The Culture vs. donald trump
“donald trump is a chump/ Know how we feel, punk? Tell ’em that God comin’/ And Russia need a replay button, y’all up to somethin’/ Electoral votes look like memorial votes/ But America’s truth ain’t ignorin’ the votes“
– Kendrick Lamar “The Heart Pt. 4”
America was founded on polarization and it’s been part of the nation’s make up ever since. But with that being said, we are currently living in a uniquely dividing time largely because of the person elected to run the country. Divisive, ignorant, untruthful, and straight up bigoted, this person has put a full-court press on virtually every person or institution that doesn’t bow to his whims. The Culture is no exception. But like The Culture has always done, it’s fighting back. From rappers to sportscasters, comedians to podcasters, The Culture is clapping back.
donald trump and hip-hop are at odds. And it all started before he was even elected. The Culture noticed the threat early. West Coast MC’s Kendrick Lamar, YG, and Nipsey Hussle were quick to respond to his first attempts to disrespect people of color at the press conference where he announced he’d be running for president. YG and Nipsey dropped their now infamous “FDT” track and Kendrick has multiple bars aimed at him throughout his Grammy Award winning Damn album. Hip-hop legend Jay-Z stood up and criticized him for his abhorrent comments about African nations and Diddy slammed trump while coming to the defense of Colin Kapernick and NFL players he ridiculously ranted against at one of his many failed rallies to help republican senators running for office.
And of course comedians have used their platforms to crack jokes at his expense but also to deliver scathing social commentaries calling out his racism and overall shadiness. Kat Williams recently embarked on a “trump Day” comedy tour and the set for his latest standup special on Netflix was a recreation of the oval office. Dave Chappelle took an interesting approach. He wove a nuanced comparison between trump’s presidency and Emmett Till, the teenage black boy lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after whistling at a white woman and being accused of assault, which the accuser confessed was not true decades later. But instead of just anger, Chappelle made a hopeful case that without Till’s accuser finally coming clean, the episode would not have been a mobilizing wake-up call that the country needed and in turn with trump, America may be forced again to confront its demons and come out better for it.
But speaking of scathing commentary, what about some of our athletes and sports commentators? ESPN anchor and journalist Jamele Hill has been giving trump that work consistently, even to the ire of her employer. She found herself in hot water for her accurate description of him as a “white supremacist” in a tweet. Hill stood her ground eventually deciding to move from SportsCenter to The Root so she could be free to speak on race and sports, something more important to her than being a censored sportscaster. Then you have NBA stars Steph Curry who declined to visit the white house and LeBron James who (again, accurately) referred to him as a “bum” for trying to disinvite Curry after Steph already said he wasn’t going. And since, many athletes of color have declined to visit the oval office after winning their respective championships, a trend that will likely continue for the next 3 years.
“Why do you wish someone else was in office? Is it so the snake can go back into the grass? No, let it show its head so we can deal with it.
– David Banner
Many of our most gifted writers have shared their thoughts on this particular presidency, dropping both impassioned pleads for action in our community to fight back and knowledge on the historical and institutional factors that led to his election. Check out Black Panther comic writer and educator Ta’Nehisi Coates’ excellent article in The Atlantic for example (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/10/the-first-white-president-ta-nehisi-coates/537909/). James Braxton Peterson also wrote a great piece of commentary on how the film Black Panther and the character himself are The Culture’s attempt to save black people from the president by reminding us that WE are our greatest resource (http://fortune.com/2018/02/13/black-panther-movie-release-history-month-donald-trump/).
Podcasters have not been left on the sidelines either. #AllPodcastMatter has a weekly segment entitled “What Donnie Did” where they break down the absurdities of that particular week at the White House in a way that’s both funny and informative. Still Processing features two New York Times writers who take a journalistic point of view and are quite poignant in their critiques of the current administration. From 2 Dope Queens to Pod Save The People and any number of other podcasts, the people are being informed of his antics and he’s being called out.
“All you Black folks, you must go/ All you Mexicans, you must go/ And all you poor folks, you must go/ Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways/ So all you bad folks, you must go”
– A Tribe Called Quest “We The People”
Ironically the divider-in-chief has helped many people of color find their voice and united them all…against him. The Culture is not here for his nonsense and as long (or short) as he’s in office, The Culture will do what it’s always done, fight the power.
Written by @TalentedMrFord
Follow him on IG and Twitter.