Hip-Hop and the Character Assassination of Sean Taylor (2007)

Hip-Hop and the Character Assassination of Sean Taylor

Thursday morning, Nov. 29th 2007, 7 a.m., as usual I am up browsing the net, researching random news, hip-hop updates and promoting. I get an email from a friend, “Check out this garbage!” It’s an editorial by Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star about the death of Sean Taylor. According to Whitlock, guess who killed him, hip-hop.

As an advocate of this culture I had to respond on what Whitlock wrote in this editorial. At first I was in partial agreement with his sentiments before he pointed the finger at hip-hop. In the beginning he makes references to what he calls the “Black KKK ” and that a member of this group should be blamed for Sean Taylor’s death. After reading this I interpreted his “Black KKK” just as I do the White KKK, a group of racists who hate people of color for numerous reasons except in this case of the same race. It seems as though Whitlock believes Taylor was murdered by a black person who was more than likely jealous, envious and had a vendetta against Taylor; this could be possible.

What took the cake is how Whitlock shifted from “we don’t know the circumstances of Taylor’s death” to “it was a black man who killed him and it was because of hip-hop.” Even speculating this is some garbage. He goes on to state that it was pretty much the hate and self-hatred that hip-hop promotes as the cause. Hate and self-hatred is a worldly problem, not just a hip-hop problem. Hate and self-hatred existed long before hip-hop; many black people were taught these things when brought into this country during slavery, so to blame hip-hop is absurd.

If anything, blame “corporate hip-hop,” those responsible for promoting this crap on the radio and television. Don’t throw every person of a culture into the mix, that’s an insult to those working to make the culture positive. Whitlock’s words are a clear case of how he has been condition and/or written to just stir up readers. Either way it seems he is blaming all of hip-hop like those during the Don Imus issue did by blaming all of hip-hop for Imus’ comments. They were using the acts of just a small percentage of the hip-hop community as justification. Again the hip-hop card, it seems quite convenient don’t you think?

What about the “lack of parenting” card; controlling what our children listen to card? What about the “corporate Amerikkka” card where rich capitalists are using mainstream hip-hop to condition our young people all over again to hate each other? The same people promoting that it is okay to sell drugs and kill each other over material possessions? Where are your points about these organizations promoting these messages Whitlock? I agree and have written many times that much of mainstream hip-hop is a form of modern slavery and black face. This is the main reason why you don’t hear many conscious and positive artists in rotation and on mainstream television. As Phonte of Little Brother put it (based on what BET said about his group), these artists are “too intelligent” and corporate Amerikkka refuses to invest in them.

Why, because right now corporate record labels and investors have psychological control over our young people through the opposite of intelligent hip- hop music. The influence is strong and covers an enormous amount of people, not to mention hip-hop is a colossal cash cow. With power and money, it’s not hard to control a group of people! Clearly, feed them sweet candy laced with a disease and a diseased people will reap. Diseased actions will reap and a diseased future lies ahead, but don’t blame the innocent for consuming the candy, blame the manufacturer!

Don’t blame black men for Taylor’s death; blame a society full of hate! Once the killer is brought to justice, blame the killer! Don’t blame the race of people he belongs to! Rich or poor, we all are targets of the system, but those with money and power of the black race are more likely to be singled out before the poor, look at Michael Vick, T.I., Barry Bonds and others. I am not saying  that Taylor and the others listed have lived innocent lives or should be let off for any crimes proven guilty of; I am saying that despite the fact, many aren’t given the chance to correct their wrongs. Most are guilty before proven innocent and have no option of becoming a better person for their race and community. It’s a simple term used with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Huey Newton and others: character assassination.

Let Taylor truly rest in peace, let the Skins heal and play tougher than ever. What has happened has been an injustice and hip-hop as a whole has nothing to do with what happened. The killer should be put on trial, not hip-hop. If you believe those involved including Taylor were influenced by negative hip-hop, blame poor guidance from the elder’s in these individuals’ lives. Better yet, blame finger pointing instead of solution finding! Those with power to influence others like Whitlock should promote solutions instead of bringing down what could be a strong positive force in our communities.

- ScholarMan