Is T-Pain an Uncle Tom? Should Hip Hop Treat Him the Way Country Treated the Dixie Chicks?

Is T-Pain an Uncle Tom?: The Coming Out of Closet Conservatives

by Paul Scott

But they use you for an example. They would rep’ but our heroes got their hands full”

-These are our Heroes-Na-s

Sellout; Sambo; Uncle Tom. These are all terms to describe someone who turns his back on the black community to serve the interests of white supremacy. While these terms have usually been reserved for the likes of Conservatives such as Clarence Thomas or Michael Steele, today we have to add some Hip Hop artists to this dis-honor roll. One being Faheem Rasheed Najm, known to the world as T-Pain.

Recently, Right Wing hitman, Sean Hannity posted a video on his website featuring T-Pain big uppin’ his Fox News television show. Not only that, but when Hannity asked him to say “Conservative victory in 2010” in pure “yessa boss” fashion, he gladly agreed.

This is just another part of the recent trend of the Right Wing to get a black co-signer to prove once and for all that they are not the bunch of racist bigots that we think they are. Recently, there  was attempt by the folks at Fox News to use an old interview LL Cool J to promote Sarah Palin’s new reality show.

Historically, black entertainers have shied away from taking overtly political stands. It must be remembered that even during the height of the Civil Rights movement, music giant Motown had its artists sitting on the sidelines while black folks were fighting in the streets for equal rights.

Entertainers have had, perhaps, just cause to be a little cautious. There is a long history of persecution of those who dared to use their popularity as a bully pulpit to speak truth to power.

It is rumored that Billie Holiday‘s 1939 anti-lynching anthem “Strange Fruit” was banned by radio stations. Paul Robeson was blacklisted for his open embrace of Communism and Eartha Kitt was persecuted for her statements against the Vietnam War.

During the late 80’s and early 90’s, Hip Hop artists such as Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Ice T all felt the wrath of the establishment for daring to rap about something other than gold chains and Air Jordans. The list goes on.

So most entertainers got the message and stuck to singin’ and dancin’.

This fear of taking political stances is not just limited to musicians but athletes have also been cowards. During the early 90’s, basketball legend Michael Jordon refused to donate any money to build a black cultural center at the University of North Carolina; avoiding the fate of former teammate, Craig Hodges, whose Afro-centric activism, allegedly, resulted in his being blackballed by the NBA for a time.

This legacy of political apathy and persecution  is what makes T-Pain’s photo op with Hannity so alarming. There are many worthy black empowerment organizations that could have used his endorsement to help their causes. Instead he chose to give fuel to a racist Right Wing machine that has been running rampant since the ’08 election.

While there are some who will argue that T-Pain’s actions are just an example of a politically naive hood dude being bamboozled by the media savvy Slick Sean Hannity, I doubt that this is the case.  I am sure that neither T-Pain nor his handlers would have allowed his picture to be taken with Rev. Jeremiah Wright or posing with a copy of “Message to the Black Man.”

I didn’t buy the late gangsta rapper Eazy E‘s flimsy excuse for attending a George Bush Sr luncheon nor do I buy the idea that T-Pain’s Conservative endorsement was just a gag. As we approach the mid -term election season, the stakes are too high to play sophomoric games with the lives of poor folks.

It is a widely accepted myth that Hip Hop artists share the same socio-political ideology as their constituents in the hood. Perhaps the sad fact is that the multi-millionaire rappers have more in common with the wealthy, Right Wing Conservatives than they do with the strugglin’ people in the ‘hood whom they are supposed to represent. Maybe, the video with Sean Hannity  and T-Pain was, merely, about two rich guys having a chuckle over the gullibility of their fans.

It has ,also, been assumed by Hip Hop conspiracy theorists that rappers and Conservatives are in cahoot’s, just using the classic  “every hero needs a villain” scam. Despite the faux Fox morality of commentator’s like Bill O’Reilly, the Right Wingers, actually need rappers to use as poster children to justify their accusations of the “failure of big government,” in order to advocate for the elimination of social programs to help the less fortunate.

Hip Hop fans must handle T-Pain with the same passion that  hardcore country music fans used to deal with the Dixie Chicks after they criticized George “G-Dub” Bush.  If Jay Z can criticize T-Pain for the over use of the auto-tune, Hip Hop headz should be able to criticize him for being used as a flunky for the Right Wing.

We must begin to hold rappers accountable not only for their lyrics of violence and misogyny but also for their political stances that run contrary to the needs of the children in poor and oppressed communities.

Until he denounces the Right Wing’s attack on the ‘hood, the “T” in T-Pain will henceforth and forever more stand for “Tom.”

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com
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Rush, Rams and Reverse Racism

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Rush, Rams and Reverse Racism

The Right’s Search for a Black Racist

by Paul Scott

PaulScott-225With the announcement of Rush Limbaugh‘s failure to purchase part of the St Louis Rams football franchise, the Right went on a safari to track down the ever elusive, black racist. As usual, the race hunters came up empty. The best specimen that they could capture was Fox News Channel’s token black commentator, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill with a picture of former Black Liberation Army member, Assata Shakur on his website. Hardly, evidence of a violent plot to take over America by spear wielding black militants.

The reason why the Right Wingers have never been able to successfully cage a black racist is simple. They don’t exist.

Now this may be a hard pill to swallow for those who, wholeheartedly, believe in a warped version of the law of opposites.

If there is white racism, surely there must be black racism. If whites have ,historically, enslaved and oppressed blacks, there has to be some remote island out in the Atlantic where Bobby Whitman is being forced to pick cotton and sing Barry Manilow songs while Tyrone Jackson stands over him with a whip and a tall glass of Country Time Lemonade.

