Dr. Cornel West: The Mind Meets Music

Listen to Dr. Cornel West at HiddenBeach, on MySpace or Rhapsody...

By: Kayceman

Dr. Cornel West
JamBase has featured a wide array of artists in our time. From jam heroes to hip-hop heavyweights to jazzbos to rock gods and more, we've covered a wide spectrum. But we've never had anyone like Dr. Cornel West grace our virtual pages before.

Dr. West is without question one of America's most important, gifted, interesting and, at times, controversial intellectuals. He is a philosopher, historian, sociologist, theologian and a true genius. The former Harvard instructor and current professor of religion at Princeton University has authored 17 books including 1993's essential Race Matters and 2004's Democracy Matters. This past August West released his second album, Never Forget: A Journey Of Revelations (Hidden Beach). This cerebral sound slab features black music luminaries such as Prince, Andre 3000 of Outkast, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez's M-1, Jill Scott, KRS-One and more. Without further praise and build-up, we're proud to bring you this insightful conversation with one of the most influential minds in America.

JamBase: Thinking about the power of spoken word, do you recall who first introduced you to the power of words and language?

Cornel West: Words and language in general has to do with church and Reverend Willie P. Cook, one of the great ministers, preachers and pastors in California. He was my preacher and pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church, and he exemplified the ways in which one can use words in order to inspire and illuminate people and their situation.

JamBase: Taking it from there to music, do you recall where your first musical inspirations came from?

Cornel West: No doubt about that, that has to do with church and rhythm & blues. It has to do with Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, Gene Chandler, Billy Stuart and Aretha Franklin. So, on the one hand I've got church every Sunday, where you have beautiful, powerful music, and then, of course, you've got the music on the block, the music on the streets.

JamBase: Moving that towards today, what artists do you find inspiration in?

Dr. Cornel West
Cornel West: It goes across the board. On the one hand you got Wynton Marsalis in jazz, Kenny Garret in jazz, McCoy Tyner in jazz and then in rhythm & blues Luther Vandross, Curtis Mayfield and Glen Jones. And then, of course, the groups The Dramatics, The Whispers, The Enchantments – I'm old school in that sense – [and] Teddy Pendergrass. I should mention The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron. When it comes to spoken word with music and political thrust it was really Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets who had the biggest impact on me until brother Chuck D [Public Enemy] came along.

The line from Heron to you, do you draw a lot of inspiration from him?

He's just such a towering figure, so I've been inspired by him. But I never wanted to imitate.

Beyond the subject matter, how do you feel your musical work intersects with your academic life?

It's continuous. It's all about Paideia. When I talk about a singing Paideia, a danceable education, Paideia has to do with three things. It has to do with the formation of attention so you move from focusing on frivolous things to serious things, from superficial things to substantial things. Secondly, it has to do with the cultivation of the self that comes to term with reality [and] history, as well as mortality. And third, it has to do with the maturation of a soul, which means learning how to be compassionate, loving, empathetic. That's what manifests in my writing. That's what manifests in my speeches. That's what manifests in my music. It's continuous in that way.

Looking over the list of people and listening to this album, the track with Prince is fabulous. That may be the shining star on the album in my opinion.

As you know he has never-ever-ever-ever done anything outside of his own stable. He's never allowed any of his music to be sampled. When I first met him he told me he was never gonna have his music sampled in hip-hop, and this is the only time he's done that.

How did you go about getting him to do this?

He was just so kind. I met Prince about four years ago, he invited me to Paisley Park and I gave a lecture during his xenophobia conference he has every summer. He brings people from all around the world. I spent four days with him and we had a good time and then he also was kind enough [to ask] me to introduce him at the NAACP image awards. I did a big introduction with him then, so we got a chance to talk again and so forth. So, we just approached him. Mike Dailey, who did most of context [on Never Forget A Journey of Revelations], he's the third brother along with my blood brother Cliff West. And [Prince] did it right away, we couldn't believe it. He told his executive assistant, "Yeah anything brother West wants to do, just let him do it."

Thinking in a general context, obviously hip-hop is a major movement in America, but for black youth do you feel that it fills the void left by religion and community, both of which seem to have withered in recent years?

I think that's true. Chuck D said hip-hop is a black CNN. It's not just an information network but it does constitute a community. It's very important to keep in mind that you have a lot of young folks growing up with a certain distance from their elders, and therefore they tend to look to each other as to how to live, how to love, how to get through the move from womb to tomb. Therefore, hip-hop actually becomes a kind of parent as well as a community, in terms of a source of wisdom. Now, a lot of times there aren't too many good examples that generate good judgment, so you end up with bad examples and bad judgment in terms of the hedonism, narcissism, misogyny, homophobia and so on. But, there is no doubt that hip-hop is the main form of transcendence and community for young people who are trying to both get distance from their pain as well as learn to be human. That's one of the reasons why I tried to intervene in this way, to let them know that some elders do care about them and are concerned about providing some insight. And to learn from them, because it's mutual, it's not paternalistic.

Continue reading for more with Dr. Cornel West...

Hip-hop actually becomes a kind of parent as well as a community in terms of a source of wisdom. Now a lot of times there aren't too many good examples that generate good judgment so you end up with bad examples and bad judgment in terms of the hedonism, narcissism, misogyny and homophobia and so on. But there is no doubt that hip-hop is the main form of transcendence and community for young people who are trying to both get distance from their pain as well as learn to be human.

-Dr. Cornel West


What was the overall goal of this album?

The goal of the album is to promote an awakening among young people especially. That awakening has to do with both a sense of history – that's what the "Never Forget" is about - but also to fuse fun with the struggle for freedom, 'cause I don't wanna down play the fun. I think that comes through on the album, too. You're having a good time but at the same time it's connected to something very serious, which is a lot of people catching hell out there, too much social misery and we need to muster the courage to struggle for freedom.

How much consideration was given to the tracking and flow?

Andre 3000
There was a lot of consideration. The central trope, of course, is journey. So, you "Never Forget" but we're not getting stuck in the past. We're bringing together the three dimensions of time: the Past, the Present and the Future. Therefore, on a journey you have to both go back to your roots in order to go forward with courage and vision and determination. What you see on the album is at the very beginning starting with Talib [Kweli]'s thing "Bushanomics," which for me is just a classic before it even hits. Not because I'm on it but because Talib is at the top of his form. That brother is spittin' like I don't know what with the echoes of Grand Master Flash. So, at the beginning we said we're taking hip-hop back to its roots where the struggle for freedom and the fun go hand-in-hand, and from there it just begins to flow in terms of "Still Here," in terms of "America," in terms of brother Prince and we wanted to say something about "9/11." We wanted to hit the "N Word," especially because of the present day controversy [with Don Imus], confront Bush directly with brother KRS-One and M-1, and go through that three song sequence on time and the nature of time and the way in which you need to make crucial decisions regarding what kind of human being you want to be in time. That's when we got me and Andre [3000 - Outkast] dialoging and Sister Jill [Scott] comes in for the reprise, and we wanted to do a thing for the black sisters especially given all the degradation of black sisters in hip-hop.

How do you reconcile mainstream hip-hop, how did it get so bad?

It's just not that rich and deep in dealing with life. If you actually look at the major hits and major albums and major artists, you don't have a lot of deep and serious stuff out there. The thing is I don't believe in trashing the hip-hop artists. I love 50 Cent. I love Snoop. I love Ludacris and these folks. I'm just very very critical of much of what they do in terms of the content of their lyrics. I'm convinced they could take more responsibility regarding higher ideals of what it means to be human. Now, they are free to do what they want to. I don't believe in censorship. Not only that, but I also believe they can change. That's why I don't give up on them at all.

It's one thing to be able to do it, but it's another to have a responsibility. Do you feel that artists in the mainstream, when you talk about Snoop or 50 Cent or whomever, do you feel they have an obligation to raise their game, so to speak?

Jill Scott
I think they do. I really think they do. Music is such a precious thing in the lives of all of us, I think they have an obligation to be sophisticated artistically, and many of them do meet that. They have an obligation to be mature [and] many of them do not meet that. They have an obligation to be honest and sincere and authentic, in terms of who they are, and I think they do meet that. Who they are tends to be not that mature. I don't want to downplay the role of the industry. I think it's very important to acknowledge that 72-percent of hip-hop CDs are bought in vanilla suburbs by white brothers and sisters, and people are very market conscious in terms of who is buying the CDs and what that particular constituency tends to want out of hip-hop. It's true that it's difficult to be a big star and mature at the same time. I think Jay-Z says that quiet explicitly: if I get too serious folks not buying my stuff.

Nas just put out an album called Hip-Hop Is Dead...

...yeah, Nas is a serious brother.

He sure is. Now I don't think he was saying that hip-hop is actually dead. It was more of a question than a statement, but it is sick. So, can we save it? Can we bring it back to the time when people like Chuck D were really running the show? Can we bring mainstream rap back to that?

KRS' book Ruminations is a good starting point, as well as Chuck D's book Fight the Power. Both those books I think are very important, and that's why I invoke them in my chapter on hip-hop in Democracy Matters because they both have an analysis of hip-hop about when the shift takes place, why it is that the industry tended to promote certain kinds of artists who were not politically sophisticated as opposed to others. And I think they're right about that. I think that once the big big money got in on it, and once the constituency shifted from chocolate cities to vanilla suburbs, they don't explain everything but they explain a lot in terms of the dumbing down of hip-hop. I do think hip-hop will bounce back. I think hip-hop will never die. I think brother Nas would acknowledge that. He's trying to be Socratic. He's trying to get us to think critically, reflect on what hip-hop is - why did it change, how do you move from Kool Herc to 50 Cent. We have to understand that trajectory, understand that story that has taken place. It's a very very rich tradition.

Continue reading for more with Dr. Cornel West...

The goal of the album is to promote an awaking among young people especially. That awakening has to do with both a sense of history – that's what the "Never Forget" is about, but also to fuse fun with the struggle for freedom. 'Cause I don't wanna down play the fun.

-Dr. Cornel West


You call the album Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations. So, what exactly are the revelations that we are getting?

Dr. Cornel West
First, they are revelations that we can go back to the best of the roots of not just hip-hop but black music. And those roots need to be revealed. They need to be disclosed because they have been ignored, and sometimes even denied - sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes out of not wanting to go back because you can't make money. When I talk about the spirit of Curtis Mayfield at work in the album it's a matter of disclosing and revealing what Curtis Mayfield and others represent, and then saying something about where we are now, where we are now in the present, revealing the struggles not just the suffering and the misery, but the struggles against the resistance, the resiliency. We're still here, America. America, we understand who you are and we're still trying to change the world, we're still trying to make you better, we're still trying to redeem your soul on a certain level, to use Martin King's language. And then to try to reveal a future that can be different. The future doesn't have to be just a repetition of the present with all the hedonism and narcissism. So again, it's revelations but it's linked to those three dimensions of time.

You touched on the history of black music. Do you feel that in some way that hip-hop is what jazz used to be to black Americans?

That's a tough question because the communication systems are so qualitatively different. The idea of being able to watch Coltrane or Monk on TV 24 hours [a day] is just so alien. Jazz is America's greatest art form, but at the same time it never had the scope of popularity that hip-hop has. So, I wouldn't really want to say that hip-hop is today what jazz was then because jazz just never-ever had that kind of public.

Considering all the topics you touch on in the album, from 9/11 to the Imus stuff and everything that we've been talking about, do you feel, in the context of the past 20 or 30 years, America is moving forward? Are we getting there or are we slipping backwards? Where are we?

