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Zimmerman and the Fight That Almost Happened

I’m glad the fight has been cancelled. This whole thing has been a real-life Twilight Zone episode. I hear the promoter’s conscience suddenly kicked in.  At least that’s what we’re told. Beyond the satisfaction millions of justice-seeking folks might have gotten from watching Zimmerman get his ass beat, win or lose, he and his team would have made a profit. But don’t sleep. Not only is Zimmerman a murderer, he’s also a vile opportunist who has been using his notoriety to make money as a painter. In December, this bastard sold a painting for over $100,000. You can be sure he’ll find another way to capitalize off his name. Next thing you know, he’ll change his name to Gee-Z and release a rap album. Think that’s crazy? It’s no crazier than a “celebrity” boxing match starring a murderer and a struggling rapper, something I’d never believe possible just a few weeks ago.

But the fact that it almost happened is a tragedy in and of itself.

Zimmerman wasn’t the only degenerate playing a role in this surreal scenario. Agents, publicists, managers, network execs, and a host of other despicable characters were all anxiously waiting to cash in on America’s morbid curiosity. And while they may have tried to justify their actions by claiming that proceeds of the fight were going to charity, those working behind the scenes to coordinate this event were getting paid for their services.  How these people sleep at night is beyond me.

By the way, do we even know which charity this blood money was going to? Could it have been a fly-by-night operation set up by Zimmerman and his handlers?

Of course, this perverse boxing match wouldn’t have been possible without an audience, some undoubtedly waiting to see Zimmerman reduced to a bloody pulp, others cheering on their beloved hero.  And DMX would’ve been right at the center of this twisted circus, a guinea pig caught up in a macabre social experiment years of mind-numbing reality TV has prepared us for. Still, I can only imagine how tempting it must’ve been for DMX to hand out an ass beating on behalf of the millions who have fantasized about it.

But in Trayvon Martin’s honor, we couldn’t have allowed this travesty to go on. The people spoke up and this time, the people won. Of course, mainstream media has already done enough damage devaluing Black life by turning people into caricatures and living stereotypes. Their desire to choose DMX and not the 15,000 other applicants who wanted to go toe-to-toe with Zimmerman is based on these very stereotypes media has spent years promoting in order to rob people of their dignity. A decade of publicizing DMX’s personal struggles for entertainment turned him into Zimmerman’s ideal opponent: a troubled loose-cannon with a penchant for violent outbursts; in other words, a wild animal, the same image Zimmerman painted of Trayvon to win his case. However, those of us who seek justice and real solutions to the many ills plaguing our communities couldn’t sit idle while they denied both Trayvon Martin and DMX’s humanity.

Less important but still worth mentioning, we need Hip Hop’s voice opposing this type of madness rather than becoming part of it. I’d prefer hearing DMX express his anger through song rather than seeing him exploited by those whose job it is to profit from a child’s death.

But this time, the people spoke up and won this battle. The war isn’t over but this is a reminder that there is strength in unity.  Next time something like this happens, and there will be a next time, let’s remember that we stepped up and made a difference. Let this be a step in the right direction.

 

Sebastien Elkouby is a Hip Hop Culture historian, freelance writer, creative consultant, and award-winning educator. Check out his educational program, Global Awareness Through Hip Hop Culture and blog,SebIsHipHop.wordpress.com. For more info about his creative consulting services, contact him at[email protected].com.