Thursday, October 27, 2011

Civil War

While I haven't had a chance to blog much recently, I've continued to wage war against the Occupy movement in discussions in real life and twitter. Most recently opposing the outcry from the left over Occupy Oakland being "attacked" by the police. In real time it was mostly reactions from rappers that I was responding to. In any case, the long and short of it is that I always give police the benefit of the doubt, and in this case there wasn't even much doubt to begin with. People were tweeting with straight faces at one moment about refusing to leave, ignoring police's orders, taunting them etc. and in the very next tweet complaining about police "brutality", which they had proudly, defiantly and knowingly brought upon themselves. And for what?

That's not the point of this post though. I give rappers (who are monolithically left in their worldviews) a hard time, but I still like some of their music. Most of the ones I disagree with the most are also ones whose music I do like, even though I disagree with the content when it's political or otherwise ideological. In the case of the new Immortal Technique, Chuck D, Killer Mike, and Brother Ali collaboration "Civil War" [be advised, the track contains vulgarity. Skip to 2:40 to avoid vulgarity and hear the part discussed below], I like the music and some of the content as well. The track is solid as a whole, but Brother Ali's verse is phenomenal. While I think the premise of his verse -- that America somehow restricted or abused the freedoms of Muslims in the wake of 9-11 -- is dubious and certainly not very timely (it would have been more apropos in 2002), still, the bottom line message about freedom is very true, and the technical aspects of the verse are stellar.

Our hearts were torn apart just like y'all was
Watching towers full of souls fall to sawdust
Every time we called your office you ignored us
Now you're holding hearings on us all inside of Congress
Microscopes on us, ask if we're Jihadists
My answer was in line with all of the founding fathers
I think Patrick said it best, give me liberty or death
I shall never accept anything less
You claim innocence, you play victimless
But you gave the kiss of death in the name of self-defense
Slavery and theft of other nations to the end
Of pacifying your citizenry with excess
We believe in freedom, justice.. security
But they're only pure when they're applied universally
So certainly if I rage against the machine my aim was only to clean the germs out of the circuitry
Urgently puttin fear inside your heart
Make you burn Qurans and tell me not to build a Mosque
Me, my wife and babies, we ain't never made Jihad
We just wanna touch our head to the floor and talk to God
Ask him to remove every blemish from our heart
The greatest threat of harm doesn't come from any bomb
The moment you refuse the human rights for just a few
What happens when that few includes you?
Civil war

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