In 1992, a young Raptavist (Rapper / Activist) rose to stardom. She was unique. She was bold. She was daring. She was Sister Souljah. The uniqueness behind her approach was that she wasn’t just a rapper. She immediately got booked as a public speaker and was on every major talk show speaking about the state of affairs in the United States. She was purposefully abrasive when she told Blacks they need to stop being “compromising” or live in fear, while promoting positive messages about starting your own Black businesses; and she was equally as intolerant to the White counterparts who she insisted came from a privileged world in which she will never have access or able to reap the benefits of it and will always suppress people of color.
Though I was young. She inspired me.
The demise of her music career came too soon when ironically, Bill Clinton (out of all people) publicly waged a war on her and demanded that the music video channels (ie, MTV) stop playing her videos since she was so anti-white and allegedly called for Blacks to kill their White counterparts instead of each other.
Soon she faded from the public eye and spoke primarily at Universities regarding her fiction book series. She has always remained relevant in the Black community. She never truly went away.
I’ve always liked to refer to her as Prophetess Sister Souljah. She predicted this would happen–this presidential election, the hate and confusion pre-election brought to us. She predicted how if individuals in the United States didn’t get their shit together, then slavery would be back in effect. Though her lyrics were sort of a stretch, there was (and still) truth behind them. I don’t foresee slavery coming back into play, but the messages that were brought to the forefront during the past few months were messages of hate and intolerance; messages of despair. The messages we heard, the racial and sexist slurs uttered during the past few months were inappropriate. The fact that a sect in the White community truly, outspokenly saw zero qualms with uttering racial slurs on tv, post on social media, with their faces or names known is incomprehensible. The idea that these individuals came out of nowhere, but had their racial anxieties emerge and vocalized without a sense of fear or reprimand due to Trump’s blatant intolerant rhetoric exemplifies this particular privilege the media has been discussing for months. I mean, hell, I was reprimanded years ago for talking about “Black Santa” on facebook by my previous employer because it was “racially insensitive”, but someone can keep their job without reprimand for threatening particular ethnic groups. This is privilege. It’s also privilege to be Trump’s wife who can take nude lesbian photos, but not for Michelle Obama to wear a short sleeve dress. We remember how people responded to these equally and oppositely. And we know that, too is privilege.
But what most Americans truly did not realize was that the messages brought to surface by the Republican Party were truly un-American; and what folks didn’t realize was that this third-party candidate votes took away from America’s future.
America is not the strongest. America is not the bravest. America is not the smartest or most advanced. We lack common sense. We lack unity. Importantly, it has become a country that gives medals to all participants in a marathon instead of simply the winners. We’ve told our youth that it’s okay to be substandard and not qualified because “you can be the President of the United States”–this has proven truth–the best, brightest, most creative will never go as far as the wealthiest or perhaps, the whitest. Even with journalism, we are taught to write on a 3rd grade level so everyone can understand it. We live in a society where we are dumb. We are ignorant. And we want someone dumb and ignorant of the world to lead us. We want that because they are speaking on our level. Though Obama had 2 terms, he and his wife were too intelligent for the United States.
We are a country that shames other countries for cutting off hands if you steal; but we give a 3-month jail sentence to a rapist. We are a country that considers religious headwraps as suppression of women, yet we praised a man’s behavior toward his gestures toward woman as “locker room talk”. We are a country that feels that terrorism is exclusive to those that live outside of the United States and of color, yet we don’t (as Sister Souljah said) acknowledge the fact that the United States has attempted to go to war with, set up military bases in every country where there are people with brown skin. I can’t fathom another country setting up a base in the United States without reprimand; but we think it’s okay if we do it. What we have done in our own country and to others is pure terrorism with privilege.
Now we are stuck with this mess when it could have been easily avoided. People didn’t vote; many voted for the wrong candidate; many were confused because they are simply ignorant to the world around them. Regardless, we are stuck with this mess and we must sit back and watch how the hate that hate produced unfolds.