Sunday, April 28, 2002

Africa Speaks

A novel by Mark Goldblatt that satirizes black rap culture is out, and no one has noticed. He's a little non-plussed here, he expected to make some waves. But it promises to be a good one, in this companion article he sketches his worthy goal:
As far as I can tell, I'm being whiteballed.

Which is a shame. Not just for me (though of course for me especially) but for African Americans. For, to return to my original point about the effect of satire, no one nowadays needs to be satirized more than African Americans. If not for the French — who've retired all such trophies — African Americans would currently rank as the most hypocritical, most paranoid, most pretentious group of people on the planet. Quite an accomplishment since, as late as the mid-1960's, their cultural legacy set them on a par with the ancient Israelites. Less that half a century ago, African Americans — like the Jews of the Old Testament — were emerging from centuries of enslavement and subjugation with a culture that was stirring in its resilience, rich in its subtleties and epic in its scope.

.....African-American political leaders are, nowadays, with rare exceptions, a ragtag crew of racial arsonists, conspiracy mongers and corporate shakedown artists. Their intellectual leaders are, with rare exceptions, purveyors of absurd mythologies of perpetual victimization — and the exceptions, in this case, are without exception shunned by their own communities. And their artistic leaders, with no exceptions whatsoever, have turned from themes of the persistence and universality of human nature, even in the face of prolonged oppression, to a fetishistic worship of the idea of "blackness" — a connotation for which there is, in reality, no coherent denotation.

........So what is conscious rap?

Essentially, it's a noxious brew of racist delusions skimmed from the diverse streams of black separatist rhetoric, Afrocentric propagandizing, Nation of Islam theology and a kind of Cliff Notes Marxism. According to conscious rapper Ras Kass, "My whole point at the end of the day is AmeriKKKa was made by white men for white men. . . . This sh — is made for rich elite, by the rich elite. So they can exploit the f*** outta y'all and me. So until we get man enough and educated enough to say, 'Let's just break this sh** off,' we ain't sh**!"

I'm ordering it today! 2 local libraries in the Albany area have it, both suburban, and one of them has reserved me a copy.