You may have heard about it by now, P. Diddy done thought of anutha campaign slogan biggin’ up his already superstar status. Not that I can’t tip my hat off to the brutha for his energetic creativity, but the concept of “Vote or Die!” I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t look into this. As a person strivin’ for consciousness and innerstanding, I have to disect this concept.
First off, I overstand in order to get someone to pay attention, you gotta use some sort of shock treatment. the government uses it with the “you betta pay your taxes or you’ll go to jail”; Religion uses “you better get saved or you goin’ to hell” method – and now we got P. Diddy tellin’ us we betta “Vote or Die!” I’m sure he doesn’t mean it to that extent. His meanin’ would probably be that too many of our Ancestorz died for the right to vote (as if we non-voterz never heard that). However, this message still merits an investigation.
Now that it seemz Hiphop will not only influence but may possibly anoint the next President of the United States, Hiphop can soon find itself at the Supreme Court level as well as those “unseen” political/governmental agencies. This was tried before but with a not-so genre-specific movement, remember “Rock the Vote”? It is true no one or nothing can shake the magnetic touch of Hiphop, the question is, who in Hiphop will be steering this movement? Thus far, I must say, I am dissatisfied with the Pilot (Russell) and co-Pilot (Diddy).
Y? Because neither of these cats stand for nothing. They have not revealed what party they’re loyal to, they just want cat’s to register and vote, but for who I ask?! Stic.man from Dead Prez said it best in a recent inner-view in XXL ‘zine, “the thing is, people like Russell Simmons, they running around trying to get people to vote and say that’s how you participate in making a difference. But they ain’t educating people on how the system works. And to me, that’s criminal.” Registering and placing a vote is not a form of activizm as they may have you believe. True, our Ancestorz did die for the right to vote, but with this right is “choice.” See, their valant effort has enabled our people to walk up to the pollz and cast a vote if we choose. Some may think there is an obligation to vote because of what they did, but do you really think they’d still be out there takin’ rocks to the head, singin’ “we shall overcome,” if they knew our vote didn’t count? Wha’chu mean “wha’chu talkin’ about?!” Lest we forget what happened almost 4 yearz to the day?!!?
See, I really don’t see how Diddy, 50, Usher (who’s seen with this ‘Vote or Die!’ shirt with the raised Black Power salute fist – like he knowz the first thing about the movement), Russell; any of them are helpin’ you or I. What they are doin’ is placing false hope in young hedz who knew the vote wasn’t shit, now they see them talkin’ about they should vote and you know how influential young mindz are. What these cats are doin’ is placin’ the youth on a conveyor belt of deceit as these politicianz devour our hopes and dreamz, thanks to their pawnz, black celebrities.
If Diddy and the like wanted to really be effective and they chose to do it through the vote, I would in turn hold these politicianz accountable. Ask them about serious shit like, “what the fuck in goin’ on with this Biochip technology shit!” (read pg 19) Jobs and education are important but this biochip shit is serious! I mean, if you gonna get all these youths registered to vote, you’d want them to vote for someone. Go to that “someone” and demand (on tape, contract, whatever to make it binding so that the moment they deviate from this agreement, they are impeached and must step down) they address issues that pertain to our needz.If Diddy and crew do not step up with these stances, then we must become “Active Activists” and remove Diddy and Russell from their position and annount a new Pilot and co-Pilot! That’s the only way we can have an influence through the vote. If we choose to remain as is, this voting thing will eventually fail and I can’t say I would not be happy, ‘cause pretty soon, hedz will see the hypocracy of the vote, maybe sooner than we think, like this November 2nd – a repeat of 2000? Very likely.
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