Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

Then They Came For Me

The ones shouting loudest with greatest vehemency for liberty are ironically the proponents of its gravest threat.   Rep. Peter King, the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee has scheduled hearings on the radicalization of the US Muslim community and its threat to the homeland.  Mr. King said the hearings are the result of a growing concern by law enforcement officials that the US Muslim community has not been cooperative in rooting out the home grown terrorists multiplying within their midst.  In service to liberty’s highest ideals, the ever vigilant Mr. King looks to initiate an assault on the civil liberties of our brother and sister Muslim citizens.

A group calling themselves The Liberty Alliance  are in full support of Mr. King’s ethnic profiling and the grave threat it poses to the civil liberties of all citizens.  Mr. King’s committee hearings will be a resplendent grand standing platform for him to play to the basest prejudices of his constituency and stoke up the fear of American angst already overloaded with a symphony of terrors.  Muslims, like the LGBT community and illegal aliens, labor unions and teachers make convenient scapegoats for the myriad problems confronting the nation.  Mr. King and The Liberty Alliance would like us to believe that labor unions have plundered the wealth of the nation.  Teachers have destroyed the schools.  The poor have bankrupted our federal treasury while the LGBT and foreigners continue to undermine the true American Judeo-Christian culture by defiling the purity of its heritage.

Its a grand irony to witness self styled libertarians mobilized into action to attack civil liberties and right to privacy of their fellow citizens.  They clamor for disclosure and transparency with the diabolical refrain,  “if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to be afraid of.” Such seditious thinking undermines the spirit of liberty.  It is a direct assault on a  society governed by laws and its citizens shielded by due process and protected by a Bill of Rights.  These democratic virtues once distinguished America as the shinning  city on a hill.  Now The Liberty Alliance denigrates it with an Orwellian platitude believing civil rights, privacy and due process are covers for terrorist cells that must be dispensed with at all costs.

It is not difficult to divine that  Peter King’s committee will encourage a number of informants to come forward to meet a specified quota for stool pigeonry.   A legion of rats and informants are the armies of despots not agents of democracies.  But these are the same Real American Freedom Fighters who led the charge against American Muslim’s right to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero.  Ask them about religious tolerance and the freedom to worship as guaranteed in the US Constitution and they’ll concede the point with the promise to serve Halal meals and build a mosque with extra capacity at Gitmo.

The ones shouting the loudest for liberty do indeed pose the greatest threat to it.  The libertarians who opened the door to 527 llcs have turned Lady Liberty into a common prostitute hiring her out to the highest bidder.  The zealots waving the Constitution with the fervor of a Red Book sprouting Maoist, forms a reactionary vanguard eager to deny the very same sacred civil liberties and rights to fellow citizens in their deranged constitutional republic of unfree and unequal citizens.

Despots and non-democratic societies do not offer or practice universal rights, freedoms and liberties for all its citizens.  Pitting one group against another, scape goating, delineating special classes of people or dual classes of citizenship are hallmarks of repressive societies.  Mr. King’s committee hearing of racial and ethnic profiling divides citizens and denies the constitutional  rights and liberties for Muslims.  This is apartheid.  Gov. Walker’s and Chris Christie’s attack on labor unions and teachers as the source of our economic debasement obfuscates systemic inequities and masks the identities of the perpetrators who plundered the wealth of this nation.  The economic elites are trying to beat the rap by forcing their public elected shills to make the working people of America pay the price for their own victimization.

Peter King’s sons of liberty are complicit agents of enslavement to the power and privilege of corporate oligarchs; hiding behind the billowing smoke of America’s civic strife and brewing internecine struggle.  They are gravely mistaken in believing that they are safely ensconced behind the golden walls of their enclaves the piles of cash allowed them to build to protect themselves  from the seething masses. Mubarak nor Gaddafi’s moat protected strongholds could protect them from the volatile tide of history.

