The social movement in the African American community might be counterproductive for those who siphon off the community’s financial and intellectual capital. Who but ourselves can we blame for our economic and psychological tragedies? It’s partly because we dismiss our financial responsibility, disregard achievement and avoid ownership.
In recognizing this truth, there’s an express need to re-evaluate our endorsement of certain politicians. Michael Render, whose rap name is Killer Mike, is a change agent. He has chosen to voice his opinion and speak his mind during the 2016 presidential race. He is able to convey firsthand how African Americans are affected by regressive political policies, and how it impacts us economically, spiritually and psychologically.
Many support or choose to endorse a more capitalistic approach to how this country is governed because it “allows” for the social mobility of the hip-hop generation via social and economic development programs. But, presidential hopeful and socialist Bernie Sanders propagates many of the expectations of this generation as evidenced by rap lyrics and Sanders’call to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If this generation holds up a mirror and allows the politicians to see their own reflections, they would see that for more than four decades the public has paid a price for their livelihood.
Killer Mike brings attention to the fact that not all Black folks are flocking to one group; this is especially true for the hip-hop generation. In stumping for Sanders, Mike has unearthed concerns that will propel growth, stimulate the economy and investment in education. Intellect complemented by a memorable display of oratorical skill, is what makes Killer Mike such a powerful force in his efforts to help cop the Democratic nomination. When he speaks, he captures the essence of his alumni brother Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the vision of the venerable Malcolm X, and the prestige of Frederick Douglass. Mike is informed by our rich civil rights history and the ingenuity of aforementioned leaders as well as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Mike has been campaigning since he was a kid.
If we aim the lens and take a look inside the Killer Mike generation, the Hillary Clinton generation and the Beyoncé generation, we’ll find a new expression of intellectual capital. One or two artistically analyze the lack of diversity in everything from the boardrooms of Wall Street to Hollywood (e.g., the Oscars) to Silicon Valley. Our absence enslaves people to poverty due to the lack of opportunity, economic development and inclusion. In order to make advances politically, our community is asked to participate in the electoral process. For many, the contracts for those corporations who do business with governments are not committed to doing business with individuals who resemble the population they serve.
We must bravely hold discussions and convey that we have bigger demands of society — economic parity and inclusion. We must embrace the truth that there is no real strategy to deliver on those demands.
Our political and social exclusion is exacerbated by Hollywood’s oversight and dismissal. Yet, there are stars who resemble ostriches. They bury their heads in the sand because criticizing bias is not in fashion.
We are no longer hiding from the reality that economic disparity has some connection to political involvement. It has everything to do with political and social expression. Millennials, both Black and White, feel there should be involvement in social justice. For the first time in probably two decades, young African Americans have to live with the truth that Martin’s future was shortened and reduced to a moment. Their experience in this current decade is reason to consider there are more things to be done in society; and there are those who do not understand Beyoncé’s “Formation” video or her Super Bowl 50 performance, so they boycott. Hello, Beyoncé!
There are individuals who didn’t want Kendrick Lamar to wear chains during his 2016 Grammy Awards performance; and yet many of his people are in chains and shackles. They aren’t able to move forward. He used his creativity to speak for so many. Hello, Kendrick Lamar!
For those who choose not to identify with Killer Mike because he’s Black, it negates the fact he’s able to articulate a strong message that brings hope. We should consider the last two decades and the treatment we’ve received from corporations and politicians who require we blindly vote, while abdicating responsibility to our children’s future. Hello, Killer Mike!
It’s these change agents who are committed to the Black Lives Matter movement. They have a commitment to pursue justice, equability and equality. We will no longer tolerate inequitable treatment. While on the mic, Killer Mike continues to kill the mighty to uplift our generation of free men. At the same time, the tricks and “treats” of those brothers who continue to make rhymes that suggest we buy this brand of jeans, sneakers and alcohol, need to develop a constitution because their misguided lyrics and wordplay rob this generation of its common sense and promotes materialism.
An entrepreneur, Killer Mike encourages African Americans to participate in their own communities. That includes opening a bank account at a Black-owned bank and getting out to vote so they can have a say in their future. For this, we’re proud of you and vote you the hip-hop president of the hip-hop nation. Peace.