The Worst American violence
The year 2015 marks the 150th anniversary since the end of the United States Civil War. During the 4 year period from 1861 to 1865, over 620,000 American citizens died, most of whom were killed by each other in a war over southern states desire to secede from the union of the United States. Today, many still refer to it as “the War of Northern Aggression.” These vocal supporters of that war, are die-hard confederates, who can’t accept the South’s surrender. Some say it wasn’t a war over slavery but instead, state’s rights, a concept championed by so-called “small government conservatives.” To me, as a Hiphoppa, I see it a different way. I see it, super-historically, and draw references of how it relates to the World of today. To me, this issue of the Civil War speaks to the “racial problems” Hip Hop was created out of, and came to solve in its own way. The facts of American history highlight the hypocrisy of modern mainstream media.
The period of the Civil War is interesting history, in that it accentuates the problems of racial oppression and also points out the absurdity of racial identity. First, in relation to oppression, people can identify from experience, the demeaning tone of a racial stereotype. For example, news reporters and hosts will often amplify the level of gang violence in the inner-city to reinforce negative images about the so-called Black or Latino races in general or African-Americans specifically. The creeping menace of Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings or later MS-13 etc. was promoted heavily in the early nineties, here on the east coast long before it became popular. Overall, statistics say, that around 28,000 people per year die from gun violence all together. At least 50% of that is gang related according to some statistics. That may account for about 14,000 gang-related gun deaths per year. These statistics are used to demean an entire group of over 30 million people by the actions of less than 50,000 which is only 0.16% of the population of just African-Americans alone. This does not include the Spanish population or any other ethnic group who might be involved in a gang.
The statistics that detail the horror of, so-called Black on Black crime are a sign of the psychological oppression that plagues American society. Mainstream media stigmatizes a large segment of the population with the actions of a few to manipulate all the so-called races of people who watch it whether Black, White, Brown or otherwise. This is used to say “Blacks are violent. They are violent even to each other. Minorities are criminals and murderers.” The interesting history point that relates to this, deals with the Civil War. For instance, it would take 44 years at the present rate of gang violence in America to equal the number of so-called White on White deaths accumulated in just the 4 years leading up to 1865. In only 4 years 620,000 people died. That accounts for 10% of all Northern males aged 20-45 and 30% of all Southern males aged 18-40. This was a voluntary war over money, pride and territory that so-called Whites waged against each other in America which ultimately led to the astronomical numbers of dead recorded forever in the history books. Feuds between gangs is one thing, yet the arbitrary social divide between North and South, is just as insignificant as red or blue flags on gang members, but as it turns out, much more deadly.
Gang members are often called insane to fight over small, government controlled areas of land, sometimes to the death, for mere money. This though, is no more insane than southerners fighting over the right to own slaves for financial prosperity, on their own piece of land controlled by the state government. In many ways, gang violence of today is less extreme than the brother on brother, battle to the death waged in this country 151 years ago. In that battle, people actually became traitors to the spirit of this country’s union and wanted to set up their own sovereign power against it, to the point that they made plans to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Imagine if Bloods and Crips devised such a plan. The outcry, panic and fear would be enormous. Today, descendants of these southern defectors consider themselves patriots by celebrating the Confederacy. That, in and of itself, might seem like a mild act of treason in some circles. Celebrating the people, who wanted to split the country apart, as patriotic, is hypocritical in full context, just as it might seem hypocritical for people in the inner-city to complain about violence but adhere to ‘no snitchin’ policies.
To say that so-called American White people can be extremely violent, even more so than all the gangs of the inner-city combined, is an understatement on one hand with the sub-text of Hiroshima, the Vietnam War, Iraq, slavery etc. Many so-called Black Nationalists are quick to point out this idea when correctly stating the flaws of America. But to say ALL so-called White people are mindlessly violent is an erroneous misrepresentation.
Does “racial identity” dictate who you are or what you will do in life, really?
First off, even in the Civil War, each soldier thought he was fighting for a good cause, however misguided he may have been. Soldiers from the North who fought and died to protect the union of the states, were not all heroes. Some looted, pillaged and raped their way through the south during the war. It becomes clear after an examination of the history of this country, that gang violence used today to demonize broad portions of the oppressed classes, is completely overshadowed by the violence perpetrated by so-called Whites in America. That doesn’t mean that any particular “race” is more prone to violence than another, however. There are examples of inter-group violence all over the World.
A person cannot be responsible for what everyone classified in their so-called racial group does or did in the past, just as a boy cannot be held responsible for the crimes of his father. Street knowledge tells us that there is a huge difference between accessory to the crime and unwilling participant, even though everyone may have been in the same room, at the same time when a crime was committed. Just because you are associated with some person or linked to them by some group affiliation, does not mean that you are guilty of their crimes. This is an example of the flaws with racial identity. People identify a whole group by the actions of a few or by the actions/predicaments of their ancestors.
This is a false premise. All so-called races of people commit violence against each other most times because they are around each other most often. All races of people commit acts of violence on each other for a cause which is justified to them, even though it may seem completely insane to others. Acts of violence committed by members of any “racial” group of people cannot accurately describe the future actions of another individual of that “racial” group. The reason is that, “racial” groups don’t dictate a person’s personality characteristics. So-called racial groups cannot even predict or guess an individual’s personality characteristics. To classify a person as a “race”, only serves to aid in the calculated oppression of the social-elite. After all, it is the social-elite who benefit from a racial identity existing in the minds of the people. The masses of people only benefit from “racial identity” when it comes to learning about the history of society. In the future “racial identity” will become more of a history lesson than a factor in life to deal with. A so-called racial identity is an innocuous term which means little more than skin tone, if that. The so-called race describes nothing about the person other than their group’s history of social interaction with others.
In Hip Hop Kulture you are identified by your skillz and character, not your so-called racial identity
Much more accurate cultural identifiers are found in so-called sub-cultures like Evangelical Christian, White Separatist, Moor or Hiphoppa. At least with these cultural identifiers, attitude and characteristics are partially implied. How much more accurate is it to call some kid a Hiphoppa than a White kid from the south? Each classification has a totally different connotation which may seem negative either way, depending on who you talked to.