I think on the one hand we have definitely moved forward to the degree [where] America now embraces black professionals and a black middle class in a way it never has before. That's significant, and that's part of the success and triumph of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King and Fanny Lou Hamer's legacy. On the other hand, we're going back because the vicious white supremacists that relate to the black poor, the young black brothers especially, but also the black sisters who are locked into the hoods - [people] who are not reveling in the American Dream, who are locked into the disgraceful school systems, unavailable health and child care, the under-employment and unemployment and so forth. For them, things are even more hopeless. And they often are rendered invisible when it comes to public policy even though they are highly visible when it comes to videos. In that sense, we're really in a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, we have the Oprah Winfreys and Obamas and Robert Johnsons who are thriving in a way their grandparents could never conceive of. On the other hand, the cousins of those same folks are locked into the hood and wrestling with levels of hopelessness that are just beyond description.

Taking a step back, how does somebody go from revered professor and famed author to a hip-hop artist? How do you make that jump?

Dr. Cornel West
I think they probably just say the brother is a bit schizophrenic. He wants in the classroom and on the street and in the studio, and I say to them that basically it's somebody whose fundamental need is to tell the truth, expose lies, bear witness and try to promote education at its deepest level, that Paideia that I talked about. It just takes a variety of different forms of expression. I see it as a seamless web.

So, is this album an attempt to reach a sect of people you might not otherwise reach?

Absolutely, those who may not necessarily read the 17 books I've done. Granted, I don't want to imply that hip-hop culture doesn't read, because that's not true. I encounter young folk who listen to hip-hop all the time who also have read Race Matters, who also have read Democracy Matters, but there are millions of young folk who have not read Race Matters or Democracy Matters or any of the other books who very well may pick up this CD and say, "Wow, this brother's got something going on. I gotta think about myself. I gotta think about society. I gotta think about the world."

Obviously, music has the ability to change and to do amazing things. Do you feel that an album has the ability to change the world?

Absolutely. There's no doubt about that. [Percy Bysshe] Shelly's wonderful last line in "A Defense of Poetry" [is], "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world," because you have to have vision and imagination in terms of your action. All action is informed by some vision and some imagination and I would add, one hopes, empathy, too. When you look at the degree to which albums have changed my world - What's Going On [Marvin Gaye] changed my life in a deep way [and] the same is true for Songs In the Key of Life [Stevie Wonder] - that is to say, it didn't just sustain me, it helped provide a different way of looking at the world and gave me strength and fortitude and determination. And that's precisely what changes the world, when you actually touch people's lives and souls and minds and get them to go a different way.

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moremiles Thu 11/15/2007 05:42PM
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man, I've been talkin bout this man and his great mind for many years now....I'm so glad that he's startin to get REAL press time, for he is a true genius....

All Loving Liberal White Guy Thu 11/15/2007 05:54PM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

Cornell West?!!! On Jambase!!!!! FUCKING A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!! I never thought I'd see this ever this ever!!! And talking about Fanny Lou Hamer?! So amazing. Is there any noodling on this album?!!!!

Kayceman should get a PLUG award for this article!!!!!!!!

PhatMaw Thu 11/15/2007 07:31PM
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right on it's inspiring to see something to major come out of a website like jambase.com. personally, one of the best interviews i've ever read insightful without going over your head. just awesome!

brotherreed starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/15/2007 07:35PM
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right on Jambase....good up the good work

manjotar starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/15/2007 08:38PM
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on one hand, it's a great article,

on the other hand, he looks at his hands too much...

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 06:30AM
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Thank you Jambase for this article. Dr. West is one of the great minds of the last 50 years. Doing an article on him more or less wipes the slate clean of anything I've ever said negatively about this site. More or less.

birkenjam starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 06:46AM
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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! Cornell West needs more exposure because its a true shame that a man so true to the betterment of human existence is so unknown amongst the majority of our society. Spread the word jambasers, and if you agree with what the man says, do something 'bout it.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 06:50AM
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Yes,Yes, Yes, I'm so pleased to see this article; Kaycman, you hit the big time. So, when do we see your first freelance in NY Times or Esquire?

Right on Jambase!!!!!! You need 5 more for rating this, give it an 11

kirkbrew starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 07:51AM
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Kayceman – Another great article, ‘cept why the photo of Andree 3000 with a gun? Is it pink to be satirical? Not getting it.

Interesting perspective, but 2 issues:

He says he “loves” 50, Ludacris or Snop then says that he is “critical”. Is it me, or is that a mixed message and double standard? Black, green, polkadot – they do little more than put on a minstrel show that glorifies consumerism, violence, drugs and degrades women. I don’t care what race you are, it is unacceptable and they should be called out at every opportunity. They are simply unhuman. MLK would probably bitch slap these thugs to the curb, but guys like this will not??? I don’t get it.

Second - “locked in the hood”? It isn’t like a Jewish ghetto circa 1938. People in the hood are free to come and go and have exposure to many cultures and influences. People in the hood (what ever race) have many opportunities that a sharecropper didn’t have in 1945 or an Algerian in France today. I don’t think that anyone is “locked in” except in their minds.

deffmidget starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 08:12AM
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In response to kirkbrew: I don't think that Dr. West is implying that he "loves" any message 50, Snoop, or Ludacris is putting out. I think that he is implying that he "loves" the exposure, recognition, and respect they've garnered in regards to their initial position in society. He goes on to say he wishes they would use their popularity and widespread exposure to create some of the more intellectually stimulating material that other hip-hop artists are releasing today. Also, I don't think you realize what some of these inner-city kids go through growing up. It's a lot harder to break that lock than you can imagine.

petemora star Fri 11/16/2007 08:43AM
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"I think it's very important to acknowledge that 72-percent of hip-hop CDs are bought in vanilla suburbs by white brothers and sisters, and people are very market conscious in terms of who is buying the CDs and what that particular constituency tends to want out of hip-hop...I think that once the big big money got in on it, and once the constituency shifted from chocolate cities to vanilla suburbs, they don't explain everything but they explain a lot in terms of the dumbing down of hip-hop." I just want to thank the record industry for dumbing down rap music for me, otherwise I couldn't understand it. This article is nothing but shameless self promotion. Great, he drops a lot of hip names from music, he has also written 17 books, and he pals around with Prince. He then casually throws around the term "vicious white supremecists" and laments the fact that white people comprise 3/4's of hip hop's revenue. I don't think all of his hip hop heroes are too worried about where their money is coming from. If they are they should give it charity. A huge problem is that the nastiest rap messages (violence, degradation, materialism) are permeating all of young society (white and black) and he finds a way to blame that on suburbanites.

jamespl starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 10:03AM
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I would love to see more articles like this from jambase. It's good to see this kind of positive response on people's posts.

Zarathustra024 starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 10:24AM
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Kayceman: Great interview! Thanks for continually providing a broader context. I love how this site has become more eclectic. I am a huge fan of Panic and Phil and Mule, etc, but if those were the only types of articles here I would undoubtedly check back much less frequently.

kirkbrew: I think he was making a distinction between rap as an art form and rap as the conveying of a message. Some rappers are just simply better and more talented at spitting rhymes than others, and West is saying he appreciates the ability of these guys to jump on a beat and captivate an audience with their unique flow as rappers. That doesn't mean he has to approve of the lyrical content. I can appreciate the fact that R Kelly has a great voice, very talented musically in that respect, but I certainly do not approve of his message. And of course he was using the phrase "locked in the hood" metaphorically. He's saying there are a combination of conditions (poverty, poor schools, no health care, poor job prospects) that, in tandem, tend to cause people to lose hope for the future.

birkenjam Fri 11/16/2007 12:20PM
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petemora - actually i dont think any of that is self promotion. if you notice, very few people have commented on this article in regards to number of people who visit the site. fact of the matter is i bet most people hopping on this board have no clue who the man is, and that is too bad. and furthermore, west isnt blaming white suburbia for anything. he's recognizing the facts of the industry revenue. if youve actually read any of his works, especially race matters, youd know that he just as often, if not even more, illustrates the times when poor "hood' 'chocolate brothers and sisters" contribute to their own condition. thats half of what this article is saying. you are the controller of your being.

guitardave star Fri 11/16/2007 12:20PM
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How do you dumb down rap?

petemora star Fri 11/16/2007 01:37PM
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Your point is well taken birkenjam. I've seen him on Meet The Press, McLaughlin, Lerher Newshour, and Bill Maher and I just think he is not shy about taking shots at people who really have nothing to do with the woes of society. The richest 10% of the country control 90% of the wealth in the U.S. and that sucks. Unfortunately, any one who shares the same complexion with them gets automatically lumped into that pot and that REALLY sucks.

kirkbrew starstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 03:17PM
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petemora - “I just want to thank the record industry for dumbing down rap music for me” My theory is that it was the PMRC. It was not till labels came out that the lyrical content went into the gutter. That way, record companies could hide behind the label and say “Well, it’s the parents responsibilities” and profit from the minstrel show.

Deffmidget – Yea, I dig where you are coming from. I would just like to see more people just rip the likes of Snoop. He is bad for humanity and worse for “his people”.

Dr. West said, “I don't believe in trashing the hip-hop artists.” Well, I follow Dr King who said, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” Dr. West can’t get any more neutral than that.

As for the hood, sure it is tough to get out of, but lots of people do it. I just see to many people (black leaders in particular) who make excuses for it and blame whites. There is also a pop trend of glorification of ghetto culture, “keepin’ it real” etc… There is no glory in the ghetto. When you glorify it, they you truly are setting standards so low that you create a sub culture.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 09:49PM
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petemora, I want to understand, I don't think the implication is that whites are lumped in with the 10% but that all humans, especially conscious individuals have to deal with some responsibility they feel about forefathers and so forth. In America we all deal with race, it is our collective experience no matter what side or side less you exist or work for because America (Cliché) is a melting pot; unsuccessful as it may be and we are still dealing with this because we still and continuously arrive at a place where we see difference and try and find a comfort zone with it. Problem is, each individual has their own experience, through our family, casting or issues we bring along aware or sub-conscious.

I live in southern Virginia and Racism / anti-Semitisms is very much alive and ill here. Sad to say, there is still so much baggage to deal with (Guess not a question but a statement but curious as to your notion or did I speak to it?)

PrinceofDANKNESS star Sat 11/17/2007 10:06PM
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Mr. West said that jazz never had the audience that rap does well that is true and false -- the true part is that rap has more people but false in the fact of percentages -- before there was rap jazz ruled the airways from the teens to fifties that dur is a lot of people.

the second comment i have to make (and i pray this isn't seen as racist) This article is just another example of how the "chocholate brothers and sisters" are the one's keeping racism alive.

as always peace love and DANKNESS

HoodooVoodoo Sat 11/17/2007 10:57PM
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Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Sun 11/18/2007 07:13AM
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Then just go to Jambands.com .I appreciate this article being written HoodooVoodoo. The word Jam was not created simply for noodle bands and those noodle band members are probably very interested in reading what Dr. West has to say regarding culture and arts. Open yourself up to the possibility of evolving your mind and appreciate of other perspective

cuttyfives Sun 11/18/2007 11:45AM
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so much to say here....hmmm, i think a few of these comments (kirkbrew, Dankness...) are racist. People in the ghetto have opportunity? BWHAHAH!That comment illustrates how uninformed you are and I guess i take your opinions even less seriously now. Thank Gawd atleast ned8 has the balls to tell it like it is.

ClaypoolFunksMe starstarstarstar Sun 11/18/2007 05:19PM
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I would tend to agree with most of what West has to say in this article and i do not agree with the posters who are arguing that West is perpetrating racist propaganda.

I think ultimately there is much racism that still exists. In fact, I believe that even I can be somewhat racist at times, and I grew up in a city with a 70% black population/played on an all black football team and such... yet at times, I recognize in myself that this culture, whether its through tv or just hearsay, has corrupted my conscience and at times makes me more wary of people of color. This is wrong, but through admitting it and trying to work past it, I think i'm becoming a much more inclusive human being.

