So, there was an incident recently involving the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity at The University of Oklahoma. Apparently while riding on a bus, several members of the frat decided to start singing a chant which goes as follows: “There will never be a n—-r SAE, you can hang them from a tree but they will never sign with me, there will never be a n—-r SAE,”
Now… To the university’s credit, everyone who lived in the SAE frat house faced a university imposed deadline of midnight Wednesday to move out, and the frat’s national headquarters closed the chapter and suspended all of its members.
What got me is the fact that almost immediately after, there was much talk about how the guys heard the “n” word from rap lyrics and of course the old conversation about if rappers can say it, then why can’t anyone else say it came back up. I don’t want to spend too much time addressing that comment, because frankly if you are any race other than Black and you think it’s okay to go around chanting or rapping or saying in whatever context the word “N….” then my opinions and commentary are lost on you anyway so I’m not going to waste my time.
But in terms of this most recent incident, let’s talk a minute about the commentary by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of a show on MSNBC called Morning Joe. Instead of speaking on the hateful and deplorable language and behavior of these frat boys, they decided to mock rapper Waka Flocka Flame for choosing to cancel a scheduled performance at the SAE frat house. Brzezinski said, “If you look at every single song, I guess you call these, that he’s written, it’s a bunch of garbage. It’s full of n-words, it’s full of f-words. It’s wrong. And he shouldn’t be disgusted with [the fraternity]; he should be disgusted with himself.”
Really? Disgusted with himself huh? Now, this is when I have to admit my tolerance for bs and ignorance and dealing with idiots is at an all time low! Yes this is a free country and you have the right to be an idiot and as ignorant as you please. But best believe that if you make your ignorant ass commentary public, then you have just opened up yourself for some feedback to come back to ya.
This is a prime example of why we are not making any progress in this country. Look, yes, rap and the hip hop culture as a whole has got some work to do in terms of misogyny and perpetuating negative stereotypes. But come on now people! It’s 2015! Stop blaming hip hop for every damn thing that has to do with race! Hip hop is not to blame for the racist, ignorant, underlining tone that has permeated American culture for hundreds of years! Hip hop in its purest form is just shining a light on it.
Rap is not a pass for any and everyone to go out and start acting a damn fool! That’s like me saying punk rock music is gonna make me go out and want to kill myself and a bunch of folks. If I did that do you think the media would be looking at the punk rock group I was listening to? Hell no! They would say that black girl just went and killed herself and others, must be drugs or alcohol or perhaps a dysfunctional childhood. So why is it okay to blame rap for some white boys saying some ignorant racist crap?
Racism and hatred is unfortunately built into the very fabric of this country. Blaming hip-hop is not going to change that. If you need someone to blame, there’s plenty of blame to go around. If you actually want to begin to make some changes and progress, then be honest. Acknowledge ignorance and racism when its up in your face and stop turning a blind eye and calling it by another name. Call it what it is and place the blame where it needs to be placed.