President Obama hosted a group of black artists on Friday as part of his “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative”, and not everyone is happy about it. It appears that some of his guests were the reason why. They included musician Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, Busta Rhymes and Ludicrous to name a few. Popular conservative blog Redstate, was quick to let out their battle cry, calling the artists “vile thugs”, and describing the group as a “gaggle.” Redstate’s views, seem to be shared by many, if not most conservatives. Conservatives who believe that all black offenders, regardless of their crimes, should languish in prison for all eternity, and who also hold the belief that all rap artists are criminals or “thugs” as they put it. These are the kind of views that helped give birth to Donald Trump. A man most true conservatives reject, but just can’t seem to get rid of. Conservatives do indeed reap what they sow.
It appears to be the belief of Redstate, and many others as well, that artists such as Minaj and Ludicrous, promote criminal behavior in their lyrics, and perhaps even encourage it. It would be difficult to argue that the lyrics of these and other artists in their genre, offer anything positive to their fans. There is the argument to be made that artists like Minaj and Ludicrous are appealing to the life experience of their audience in their lyrics, and isn’t that the very essence of what music is? Many of us believe that music and lyrics should embody a positive message, We may hold the belief that music should lift us up, not tear us down. It is difficult for many of us to find good in profanity laced lyrics that objectify women and glorify violence. After all, what good can possibly come from that?
Minaj, Ludicrous and Rhymes are clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, but labeling them as “vile thugs” because of their music, says much more than their lyrics ever will. Redstate, has more often than not taken the high road in matters of racism. They have spoke out vehemently against what they believe to be Donald Trump’s racist views. They have trashed the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, without hesitation and for similar reasons. Perhaps it’s the popular blog’s intense hatred for Obama, that seems to take them from the light into such dark and racist places. What I would say to Redstate is, if you don’t know who you are and what you stand for, how will we?
President Obama first introduced “My Brother’s Keeper” in 2014. “The mission of the initiative is to address problems facing young men of color and provide intervention with the help of civic leader.
“We need to give every child, no matter what they look like, where they live, the chance to reach their full potential. Because if we do – if we help these wonderful young men become better husbands and fathers, and well-educated, hardworking, good citizens – then not only will they contribute to the growth and prosperity of this country, but they will pass on those lessons on to their children, on to their grandchildren, will start a different cycle. And this country will be richer and stronger for it – for generations to come.”
– President Barack Obama, February 27, 2014