I feel that what West is trying to say about the problems of hip hop is that because 75% of the albums are being bought by whites, certain more powerful and controversial messages about black agency and statusquo that were an integral part of early hip hop are being isolated and snuffed out. Furthermore, many racial issues are being discarded because the white population buying the album fails to understand that for every rich black artist there are 10000 dirt poor black people, and that this trend is not getting better but worse. Lastly, hip hop itself is now being used as a tool for further marginalization of blacks by showing them as being rather vain and cartoonish individuals, rather than great thinkers such as the early pioneers. The racists then latch on to those stereotypes and perpetuate them.

stoops star Sun 11/18/2007 10:16PM
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Astronaut Jones Mon 11/19/2007 06:25AM
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Astronaut Jones

** yawns ** wake me up when this is over.

petemora star Mon 11/19/2007 07:14AM
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This guy looks like spike lee's crazy uncle. One of the hugest problems with hip hop culture is the glorification of deviant behavior and he has his head completely buried in the sand. Kirkbrew: You are correct, the warning label was the best thing to happen to hip hop. The "Parental Advisory-Explicit Lyrics" became the equivalent of a "New and Improved" tag. Its a badge of honor. Its all a fucking joke, they sold t-shirts! Ned8: Put down the bong, treat people kindly one at a time (whether they are the guitar player in New Monsoon or a busboy at Denny's) and you will be okay in the USA.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 08:39AM
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PrinceofDankness... Good example of ignorance and deprived education

Petemora... Disappointing

Cuttyfives, don't get suckered into numb arguments with the inept; I'm going to do my best not to make a scene on this board as I have been guilty of it in the past. I just wish others could give the gifts to humanity that West has or aspire to these higher truths. The world would be better off

I'm out

guitardave star Mon 11/19/2007 11:11AM
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What are these gifts you speak of Ned8? Getting angry people mad at eachother. I'd rather listen to Bob Marley, MLK, Curtis Mayfield, The Staples Singers, Fairfield Four, Nelson Mandela. These people don't point fingers, they only preach love, tolerance, and personal empowerment.

tomthumb86 Mon 11/19/2007 01:05PM
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If you think Bob Marley never pointed a finger youre not listening very close. In fact, its rather hard to adopt the Rastafarian religion without inherently pointing your finger. He's not talking about the opressive Black political powers and mind set in Babylon System you know.

I find it interesting that people equate their living situation with any other living situation. As if because I can just quit my job and go find another one without any concern for my responsibilities in a suburb of the DC area I could just as easily do it in an impovershed white/black area in the middle of the country. There are places where there are no jobs, and where the jobs that everyone wants are shitty jobs at that. I'm glad some of you love America so much that you think everyday is a walk in the park as long as you open your eyes to it, but sh!t just isnt that simple. Some of you sound like the GOP candidates who get up and say "Gee this is great! I wouldnt change a thing about America." Put down the pipe. The American Dream still has a whole lot to do with the conditions of the bed youre sleeping in.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 01:38PM
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Great people will say things that are startling about our society. The folks who live in comfort will call them naysayers. The people who live after their time will point to them as examples of evolved principal

Kaycemen, I thought this article would stimulate the best and brightest to comment but unfortunately I guess not. Some get it and some are hideaways for ignorance

benlostforyears starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 03:51PM
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Those of you who believe racism no longer exists need to take a trip outside you suburban "vanilla" bubble. Im from the south, and racism is here to stay just like in most of America. Last year a black friend of mine, who grew up in foster care in the ghetto, ended his own life because he was denied healthcare coverage for himself and his children, was turned away from every job interview because he wasn't "polished" enough(he did attend college), and he simply just gave up because no matter how hard he tried, he could not "get out". Sure this is an extreme case, but my love of fiery ganga has led to make friendships with many "ghetto folk", and nearly every black person there has an opinion that is impossible for them to better themselves, and the only way they see to gain finances and respect is indeed through dealing drugs and living this tough gangster lifestyle. Live for most is not as easy as it is for those of us who have time to post comments like this while we revel in our position in society.

kirkbrew Mon 11/19/2007 04:36PM
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Cuttyfives – So much to say, but so little being said.

The last “ghetto” I was in butts right up next to the University Illinois Chicago. Another “ghetto” I recently walked through was between an L station and the University of Chicago (and on the way, I past a museum and excellent public library). Those who live in these ghettos have access to excellent resources. If those who live in these ghettos choose not to take advantage of those resources, that is their problem (but it becomes our entire problem in the long run).

Lots of people work their way out of the ghetto. Even more use it as an excuse. What is even worse is that people accept those excuses. An excuse is like an ass hole - everyone has one.

I don’t write off those who come from the ghetto as living a life without hope or escape. Maybe you do. I have hope in people and believe that in the long run, they’ll do the right thing. Is that racist? You tell me because you seem to have me sorted.

Also, you may not get my references to Poland in the 30’s or modern day France. That’s OK because I don’t expect everyone to keep up; however you may want to do some research. People are not “locked in the hood” and those on the bottom rung of the social-economic ladder in the US have many, many more opportunities than anyone else in a similar shitty situation in another country. Again, that is my perspective from spending 15 years in international business and learning about different cultures. And again, you may be ready to accept excuses where I am not. Hope over fear may be my weakness.

tomthumb86 - Go to India. Go to France. Go to England. Go to the Czech Republic or Georgia or Poland or China or Brazil. How about Saudi where unemployment is around 20%. You do that then come back and tell me how crappy the opportunities are here - especially for minorities. And if there are areas where there are no jobs, you know what you do? Move. Or sit on your ass and blame someone else why your life is fucked. That's the way it works. I’ll admit that we are not as far as we should be, but in 30 years, things will be better. And in 100 years, we may achieve real equality. I'm no GOP flag waver, but I have lived all over the world and I know that the opportunities here and our freedoms are way beyond what anyone else in the world has. That’s why I stay here and fight the good fight every day to make our country a better place.

guitardave - Fuck-an-A brother!

Filo - Double fuck-an-A!!

Unfortunately, PrinceofDankness and Stoops hit upon something worth considering. Many people out there draw power from the fact that “their people” are alienated. Many of these “leaders” rely on racism to send their people inward then draw their strength from it. It is a sad truth. Jesse Jackson is probably the best example of it.

Ned8 - Not sure what type of dialogue you expect. If everyone just gushes over how great Dr. West is, then that ain't much dialogue, is it???

And I'll say it again, to not call out 50 and Snoop as a minstrel act is to play along with them. They are unacceptable and people like Dr. West should be at the front of that reform. Again (because I think it is worth repeating) Dr. West said, “I don't believe in trashing the hip-hop artists.” Dr. King said, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 06:46PM
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Yes, this is what I wanted, somebody to start rushing judgment and shout some Neo-cons' agenda with effete sophistry. Who ever said that there were not ghetto's all over the world? However, Kirkblew, that is not what the discussion was about, So take your lofty and fortunate Right wing view and worldly sense for having been born of parents who could fly you here and there and look to what was being said. When an artist writes of war or death, do you you say they are Wrong or do you take it in because they are writing of a time they have experienced whatever the images? You have a classis tinge to what you are saying that has certainly been said by Rush Limbaugh and other propagandist of the right, So go with your eyes of the Newt. I think the man is opening consideration to a world you only see from your perspective. American is a great country but one in which you probably elected the most corrupt President to ever hold office and jeopardized the essence of its greatness. Don't even tell me you did not vote for him. Next thing your going to tell me, I should move to another country if I don't like whats going on and then I should say the Ghost of Thomas Jefferson should rise from the grave as Bush weakens the judicial branch and kills off everyone in this country. The TJ gives it up to South and central America immigrants and tries the whole experiment again... Hey, that's funny, that would make a good Saturday night live cartoon skit.LOL... Peace Kirkbrew

DaKracken starstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 10:48PM
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It is a sad state of affairs when someone states they are well traveled and have experienced other cultures troughout the world and understand abject poverty which affirms their belief that America is the land of opportunity gets branded a neo conservative who grew up with a silver spoon and gets lumped in with a goon like Rush Limbaugh. Kirkbrew, I get your post and agree with it-the buck stops with personal responsibility not with your zip code in your "oppressive hood". My father was a lint head cracker raised in the textile belt of south carolina and worked a full time while in high school to help feed his brothers. He overcame tremendous adversity through hard work and the will to better his life and refused to bow down to conventional wisdom that he was "locked down" in a country ghetto. Dr. West laments that intellectual rap by artist like Chuck D, KRS One and the like was pushed to the sidelines when the "vanilla suburbs" started paying attention is as racist saying all blacks are represented by morons like L'il Jon or the Ying Yang twins. By not taking rappers to task for their glorification of the thug life he is supporting the stereotypes he works to dispell. Mainstream media works on the concept of dumbing down all entertainment to the lowest common denominator and rap is just the latest avenue for that flawed logic. Self preservation, personal responsibilty, hard work ethic and curious intellect are not relegated to any one race or culture but the building blocks for a better life for all people.

PrinceofDANKNESS Mon 11/19/2007 11:56PM
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NED8 you say i am ignorant and yet you don't know me - you don't know how much education I have had --- now now ned8 you know what happens when you assume.

"For I am not so enamored of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them. I am aware that a philosopher's ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavor to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God."

- Copernicus

Kirkbrew I hope you meant that it is unfortunate that they use crutches and not that it is unfortunate that you had to agree with the person with balls enough to "Tell like it is".

cuttyfives Tue 11/20/2007 06:20AM
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kirkbrew, you are from BAtavia Ill...you dont know shit about Chicago. Stay in your bumfuck town. UIC is a school for EMO fuck ups. THere is nothing close to a ghetto in the neighborhood. Sure, there are some rough areas, no ghettos. I'd like to see you approach a brother on the El platform out there and let him know how many opportunities he has because there are museums and libraries around his house...BWHAHAHAHAH! ROTFL. On second thought, i dont want any delays on the redline, it is slow enough as is. Stick to being that pussy with his head down on the train afraid to make eye contact with anyone...BATAVIA>>BBWAHAHAHAH!

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 08:25AM
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Your comment

the second comment i have to make (and i pray this isn't seen as racist) This article is just another example of how the "chocholate brothers and sisters" are the one's keeping racism alive.

as always peace love and DANKNESS

guitardave star Tue 11/20/2007 09:05AM
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I went to college in Newark at Rutgers. Now I guess everyone can agree THAT city is a shit HOLE. It was governed for decades by Sharpe James.

