Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hip Hop Racism - UPDATED

In a comment to my previous post, Anonymous refered me to this article from the Village Voice. The article covers an interesting side controversy; the endemic and largely unacknowledged racism towards Native Americans in our culture, and it's visible manifestation in the Hip Hop community. One can only hope that these are growing pains. The first Native American superstar will change everything overnight, but we're still waiting for him or her to emerge.

In the meantime, shame on Outkast for not manning up and apologizing publicly and vociferously.

UPDATE: Thanks to FK who sent this link to an interview with Native American Hip Hop artist Litefoot about Outkast and Hip Hop stereotyping. Stories like these help to illuminate the insidious "hidden" demeaning messages that often course through popular culture. I have seen huge improvements in my lifetime; I can remember when blacks and whites never appeared in the same commercials, gays existed solely to be the object of contempt or ridicule (sometimes both), and Native Americans only appeared on TV whooping it up in old John Wayne movies or crying for Mother Earth, like Chief Iron Eyes Cody (who was actually Italian).

We still have a ways to go, but the culture as a whole is much more sensitive and accepting -- and it will only get more so. My next Hip Hop post (whenever it arrives) will specifically address this issue.

1 comment:

fk said...

here's an interview with litefoot about the outkast incident
Litefoot interview