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Mia, good points!
Keston, at least have the decency to cite the author of the lyrics you posted (FYI: his name is Ras Kass). Or did you want people to think you were the lyrical genius behind the rhymes? I hope you didn't just hear the song and automatically believe everything he said. If you did, I don't blame you. When I first heard "The Nature of the Threat," I was completely engulfed in the deluge of knowledge he was imparting--and in rhyme form too! Ras Kass is a powerful poet, no doubt about it. But just an honest question: Did you do any research before adopting Ras Kass' views? The reason I ask is because chances are his facts might not be totally accurate. He is, afterall, a Hip-Hop artist and not a historian. Not that Hip-Hop artists can't be historians, and this has nothing to do with his IQ--so don't get it twisted, but if a person spends most of his or her time producing music (as is obviously Ras Kass' chosen career), he/she probably doesn't have too much time to spend researching and verifying facts, whereas, a historian does. Feel me?
Aurora, as an outsider looking in (read: I'm neither white nor black), which usually affords one a very good view (when observing white vs. black "relations"), I did sense some anger in your reply. You also came off as snobish in your knowledge of historical facts. I thought it was very disrespectful. Don't fight fire with fire. (Fight fire with water!) However, I can understand why you reacted the way you did. Keston's post--errr, I mean Ras Kass' lyrics, are racially-charged and seem to attack whites. That much is obvious. Ras Kass is black, and, therefore, has a point of view which has been shaped by whatever prejudices he has encountered in his life, most likely from whites. If you don't mind me asking, what race are you? If you aren't black, you will never understand where he's coming from, thus, your attitude towards Ras Kass' lyrics. I don't care how many black friends you have or how often you hang out with black people, you will NEVER know. Just as gay people have "gaydar," black people have "blackdar," which, among other things, allows them to sense eyes watching them upon entering a nice department store. I'm Filipino; I have something similar. And I've gotta tell you, it's not a good feeling at all.
Other than the anger, though, I liked how you broke down the song and rebutted specific lines/rhymes. Being a writer, I've also used this method. However, if you're going to use this technique, be fair and address ALL of the lines of the song. As I was reading your post, I noticed that you didn't address certain lines of the song. Why? Did you not know whether or not they were indeed factual? Because that's okay. Sometimes "I don't know" is the most honest answer we can give. But my point is that by not addressing all of the lines, I, the observer on the outside looking in, am left to wonder if you purposely omitted them because you just didn't want to concede those points or whatnot. I also noticed that you missed the point a couple times. For instance:
Ras Kass: "Plus to deceive us / Eventually Michelangelo was commissioned to paint white picture of Jesus / He used his aunt, uncle and nephew / Subconsciously that affects you / It makes you put white people closer to God"
Your reply: "No, purity of soul and suffering makes one closer to God."
Did you purposely allude the point or did you just not get it? (And as a sidebar, I think you're only half-right.) I studied this effect in school. Basically, what Ras Kass was referring to was the theory which states that, since the Renaissance, the divine (i.e. God, Jesus, Mary, the disciples, etc.) have been portrayed in images as being white--not just skin color, but facial structure and other ethnic characteristics. (FYI: The magazine Popular Science concluded that Jesus Christ was most likely short, dark-skinned, had short, curly hair, and was slightly more muscular than in traditional images. I saw the article and the composite picture looked more like Saddam Hussein than Jim Caveziel.) Compounded over the centuries, people began to automatically associate light skin with the divine. As an additional effect were feelings of inferiority towards lighter-skin people. In the Philippines, people have an obsession with wanting to be light-skinned. Now, whether this was some devious master plan or just a result of Euro-ethnocentrism or extremely bad logic remains to be seen.
Ras Kass: "In the 8th century Muslims conquer Spain, Portugal and France / And control it for 700 years / They never mention it in His-story class"
Your reply: "France was never conquered. You are a hypocrite to criticize all other invasions and conquests, yet you celebrate Muslims invading Europe? Guess what? Moors weren’t black either! Sorry!"
Again, I think you missed the point. I think what Ras Kass was trying to say was that we only got a one-sided history lesson in school and in church. The Spanish-American War comes to mind. It really wasn't a "war" at all, but rather a secret arrangement between Spain and the US to cede dominion over the Philippines in a way that made Spain look as if they had fought the mighty United States Navy and lost honorably. In reality, however, Spain really just wimped out.
Ras Kass: "Moors from Baghdad, Turkey / Threaten European Christians, meaning: the white way of life / Hence, the Crusades for Christ
Your reply: "The did not threaten Christians at all, for the Koran instructs Muslims to respect the other religions of Christianity and Judaism."
Again, I think what Ras Kass was trying to say was that the CHRISTIANS felt threatened by the Moors. I don't think he meant that the Muslims were going around threatening Christians.
And about your remarks regarding Native Americans' addiction to alcohol, I agree. Although the white man DID introduce them to the brew, I agree that they have the power to break free of the addiction. However, you didn't address the line "stealing the land from the indigenous natives." You also didn't try to rebut the lines regarding how the early white settlers tried to "slaughter" the Native Americans and how they passed out blankets tainted with small pox. In essence, didn't all of that happen? Didn't the early white settlers try to commit genocide upon the Native American population?
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