Google his name and find out what a great guy he was, 33 Federal indictments later. Kirkbrew's message is about self reliance and he gets flamed by people calling him a Limbaugh clone. He also mentions, what we all know, is that while we are far from perfect, the USA is the greatest country in the world. Love it or leave it. Is there no middle ground for people who have the opinion you should bust your ass to better your situation? I'm sure the knee jerk reaction to my post will be: "Well guitardave you were handed everything in life and preach from an ivory tower". I'll be the first to fire off a pre-emptive "F### You!" Everything I've ever had I worked for myself since I was pushing shopping carts at Shop Rite since I was old enough to work. The only thing my parents ever bought me were food and lame clothes. We lived in a nicer town because my dad worked 2 jobs to get us out of a section of Brooklyn that was headed to the shitter. Its amazing what happens when you just bust your ass, eat some shit, and shut the hell up. P.S: I'm a Libertarian.

petemora Tue 11/20/2007 09:24AM
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What is the answer if not self reliance? Is Al Sharpton going to get off his big fat ass and do something to actually help people? He is too busy

yelling at Don Imus. Keep funneling federal cash into the ghettos and let the crooked politicians (of all colors) and embezzle it on no bid contracts and kickbacks? It just makes me sick when people can break the law on a daily basis and the concept of folks knowing the difference between right and wrong is NEVER addressed. Remove accountability from the equation and anarchy rules.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 09:59AM
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What does Al Sharpton have to do with West?

birkenjam Tue 11/20/2007 01:13PM
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america is a double edged sword. sure, i think its hard to argue against the fact that even our poorest have better opportunities than those living in poverty in 3rd world nations. but on the other hand, the only way to support a class as wealthy as our upper class, one needs a lower class of a much larger population. i think people fail to realize that the very nature of society, and the very reason there is a chance for "the american dream" of rags to riches is because there is such an expansive lower class. fact of the matter is even if everyone on the bottom rung put forth as much dedication and effort as those behind the success stories we hear, they wouldnt all reach that pinnacle. sighting examples one by one does nothing productive in a conversation like this but inform the group that you are inable to see past your own lens of reality. look at the broad facts that represent the trends and statistics of these classes as a whole and it starts to become clearer. the lower 90% on our class scale dont even come close to matching the total wealth of the highest 1%. and to come full circle, west is blaming the right people because those with money are those with power and there are fewer of them than there are of those who are actually affected negatively by the 1%'s actions. and you are ignorant if you think west himself is included anywhere near that 1%.

guitardave star Tue 11/20/2007 01:49PM
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"the only way to support a class as wealthy as our upper class, one needs a lower class of a much larger population." Any economist would dismiss this notion in a second. The key to economic expansion is production. Production fueled by energy and technology. What has the lower class provided for Bill Gates and Steve Jobs? Nothing. They made their riches from people and corporations with resources. The more people produce the better off we all are.

johnnygoff starstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 03:29PM
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i lurked on this one to see what would be said.

best line from Cornel in summing up what he is:

"basically it's somebody whose fundamental need is to tell the truth, expose lies, bear witness and try to promote education at its deepest level"

I would agree that is what Cornel does. My only question, again, (similar to the Zach-Rage question i posed) and one I would have liked to see you ask him Kayce is:

"How does someone like yourself, who writes, chats, lectures and even raps about the lower class, its relation to race and the class's inherent struggles, continue to keep yourself grounded enough to keep in touch --- amongst "who's who" dinners/galas, lecture tours, hip/hop promotional tours, c-span forums and college discussions????

Basically, by elevating the issues to the forefront, has Mr. WEst elevated his own life experiences beyond "staying in touch"???

kayce, thoughts?

kirkbrew Wed 11/21/2007 09:51AM
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Ned-Cutty – I LOVE the baseless diatribe with absolutely no positions stated. “BWHAHAHAHAH! ROTFL” and calling people “lofty and fortunate Right wing” does not make an argument. Maybe in 4th grade – but not here.

Ned – For someone who didn’t think that this article stimulated much conversation, you come back a lot.

Actually, I had the opportunity to travel over the last 15 years because I WORKED MY FUCKING ASS OFF and had a good job that sent me all over the world. Not everyone is a trust fund heads. “I'm going to do my best not to make a scene on this board” Well, fucked that up didn’t you.

“American is a great country but one in which you probably elected the most corrupt President to ever hold office and jeopardized the essence of its greatness.” First off, not me. Second, there is a difference between corrupt and stupid. Stupid, yes – Bush wins hands down. Corrupt, most historians would say Grant. How about Nixon? Also, both Carter and Clinton administrations were extremely corrupt (but not the men).

And no – I never tell anyone “You don’t like it – get out”. I tell them to fucking get off their ass and fix it. Do something in your community or for a political party. Mentor, Big Bro/Big Sis, JA…Fuck – run for congress. Just don’t sit and bitch. Unfortunately, too many people bitch and blame others. That’s my point.

And my original comment that was taken as racist was, ““locked in the hood”? It isn’t like a Jewish ghetto circa 1938. People in the hood are free to come and go and have exposure to many cultures and influences. People in the hood (what ever race) have many opportunities that a sharecropper didn’t have in 1945 or an Algerian in France today. I don’t think that anyone is “locked in” except in their minds.” Upon which I elaborated regarding the positions of blacks in the US compared to minorities in other places in the world. Yes, I’m fortunate to have such an opportunity (because I worked at it).

As MLK said, “We came here in different ships, but we are all in the same boat now”. Too fucking true. Don’t like the world – change it. Don’t like the ghetto – move. Don’t like your lot in life – DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Just don’t sit back and lay blame. And this isn’t a “black thing”. This applies to hillbillies, Mexicans, Koreans – AMERICANS!!! Luckily, not everyone hides behind their race and uses it as an excuse for their lot in life.

Right wing??? Ha, ha, ha, ah. I’ve been called a commie on this site by people as quick to judge as you.

Cutty – I “live” in Batavia. You have no idea where I’m “from”. So, STFU on that one. And if you have ever been to Batavia, you would see it ain’t all $500+ homes and white bread. So again, STFU.

As for the El stops by UIC, I assume you mean the Blue Line at UIC. You know, the one across from the Malcolm X College??? Getting’ my point?

BTW - I go to UIC because they have one of the best MRI centers in the world and to (UC for a different reason). Doubt you would know that because it seems that you are too quick to compartmentalize and judge everyone. Sorry, I’m pry moving too quick for you. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging – It is like an X-ray, but different. Thought I would clarify that for you. Maybe I should type slower too.

Anyway, just keep making excuses for people. That way, they never let you down.

Birkenjam – You hear the 5% population/95% of the wealth thing all the time, but what do you think it is like elsewhere? Not saying that we shouldn’t try for better “redistribution” (aka tax), but that is really the way that wealth is distributed in all countries (more like 1%/99% in Africa and Mid East). I can’t find any data, but let’s assume a place like France (where race relations are much worse) is 10%-90% or even 15%/85%??? Making up stats as I go, but I think you get the point. What’s it matter? No everyone is going to be a millionaire. But that is no reason to spend your day getting drunk, watching Springer.

“fact of the matter is even if everyone on the bottom rung put forth as much dedication and effort as those behind the success stories we hear, they wouldn’t all reach that pinnacle.” Agree. Lot’s has to do with luck. But luck benefits the prepared.

Guitardave – Another good point. But it’s educated and based on basic macro-theory, so get ready for the Limbaugh comparison.

Johnnygoff – Agree, but my bitch is that West does not believe in reprimanding the likes of 50, Snoop etc… To me, that is unacceptable. I may be a broken record on this, but I think it is unacceptable on a human level and race has nothing to with it. I feel West gives them a pass because they are black.

And while we are talking about race, maybe check this out too: http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2007/11/6257_cause_meet_effe.html

(Ned – it’s from one of my “right Wing” Limbaugh blogs that I check out). I can only hope it was taken out of context. If Don Imus said shit like this, he’d be gang raped. What a fucking idiot!

Just because it is worth repeating, “We came here in different ships, but we are all in the same boat now”. Get to your oars!

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/21/2007 10:55AM
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Kirkbrew, the contradictions in yor comments and last tirade are laughable.

I'm not going to even comment but did you actually call Jimmy Carter Corrupt?

Back that shit up and I will respond because Carter for all the faults was the most ethical President we have ever had

RRow Row, Row your boat gently into a ravine, if I took to heart what you mean

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/21/2007 11:02AM
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Oh and just because someone comments on a board it does not mean they don't do things in the community to help this world. No need to list the accolade or use the activist’s guilt play. I’m pretty certain those who are taking the time to speak on West are currently involved in some sort of the programs you threw out in your weak defense of others being interested in dealing with the trite allusions to lacing, racists responses to the downtrodden

birkenjam Wed 11/21/2007 11:29AM
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in all honesty, i understand that deamn near every industrialized nation has some sort of a class system and wealth distrubtion thats patterns are similar to ours. but thats similar, not identical. fact of the matter is our population is much larger and there that extremity of difference is much easier to recognize, and therefore the expansiveness of the poorest class is much larger. sure productivity has much to do with what our nation is worth and how people can get ahead, but its not the end all be all. they are only going to put so much money into circulation or money wouldnt be worth anything. there isnt an endless supply to go around. if you have 1% of the population sitting on bank accounts and trust funds, or employing the services of others included in that one percent, than the money isnt going anywhere that the majority of the society can reach. this is why im glad taxation was mentioned, because that is the easiest way to make an immediate change to this phenomena. corporate welfare should be eliminated, they should be taxed to the same degree as individuals as a price of doing business in this country. and furthermore, taxation should be based on income, plain and simple. those who have can afford higher rates than those who dont, and should be willing to do so because they wouldnt have if they didnt live here, so its time to give back.

birkenjam Wed 11/21/2007 11:34AM
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nd to bring it back to the west article itself, the reason he isnt wasting his time calling out people like snoop dogg and 50 cent is because they arent the source of the problem. snoop and 50 wouldnt be all over television, advertising and radio if there werent some rich white men in that top 1% paying them to do what they do. sure they arent prime moral exmaples for taking advantage of the nature of things, but they didnt create these circumstances. thats why west does not attack them as individuals, but asks them to recognize these circumstances and now use the status they have been able to attain in this system as a platform for explaining to a wider audience that this is how things are and if you want it to change you have to do something about it. i'm sure west, to some degree, recognizes that most people who are exposed to his work already recognize these circumstances. i doubt the same can be true for all those exposed to snoop or 50 or luda or whoever it may be

birkenjam Wed 11/21/2007 11:36AM
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and so like the chris rock joke or whoever it was

"Shaq is rich. The guy who signs his paycheck is wealthy."

cuttyfives Wed 11/21/2007 01:33PM
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Kirkbrew, that area was a ghetto in the 80's early 90's. It is no longer. Perhaps living on the farms in Batavia you are a little shocked by the big city lights. Chill son, you look dumber w/ each post.

efalls starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/21/2007 02:12PM
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This is sick. I had the pleasure of seeing Dr. West speak in college. Thank you so much for giving this man the exposure and respect he deserves. Shouts to Fanny Lou!

PrinceofDANKNESS Thu 11/22/2007 04:31AM
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BIRKENJAM you commie keep your hands off my money ---- "It's time to give back" -- sounds more like you want to jack people - corporate welfare is to help businesses stay afloat and when you have businesses you have jobs etc etc...(your scope is so short sighted..I bet you believe everything your told)(now go ahead and say what everyone already knows your gonna say.... POD your stupid blah blah blah....Happy Thanksgiving everyone : ) lol

druzzy starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/23/2007 02:09PM
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I agree with what Dr. West said, (infact it would be hard to contradict a man like Cornell West), but I think the scope of this discussion could be widened. Hip-hop isn't the only genre of music that has been sullied by wealthy and corporate exploitation. In many cases rock, jazz, blues, country, even jambands have lost their artistic integrity in pursuit of the almighty dollar. I would argue that this is not SOLELY a racial issue, but overbearingly a cultural one. This is not to say that meaningful music is not being produced, but given the recent bounds in the availability of music, I find that we are so inundated with shallow forms that it's becoming increasinlgy hard for people to mature as complete human beings. Across all cultures music has always been one of the most significant influences in the developement of people. It trully shapes and molds us. Power to brother West, and all those like him who recognize this, and produce music that enriches our minds and our spirits.

kirkbrew Sat 11/24/2007 09:11AM
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birkenjam - Totally agree. Two points to add. First, you need to compare the US to all of Europe. That way, you get a pretty fair equivalency of population, GDP etc… My point originally is that for all of the problems that we have, we have a much more equal society and there are many more opportunities for the economically challenged in the US (ie there is no Negro Collage Fund in France or Germany). Some people can’t get their heads around because they are stuck in the US and have been brain washed by knee jerk liberalism and politicians who gain their power through division rather than unity. If any of these folks would get the bong out of your mouth, skip a few festies and save cash to get out into the world, you may see that. Then again, I have a feeling most of hem would go to Amsterdam and piss the opportunity away.

