Tuesday, April 9, 2013
UNCLE L BECOMES UNCLE RUCKUS
By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files ((( sDOTv ))) now playing Uncle Ruckus The Confederate flag, for many is still a revered symbol of pride. Many laid down their life to protect what it represented. They rejoice in their sentimental fondness for the “good ole days” when it was expected and respected to put darkies in their place. For them, it isn’t an emblem of treason against their country. The proud rebel son is unapologetic about his lynch mob heritage and affinity for strange fruit. He doesn’t deny his terroristic history of rape and murder, he embraces it. To him, it is what it is. The song “Accidental Racist” is the equivalent of saying “I have a Black friend” which is what suspected racists claim whenever they’re called on their BS by more observant individuals. This the old, “I can’t be a racist because I live next door to…work with…listen to music by…” rationalization used to disarm discerning critics who smell the stench of racism still rearing its ever-present ugly head in everyday life. The “accident” supposedly is that flag wearers are “unaware” of the racist sentiments attached to their Confederate flag. They are somehow clueless that it symbolically represents an allegiance to plantation culture which relied solely on chattel slave labor. It’s not their fault that despite access to Google they don’t know about the hateful heritage attributed to many who brandished their beloved Dixie memorabilia in an effort to keep things the same. On the one hand, many ‘conservative’ whites celebrate their heritage of exploration and conquest. They see themselves as heirs apparent to a powerful numerical minority (white people make up 8-to-9 percent of the global population) who have shrewdly seized majority privileges (resources) from the global masses of non-white people. On the other hand, some ‘liberal’ whites cringe with red-faced embarrassment at ever-present contemporary reminders of the atrocities committed to enable them to pretend they don’t see their unearned privileges or notice allure of their stolen power. To the disenfranchised, white is white. People denied power and privilege make no distinction between ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal. They are symbolically one in the same. One is overt and the other is covert in their practice of racism; not just as an ideology, but as a religion. Racism (white supremacy) is not an accident. It is an intentional system of suppression and oppression. The ‘accidental racist’ is a mythological character. This non-existent individual is a figment of the misguided imagination of victims who would rather believe certain individuals are ignorant rather indifferent to the truth of what racism is and how it works. Contrary to their wishful thinking racism is alive and thriving. It is rampant and ever-present as a subtext to our everyday conversations and interactions. Despite all the proclamations of being in a ‘post racial’ world racism continues to divide us because of our unwillingness to acknowledge its presence and confront its ugliness. UNCLE L BECOMES UNCLE RUCKUS I hoped and prayed it wasn’t so, but when a younger hip-hopper sent me a tweet yesterday of the new “Accidental Racist” video starring Brad Paisley and LL Cool J my mouth was left wide open in a WTF grimace. James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J was once considered the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) in hip-hop. His discography is chock full of memorable classics – I Need A Beat, I’m Bad, Doin’ It, Mama Said Knock You Out – too numerous to name. He has dominated the music charts, captivated the small and big screen, dabbled in literature and served as brand ambassador to global trendsetters. His accolades speak volumes of his “LL” standing for “living legacy”, but that legacy has been tarnished. The irony that LL is peddling a new album entitled “Authentic” slated to be released April 30th and is featured on such a “inauthentic” song has countless people dismissing him as irrelevant and out-of-touch with today’s reality. Having to explain to a 45-year old man that racism still exists is sad. For someone who was born January 14th, just one day before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929) in 1968, the same year Dr. King was assassinated to be clueless about racism is truly reflective of how detached we’ve become from the reality of the ‘dream’ which remains a ‘nightmare’ for many. LL appears simply clueless. Perhaps he’s spent so much time “acting” that he’s lost sight of the ‘keep it real’ credibility factor demanded by the streets. With more than two-decades of putting in work he is fast-becoming irrelevant. Check the blogosphere. It’s over for LL. Many are saying “it’s a wrap” for the now disgraced rapper/actor. Check the rhyme yourself: ((( sDOTv ))) now playing Brad Paisley featuring LL Cool J "Accidental Racist" Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood I wasn't there when Sherman's March turned the south into firewood I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods So when I see that white cowboy hat, I'm thinkin' it's not all good I guess we're both guilty of judgin' the cover not the book I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here I'm just a white man (If you don't judge my do-rag) Comin' to you from the Southland (I won't judge your red flag) Tryin' to understand what it's like not to be I'm proud of where I'm from (If you don't judge my gold chains) But not everything we've done (I'll forget the iron chains) It ain't like you and me can re-write history (Can't re-write history baby) First of all, there’s nothing culturally empowering about a man wearing a head scarf (doo rag). The absurdity of comparing and contrasting a fashion accessory with an emblem of nationalist pride is embarrassing. As a Black man, I am not just offended by LL’s ignorance, I am ashamed of his pathetic attempt to pretend he is socially-conscious after nearly two-decades of silence. GTFOHWTMFBS! “Dear Mr. White Man…” As usual, the confused victim of racism shuffles his feet and shows reverence for those he views as being socially superior. Not surprisingly, “Mrs. White Woman” gets off again without so much of a mention. Interestingly enough, it was because of Mrs. White Woman that Mr. White Man committed some many horrific atrocities and willingly raised that rebel flag to ensure she could remain a creature of comfort. The only people confused about racism are victims of racism (Black people). The beneficiaries and practitioners are quite intentional about their everyday activities. They are told they have privilege and power based upon their racial classification as soon as they're born. There is no such thing as an "accidental racist", and it's not necessary to focus on the victim (LL) and his lack of knowledge because that's a diversionary tactic used by the skillful racist. Just as we don't berate rape victims for wearing the "wrong" clothes or not "knowing better"; pummeling of the victim (LL) seems counterproductive in this instance. But I could be wrong; I too suffer from racial retardation.