Peter King opening up hearings on radical Islam and its role in creating home grown terrorism is of course just in time for the 2012 election.  It will provide some red meat for rabid Teabaggers screaming for blood.  Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin and other righteous Falangist Crusaders can use the grist of Peter King’s xenophobic fear mill to paint our Mau Mau  loving President and any progressive opponent a Fifth Columnist for the new Caliphate they are working to establish in the last stand of the land of the free and the home of the brave.

You Tube Video:  James Cagney, Yankee Doodle Dandy

Risk: tolerance, politics, civil liberties, Bill of Rights

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Christianity, Civil Rights, class, conservatism, culture, democracy, economics, ethnic, faith, gay rights, government, labor unions, LGBT, Muslim, Palin, psychology, race, republicans, social justice, Tea Party, teaching, unions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Livin in the USA

oakland-social-unreastDon’t quote me on this, but I seem to remember some sage advise Barton Biggs offered his high net worth clientele about the coming social disintegration due to the economic meltdown. I remember him saying “to stock up your wine cellars, get liquid with your assets and find communities to live in where enhanced security services is a chief accoutrement.” He may be on to something.

Urban tensions have exploded in Oakland California this past week over the slaying of a BART commuter at the hands of a transit policemen. The unfortunate killing of the African American youth Oscar Grant occurred on New Years eve when the BART transit police were trying to control rowdy New Years revelers. The shooting has triggered a series of violent protests that are becoming more commonplace in cities of the world.

These high profile cases of police brutality are incendiary incidents that give voice to a seething urban anguish fed by economic duress, racial tensions and cultural dislocation. The police murders of a person of color give focused voice to community discontent fueled by rising unemployment, homelessness, home foreclosures, ethnic tensions and rising impoverishment unleashing a horrific display of civil disturbances that are in turn met with brutal state suppression.

Urban social unrest is becoming more commonplace in democratic nation states. The riots in Paris and Amsterdam in 2007 and the recent unrest in Athens speak of a deep dissatisfaction of the economic and cultural disenfranchisement of urban minorities and working poor. These Euro Zone riots assume a Muslim ethnic dimension. It exemplifies the cultural dislocation of Islamic youths and the failure to integrate the large Muslim immigrant community into Old World Europe. As the recession deepens ethnic unrest and class conflict will grow. Perhaps we should take Mr. Biggs’ advise and stock up the wine cellars before it becomes to dangerous for a run to the local liquor store.

You Tube News Footage: Oakland riots


You Tube Music Video: Steve Miller Band, Livin in the USA

January 8, 2009 Posted by | cities, ethnic, Muslim, race, rock, social unrest | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Thine Eye Offends Thee

Dora Maar

There are global forces of change that are working diligently to birth a new world. The forces of change are opposed to the conflict, rancor, prejudices and injustice that form the pillars of privilege that continue to prop up the fossilized ruling powers and antiquated institutions that govern and control the world. The forces of change see this old guard as a fetter to progress. The forces of change want to build sustainable communities that equitably share the resources of the world. To achieve their objectives the forces of change use the tools of mutual respect, open communication and faithful trust to resolve differences. The forces of change ultimate objective is to arrive at a place that will bring the world into a new era that is free from the yoke of paralyzing fear, debilitating destitution and continuous conflict.

There are other global forces that are desperate to hold onto their ebbing power. They want to keep things the way they are. They are the forces of reaction. The forces of reaction sole concern is to protect it’s narrow self serving interests. The forces of reaction are locked in a battle with the forces of change and will fight them to the end. It is a life and death struggle. One part of the world wailing in birth pangs while the other sobs consumed in the agonizing throes of resentfulness and bitterness; painfully dying.

In is in this light that we can begin to make sense of Chip Saltsman’s distribution of a CD of racist songs and materials as Christmas gifts to Republican National Committee members. He distributed the CD to support his candidacy as Republican party chairman. Saltsman was the former campaign chair for Mike Huckabee’s failed presidential bid. It’s a bit beyond me how Huckabee, a former Baptist Minister, could entrust his campaign to a man who revels in the humor of racist tripe. The denigration of people with racist caricature is not funny. Its racist. The use of minstrelsy as political humor is not funny. It is racist.

