SO WHY DOES the hip-hop world, for whom "keeping it real" is so often a manifesto, reward some of the most ridiculous fibs told in American politics? One answer is the silence on the other side of the ballot: Republicans, who could engage hip-hop listeners via issues where there's potential common ground (education, entrepreneurship), rarely do so. And the hip-hop community, like most embryonic voting blocs, will take its access where it can find it. "At least he's paying attention" is the common defense the music's fans offer of the aforementioned Democratic suck-ups.I would submit that, of the young, black, hip-hop-listener demographic, the Democrat will get upwards of 95% of those who bother to vote. As critics like Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Shelby Steele, and (to some extent) Stanley Crouch have said, it is the fact that the Democrats get nearly undiluted support from the black community that has brought the party to the point of simply throwing them a cultural bone here and there, but doing nothing in the actual interest of the black community. Vouchers would be a start, but the Dems have to line up for the unions. In other words, in a conflict between two core Democrat groups, who gets the meat and who gets the bone? Until they threaten to split in larger numbers, the blacks will always get the bone.
Whether hip-hop voters can expect much more than that down the road is another question. The Democrats' empty praise of hip-hop mirrors the empty solutions--substandard schools, lowered standards, the touting of affirmative action as the panacea for every ill--the party routinely offers to address the concerns of minorities, blacks in particular. It's what a party does when it knows it can get away with paying lip service to a group of voters--like the hip-hop fans now dazzled by the Democrats.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
"Faking the Funk": A thoughtful essay (especially considering the comic potential of the subject) about another curious pandering habit the Democrats have developed: trying to be "down" with the hip-hoppers: