HKR Intv w/ Prof Jelani Cobb on Cory Booker, Black Voters & Safe Negro Politicians

Hard Knock Radio 94.1 FM: Just had an insightful conversation with author, professor and political analyst Jelani Cobb about his recent article in the New Yorker Magazine titled: Cory Booker the Dilemma of the Black Politician..In his article Cobb focuses on the recent controversy that Booker found himself embroiled in when he defended Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s company, while his good friend Barack Obama was dissing it..

Booker’s defense caught many by surprise, not just because he’s surrogate for Obama, but because it seemed so antithetical to what we expect from Black politicians especially one like Booker who is Mayor of Newark which is a staunch Blue Collar city.

During the 2008 election season, Barack Obama was hailed as the most visible of this new class of politicians, which included Booker; Artur Davis, a congressman from Alabama; Adrian Fenty, the mayor of Washington, D.C.; and Harold Ford, a former congressman from Tennessee. Here was a group of men—and they’re all men—who would not be found bullhorning rhymes about police brutality in front of the local precinct house.


In our discussion Cobb talks at length about the oversimplifying labels that are placed on Black politicians and voters. It’s not a one size fits all scenario.. At the same time Cobb both in his article and in our interview how politicians like Booker, Fenty and Davis lost the Black vote in second term elections when it became clear to voters that they were courting other demographics while going out of their way to shun Black constituents.

In our convo Cobb sheds light on some of the myths we have around Black voters and politicians.. We encourage folks to read the article and also listen to our interview as we go in…

Professor Jelani Cobb


Russian Subways Suffer Horrific Bombings US Hip Hoppers Talib Kweli & Professor Jelani Cobb are Safe

By now most of us have heard about the horrific train bombing that took place last night (US time ) early morning (Russian time) that left up to 40 people dead. The reports are saying that two female suicide bombers commonly known as ‘Black widows’ of Chechnya. For those who don’t know Russia has been at war with Chechen separatists since the 1990s. They’ve been demanding their independence. This was not the first time the Metros were attacked. They happened back in 1996.

Aside from this being a horrific act that hits close to home and has had many of us here thinking about our own subway system and how secure they are, the Hip Hop community has two prominent figures over there when this happened. Spelman College Professor Jelani Cobb who wrote the book ‘To The Break of Dawn’ normally takes the subway at the station where the bombing took place. Fortunately he didn’t to work that morning. Also in Moscow is Talib Kweli who tweeted last night it was time to go home..As soon as word of the bombings took place, many of us immediately started reaching out to both parties who are in Russia for seperate reasons. Kweli to do a concert, Cobb is teaching there for the year. I finally spoke to Cobb last night who let us know the blast had certainly shaken him because it’s the line he takes.  He noted that one of his colleagues wanted him to come across town later that day to do some business, he respectfully passed and decided to stick closer to home.

We’re  be speaking with Cobb on our radio show later this afternoon. In the meantime here’s some of the tweets Jelani Cobb shared as news was unfolding

I am safe. I do use the train stations that were hit in the Moscow blast but thank god I wasn’t there this morning.

They are not saying much on Russian TV about the blasts, just that at least 40 were killed. These are major subway stations, transfer pnts.

For whatever reason even Moscow Times website has nothing about these blasts. Cellphone networks overloaded here, can’t get calls out.

Dude, there is still not freedom of the press here. they got a TIGHT lid on it. western media reporting on it.

just spoke to my Russian friends, apparently a third bomb just went off. People are suspecting suicide bombing.

Park Kultury is a major transfer point; in rush hour this station is about as crowded as one in downtown Manhattan would be at that time.

it’s horrible knowing that innocent people lost their lives today.

Here’s Talib‘s Tweets He left Moscow this morning

Thanks for everyones concern. I am at the airport on my way to NY. #welcometomoscow

Feeling blessed. Moscow bombing happened yards from the club I was at last night, very soon after we left. Counting blessings.

About to leave Moscow. Shout to everyone who came to Discoteque and everyone I met at Karma. Praying for those affected by the bombing.


Below is a video stream that is showing lots of up to date information of the Russian Metro Attacks

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