However, this Bizarro World of black supremacy only exists in the minds of Ultra Right talking heads and those who set their watches by the Glenn Beck Show.

For years, the Right has used the charge of “reverse racism” to hide their collective fears that they are losing control of America. Oddly enough, many people who scream racism don’t have the foggiest idea what the word means. While the definition of “racism” may be a doctrine of racial superiority, the functional definition is the power of a group to exercise this doctrine over others. Therefore, as author Nelly Fuller wrote “the only form of functional racism that exists among the people of the known universe is white supremacy.”

The doctrine of white supremacy is so entrenched in this society that even an African American president of the United States is not exempt.

So, sorry folks, by this definition, African Americans cannot be racist. We can be a lot of things; prejudiced, bigots, etc but the one thing that we cannot be, for social and economic reasons, is racist.

It must be noted that in order to find a black racist apologists for white supremacy have had to reach back centuries.

In his book, “The Ice Man Inheritance: Prehistoric Sources of Western Man’s Racism, Sexism and Aggression,” Canadian author, Michael Bradley traces the foundation of the myth of black racism back centuries when the Bantu-speaking people conquered the Khoikhoi and the Saan. Because anthropologist CS Coon divided the Africans into two separate races, some have used this as evidence of “black supremacy.” However, Bradley also quotes anthropologist Ashley Montague as saying, ” The modern conception of race owes its widespread diffusion to the white man. Wherever he has gone he has carried it with him.”

America’s search for black racists carried into the Civil Rights Era when Mike Wallace introduced America to Malcolm X via the documentary “The Hate that Hate Produced,” which, like future programs ,confused reactionary racial rhetoric and calls for black self empowerment with black socio-economic supremacy.

This was also evident in the late 60’s and early 70’s, when those attempting to label the Black Panther Party as “racists” ignored the fact that Panther ideology was based on Marxism which downplayed race in order to organize the oppressed working class and also the fact that the party had many white supporters including celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Marlon Brando.

This frantic search for black supremacy continued into the 80’s and 90’s when black leaders such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Minister Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Al Sharpton were labeled racists as well as entertainers such as the rap group, Public Enemy.

We see the same trend continuing over the last year as Conservatives tried to link black racism to the Obama administration by their attacks on the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Even the Latino community was not spared as Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor was portrayed by the conservative media as a brown racist.

So, it is not black racism that is the problem, it is conservative talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity, Mike Savage and Rush Limbaugh who spew their hate filled venom across the planet via their satellite powered pulpits, 24 hours a day.

If Limbaugh and his ilk want to see a real racist, they need to look no further than their own bathroom mirrors.

Paul Scott is a self-syndicated columnist and author of the blog, No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com

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Time to Emancipate the Airwaves

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 Time to Emancipate the Airwaves:
The Airwave Abolition Movement

by Paul Scott

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PaulScott-225Back in 1865, two years and some change after Abe Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the slaves in Texas finally got the memo that chattel slavery had been abolished. Better late than never I suppose. However, if the right wing talking heads had their way, black folks would still be picking cotton in 2009.

Next week , marks the beginning of Juneteenth week (June 15-19th) a time when African Americans celebrate the end of the last vestiges of that peculiar institution. It is a time to celebrate the freedoms of this country that were so long denied African Americans.

But some things are still in bondage; the airwaves.

While this country prides itself as being a diverse melting pot of ideals and a plethora of differing opinions, the airwaves have long been dominated by a right wing conspiracy to control all conversations concerning race, class and all things political.

There is not a city in America where you can’t hear the melodramatic, melodious voice of Rush Limbaugh taking shots at the Left or Sean Hannity’s arrogant whine espousing the doctrine of Conservative white world domination.

What is rarely discussed is the amount of political power that comes with the privilege of having unlimited access to the airwaves.

So when Rush Limbaugh says that he hopes President Obama fails, he ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie. He has the ability to galvanize millions of Rush-o-holics to do his evil biddings and make his anti-Obama dream turn into reality.

Despite the Right’s wolf crying of victimization since the last election, make no mistake about it, the hand that controls the golden microphone rules the world.

It is past time that we seize control of the airwaves and I cannot think of a better time to do it than Juneteenth (the Black Independence Day.)

Although the Conservatives have had their panties in a bunch over the possible reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine (or similar legislation) that will allow folks like me to verbally pimp slap the smirk off of Bill O’Reilly’s face every time he disses Hip Hop, this has not been a major topic in the African American community.

Also, many African Americans are totally in the dark when it comes to understanding the possible impact of a FCC Diversity Advisory Committee that could have Shaka Zulu’s “Black Power Hour” going head to head with Mike Savage’s “Savage Nation.”

While this lack of information may be dismissed by the Right Wing as evidence that black folks would rather listen to Lil Wayne songs instead of the news, in reality, the ultra Conservative media have abused their powers to control the dissemination of information.

But no more!

Black folks need some Affirmative Action airtime.

We have to teach members of the Right a lesson that they should have learned back in kindergarten. Sometimes you have to share your toys.

This Juneteenth , the black community will start an underground railroad to get the information out about the various initiatives to insure African American access to the airwaves. The word will spread from city to city that there are new initiatives available under the Obama administration that could level the media playing field.

It is imperative that members of the African American community use the week of June 15th to contact their Congress folks and demand that the Fairness Doctrine be re-energized and make phone calls and send letters and emails to the FCC throwing our total support behind the Diversity Advisory Committee.

While more access to the media may not guarantee our making it to the Promised Land it will ,at least, supply us with the GPS navigation system to help us get there.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or info@nowarningshotsfired.com