In the end, I have no idea what to say to these people. Obviously, they got it all figured out and are incapable of learning. Really fits the stereotype that Matt and Trey portrayed in the Jam-Fest episode.

Again, I don’t deny that there isn’t a long way to go and that true economic/racial equality isn’t what needs to be achieved.

Second – There is a problem with wealth accumulation all over the world. And to say how to get around that is tough. Being an extremist-Right-Wing-Limbaughite (or so has been said by folks who got me figured out), I’m not a big fan of knee-jerking taxing of the rich; however increased inheritance taxation is not the dumbest thing I have ever heard of – AS LONG as that money is properly used. Obviously, the welfare system of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s has failed. Re-investment in the communities is a good solution (tax free improvement zones, micro-loans, community development etc…). That gives the people better tools to improve their lives. The problem is that in Chicago, you have total crooks like the Stroger/Daly families (not to mention many other corrupt alderman) who have pissed away the huge amount of wealth available to improve the poorest parts of our community. I still say that people are not “locked in the hood” and that they have opportunities within their communities to work their way out. Some like to relegate these people as being hopeless. I have greater faith than that.

As for your second post – totally agree. Like I said before, the record companies pimp out shit like this and hide behind the PMRC label. Thanks Tipper! The problem is that when whites bring up the point, we are told that we don’t know the hood and don’t understand because “it’s a black thang”. That is where people like Dr West need to step in. Also, the record companies should take responsibility for their product. That isn’t censorship. These “artist” can self produce and self-release. No matter if it is Cannibal Corpse, Anal Cunt or Snoop. All scum.

Ned8 – I really can’t take your opinion for much since you are not very good at reading. If you read my post again (and don’t just look at it), you will notice that I said that the Carter ADMINSTRATION was corrupt and clearly stated “not the man”. Should I type slower?

Then again, your rant was so far off topic (possibly because you can’t directly address the points I tried to make), I really shouldn’t have addressed it.

Regarding everything else…meh. You lack of substance bores me. Maybe your were right when you said, ” I thought this article would stimulate the best and brightest to comment but unfortunately I guess not.” You certainly personify that lack of substance. Self fulfilling maybe?

PrinceofDANKNESS – I have gone out trumping for “corporate welfare” from the US Export-Import Bank. My personal experience is that it is a total scam to help companies export jobs. We got a boat load of cash to prop up a shitty operation in Russia and to expand a facility in China. Total scam. And before any of you want to cry “hypocrite”, I say, “eat a dick”. To really change the system, you need to get inside. Voting and protesting is fine for some, but it really gets us nowhere. To really make change, you need to be part of the system. That isn’t for everyone. You need to have an education and “walk the walk”. Not putting anyone down. Some can’t do that. I can and that has been the intent of my professional career as well as many, many of my friends. We are everywhere.

Back too corp-welfare. Just wait for this farm bill and the green-washing of bio-fuels. It is all moving in the wrong direction. ADM, Cargil, Dow, Monsanto and many others will get money they don’t need to produce products that are not economically justifiable. Sad but true. I would rather see that money go to communities rather than corporations or individuals.

Druzzy – I agree with you and would even extend it to the news. Fox, CNN etc are designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Now to two really funny points. I re-read the article because I want to contact Dr. West directly. Regarding Snoop etc, Dr. West stated, “I'm convinced they could take more responsibility regarding higher ideals of what it means to be human.” It kills me that I say the same thing and I’m called a right-winger-Limbaughite. Hypocrites.

The other thing that kills me is the economic prejudice here. I’m educated, white, middle class, live in the ‘burbs and am attacked for being privileged. These people are ignorant fucks who have no idea what I do or where I came from. I should know better than to go for their bait (I’m the first to admit that I’m doing a mediocre job at self improvement). Some people are really shallow and just like trying to get peoples goat. Lesson learned. In the end, these people are as prejudice as the KKK. Maybe they don’t get laid. Maybe they are just jealous because they have blown their opportunities. That’s for them to deal with. Either way, hating someone for being “well off” isn’t any different than hating someone because of their nationality, religion or color. I got better things to do – like contacting Dr. West directly.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Sat 11/24/2007 09:36AM
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Kirkbrew; you are simply back pedaling, Carter administration then; give me some hard facts. Cross-reference to the Bush administration, hell SR and or JR and handicap it for all I care and it will still be disproportional.

You were not brought to task upon your place or race but your statements, so just stop with trying to rationalize that. I spoke directly to your position. I touched nerves obviously, was it worth it, no because you seem to believe you are right and you are right, your right, so it does not seem that this is anything but a soapbox for you where it could be a bully pulpit . I spoke of my position and its not really creating a dialog with you it is black and white argumentative rhetoric; your perspective that is. My point is your not seeing it from a different perspective and my assertion with songwriters / rappers and such is directly on topic with what is written in the article as well as other issues that come up from West.

I'm not going to do a tit for tat with you thou. The article was excellent I hope this continues from Jam base

Peace in the middle east.... isolate the ammunition

benlostforyears Sat 11/24/2007 10:26AM
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All of you who say its about a desire to work hard and better yourself regardless of the circumstances probably learned that from a strong male or female figure in your life like your father, mother, grandparents, etc. Thats exactly what you don't understand about impoverished youth in the black government housing projects and poor neighborhoods - the only adults they have contact with are either drug addicts, drug dealers, or work their ass off at dead end jobs and get nothing out of it. When you have no positive role models in your life you never get that desire to better yourself. That what Dr. West is saying. Many black people in an impoverished situation are told by the only role models they have - those who become rich by either rapping or selling drugs and living a life of crime. If you are never taught that you as a human being have a responsibility to make a better life for yourself and those around you, you probably never will.

birkenjam Sat 11/24/2007 12:17PM
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sidebar - according to reuters 2005 had the largest wealth division between the top 1% and the rest of society ever recorded (in the US). i wish i had a better memory to site actual financial statistics

im glad someone who seems to be on the inside is also against corporate welfare. its a scam from the beginning, and if you actually look at any peer reviewed studies of thesituation youll find that its not actually accomplishing what it was intended to accomplish. like kirkbrew said, that means its failing and its time to try something new. sure corporations can have a positive impact on society, you have to be an idiot not to recognize that, if even for your simplest point that they provide jobs. but again, these corporations are given free rides for much longer than they should be and when you compare how much money they have eitherbeen given or saved from no taxation, it does not even come close to what they have put back into american society on american soil. more often than not thes companies get their handouts because they are "doing business in america" yet they outsource every possible angle of the business.

stoops Sat 11/24/2007 12:50PM
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well the west bandwagon has compiled a huge list of reasons why black america struggles at the hands of the mean ole rich white man. what the victimologists, like west(and sharpton) commonly fail to highlight is the progress of american race relations.

just some thoughts to highlight:

-there are white ghettos and the same prevelance of crime and disfunction exist in them.

-more white people live below the poverty line in america than any other racial class including blacks.

-more than 4 of 5 black americans lives above the poverty line(that's more than 80%) and has for some time. this is one of the most impressive social accomplishments humanity has ever achieved!

-the stereotypes perpetuated by the liberal media and entertainment industries are extremely misleading (tawana bradley, duke lacrosse, jena 6). what are dr. wests views on these high profile cases?

here's a solid question for dr. west: what have you helped black america to achieve?

here's another: if you worked for BET, the channel for "black entertainment", how would you alter the programming?

then for shits and giggles: who is currently your favorite white musician or are you boycotting?

now kayceman, those are questions; then give him a minute to shamelessly plug his crappy album that most of us aint gonna buy.

birkenjam Mon 11/26/2007 06:28AM
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why do people constantly try to make "the media," as if its only one giant organization all working together, out to be wholly "liberal"? you have to be retarded or comatose. conservatives, who own most of the major media outlets in the USA, are the biggest employers of rhetoric if efforts to skew the views of the public in order to do whatever it is they want to do. its real easy to throw out a phrase like "the liberal media" all the time and have it stick in some fools head. if the media is so liberal, why do people like bill oreilly have television shows. people are always going to argue on either side of this issue, but to say that any of those cases have been glorified because the media is liberal you are just making yourself look like an ass.

and at the very least, west has helped blacks achieve one more number in all those categories youve cited as to why blacks are so well off in society. so apparently hes doing much more than all these poor white people you speak of. im white and i wish the black panthers were still around and as militant as the KKK so people would stop turning the "why blacks have it so bad" argument into a "whites have it worse argument."

anyone of african descent should just become rasta and go industrialize africa. take the western example of civilization, industry and society, pick out all the good pieces and create your own. that way they only have themselves to bitch at if it goes nowhere, and idiots like you cant compare completely different situations.

birkenjam Mon 11/26/2007 06:31AM
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and if you dont comprehend that my statements are over the top, youre dumb. im sure some fool is going to argue about how crazy I am for wanting a racist black group in society and how impossible it would be to just go to africa and industrialize.

stoops Mon 11/26/2007 09:14AM
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i'm curious about how brainwashed idiot leftards get smacked in the face by reality on a steady basis but yet still try to contend that conservative news outlets are as prevalent as liberal ones, especially on telivision. it's also fairly simple to be so polorizerd that your trapped by your own overly simplified bipartisan views.

i'll defer to your self asserted expertise on how to "look like an ass", but noone claimed that the liberal media "glorified" bradley, duke, or jena. i did explicitly say that the liberal media further perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes concerning race in america. care to dispute that? i didn't think so. oh and o'reilly has a show to bring these and similar facts to light knowing that the majority of telivision media/hollywood folks have an opposing agenda."fox news isn't liberal, so the media isn't" is hardly an argument; naming an exception doesn't disprove a rule.

in response to my ?, regarding what has dr. west done for black people, the response goes he made himself some money so he's helping statistics concerning black people... wow, talk about achievement; i'm impressed and black people should be thankful to have such a hands on advocate for change. the fact is west is no more than a highly educated, ivy league, race hustler who has done and will do zero to help the folks he views as victims.

black panthers, huh? i wonder what happened to them. the kkk too? it seems that you only understand radical extremes. newsflash, most folks support neither end of your far-fetched limited understanding of reality. i quoted some facts; i never suggested that white americans have it worse than black ones. now if you care to debate the facts, i would be happy to laugh as you try, but changing the subject, misunderstanding my inferences, and or ignoring reality hardly helps with productive discourse.

don't worry, no "fool" needs to mention that your "crazy" for endorsing "racist" segregation in a childish plot to "industrialize". you just did! later birken"i'm a white pro-panther rasta"jam!

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/26/2007 12:24PM
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Lets debate the one assertion you made, " i did explicitly say that the liberal media further perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes concerning race in America. care to dispute that?" Back it up with facts that we can discuss. My opinion is that all of American society is guilty of that from Fox media to PBS and all new sources because it is part of the American vernacular and experience. You cannot fundamentally deal with an issue if your so involved in placing blame on a side rather then achieving some awareness that it exists.To hopefully come to some resolve by action and West is anazizing history, culture, race and educates about this issue. I appreciate his knowledge and perspective and there is truth in his statements and it is upsetting because we really are not as far along as we would like to beleive.

Lets hope you can debate without getting into a pissing contest.. Thanks in advance

stoops Mon 11/26/2007 04:12PM
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lots of reality needs to be ignored to claim that these stereotypes are endorsed by all media outlets equally. who puts forth these ideas more. while i agree that blaming isn't highly productive, factual understanding and accountability for actions (or inactions) is essential to progress. the information is readily available; if people are too lazy or too trusting, it is important to say so.

saying west educates is like saying napolean dynamite dances. having "truth" in your statements doesn't equate to positive change or even intelect. he consistently avoids controversial race related issues because they rarely support his victimologist agenda. he won't comment on bradley, duke, or jena because he knows it would require siding with white people while opposing blacks.

i submit that while we may not be as far along as we would like, we are farther along than most believe!

