Michael Brown’s supporters prove why “Hip Hop Conservatism” is a loser

Michael Brown shooting has opened old wounds about race, photo credit Elvert Barnes / Flickr

OCALA, Fla., August 22, 2014 — Ever since the black eighteen-year-old was shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, mindlessness has ruled the day. This has dragged on for nearly two weeks now! Of course, it’s worth noting that Brown was unarmed when killed, as well as that he and a friend had just completed a strong-arm robbery.

The shooting’s aftermath has brought America into yet another volatile conversation over race. Many Brown supporters simply want to see Officer Wilson hung out to dry as retribution for perceived law enforcement racism. Legally definable guilt matters not; “getting back” at a white man is what all too many yearn for.

This ethic, above anything else, proves why political conservatism will never win among the urban black electorate. In this circle, the GOP is seen as the lion’s den from which all “white supremacy” emerges.

Still, it’s no secret that the Republican Party is looking to diversify. That’s a good thing, but must be done reasonably.

One former congressman’s approach takes the cake, and not in a good way. Busted cocaine patron Trey Radel represented an affluent constituency in Florida, anchored by such locales as Naples and Marco Island. Nonetheless, he was at the forefront of introducing the GOP to none other than hip-hop music.

Last year, Radel described his attraction to hip-hop in an opinion piece published at BuzzFeed.

“Unlike most young, white teenagers growing up in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, my favorite musicians were hip hop artists, including rappers such as Eric B., Big Daddy Kane and Chuck D of Public Enemy,” he recalled.

Later, he wrote that “Chuck said it best, ‘our freedom of speech is freedom or death.’ This is a message we can all get behind, Republican or Democrat. I find a conservative message in ‘Fight the Power’ because I believe when government expands it becomes a political tool meant to oppress.

“We see it when Chuck D addresses oppression and the Civil Rights movement or references the Black Panthers. We see it when NWA, or even old-school artists like Paris, address harassment from law enforcement. Targeting and oppression is happening today, from the IRS going after political groups to the government spying on journalists and everyday American citizens.”

Here it seems like Radel is trying to equivocate white-collar political scandals with the savagery brought forth on the streets of late-1980s and early-‘90s America. Is this supposed to bring folks from Miami’s Liberty City, non-Palmer Woods Detroit, San Francisco’s Tenderloin, and other such communities into the Republican fold?

The honest truth is that American popular culture has been circling the drain for decades, and Radel’s favored musicians are evidence of this. What does the GOP have to gain by endorsing “music” as base as hip-hop? How will not only championing the downfall of artistic taste, but using this as a vehicle for public policy benefit the nation?

Some might say that by bringing hip-hop into the loop, Republicans can find common ground with people who listen to it. Then, maybe these individuals will vote the party line.

Hopefully few men and women believe this. If modern conservatives will fall for such tripe, then they deserve to lose every election.

Hip-hop is most popular, and originally rose out of, impoverished urban neighborhoods. Aside from a culture of drugs, irresponsible sex, and violence, many in said neighborhoods dislike those who are not of their ethnic or racial background.

Beyond the rancid business of ancestry-based politics, hip-hoppers by and large have no reason to support the GOP. Major GOP policies such as tax cuts for wealthier Americans, the abolition of affirmative action programs, and stricter welfare standards simply do not resonate with hip-hoppers.

One cannot forget that no small number of loyal Republican voters are senior citizens. How might hip-hop conservatism be expected to play in The Villages, for example?

Another question that answers itself.

While the GOP certainly needs to communicate with new demographic groups, glorifying low culture is not the way. It feels disgusting to even consider associating the party of Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, and Gerald Ford with such dreck.

Have we no respect for our history and the lessons it can teach us about tomorrow?

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  • Mumford

    The Democrat party has done more to oppress minorities than people care to believe. If you control the media, you control the sun, which casts shadows. Look at who controls the media, democrats are to blame.

  • Louis

    I found this racially charged article lacking.

    That Brown listened to hip hop tells us as much about whether the shooting was justified as does what food he likes: nothing. And why would have anything to do with the Republican Party’s outreach efforts? One guy is somehow proof that the GOP is reaching blacks with hip-hop? I don’t see any evidence for this, just assertions. The GOP’s outreach efforts have zero to do with using hip-hop to influence votes.

    And this, “Beyond the rancid business of ancestry-based politics, hip-hoppers by and large have no reason to support the GOP. Major GOP policies such as tax cuts for wealthier Americans, the abolition of affirmative action programs, and stricter welfare standards simply do not resonate with hip-hoppers.” What an odd statement given that many of these ‘hip-hoppers’ are white.

    Many of the companies producing the lyrics are owned by people who are white. Aren’t these “hip-hoppers” individuals? Why the need to depersonalize these people? The Republican Party wasn’t founded on stricter welfare standards, tax-cuts and bashing affirmative action. It was founded by anti-slavery activist. Did you forget this? It was founded by men who observed an injustice and did something about it.

    Another thing, stop confusing hip-hop with gangsta rap. I’m a huge fan of Christian hip-hop but I hate gangsta rap. On genre uplifts and the other tears down. Hip-Hop is an art form and like any art form. There are both good and bad lyrics and they can harm or empower.