative Action, and ask me what is wrong with Black Americans. I think I mentioned that I teach public speaking and so many of these youngsters who are 2nd generation to this country, almost always want to do a persuasive speech on why Affirmative Action is a bad thing!
I'm like, do they teach these folk about this on the flight/boat over here?

Once someone else paved the way for so many, the many had no intentions of looking out for anyone else other than themselves the same way they had been looked out for.

The civil rights movement opened up opportunities and caused positive changes in this country for all of America's oppressed groups in housing, employment, entertainment, sports, immigration, education, women's rights, gay rights, and on and on; but, after after African Americans primarily, along with others in this country who truely believed in equality and justice FOR ALL suffered imprisonment, beating, humiliations, torture and death to bring it about, it is primarily the African Americans that still suffer the most oppression in this country, however, now with the help of the people who have benefitted from their efforst and suffering: women (whom often are racist against blacks as some men are sexist against women)

I have worked/am working with these incredibly self-rightous White women and I am the only one in my office to have a Phd; and invariably, whenever they learn of this, they go, oh so that's how you got this job! While many of them have 'life training' or M.A.'s degrees only. I'm like, how did you get hired, and, the implication here, is that they would be more qualified over me if they had only high school diplomas, get it?


Minorities (immigrants?) that are in the this country now by the millions, who before the civil rights movement brought about change in discrimination in all areas, including immigration and naturalization, now it is other minorities and new immigrants to this country that eagarly jump on the white racist's bandwagon as well.

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! You said it! It is just amazing at the load of crap that I hear coming from many of these folk. broscream fool
Nayo,

I understand the thing with the qualifications.....i go through that same BS with whites on the job and in school all the time....but they just end up with a greater inferiority complex than what they had at first.....I once had a white student in a graduate course I was teaching ask me what was my qualifications to teach the course....i just mentioned some things to him he did not have a clue of and he went and sat his azz down. That just shows how arrogant they tend to be.....but reality is staring them in the face really hard during this time.

As so far as the immigrants....i have also had to listen to nonsense from those who do not have a clue what is going on. Like yourself, I have to remind them who's efforts got them the right to come here in the first place. This is why I do not believe in racial coalitions....black people need to focus inward and quit being the blocking for others who are trying to run the ball but do not want us to celebrate in the end zone or get a ring when they score a touchdown........I wonder sometimes if poverty does build character....because as a people, we damn sure seemed to be more on the same page when we did not have anything.....and whats up with that?
The disunification of the Black community is indeed mind-boggling. Perhaps it is because we don't have "leaders" today who can bind us together for the cause of progress, such as Martin and Malcolm mangaged to do. I don't really subscribe to that "way back in slave time mentality of separating the house slaves from the field slaves" because we have had too much time in between and too many examples of a different way to accomplish things for me to be able to lay the fact that we have the separations issues that we have today on a way of manipulation that happened so long ago.

We dropped the ball on the civil rights movement issue. We did not pursue it nor pass the teachings of it down to our youth. Martin died, Malcolm died and the Civil Rights Movement died right along with them. That is our fault, and probably our responsibility as far as firing it up again... if that is to happen. Perhaps what is needed is a whole different fight for a whole different cause.

What exactly is the meaning of the term "civil right" anyway? Does it equate to unquestioned equality across the board? 'Cause it seems to me that's what should be our present focus. Or was civil rights just a fraction of that ... meaning get our foot in the door to work our way towards such equality?

I think as adults we know that our past is just as important as our future, but if our youth don't know that, then what, exactly, is it they can fight for? The legacy they are creating is more one of selfishness than inclusion or progress. If they think they already have what they need, at what point will they realize that they don't? And what will happen when they do?

BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Free your mind, and the rest will follow.
Our children are reflections of us. They are much more likely to do what they SEE us do than to do what we say.

They will define themselves as we do.

If we don't, they can't

No one likes being "dissed."

The reaction is visceral. And the violence is visited on who/what one likes least.

For our children it seems to be themselves.

Only we can fix it.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
Well, as I see it, we first had to get their jackbooted foot off of our necks (1865 -;
then, we had to get the ropes from around OUR necks (1920's-1950's); then we had to get our behinds from the back of the bus (1955-1965); then we got some of our 'foots' in the door (but remained the 'Spook who sat by the door) 1966-1980's.

So it has been a series of progressive steps, but we have had many of our 'steps' cut off by incoming groups, naysayers,the 'black Ward Connerly's, and such, White countrymen who found a different way to 'skin the cat; and 'others who took up our paths as their own, stepped into OUR shoes, who have talked the talk, but who had not had to walk that walk that got us/them here.
So what now?

We need our azzzes behind desks and in conference rooms where decisions can be/are made. How to do this? Many of these successful young Black ie. Sean Combs, Russel Simmons Jayzee et al.,have the mental toughness to make the market, but look at the commodity/substance of their product. In the 1960's, there was this philosophy that one needed to be in the system to change the system. Would that be a strategy to implement the final change? For starters anyway?
quote:
...black people need to focus inward and quit being the blocking for others who are trying to run the ball but do not want us to celebrate in the end zone or get a ring when they score a touchdown.... Kevin41

Damn!! I need like a $500 dollars intricately crafted frame, mounting and custom fitting to posterize that work of articulate art!

rasta
quote:
I wonder sometimes if poverty does build character....because as a people, we damn sure seemed to be more on the same page when we did not have anything.....and whats up with that?
Kevin, I think Segregation gave us (well at least 95% of us, those who could not 'pass') absolutely no delusions. No confusion about the fact that we had to depend on each other and no delusions that the "White Man's Ice Is Colder"... Heck, somewhere we knew that the "White Man's Ice" came along with an Ice Trick (sh*t that will melt away when the heat is on - read national economic well-being) if not an ICE Pick!

If somebody did get it twisted Whites were right there to slap some damn sense into the fool Negro. Apparently, Negroes today need that kind of tough love and direction.

It's a shame there might have to be signs to tell Negroes what to do with their whole life and what their "place" [purpose] is.

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