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/26/2007 06:42PM
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Belief is a huge component to relations or coexistence don't you think?

I think your last statements makes West's case. We cannot be further along if you don't have the belief system in place regarding relationship. Its like moving into a big moment uneasy as opposed to being absolutely sure where confidence exist. By your statement we all cannot be far enough along enough to truly have equality if many don't believe it is so. So people on the left have a valid argument.Also, you have to be skeptical of stats by where they come from not that they don't resound opinion or a response to notion a side or some answers but its who they come from

stoops Mon 11/26/2007 07:43PM
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belief or a lack there of is a choice. while statistics can be explained or adjusted, they cannot be disputed with a lack of belief. facts are facts; coexistence is best measured in terms of objective standards of progress, not feelings. do you propose that race relations are best measured with surveys? we're talking about huge numbers of people here; not two or three. if you continue to speak in such subjective terms, then there are no truths.

my last statement certainly doesn't support nor endorse anything west claims. you must be misunderstanding. your argument suggests if a small group of people stomp their feet and cry that they don't believe, then progress is nill. isn't it not just possible, but quite likely that those people were mislead to believe that they couldn't achieve? the left points out the subjectivity, no matter how minute, in a particular situation and calls it a "valid argument". you didn't debate a single fact even though you claimed that was your intention...could it be you didn't really want them? if your going to throw veiled attacks at the source, how about you specify your criticizms? the doctor whom i cited is more credible, academic, accomplished, and 10x more genuine than west will ever be. still waiting for a resemblance of fact to support your flimsy position...

cuttyfives star Mon 11/26/2007 07:56PM
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stoops, the author of that article has his head up his ass. A black republican who went to Berkley? LOL! Also, the author of the article had the good fortune of growing up w/ a mother who had the time/took the time to educate him. If you read the background of that man, he is totally out of touch with the black America/culture he is so quick to judge and profit off of. Way to be...great source...This whole thread, w/ a few exceptions speaks volumes about the so called community...Although many of you are articulate and good at crafting arguments based solely on opinions, nobody seems to be in touch w/ reality. If you feel inclined to comment on issues outside of Umphreys sucking or TDB crowd being "thugs" (LOL) please get a friggin clue. By the way, I did read that entire article...This guys mind has been warped by white, educational institutions. This guy is such a pussy/fraud/Idiot, that he was to chickenshit to bring his arguments to Howard University. Jambase, the displays of ignorance on this thread are gettin out of control. In the words of Gordon Ramsay, SHUT IT DOWN!

birkenjam Mon 11/26/2007 08:41PM
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i just like getting people riled up. just like how it seems most didnt actually read the article, stoops didnt read the part of my post where i said im being extreme for a reason

stoops Mon 11/26/2007 09:03PM
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"up his ass huh? says who; you, mr. "people in the ghetto are victims"? your unsubstantiated defeatist perspectives further illustrate mcwhorters points. not only are you an expert on chicagos ghettos and racism but now we should all subscribe to your theories on who is genuine and what is reality.

tell us about reality. tell us what hoods you claim internet tough guy"LOL". show us how in touch you are with all the poor oppressed "brothers on the el". bad news for you dumbshit, those people you think your in touch with are a tiny sampling of a larger population that do intentionally avoid big-mouthed fuckwits like you! wanna know why? you believe for no reason, you judge without proof, you argue with no facts, and you talk with nothing to say.

are you saying black republicans don't exist at berkley? do you live in a hole?

you dislike the guy cause he had a mother who valued education? don't be jealous; learn something!

what specifically makes him out of touch? should he pretend to be impoverished, discriminated against?

now you don't like him cause he makes money? but when he doesn't it's because of racism?

are you saying west or mcwhorter had his mind warped by that bad white man, or are you just talkin shit like the jive turkey you are?

so in your warped little mind, one needs to argue with the wizkids at howard not to be a fraud, pussy, idiot, chickenshit? i think shrinks call that tactic projection. he was probably just too intimidated by the degree of your intelect!

as for ignorance on the thread, we were cool until your dumbass came back!

cuttyfives Mon 11/26/2007 09:51PM
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wow. just wow. You know I owned you in my prior post. The EL? I wasnt the one using my experiences on public transportation to justify anything. I think the fact that he did not speak at Howard says a lot. You are aware Howard is a black university? 98 black students in the class of 2004 at Berkley....HAHAHAHA here is my source.http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-06-03-black-admissions_x.htm .025% of the class...

Your profile says are from Glen Arm Maryland....Population 4,325, avg house 630,000$...i mean your black population is 6.44% you should know better....I am from Chicago...born and raised...If you would like to know our data, feel free to check it out here:


i speak based off experiences you speak based off, well things your read rather than see.

stoops Mon 11/26/2007 11:25PM
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you "owned shit"! i think you have me confused with someone else. i've read and laughed at your posts; this is the first time you've been stupid enough to direct them at me though.

who didn't speak at howard and why do i give a shit? it's an artificial standard that you set up for yourself that doesn't mean anything to anyone else. again why do i care that howard is a black university; so is florida a&m but i still don't give a shit. are you trying to imply that one needs to speak at largely black schools to be "in touch". diversify your coddled victims life and you'll learn that this is bullshit.

so your from chicago, born and raised huh? well, make sure to let us all know when the little hometown hero spreads his wings and learns a little more about the whole country that you've been missing out on...

since you mentioned where i reside and seem to have used it to assume a whole bunch, you might want to try not half-assing the research. that may fly within the dumbed-down walls of your environment, but it's hardly thorough. perhaps you should consider the liklihood that i may earn a living in say baltimore and/or dc, which are very close, the former about 6 miles. perhaps you should also consider that i may have lived in areas all over this country and the world for that matter before you try to explain how "experienced" you are. you were correct in that i read and speak about that; i also live and consider those experiences. it's now painfully obvious that i've seen a great deal more than you, minus inside the fine city of chicago of course. what i find funny is your attempt to assert that somehow because of where i live, "i should know better". what should i know? not to argue with internet tough guy who views himself as a victim? do you actually believe that everyone desires an urban existance. i'll come and go as i like, but i just value my privacy and that comes easier in a burb, not that i need to justify that to you.

here you go smart guy! since your the new mouthpiece for black students and you're so in touch, explain some of this:

-blacks consistently say their parents would accept grades lower than both white and Asian students.

-nationally, 74 percent of black students fail to graduate five years after entering college (5 years is average for all students)

-black students have the lowest grade point averages both entering and leaving college

-black students have the nation's lowest academic achievement

-in 1995, exactly 184 black students in the United States scored over 700 on the verbal portion of the SAT — not even enough to fill a passenger plane

i have experienced this first hand for many years, but it starts to be my problem when:

-black illegitimacy rates hover around 70 percent(how can we blame whitey for this one?)

-black people have the nation's highest victimization rates for murder, assault, rape and other violent crimes(guess who perpetrates most of the crimes)

-in 2005, there were more than 645,000 victims of cross-racial violent crimes between blacks and whites in the U.S. In 90 percent of those crimes, black offenders attacked white victims (must be hate crimes)

you want more just ask for the citations but remember i don't get paid to help you find the facts. i just pitty you cause moonbats like west do.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/27/2007 04:35AM
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Stoops we are talking race and interactions between people; behavior right?

You statement again, "we are farther along than most believe!" You are subjective in the statement most is the whole of the population. Which means you are stating just that.That is what I'm speaking to because you are correct. Most do not feel that we are where we need to be as a society. Statistically or otherwise. Agreed with cuttyfives on the tip that your environment makes sense to your assertion. If I lived in a city and $650,000 and that was the average on houses and 6% was the population of blacks to white, I would be able to take bias stats and move them to a comfortable place for whatever argument suited me. I could resonably find a poll to make any side If I wanted to make my valid but it is just denialist to not be aware of American valus and culture, stating it is not an issue, it simply is

stoops Tue 11/27/2007 07:01AM
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we are talking race and interactions between people; yes! i believe that the "most" that i spoke of is measurable and therefore not subjective. i also attribute those feelings to inaccurate/misleading talking points and academic laziness, largely put forth and subscribed to by liberals (not just black, largely white).

as for my environment, you (like cutty) assume quite a bit. just because i choose not to sleep where an overabundance of poverty is concentrated, doesn't mean i'm unaware or even unexposed. the fact is that you know where i tell jambase i reside, but you know nothing of how or where i spend my time.

i haven't quoted "polls"; i've quoted facts and you nor cutty, nor birken, nor dr. race hustler west have anything to say about them. i agree these facts and my opinions about them constitute "an issue" and i would also submit that my oppositions unwillingness to even address these things would be one too. making strawman ad hominem attacks hardly constitutes debate. you seem to have compiled a list of reasons why this issue is beyond debatable. as for "awareness", "values", and "culture", i'm waiting to hear how you or anyone else who avoid facts see the issue.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/27/2007 07:44AM
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Stoops, I don't believe I'm saying they are not debatable points; on the contrary, I read your responses and could see you were quoting polls as fact. My position is that America built itself on slavery and as well, it perpetuates the least percentage of wealth upon these values as does most of the earth. This is an world problem and not just an American one. However, we are speaking of America and I see this resentment for West but not one for those on the right that have become commentators for the contention that you seems to believe. Both side's pundits are just that but I just don't see how West is supposed to pick up the preverbal shovel if Limbaugh can't or if he is too loaded on prescription pills to do so (LOL). It is because they are orators for a position.

Yes, we are speaking of West's position which has resonance and fact to back it up. Statistically, when African Americans are given the opportunity to rise above the economic casting through educational means, the percentage shows the marked success. I think ultimately that is the message but the disproportions are what staggers this rate of succession.

I appreciate the debate by the way and meant no offense to your upbringing nor your chosen place of residence my point is that you don’t live in poverty so there are experiences you don’t know of and neither do I.I'm just trying to point that fact out and am humble to it.

stoops Tue 11/27/2007 09:08AM
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a poll is a sampling of opinions; a fact is something that exists. there's a big difference. you have established a pattern of not differentiating between them. what i "quoted" was the latter. pretending truths are not credible doesn't make them false.

limbaugh is an idiot but that's another topic yet with regard to black/white relations he's usually dead on.

west portrays himself as a leader for black people, yet he does nothing to help them when all the facts say help is needed. west's "position" can be supported by "fact"? of course they can; they're juvenile. west speaks truths but he doesn't address difficult issues. "opportunity to rise above economic casting"? so what does this entail exactly? who does the casting? can non-blacks be cast? are wealthy blacks "economically casted" as well? "opportunity" to you may constitute the dumbing down of standards to others. your position presupposes that black people are victims of slavery, yet neither you nor i have ever met an american slave. neither of us have ever met an american slaveowner either. historically you may have had a leg to stand on but today your views are simply outdated. perhaps most of america still sides with you but like you, and those i already mentioned, most struggle to respond to the facts.

i'm not offended at all, but i feel this is more a discussion and less a debate. but you still assume much given little info. just because homes tend to cost x or black people are represented via y in an area doesn't conclude that noone endures poverty there. randy adamson said "poverty is a state of mind, not a condition of the wallet."

kirkbrew starstarstarstar Tue 11/27/2007 10:59AM
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Ned – No idea where I “back pedaled”. I clearly stated that I did not think that either Carter (or Clinton) were “corrupt”. CLEARLY!!! But that is all a digression and I’m done with it. Should not have gotten suckered into it in the first place.

