28 August 2013

That hateful, racist George W...

...wait a minute...

The West Wing has thus far brushed off suggestions Obama make a symbolic trip to the predominantly black, bankrupt city of Detroit — because “there’s not a goddam we can do right now to help them,” according to one Obama hand.
Just another story you won't see on the CBC.

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COMPARE & CONTRAST:
Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," written in 1962, hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts just before the crowd gathered in Washington. When the folk-music trio Peter, Paul and Mary sang the song for the 250,000 people in front of the Lincoln Memorial that day, it became an interracial anthem for change. The song itself drew inspiration from two others: The lyrics brought to mind Woody Guthrie's "Bound for Glory," which included an allegory about newspapers blowing down city streets, and its melody came from a slave protest song called "No More Auction Block."

Sam Cooke, the black gospel and rhythm-and-blues singer began performing the Dylan song immediately after the march. He had been working on a song about the hurt he felt as a black man living with racism yet also with hope for better times. In December 1963, Cooke recorded "A Change Is Gonna Come." The song became a hit on black radio, another anthem of yearning for a nation without racial rancor.

Now, half a century after the lyrical promise of that inspiring music and poetry, there is the inescapable and heartbreaking contrast with the malignant, self-aggrandizing rap songs that define today's most popular music.

In Jay-Z's current hit, "Holy Grail," he sings about "psycho bitches" and uses the n-word seven times while bragging that he is "Living the life . . . Illest [n-word] alive." Another top rapper, Lil Wayne, released a song in the spring with an obscenity in the title, using the n-word repeatedly and depicting himself as abusing "hoes" and "bitches."

Similar examples abound in the rap-music world and have persisted for years with scarcely any complaint from today's civil-rights leaders. Their failure to denounce these lyrics for the damage they do to poor and minority families—words celebrating tattooed thugs and sexually indiscriminate women as icons of "keeping it real"—is a sad reminder of how long it has been since the world heard the sweet music of the March on Washington.
Progress? Methinks not.


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