Marco Rubio Tells Jay-Z: He Must Learn.. We Tell Rubio He Should Learn As Well

jay-z sideAccording to USA Today, Jay-Z is applying to become a baseball agent with Major League Baseball Players Association receiving his application to  be certified was received last week.

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports announced last week New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was their first client.

Jay-Z, who denied he was selling his shares of the Brooklyn Nets in the song Open Letter‘ obviously is to avoid any sort of potential problems and conflict with the MLBPA.

If Jay-Z gets certified, this may put a whole new twist on his trip to Cuba.. As folks may know Cuba’s amateur Baseball is deemed a powerhouse on the world stage.. Currently many in MLB have raided Latin American countries including the Dominican Republic looking for the next superstars.. Perhaps Jay-Z’s visit to Cuba was a way to get a head start on looking for great players in that country.. who knows? It’s not something to rule out..

Marco_Rubio,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress

Senator Marco Rubio

On another note Senator Marco Rubio, a self subscribed Hip Hop head and Jay-Z fan responded to Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba saying he should get informed..Then he dropped a couple of misleading gems to cloud the issue.. He said on ABC News with Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl

“I think Jay-Z needs to get informed.  One of his heroes is Che Guevara.  Che Guevara was a racist.  Che Guevara was a racist that wrote extensively about the superiority of white Europeans over people of African descent, so he should inform himself on the guy that he’s propping up,”

What Rubio was referring to was Che’s diary notes written when he was 24 years old where he noted that

“The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations.”

He also noted that Blacks didn’t bath too much..

Che Guevara

Che Guevara

Such remarks were written and espoused by Che who at the time had little contact with Black folks and brought into a lot of the myths an stereotypes.. He also changed over the years and his thinking evolved.. As was noted in an article by our good friends at Afro Punk who famously addressed this issue a couple of years ago,  Che not only evolved his thinking but also fought in All-African armies in Cuba  and in the Congo..where he went to fight after the death of leader Patrice Lumumba. He called for school integration before the US was down to address the issue.. Peep the article here..http://www.afropunk.com/profiles/blogs/che-guevara-a-racist-a-glimpse

Che went to the United Nations to denounce the organization for not doing enough to end Apartheid Rule.. He came down hard on the US for her treatment of Black people..In his speech before the United Nations Che said

“Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men—how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?

You can peep the entire speech here; http://www.marxists.org/archive/guevara/1964/12/11.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wdo6FwAPyng

Malcolm X talked about Civil Rights & Black church leadership taking funds to compromise on key positions during the March on Washington

Malcolm X admired Che and invited him to speak at OAAU Meeting

With respect to Jay-Z educating himself.. Rubio is right, Jay-Z should. He should educate himself about the harsh, hostile hatred shared by many of the rich wealthy 1% plantation owners towards Cuba’s Black population who aligned themselves with the Batista Regime who were overthrown by Castro. Many of those 1%ers fled from Cuba to Miami and for years held on to the same racial disdain for Black folks that Rubio accuses Che of holding. And I’m saying this as someone whose father lived in Miami, Liberty City since the 60s and was very active up until his passing two years ago.. We won’t even talk about the scapegoating and racial hostility directed at Haitians which is a whole chapter onto itself.. But I’m sure in 2013 Rubio would argue that things are different now and that people’s attitudes have changed.. Well we do know that Che had evolved the same as Malcolm X who expressed admiration for Che and even invited him to speak at the Audubon Ballroom to speak at a meeting for OAAU [Organization of Afro-American Unity.. You can read about that HERE

During the interview with ABC News, Rubio  “Secondly, I think if Jay-Z was truly interested in the true state of affairs in Cuba, he would have met people that are being oppressed, including a hip-hop artist in Cuba who is right now being oppressed and persecuted and is undergoing a hunger strike because of his political lyrics.”

