Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We All Must Learn

One step beyond?

KRS-One - "The Way We Live" (mp3)
(Purchase here)

KRS-One - "Mr. Percy" (Feat. Triune) (mp3)
(Purchase here)

Sam Cooke - "If I Had a Hammer" (live) (mp3)
(Purchase here)

Call and Response is back at PopMatters (quick aside: KRS' Life dropped this past June ~ is "The Way We Live" a response song to... a conference? I keed. But the chorus amuses me).

Just in time as I've caught a case of holiday anxiety. Not because my Slavemaster Republic discount got cockblocked, or because Katrina's seed weren't invited back to the annual tree lighting (though that is telling). Rather, seems we can't go a year without some XTREME! GGW behavior. WTF, indeed.

Peace to Dallas and Dan: DP spotted first blood on the Black Friday Firing Squad, while Charnas brought the Michael Richards debacle (not Richards himself -- an important distinction) into context. Stepping out from the haze of these infuriating events, I am struck: are they a perverse re-up of Kanye's clarion call? And a disturbing sign of how polarized our society remains?


Nearly ten years ago, Robin D.G. Kelley described his book Yo' Mama's Disfunktional! as "not the sort of defense that turns the discourse [on 'urban populations,' race studies, and 'cultural wars'] on its head, 'flipping the script' in order to paint a noble, unblemished portrait of the black poor. Instead, I see this book as a defense of black people's humanity and a condemnation of scholars and policymakers for their inability to see complexity." These words, and the content of that prescient book, have been echoing of late because they remind me how race remains present in our society. Admittedly, race has played tricky post civil rights; you'd think that all that institutional change would prop up Sam's soul stirring invocation and trickle down some public spaces of goodwill towards fellow humans. But hearing the Blastmaster rail about basic housing rights in 2006 isn't surprising (tho that beat is thick). Nor is Papoose placing Sam in his sights an illustration of how much further we need to go. The murder of Sean Bell or the rants of Michael Richards aren't even needed to prove this point. Because enough was never accomplished in the first place, top down and bottom up. Nor is "enough" what it will take to bring the change. If love and peace are without boundaries, then it's time to stop measuring accomplishments ~ does/did your love prove his/her love by giving you just enough, or by going above and beyond?

Billy Sunday unloaded a Pod's worth of fiyah, but I'll also offer some words from Lee Hays and Pete Seeger through Sam Cooke, one more time. If you had the hammer, what would you do?

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