Many Concerned Black Harvard Alumni have recently gathered in order to express our solidarity in mourning the death of Michael Brown, and commitment to justice for this young man and countless others deprived of essential liberties guaranteed to all Americans.
Public Enemy educated black communities to Fight the Power of oppression and let them know they weren’t alone with songs like 911 is a joke in your town. NWA told people to Fuck the Police, not because they were proud hardcore criminals, but because they were tired of oppression and police brutality. These are just two examples of many.
The black community faces numerous problems. Black-on-black violence, white-on-black violence, failing inner-city schools, police brutality, racial profiling, poverty, disproportionately high incarceration rates, the breakdown of families, the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act and a host of other issues that can be traced back to structural racism and the lingering effects of slavery and segregation.
When it really counts, and people really need to stand up against injustice, instead of ACTING, they take to social media and merely vent. They get all there emotions out on social media sites. They make cool, witty hashtags that start to trend. They express their anger. Then they forget.
What if rappers decided to use their music like Pussy Riot has and called attention to situations such as Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Rekia Boyd and the numerous other examples of atrocities that seem to primarily afflict Black people, poor people, and, especially, poor Black people?
Racism as we know it was created to justify the economic exploitation of African slave labor. Today, it is a tool designed to pit one economically disenfranchised group against a much larger and even moreso economically disenfranchised population.