This is an interesting assertion on  a number of levels. First the Cuban rap artists who is on hunger strike has become a cause celebre His name is Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga better known as Critico de Arte. Most people up until Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba never heard of this artist and would be hard pressed to name a song or the political party Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) he is affiliated with..He’s a tool of convenience..He’s a talking point for those trying to win a political argument. Sadly his plight and the plight of many like him are of very little concern to Rubio and people who think like him..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSoszQXgzik

Hunger strikeI find it fascinating that Rubio would talk about this young man’s hunger strike but as a United States Senator has ignored the massive hunger strikes here in US prisons..Last year there was a big one in several Georgia State prisons.. Rubio was absent from that.. You can read about that one here http://blackagendareport.com/georgia-jackson-state-prisoners-hunger-strike-day15

There were prison hunger strikes in California most notably Pelican Bay the year before which Rubio was silent about .. You can read that Here: http://solitarywatch.com/2012/07/03/one-year-anniversary-of-pelican-bay-hunger-strike-against-solitary-confinement/

What’s most disturbing about this prison strike in California since we are talking about the state clamping down on dissident voices in Cuba is whats went on here in the US with the media Blackouts of the prison strikes  http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/21/headlines/media_ban_imposed_as_california_prison_hunger_strike_enters_4th_week

As we speak there are hunger strikes going on at our own Guantanamo Bay. In addition to torturing people who are held as enemy combatants, meaning they haven’t even gone on trial yet, we have guards shooting at those hunger strikers .. Again this is going on right now.. in April of 2013. http://www.democracynow.org/2013/4/15/headlines/military_guards_fire_on_gitmo_hunger_strikers

The hunger strike which involves more than 100 prisoners has been going on since March http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/13/over_100_guantanamo_prisoners_on_hunger

With respect to political beliefs we can talk for hours about our own political prisoners, many of them former Black Panthers.. some have been locked away in solitary confinement for over 40 years..  http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/28/after_40_years_in_solitary_in

We would be here for days if we talk about the countries our government led by Senators like Marco Rubio are in alignment with and have strong ties who routinely prison dissident voices.. Try speaking out against the government in China or Saudi Arabia or even Egypt where they actually have a censorship czar. No one’s speech should be silenced, even the rapper in Cuba..But if our foreign policy is going to be galvanized by that while we ignore more egregious behaviors in our own backyard, we are beyond hypocritical.

Lastly for those who don’t know there has been serious cultural exchange going on between the Hip Hop community here in the US and the annual Hip Hop Festival they have in Cuba.. It’s been going on since 1995. Quite a few artists have been there numerous times and the bond between artists from here and Cuba has been strong.. It was just recently Las Krudus came by our show and spoke at length about the arts, racism and politics both at home in Cuba and here. It’s by no means all peaches and cream..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j2lBr42sFg

-Davey D-

Jay-Z Responds to His Cuban Crisis w/ an Open Letter

jay-z-folded-225Jay-Z got inspired the other night responded with vigor to his critics about his trip to Cuba…The song is called ‘Open Letter’ and the beat is slamming and is no doubt a serious head nodder.. You know its gonna anger all sorts of folks who are already heated, because he says in the song he loves Cubans.. His critics are saying by going to Cuba, he is showing hatred.. He starts off the song by saying he’ll turn Havana into Atlanta..Not sure if folks in Havana wanna see gentrification in their beloved city..because thats what has happened with the ATL.. No Beds, Baths and Beyond in Havana..

Jigga also talks about Obama and whether or not he’ll be selling his portion of the Brooklyn Nets..The hook to the song says’ ‘You Gonna Learn to Today‘. Ideally what we all learn is that Cuba has a dope education system which produces doctors who make major moves in healing people.. We could learn from that..We could also learn how to be self sufficient the way Cuban’s have been.. Folks are still surviving in spite of the crippling embargo we’ve put on them over the past 50 years..

Great song.. Glad Jay-Z responded.. Personally I wish he had shouted out or kicked a rhyme for Kimani Gray the young man gunned down by police in Brooklyn which set off 4 days of unrest in the East Flatbush last month.. I wish he would’ve said something about the unrest and the fact Stop-N-Frisk is on trial with cops revealing they been ordered to meet quotas and target young Black men and teens.. In any case that’s, just me expressing my ideal scenario.. Open Letter is a good song and maybe Jay-Z will return with more heat..

Russell Simmons Responds to Jay-Z w/ a Stinging Open Letter About Occupy Wall Street

In recent days a firestorm erupted around rap star Jay-Z when he was quoted as saying he thought Occupy Wall Street was ‘Un-American’ when it demonized the 1%…

Jay-Z went on to state that he didn’t get down with the Occupy Movement because he didn’t know anything about it’s goals. Many of us found this to be a bit odd since Jay-Z had embroiled himself in a controversy last year when he announced that he would be making Occupy Wall Street t-Shirts, but he had no intention of sharing the loot with OWS.. Russell Simmons who is friends with Jay-Z noted that he talked with him about it..Eventually Jay-Z released a t-shirt line called Occupy All streets.  Its with tht in mind we found Jigga’s remarks about not knowing about OWS’s goals.. The other day Simmons set the record straight witha public response to Jay-Z’s NY Times interview.. Here’s the open letter which first appeared in Global Grind..

