Look, I don’t know Lupe Fiasco personally, and for all I know he might be the type of person to steal his co-workers lunch out of the refrigerator at work. But as an Hip Hop artist and entertainer? I have madd respect for the brother especially given his content is not-so-mainstream and full of substance. But that’s just me, and apparently he said some shit recently that has folks around the Internet kinda ticked off just a tad bit.
Now of course you know you cannot be Black and say anything deemed negative about president Barack Obama unless you’re a Republican which pretty much makes you De facto racist. So of course a few of my brothers and sisters are pitching a bitch about this specific part of the entire interview:
“In my fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America. For me, I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. The root cause of the terrorism is the stuff that you as a government allow to happen and the foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists. And it’s easy for us because it’s really just some oil, which we can really get on our own. I don’t vote. I don’t get involved in the political process because it’s meaningless, to be honest. I’m a real big believer if I’m gonna vouch for someone, then I’m gonna stand behind everything that they do. So politicians aren’t gonna do that because I don’t want you to bomb some village in the middle of nowhere.” – Lupe FiascoPersonally I understand and empathize with the somewhat tribal response to this. That being, the perennial need to defend America’s first Black president from critique by Black folks. But be that as it may, let’s stop pretending that this country has become less of a purveyor of imperialism which is rooted in economic benefit and not the need to spread democracy as it says. Let’s stop pretending and keep it real as the young folks say. Let’s not pretend that there isn’t some truth to what Lupe says. Surely this didn’t all stop in January, 2009.
Now as far as his views on voting? They are his own; and please believe, there are many who share his view. In the 2008 presidential elections, according to reports by the Census Bureau, Of the total population of eligible voters (225, 499 million 18 & older), only 58% of them voted, and 94, 355 million people did not. Now, the question that begs to be asked to Lupe’s point is: did it really make a difference? If more people voted in 2008 would there be less corporate welfare at the expense of the working class?
No seriously, I’d really appreciate an answer.
I know, sounds crazy coming from me, right? So I guess the better or more appropriate question to Lupe’s point should be: given the vote you cast in 2008, are you satisfied with how things have been done thus far? I’d really love to hear your thoughts on that considering how the polls have been shaking out as of late. With Mitt Romney currently tied with Obama in 2012 projections according to polls. I’d venture to say that quite a bit of you are not quite happy.
I also suspect that most of you are of the “if you don’t vote you have no right to complain,” camp. But seriously, is not voting a bad thing when it’s easy to cast a write-in ballot with Mickey Mouses name on it? Is not voting really a bad idea when we all know that the outcome of most elections is determined by how much money a candidate raises? Money which they receive compliments the blessings of some highly paid individuals who work on Washington DC’s K Street? Is not voting a bad idea when we’re stuck with the same tired corporate-sponsored two-party-system as our only option year after year?
Can you stand behind everything Obama has done?
I know some of you are gonna hit me with the, “well if you’re Black you owe it to your ancestors who died for the right to vote,” thing. And that’s a good point and all. However, you must remember that they didn’t even have the option to vote or not vote. In other words, that’s what they died for – to have the option to vote. Yes, that option otherwise known as the “right to vote,” is just what they died for; before the stroke of a pen, they didn’t have such option.
And besides, where in the Black people’s handbook is there the rule written that one must cast a vote because you owe it to Kunta Kinte, Chicken George, and every Black person stolen from Africa who weren’t kings and queens?.
OK, so I’m only half joking about that. However, I think the error many people I’ve heard make over this Lupe statement, is in believing that casting a vote is the end all to be all, and is of the utmost importance or else you’ll die like Puffy told us. But from where I sit, it doesn’t stop with just casting a vote. It takes collective activism otherwise known as democracy to impact policy decisions. So yeah, maybe Lupe is an idiot because he didn’t vote and you did. But the question is: what are you doing now? Are you happy being a silent accomplice to the system willing to stifle voices of dissent? Shit, Jehovah Witness’ don’t believe in blood transfusion, serving in the military, or even voting. Does that mean that Jehovah Witness’ like Serena Williams are idiots much like Lupe Fiasco? Muhammad Ali went to prison for refusing to go to war, is he an idiot? You might say they all are, but rational thinkers would recognize them as people with strong convictions and beliefs.
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.” — Muhammed AliListen, this is America and you’re pretty much free to do whatever you please, short of killing somebody or making a sex tape with a minor if you’re an adult. Lupe Fiasco is within his rights to say what he wants to say, and do what he wants to do. He’s just another entertainer who makes a living with his craft by enlightening those who would listen to what’s going on. But I suppose to the folks who’ve never listened to him none of that matters. Hell, maybe he should focus on teaching kids how to Dougie. I mean it’s not like Obama didn’t win a Nobel Peace Prize for escalating a war, or nothing.
But just in case you think I’m full of shit as is Lupe Fiasco with his comment on U.S. foregin policy. Do yourself a favor; no seriously, it’s not going to cost you a dime. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to listen to Larry Wilkerson break it down for you. You probably don’t know Larry, but he’s a retired army colonel, and also the former chief of staff to Colin Powell. Listen to how he breaks down and explains that war isn’t about truth, justice, and the American way as some would have you believe and buy into. It is indeed always about corporations, politics, and power. And as Lupe said, if you’re gonna vote for someone for president, you should or must be able to stand behind everything he does. But I doubt any of you could say that you do infact agree and support everything Bush ever did with regards to the war on terror.
A funny position especially when the current president has adopted the samne doctrine; and ultimately, what America is about. But hey, who ever wants to listen to dumb rappers speak, right? Sure, let’s spend $1 billion in the Middle East to promote democracy as Obama recently proposed. Yes, let’s do that while we carry out cuts to programs in education, as well as funding for lower-income citizens etc. Yep, let’s continue to feed the Military Industrial Complex with bodies too poor to afford college or who may have a hard time finding gainful employment. Let’s do that, and let’s support that because the government says it’s what we should do.
Something tells me y’all wont view the following videos, but I’ll post them anyway:
(Pay attention at the 4:00 mark)
In this one he really brings it home…
“We’re in Afghanistan, we’re in Iraq, we’re in the so-called global war on terror (and don’t believe that’s over; we’re still fighting in certain countries), and we were in Libya. And my God, we could be in Syria tomorrow and Iran next week. This is crazy. This is what we do today. We do war. And increasingly we do it with less than 1 percent of the population, less than 1 percent. This is unconscionable. George Washington would not claim us today.” — Larry Wilkerson