But what was the topic??? If you remember, you originally said, “I thought this article would stimulate the best and brightest to comment but unfortunately I guess not. Some get it and some are hideaways for ignorance”

I replied, “Not sure what type of dialogue you expect. If everyone just gushes over how great Dr. West is, then that ain't much dialogue, is it???”. I thought that was pretty cromulent reply (at least I thought).

To which I got very thoughtful response, “Yes, this is what I wanted, somebody to start rushing judgment and shout some Neo-cons' agenda with effete sophistry.” Then you called me (or my views) “lofty and fortunate Right wing.” Said that I have a “classis tinge” and compared my points to “Rush Limbaugh and other propagandist of the right” together with some rant about Bush, me voting for him (didn’t) bla, bla, bla… Not very good “dialogue” and totally off topic and went downhill from there. Agree? Huggs?

“My point is your not seeing it from a different perspective and my assertion with songwriters/rappers and such is directly on topic with what is written in the article as well as other issues that come up from West.” I think I get where you are coming from and agree. But that is no excuse for dehumanized lyrics of Snoop, 50 etc… I think that’s what you are getting at.

My ENTIRE point was that:

A) Those in US “ghettos” have it MUCH better than anyone else in a comparable social-economic-racial position in other parts of the world. Case and point: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/27/europe/france.php This has been an ongoing issue in France and I’ll spare you my personal experiences since they are just the views of a lofty-silver-spoon-neo-con (or will just be taken that way).

I believe that the comparisons to other countries is important because I feel that it disarms the “whitie is out to get us” BS (or even the KKK’s assertion that the Jews are out to get them). That is only to create division in order to grab and maintain power. Many people/races guilty of this.

B) No one is “locked” in the ghetto. That’s BS. Examples? Affirmative Action, Negro College Fund, black universities, massive investment and job opportunities through city/local government into ghettos (which seems to just be another form of welfare)…You can go on and on how we have tried to level the playing field in this country. Still, people want to make excuses and keep going back to slavery. I don’t get that nor accept it.

goodtimes4200 – Good point. The lack of family structure is a problem in the black community (I dare say almost exclusively). But how does that get resolved? Tough issue. I think that this is where guys like Dr. West need to step in. The Dobsonites in HHS don’t help, but that is a relatively new problem.

Stoops – “there are white ghettos and the same prevelance of crime and disfunction exist in them”. You got it. Any you folks know what “trailer trash” is (maybe not those who have lived their lives in the city)? I did census work in rural Northern Indiana. Very poor, little opportunity, lots of crime and now lots of meth. No one makes excuses for these people. Why?

I do have to agree with birkenjam about the “liberal media”. Is that the “liberial media” who questioned the Iraq invasion or gave Clinton a pass on a blow job? Instead, I call it a sensationalist media that appeals to the lowest common denominator. There is a difference between being “lazy and dumb” and “liberal”.

DaKracken had a good point in that “Mainstream media works on the concept of dumbing down all entertainment to the lowest common denominator and rap is just the latest avenue for that flawed logic”. The news is no different.

Also, I have made it a point not to enter in debate with absolute numb-nuts who are obviously out just to start a flame war. Especially ones who don’t post a profile and then pick on yours. However I loved “well, make sure to let us all know when the little hometown hero spreads his wings and learns a little more about the whole country that you've been missing out on...” – fucking funny stuff. Talk about getting “owned”.

In the end, many of these people are sad ass losers who never get laid, have shitty dead end jobs, “locked in the hood” or just do too much blow. Not sure what there damage is. I’m sure they have an excuse at hand. But to quote Gordon Ramsey gives you a good indication as to their intellect.

And to attack someone because they went to a good school or live in a nice community is no different from calling a black a nigger, an a white guy a cracker, oriental a gook or a Mexican a wetback. Hate is hate. Jealousy is jealousy.

Finally – I use the term “black” because the term “African American” is total BS. African American would imply a very large range of totally different people from Arabs, to “blacks” and even to Dave Mathews. I’m tired of hyphenated Americans. I think that the Irish were first to start this. Bad trend. Can’t we just be American first and a race second? A bit off topic, but worth mentioning.

birkenjam Tue 11/27/2007 11:09AM
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stoops - i think your anger is overriding the discussion at hand. you may spit out all the facts and statistics you want, but if you tell no one where they come from why should we believe them? for all i know you pulled that out of the KKK monthly newslwetter. im not citing facts because all the facts ive heard in my lifetime, i dont have here handy ready to tell people where they came from and how they were achieved. what i do know is that this article was originally written as an interview about AN ALBUM, so why the hell would west say anything substantial or cite facts to back up his opinions. thats like asking phish to reveal where the rhombus is, to put it in jambaser terms. if you read his books, you know, the reason he got to where he is, youd see that he constantly cites fact and then argues his points. to say that all liberals dont know how to interpret and use facts in a debate is ridiculous. i think reading johnathon kozol's amazing grace would do you some good. albeit a case study of one neighborhood, it does an excellent job of eluding to many of the reasons that west agress with of the causes of perpetual black poverty. you may say they are afforded every right to a public education, but when their classrooms dont have heat, their books are 35 years old and their teachers dont teach a curriculum based on things relevant to them, then why the hell are they going to pay attention and laern. the same thing happened in jamaica in the 60s and 70s. rastafarianism was a backlash partially caused by the fact that the british were teaching their history to black kids on an island in the caribeean. of course they are going to be detached. (oh and if you read or have read kozol and continue to call me a liberal citing people who do nothing to solve the problem they are so worried about, i will send you my 23 page paper from college where i argue that the nature of kozols research is too limited to be global conclusions for the problem at hand.) you argue thatcutty has no substance to his arguments of where you come from, yet you have no substance because you list off a bunch of facts that could have come from anywhere. if you are such a great debater youd be providing citations my friend.

birkenjam Tue 11/27/2007 11:16AM
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and since education seems to be an overriding arguement as to why they should be getting out of pverty, why is it that there so now school districts all across the US that are known as predominantly drop out factories, in exclusively poor black (and white) neighborhoods. fact of the matter is the problem at hand is spread across many facets of society and you cant bring up one without the other. when teachers are "graded" based on how many of their students graduate, and not how much they actually learn, then of course they are going to cater to any student who struggles because if they drop out it makes them look better. as an extreme example with no fact or citation related to it, why should a teacher care if the 15 black kids in her class drop out when all the other kids graduate with As and happen to be white. she still looks good, but sure, blame it on the kids who dropped out for not putting forth enough effort. there couldnt be a bigger picture here. (and please dont argue this statement im again using extremities to illustrate a point, not because its a fact im ready to defend)

birkenjam Tue 11/27/2007 11:21AM
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kirkbrew if i hated on your previous statements i apologize because you obviously see the bigger picture. its easy to get caught up in arguing on mesage bords and that often causes people to miss some things. fact of the matter is, it seems you are one of few saying anything substational and actually touching on points people attack you on

birkenjam Tue 11/27/2007 11:31AM
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and stoops. again ill say you dont read peoples posts for what they are. my comments on blacks migrating to africa to industrialize is at the core of rastafarian beliefs. if you know anything about the religion youd understand that. so dont tell me i have racist ideologies of industrialization or whatever jumble you spat out on the screen. fact of the matter is rastafarianism can be argued as a very racist religion becuase it was a backlash to racist treatment. all i was saying is that the idea makes sense and if executed, blacks couldnt blame whitey for their problems and whitey couldnt complain about how blacks blame them for their problems when they all have the same problem if we are both running our own separate industrialized nations. and im not some bleeding heart liberal who is as crunchy as the handle "birkenjam" might suggest. fact of the matter is i dont consider myself any title because it all plays into the rhetoric game that gets no one anywhere but divided and distracted. and i also hate jambands and if youve seen me on other posts youd know that, this handle is like 7 years old.

stoops Tue 11/27/2007 12:12PM
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i love the nonsensical ramble segued into "please don't argue my undefendable pretendapoints!" i'm not angry; it just gets a little frustrating when folks with potential plug their ears and close their eyes so it will all go away. i'll live though!

if you care to request the source of a specific fact, or better yet dare to try and even address one (much less rationally dispute it), then i would be happy to provide a link. and though you seem to really love to spew veiled accusations of racism, i assure you that the kkk is much less reliable than any of my sources.

you, on the other hand "aren't citing facts" because none support your self admitted ridiculousness. i don't expect west to provide proof for his theories because the facts don't support victimologists perspectives any longer and he opposes (though not openly) the cult of anti-intellectualism that pervades much of black america.

as you have again misconstrued my position, i invite you to quote where i made claims about "all liberals" not knowing how to "interpret and use facts in a debate". one example of a liberal who does struggle to use facts to support his victimologists claims is mr. kozol. i have read amazing grace twice and i would recommend it highly if it were only sold as a work of fiction. again, the reality is that contrary to what kozol and other liberals may want to believe, money spent per child in a school district does not correlate with the degree of the respective childrens' performance. i wonder how kozol would explain the washington dc public school system, which ranks second in spending and ranks 49th in achievement nationwide. do you need a citation? how about you either stop pretending to care about "inequality" or you look it up like everyone else that actually has a desire to know. i think your conclusion from your paper is dead on; kozol's experience is far too limited. but if that is so, then why tell me to read it? the issue in america today is totally seperate from 1960's-70's jamaica. you have obviously sought out info to believe what feels good to believe but you are grossly mislead by half truths. why wouldn't bob marley want to learn british history?

cutty is a dipshit and piggy backing his futile attempts to attack the debater instead of making a point just shows how weak your position is.

stoops Tue 11/27/2007 12:24PM
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kirkbrew, thanks for the daps on cutty reply; i was laughing as i wrote that one!

i do need to take issue with your statements on the "liberal media" though.

i wasn't refering to the liberal media that cried foul in iraq nor turned a blind eye to the clinton pickle tickle. i was commenting on the "liberal media" that constantly sensationalizes every unsubstantiated claim of racism no matter what the facts. i've never seen fox news jump on that bandwagon, but i'm open stuff you may know that i don't. oh and i agree that there is a difference between being "lazy and dumb" and being "liberal". i just hope your not claiming that those things are mutually exclusive.

kirkbrew Tue 11/27/2007 12:26PM
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Birkenjam – Not sure where you hated. It’s cool.

You make a good point of racism causing a backlash. Not just rastas, but the Panthers, Malcolm X etc…

Like you point of titles "plays into the rhetoric game that gets no one anywhere but divided and distracted" Too true! WHen will people learn that division is a tool of tthose looking for power.

Besides the breakdown of the family, schools are a problem. Here is an idea for ya – Don’t graduate high school, you are automatically given a 4 year scholarship in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard… That will give kids a reason to get out of school. Can’t do it, fuck you. You don’t get out of high school, there is little you can offer society. If you CAN'T because of a limitation, then you should be in a mental intuition or assisted living.

As for white collar criminals – they would make great teachers. Give them 4 months of training and send ‘em to school.

kirkbrew Tue 11/27/2007 01:46PM
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Stoops – The data you provide looks cromulent; however there are two quotes that apply to stats:

“There are three types of lies - lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Think this was Ben Disraeli???

And my fav “64 percent of all the world's statistics are made up right there on the spot

82.4 percent of people believe 'em whether they're accurate statistics or not

I don't know what you believe but I do know there's no doubt

I need another double shot of something 90 proof

I got too much to think about” Tod Snyder Statistician Blues

I think that is where birkenjam is coming from. I don’t think he was accusing you of being a Klansman and as he has admitted he will go to the extreme to make a point. It is a good conversation and you guys (together with Ned) are bringing in valid points. It’s just getting a bit angry – unnecessarily so.

