Monday, July 28, 2008

10 Reasons That Elevate Rev. Jesse Jackson Over NaS

Less than a week ago, I had an exhausting discussion with a friend, as to why I am more rest-assured with my future in the hands of Rev. Jesse Jackson (and his generation) as opposed to the supremely-gifted Emcee NaS (and his generation). I tried to argue against the delusion that the - unfortunately termed - "post civil-rights" generation has incorporated. Their belief system seems to be structured on a repudiation of the notion that race remains an indomitable force in our experience today. I explained that while the older generation might be applying outdated mechanisms to battle the flaring fires of racism, inequality, bigotry, prejudice and satanical deception, the very act of an acknowledgment of those realities was enough for me (or at least more appealing, over the naiveté of the young). I also attempted to explicate the dangerous terrain of lending credence to an un-tested and ill-prepared generation of young adults, who are at best, entertaining activists, and at worst, mere fools. In this rather short piece, I hope to outline 10 points, as to why I am more appreciative of the resilience put forth by the likes of Rev. Jesse Jackson - excluding Rev. Al - than the brilliance, yet frequent buffoonery of the "Hip-Hop" generation:

  1. Jesse Jackson never rapped, "I rap divine, God, check the prognosis, is it real or showbiz/ My window faces shootouts, drug overdoses/... My intellect prevails from a hanging cross with nails/ I reinforce the frail, with lyrics that's real/ Word to Christ, a disciple of streets, trifle on beats/ I decipher prophecies through a mic and say peace" and then a few years later, make a song entitled "Oochie Wally," upon which he expressed some of the most misogynistic lyrics ever scripted.
  2. Jesse Jackson never reminisced on his childhood, by saying "When I was 12, I went to hell for snuffing Jesus."
  3. Jesse Jackson never once forgot his lines (or lyrics) at a live show, and claim that weed (ganja, licky licky, cannabis, hash, Mary Jane... whatever) was the operative factor in his amnesia.
  4. Jesse Jackson was never accused (true of falsified) of punching the mother of his baby, after an intense argument.
  5. Jesse Jackson never, ever, ever made a song with Lil' John.
  6. Jesse Jackson was, and is the first African-American to be a contender in a presidential election.
  7. Jesse Jackson is an accomplished and monumental civil-rights activist, who has fought aggressively for the recognition of Black suffering and pain.
  8. Jesse Jackson formulated the RainbowPUSH coalition, which has remained a staple in the quest for Social Change and Economic Justice for Black People.
  9. Jesse Jackson has been on the forefront of the fight against malicious co-oporations which preyed upon innocent Black and Brown families -- ergo facilitating the recent mortgage meltdown. In a Democracy Now! appearance before his march on Wall Street, he noted "what was a scheme became a scam."
  10. Finally - as Dave Chappelle once remarked with regard to his defiance in accepting the incrimination of Michael Jackson, saying "he made thriller;" - I cannot bypass the man, who, in 1984, gave a rousing "David and Goliath" speech, in which he equated the chances and choices of the innocent David, against the seemingly unconquerable Goliath, with the negro experience in America.

Lastly, while it must be said that the 'more experienced aisle of leadership' is in better shape to move Black America forward, any form of condescension toward the younger generation must also be unequivocally censured -- as the vigor, talent, fortitude and fecklessness of the youth has been an irreducible contribution in our collective struggle for taxation with representation.

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