Racism uses minstrelsy as a comedic cover. Minstrelsy is a weapon used by people and institutions threatened by the dissipation of power and the erosion of their privilege. The old world order and those whose tenuous grip on receding power are desperate. They will use every repressive contrivance and repulsive device to maintain power. It is from these places where a chorus of racists herald Barack the Magic Negro.

People of good will should be repulsed. Some in the RNC say they disapprove of the CD but racial epithets have been a consistent source of embarrassment for the Republican Party. During the just concluded presidential election campaign a racially insensitive comment by one of the parties presidential hopefuls derailed Virginia Senator George Allen’s campaign. Any Republican with a shred of conscience should condemn this CD and the mindset that supports and justifies it.

Mike Huckabee should know the verse “if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out.” He should also try to comprehend it. These bits of racist culture, spawned by Rush Limbaugh, a drug addicted, money launderer and darling of conservative Republicans needs to stop. Support for this programming calls into question the moral character and judgment of Republican leaders who surround themselves and revere the promoters and purveyors of racism. Limbaugh’s racism may be great for ratings for his corporate media masters but its dispersion, promotion, rationalization and justification by corporate institutions is damaging to a healthy political and racial culture in this country. This is not an issue of free speech. This is an issue of the commercial promotion and marketing of racist culture by major media institutions.

Programming that denigrates the health and trust of a positive political culture while defiling the office of our highest elected official due to his race is a dangerous contraband to peddle. Racism is an illicit commerce that serves to undermine democratic societies. As the desperation of the desperate grows the light of truth will burn ever brighter signaling that the birth pangs of change are most worthy trials to endure.

You Tube Video: Grateful Dead, Eyes of the World

Risk: race, politics, culture

December 29, 2008 Posted by | culture, politics, race | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At the Crossroads Obama Makes Faustian Bargain

I like Mr. Obama very much. I too have been smitten by his charismatic and intelligent appeal. I believe he is a man of honesty and integrity. I also believe he offers this country a clear alternative to correct its course. I believe he can answer the 3:00 AM telephone call and set it on a path that promotes peace and prosperity.

I understand the personal angst Mr. Obama and his family must feel by their separation from Rev. Wright. I visualize Mr. Obama pacing about his study conducting political calculations in his head. He weighs the liabilities and potential gains from a continued association with Reverend Wright. What will he say to his wife and children? What will he say to his fellow parishioners? What will he say to the membership of the NAACP who warmly welcomed Rev. Wright as a key note speaker for their Fight for Freedom Annual dinner? And finally after proofing out this tricky calculus equation how will he justify the break with his spiritual adviser to his constituents and supporters by explaining that their differences was a political deficiency that Mr. Obama could not continue to suffer.  Clearly a change needed to come.

The African American church in many respects has been a fountainhead of America’s social consciousness and Christian liberation theology since the time of legalized slavery in the United States. More recently, last century’s Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. discovered its political power, moral righteousness and theological justification in the back country pews of the African American Church.

Mr. Obama symbolically separated himself from the body of a church that has informed and shaped his political and social consciousness as a progressive politician. This move was borne from a political expediency to mute the rant of politicians that will use racial politics to advance their agenda to secure public office. This bargain carries a very high price. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

We understand the political necessity of this move by Mr. Obama. The need to salve the fears of the racially suspicious polity is a political compromise that one is expected to make to build consensus in our democracy. Numerous examples of this compromise are evident in American political history. Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Truman and JFK were all required to compromise egalitarian ideals to bridge the racial divide so as to effectively govern.

It is commonly understood that it is the way things are and its how the system works. That’s what makes Mr. Obama’s bargain so dangerous. Mr. Obama’s candidacy professes to be about a discontinuation of politics as usual. We expect something different from Mr. Obama.

Our times call for fearlessness not capitulation.

Yes a change is gonna come.

You Tube Video: Cream at the Fillmore West, Crossroads

Risk: political, Democratic Party, African Americans, psychological, racial

May 3, 2008 Posted by | elections, Obama, politics, race, rock | , , , , | Leave a comment