My point about the “liberal media” is that it does not exist (at least to the point that Sean Hannity, Limbaugh, Colther think – that is the political equivalent of race husslin’). I think that they jump on what sells. They hung out Clinton for nothin’ and were on the war bandwagon because it would up ratings. CNN really crossed the line.

No, being "lazy and dumb" and being "liberal" are not mutually exclusive. I don’t think that either side has a monopoly on being sensationalist. Hell, Murdoch wrote the book on it. From The Sun in the UK to Fox”News”. http://foxnewsporn.com/ Yea – it isn’t race hussilin’, but they (as well as others, MSNBC, CNN…) get the craziest nut jobs on any side to “debate” issues. One mainstay at all stations is Rabbi Shmuley. This guy will say anything crazy to get on TV. I’ve seen many other idiots that will go to any great length just to get on the news (mostly on Hannity and Colmbs where they get both the crazy and inept). It would be funny if people didn’t actually believe these guys.

Not to get off topic, but many climatologist do the same thing for the likes of PRI, AEI and Heritage Foundation. They’ll sell out their creditability to get their ass licked by a politician and pick up funding for what ever they can. Been around that one with some idiots here who cite scientists who discredit global warming only to find out that these guys are in the pockets of right-wing-nut-job-think tanks. In the end, most people believe what they want to believe and go looking for data to back them up. You just need to know your source and that is why the questions on your stats.

“money spent per child in a school district does not correlate with the degree of the respective childrens' performance.” Agree, but it isn’t so much as the money as where it goes. In many inner cities, the money goes to overhead and not to students or facilities. You cut overhead to the bone and give that money direct to the teachers and let them spend it and you will see something wonderful.

As an example, I do a lot of work in my school system and it is crazy how the school has turned into a day care for the seriously retarded. Some of these kids shouldn’t be in a public school. They have special handlers, physical therapist, hard core special ed… It’s nuts. It all probably needs to happen, but it is a serious damper on the rest of the class.

Also all the extra teaching that goes into meeting No Child Left Behind. When I teach a 1 hour class, you can bet 1 to 2 kids (out of 20 to 25) will get pulled for “special class”. It happens all day. And when they are out of class, guess what – they ain’t in class! So they get behind even more. All a horse of a different color.

Surprised no one mentioned James Krick’s recent comments.

And has anyone even listened to West’s album???

birkenjam Tue 11/27/2007 02:09PM
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kirks got the idea, again, and im not sure you do. no one called you a racist. using extreme scenarios as a means of illustration is a way of communicating ideas more concretely so they could be understood. i only attach disclaimers asking you not to attack them because a) they arent anything i feel i need to defend because they are in fact extremities that i dont even hold as universal truths, and b) because it only proves that you are way to confrontational in your approach to this discussion by attacking them. i only bring up rastafarianism, again, as a metaphor for this situation to further explain my points. sorry i have other things in my life that prevent me from having one explorer window on this board and another googling for facts about why blacks arent as poor off as some like to claim. i dont even know why im trying to justify this to you because if you got it, youd add something productive and not just attack attack attack. no one you consider all media outlets related and "liberal." youve learned from the right, its obvious. your rhetoric game is on par with coulter too, foolish, outrageous, but enough so to catch peoples attention. and if you dont think that language like (i love the nonsensical ramble segued into "please don't argue my undefendable pretendapoints!") is just as much a rhetoric game, than i feel bad for you. kirkbrew, tell me if im wrong, but it seems he had no trouble making sense of my ramble and why i segued it with pretendapoints. i cant believe i even just used that word, as it sounds like something out of the mouth of coulter herself.

birkenjam Tue 11/27/2007 02:10PM
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and no i havent heard the album but id like to. i enjoy hiphop and west and spoken word, so i think i may dig

kirkbrew Tue 11/27/2007 03:06PM
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Pretendapoints? Perfectly cromulent word. I was embiggened by it.

Sourcing data? If you are there and spending the time digging this all up, may as well CPA (cut, paste assemble) the links.

Doesn’t matter. I’ll do it for all ya (nice break from rotating curves arouynd axis and integrating). It seems like they may be from a single source. John McWhorter author of Losing the Race.

“1995, exactly 184 black students in the United States scored over 700 on the verbal portion of the SAT”. http://www.boundless.org/2000/departments/pages/a0000385.html

“74 percent of black students fail to graduate five years after entering college”.


Here is the Wiki on him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McWhorter

He works for Manhattan Institute for Policy Research


Appear right leaning, but not wacko like Heritage Foundation or Discovery Instuite.

Where I get concerned by groups like this is when they take one red cent from tobacco. Hell or high water, that’s dirty money. Then again, they only took a bit and it was about 10 years ago.

kirkbrew Tue 11/27/2007 03:31PM
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Looks like everything is from Walter Williams or John McWhorter.

Am I close on that stoops?

This is from the Williams article, "McWhorter argues that black anti-intellectualism is a result of victimology and separatism. Black politicians, civil-rights leaders and white liberals have peddled victimhood to black youngsters, teaching them that racism is pervasive and no amount of individual effort can overcome racist barriers."

kirkbrew Tue 11/27/2007 05:02PM
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Regarding my previous bit on stats, this is a great example:


Full of statistics and date. But is any of it worth a damn? I say not.

Look at the teacher pay vs other professions. Does it address many teachers have master degrees? Does it address the years in the profession? Most mechanical engineers I know only are Mech E’s for 4 or 5 years till they “move up”. Define “chemist” or “architect” and how long are they at those jobs. Now consider that most all teachers are teachers for life, you can see how this data is essentially fudged.

Look at hours worked. They state a teacher works “36.5 hours per week during weeks that they are working.” Well, a school day is something like 7 hours! That alone is 35 hours a week. Every teacher I know puts in AT LEAST another 2 to 4 hours a day on top of that.

So basically, they took perfectly cromulant data, crunched it and came to the conclusion: “Finally, they should be aware that paying public school teachers more does not appear to be associated with higher student achievement.” To me, that is a bunch of bull shit, right wing number crunching to use against teacher unions. In the end, you can do what you want with “data”. Liars figure and figures lie. Yep – WAY off topic. I know.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/28/2007 07:15AM
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Kirkbrew; whatever man, I said site Carter administration. I have no issue debating the principal of West's assertions but man, you are a total blowhard. I tried to not go here but you have forced the issue. It is not the matter its your tilt which is totally slanted . It is not that you are coming fro a right minged adgenda so much but to use the word cromulent twice on one board shows me that you are very impressed with yourelf and effected.

Last post, I'm out.

Again, I stayed on topic, not going back to correct you again

stoops Wed 11/28/2007 10:53AM
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birk, you didn't call me a racist, you just dissmissingly sugested that i was quoting the kkk. thanks for your sympathy though; i'll stop troubling you with facts, points, and arguments. it's obvious that these things don't help you formulate your opinions, at least within this context. though i'm not an "ann the man" supporter, i'm flattered that you think my posts are as "attention catching". sorry if i came off as argumentative; i'm just interested in and passionate about black/white america and while many claim to be, i find most don't seek out the entire truth.


your citations basically cover my facts and mcwhorter tends to draw figures from highly credible sources which he always notes. the #'s on white/black violent crime are taken from the chicago tribune via crime stats compiled by the doj and fbi. you encourage that lazy attempt at undermining stat sources when you do homework for them. we should have just let him keep thinking the kkk made it up.

on a sidebar, i do favor increasing the entry level salary for public school teachers, but not because current teachers don't make enough. i want to expand the selection pool to include more qualified, more highly motivated applicants. current teachers and their unions are a huge obstacle to improving public education.

as for your arguments on skewed interpretations of statistics, i agree and submit that both libs and cons are equally guilty. that doesn't mean we shouldn't examine facts, draw conclusions, and formulate new opinions. it just means you should consider the source. great job of highlighting that, even if indirecty or unintended.

i'm with all of you that think that these tangents have gone too far. this article is about an album, allbeit one i probably will never hear. i know, i know, how can i pass on sociopolitical commentary as seen by such a diverse group of victims? true, krs is a pioneer and personifies genuine hip hop; true prince is fuckin awesome with a guitar... but sorry, i'm still gonna have to pass on dr. wests pitty party on cd. kayceman can lob all the softballs he wants at this fake activist, but that doesn't change how paper thin his anti white, "revelations" agenda is.

Hipbopper starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/28/2007 02:47PM
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Splendid and pivotal article.

kirkbrew Thu 11/29/2007 11:54AM
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Ned8 – $100 says you’ll be back.

And I said that your rant about Bush was way off topic and should not have been addressed by me in the first place. As for Carter admin, I specifically thought of Bert Lance/BCCI and ABSCAM; however it was my error that ABSCAM did not involve the admin as much as independent congressmen. In the end – who cares? You went way off topic because you could not address the topic and I took your bait. Dumb of you – dumber of me. You want me to concede that point – fine. Hey – I’ll give you the whole fucking point. “I was wrong and Bush is more corrupt than Grant, Nixon (as individuals) and EVERY administration ever in the history of American presidential politics.” Congrats! You are a winner.

Fact remains, the other 99% of my points I nailed 100% and you can only pick on something totally off topic. Blowhard? You are probably more right than wrong, but don’t just stop with me. As MJ said, start with the man in the mirror. Lots of luck on that.

And FYI – “cromulant” is a made up word. I’d figure someone with such a wide vocab as you would know that, but maybe you are not versed in The Simpson’s.

Lisa – I never heard of the word “embiggens” till I moved to Springfield.

Mrs Hoover – I don’t know why not, it’s a perfectly cromulant word.

I use it for humor. I think it is funny as hell especially in context to the word “pretendapoints”. Get it? Probably not. I can see how such humor is lost on you. Lots of luck on that too.

Stoops – Correct on how “all sides” fudge data. I am not doubting Williams or McWhorter at all. Just being critical in my thinking.

That teacher pay article interested me particularly and has been a great laugh for my teaching friends. I was not trying to use those stats to call into question McWhorter’s, just making an observation. Just sort of going back to the Tod Snyder quote.

As for teachers unions, they are a big problem. Teachers need to be held accountable and the union really puts up obstacles to that, but No Child is not the answer. Many of the teachers I know do not like the union, except without them they would make jack crap for pay. Sad truth.

kirkbrew Thu 11/29/2007 11:55AM
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Finally, I love it that after 90+ posts, no one but me sees hypocrisy in his comment, “The thing is I don't believe in trashing the hip-hop artists. I love 50 Cent. I love Snoop. I love Ludacris and these folks. I'm just very very critical of much of what they do in terms of the content of their lyrics. I'm convinced they could take more responsibility regarding higher ideals of what it means to be human.”

He loves them, he doesn’t believe in trashing them, he is critical of them, he thinks that they should be held accountable, but he won’t do it??? Is this guy running for election? That is sadly what we get out of “black leaders” these days. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

And what response do I get when I am critical of this? Rants that make no sense, personal attacks because I am well off and live in the burbs and mired down in the relative corruption of the Carter admin. Wow! I may be a blowhard, but it’s better than being a fucking idiot.

kirkbrew Thu 11/29/2007 12:01PM
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And for all those of you who think that the “inner city schools” have it bad and us in the ‘burbs have everything perfect, I taught a class yesterday in my “super rich, well off burb”. In 2 class rooms, the heat was broken. Kids wore gloves and sweatshirts and both teachers were wrapped in blankets. Schools are fucked everywhere. What did my kids and teachers do? They got on with it. That’s what we as Americans traditionally did and not piss and moan and lay blame on someone else.

cuttyfives Thu 11/29/2007 12:09PM
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somebody pass kirkbrew a box of tissue, some male genitalia and cut his fingers off.

DrFunkinstein Mon 2/16/2009 09:09AM
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Digging the Cornell West. Way to go Jambase. How about a little less hate once in a while from my brothers and sisters of all colors?