-Davey D-

Jay-Z Is Right 99 Times, But This Ain’t One By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

As a person who cares deeply about Occupy Wall Street, I have to honor their year-long effort and educate my long-time friend, Jay-Z. This weekend, he was interviewed by the New York Times where he discusses OWS, where he was quoted as saying “I’m not going to a park and picnic, I have no idea what to do, I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?” If he understood it and endorsed the movement, it would make a big difference to poor people. As the same man that said he would pay more taxes if it helped educate more children and create affordable healthcare, Jay-Z’s words matter. He was honest enough to say that he didn’t understand it. A lot of Americans don’t. He was also honest enough to recognize that there are some in the 1 percent who “deceiving” and “robbing,” so I know in his heart he gets it. I know he is a compassionate person who cares about the poor, so I’m certain if I had two more minutes with him, I could change his mind.

I went to Zuccotti Park, the home-base of the Occupy Wall Street movement, almost everyday for months. I listened to the young people talk about their 99 problems. The 99 percent. Healthcare reform. Prison industrial complex. The war machine. Bad schools. Lack of access to affordable higher education. Genetically modified food. Gay rights. Immigration reform. Crumbling housing projects. Climate change. Everyday, there was a new protester with a new sign, fighting for the rights of the under-served. There was never an official agenda or media-friendly talking points. Zuccotti Park and the Occupy camps that sprung up around the country were places for any and every person to come and share ideas about how to better perfect our union. Our democracy.

I would agree that for many it was hard to understand the purpose of the movement if you did not attend any of the General Assemblies, or march hand-in-hand with the millions of protesters around the country. The months during the height of the beginning of the movement were unlike anything we had seen before in our nation. A protest led by no one, but always led by leaders. Organized through social media, yet no organization at the forefront. This was a true people’s campaign.

If we look back at the accomplishments thus far of Occupy Wall Street, there are many. For one, the national conversation that preceded September 17th, 2011 was dominated by a manufactured political fight in Washington to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a credit default. Within the first weeks of OWS, the conversation had been changed to the real issue that is eroding America; economic inequality, a topic that hasn’t been discussed for decades. Within the first few months of OWS, the conversation evolved into an examination of how Wall Street’s money has destroyed our political system and took control of our democracy. The prison industrial complex, lower taxes for the rich, the outsourcing of jobs, Wall Street running rampant, poisonous foods for our children, even some wars and almost everything that disempowers the poor, is a result of money passing from lobbyists and corporations to our politicians. And that is what Occupy Wall Street is fighting against. It is a sad state that the politicians work for the people who pay them, not for the people who elect them. That is not democracy.

f you look at the current Presidential election, Money Mitt Romney and his buddies are spending 12 times that of President Obama in special interest money and/or Super PACs. Money Mitt is clearly being manipulated by big corporations and folks who can write $10 million checks. The man changes his position every three days. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizen’s United, our democracy sign was placed on the front lawn with big red letters: FOR SALE! I am encouraged by President Obama’s support of using a Constitutional Amendment as an option to return our democracy back to the people. This will be his legacy issue. I am sure of that. And without the pressure of Occupy Wall Street, this conversation might never have happened.

So, Jay, here’s the deal. You’re rich and I’m rich. But, today it’s close to impossible to be you or me and get out of Marcy Projects or Hollis, Queens without changing our government to have our politicians work for the people who elect them and not the special interests and corporations that pay them. Because we know that these special interests are nothing special at all. In fact, they spend millions of dollars destroying the fabric of the black community and make billions of dollars in return. For example, the prison lobby paid politicians to create a so-called “War On Drugs” that resulted in a prison economy that disproportionately locks up black and brown people, including many of your friends and mine. They took drug-infected, diseased people, locked them up, educated them in criminal behavior and dumped them back into our community, thus producing a jail culture for our streets. There are more black people under correctional control (prison, jail, parole, probation) today, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War. This is just one issue that has been bought and sold. If we have to occupy Wall Street or occupy All Streets to change the course of direction of this nation, then we must. We must take our democracy off the market and let the world know that it is no longer for sale! Mic check!

Your Friend,

~Russell Simmons