With the recent findings in the Michael Brown case, I wonder how long the mourning will last? In a world where brevity and speed is favored over taking ones time, how long will the outrage at Michael Brown’s killing at the hands of Ferguson Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson last?
When our beloved 2pac asked, “how long will they mourn me?” in his 1994 song dedicated to his slain friend, his question eerily and unfortunately rang true for his own death as well as countless others. It is disheartening, common place, and somewhat understandable that the newest lynching is the most salient to those within the community in which it occurred. I get it. What I don’t understand is the way in which we quickly get over one shooting death to avenge the death of the newly fallen! To me this is not resilience; this is the Black and Latino community, and the medias short attention span. The lynching’s of Eric Garner by the New York Police Department and Michael Brown in Missouri were less than a month apart and already the headlines speak more to Michael Brown’s death than Eric Garners. Could we really be this attention deficient that we neglect the oldest victim for the newest one? Or maybe this is the Black and Latino communities’ way of mourning by never giving any one death too much time and attention that way we don’t become completely consumed with grief? In some ways this has always been the Black community coping mechanism by assessing the situation and employing the necessary fixes in order to survive, such as fictive kin during slavery, but I digress.
The media coverage of these ritual killings seems fair in that we can’t expect an entity that has no investment in the Black or Latino community to chronicle the deaths of so many Brothers and Sisters by the hands of Law Enforcement. The media outlets are in the business of making money because the newest headline is the latest meal ticket. I get it. What I don’t get is the Hip-Hop communities weak response to these tragedies. It seems as though they have limited attention spans too and slither out of the woodwork when it is most convenient for them. I am not knocking J Cole’s song in dedication to Michael Brown, but where is Eric Garner’s song? Eric Garner was lynched in Staten Island so where are the borough’s preeminent Hip-Hop impresario’s The Wu-Tang Clan? On the rap groups official Facebook page there was a generic rest in peace quote. Really? Why aren’t they planning the march across the Verrazano Bridge that leads into Staten Island from Brooklyn? Nelly broke his silence as he is the biggest Hip-Hop star out of Missouri so lets hope he can do more to shed light on the Ferguson Lynching.
Perhaps the most disturbing, disingenuous, and duplicitous action by a “leader” within the Hip-Hop community has come from none other than Mr. P. Didd… I mean Didd…I mean Puff… I mean Puff Daddy! His attention whore ways cannot be quelled even in the wake of a tragedy as he commits a classy move by calling out the President of the United States to fly out to Ferguson, Missouri because as he put “these is your people baby.” Is Puff Daddy going to fly out to Ferguson, Missouri as well and meet Obama where together their combined celebrity and influence can bring about real change on the ground in Missouri that would undoubtedly have a national and international ripple effect? Absolutely not! All Puff Daddy is going to do is run his mouth and promote his alcoholic beverage, which is all he seems good for. Where is the revolt at Puffy?
Diddy seems to only come alive when it benefits him such as his “Vote or Die” campaign where he sold t-shirts with the slogan. Mr. Combs organization was noticeably absent for the 2008 Presidential election, but he has the gull to call President Barack Obama to task of all people, yet Puff Daddy hasn’t even stepped foot in Ferguson, Missouri himself. P. Diddy’s Citizen Change political service group has been inactive since 2006, which happens to be a year after Hurricane Katrina where his “political service group” could’ve played a major role in the aid of President Obama’s “people.” Speaking of the people that Puffy makes reference to, are they not your people too Diddy? I guess they are only your people when they buy your records or purchase your liquor right?
The Hip-Hop community and the Black and Latino community can do more in terms of supporting and remembering the past victims of neo-lynching’s to better weave together a master narrative of injustice against members of the aforementioned communities and not have it seem as though these are isolated incidents. When it comes to these neo-lynching’s we have to be careful to not view them like we view Jordan’s where every two weeks another colorway comes out which renders your brand new barely worn sneakers obsolete. These are human lives being taken which has real world implications and we shouldn’t place energy and emphasis on the newest killing while simultaneously neglecting its immediate predecessors. R.I.P. Michael Brown, Eric Garner (REMEMBER HIM?), Trayvon Martin (REMEMBER HIM?), Ramarley Graham (REMEMBER HIM?), Oscar Grant (REMEMBER HIM?) Anthony Baez (REMEMBER HIM?) and the countless others who have fallen victim to neo-lynching!