I’ve talked about Obama’s similarities to JFK, Reagan, Clinton and W. On Friday, Obama sounded like his Senate mentor, Joe Lieberman when he spoke of “our coarsening culture” and criticized rappers. It be wasn’t a Sister Souljah moment, but perhaps he’s working up to it.
Obama on Friday questioned the way some rappers talk about women in songs, saying the lyrics are similar to the derogatory language used by embattled radio host Don Imus.
They are “degrading their sisters. That doesn’t inspire me,” Obama said of some hip-hop artists when a man in a crowd of about 1,000 questioned him. The Illinois senator was responding to a question of what inspired him, and said God and civil rights activists…
“I do think we’ve seen a coarsening of the culture,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press after the town hall meeting. As a constitutional lawyer, Obama said he was a free speech advocate.
“But just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should say something,” he said. “And I think that we have not talked enough about the harmful images and messages that are sent.”
He said as a parent it was a constant struggle to reinforce his two daughters’ sense of self-esteem.
“I think that all of us have become a little complicit in this kind of relaxed attitude toward some pretty offensive things,” Obama said. “And I hope this prompts some self-reflection on the part of all of us.”
(I wonder if Obama’ll take up any of his concerns with his new friend, David Geffen, who recently raised more than $1 million for Obama. Among the artists that Geffen’s companies carry are Snoop Dogg, The Game, and Nine Inch Dix, a Snoop vanity project. Snoop, of course, had this to say about the comparison of Imus and rappers:
“[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports,” he told MTV.com.
“We’re talking about hos that’s in the ‘hood that ain’t doing —- that’s trying to get a n—- for his money.”
Cinderella Ferret calls on Obama to return Geffen’s money:
The good Senator (one of my favorite candidates) received $1.3 million from David Geffen. The David Geffen who profits from the music of Snoop Dogg and others. I could quote lyrics from Snoop Dogg here, but I will leave that to others. The lyrics are quite similar to the reprehensible words spoken by Imus, and in many cases worse. My point is this: Will Senator Obama now return Geffen’s money?
(Cinderella is off on her facts: Geffen hosted a fundraiser that raised $1.3 million, he didn’t give it himself– Geffen faces the same limits as they rest of us.)
Earl Ofari Hutchinson takes on Snoop, calling him worse than Imus.
While Imus’s “nappy headed hos” slur has been plastered all over creation, the “B” “H,” and expletive-laced rant that Snoop unleashed against Imus, has barely got a squint of mention.
His R rated words are so vile they can’t be printed in adult company. But here’s the gist of what he said. He gave veiled praise to the Rutgers women basketball players as ladies of distinction.
But that’s only a ploy. To him, they’re the rare exception among black women. Most are Bs and Hs, poor, hood dwelling, rank-losers. In one grotesque sentence in his knock against Imus, Snoop managed to get in all the ancient stereotypes about black women.
Now this is the same Snoop that strolled out of a courtroom moments after copping a no contest plea, being slapped with five years probation and community service on felony drug and firearm charges. He then delivered his self-serving Imus and I “are-two-separate-things” rant.
This is the same Snoop that in the next few weeks will hit the road and promote, The Big Squeeze with such good housekeeping titles as “We Came to Bang Out,” “Pop Pop Bang,” and “F—-in is Good for U.”
…I haven’t heard any outraged calls for Geffen to pull the album, or threats of a boycott if they don’t. I have heard no denunciations from Sharpton, Jackson, the National Association of Black Journalists, and not a peep from women’s groups about it and him…Imus demeaned a basketball team; Snoop and his pals have demeaned a whole generation of young blacks, and especially young black women, and blacks have let them get away with it. That’s why Imus is their Frankenstein.
Evidently, Obama won’t be the first hip hop president. Jeff Chang points to the East Bay Express article in which Davey D is talking about drafting Chuck D to be a hip hop Presidential candidate (“with Flavor Flav as his running mate? Wowwwwww“.) The Express’ Eric Arnold concludes:
If Barack were a rapper, Banjoko speculates, he’d be Kanye West or Lupe Fiasco: “He looks good, but he’s not soft.” Underestimate him, and “you could get caught slipping.”
At least we know that Chuck wouldn’t be down with the DNC’s selection of a former RIAA communications director to be the spokesperson for next year’s convention. Obama is unlikely to object, an appointment that is getting being discussed left and right.
(Cross-posted from Obama Media.)