Do you remember the days when Hip Hop mattered? Nearly 20 ago, Rap Legend/Icon KRS-ONE, wrote a polemic on police brutality that is made relevant once again as the Philly police are caught doing on tape (below), what people in black communities have known them to do since the reconstruction era: get violent. Unfortunately, this relationship has been very slow to change over the years. What strikes me about this, is that there were so many cops on the scene, over a dozen and you don't see anyone physically stopping an officer from hitting these suspects. If brutality wasn't rampant, and a police officer objected to what was happening but didn't want to snitch, at the least you would expect to see him/her grab a nightstick or push a fellow officer back and tell him to cool off. Forget that they are supposed to, like, you know, uphold the law and silly shit like that.
And of course after they finish doing their dirty deeds, they make public cries for calm. Dont get me wrong, I think there should be calm, because any violence is only going to mean more black people are hurt, dead or in prison, but I think the police ought to practice what they preach every once in a while.
And in the midst of thinking about the grim reality of police brutality & crime in black neighborhoods, I am also forced to be saddened at how I can no longer rely on Hip Hop to speak intelligently to my life and struggle as a black man in this country. Do you think any of what passes for Hip Hop today is going to be remotely memorable 20 years from now? This shit is all around depressing.
Labels: KRS-ONE, police brutality