LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 06:  Rapper Lil' Wayne waits to perform at Foxtail Pool at SLS Las Vegas on September 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Lil Wayne: Uncle Tom

By Hopewell

I cannot imagine a Jewish artist using similes, making positive comparisons or parallels to Adolf Hitler; for that matter anything associated with the Nazi Party Why? They carry a deep understanding that they are connected to the suffering of their people and their horrifying experiences in Nazi Germany. Further, I’d be hard pressed to imagine that they would allow non-Jews to use such “creative” expression without a fight. Regardless of income, occupation or age, they are connected to that experience and thus certain sensitivities aren’t allowed to fade.

There is no way to know how many blacks died between the middle passage and slavery experience. The number is well into the millions (I’ve seen death figures around 40 million- for those dying in transit alone). It is also difficult to precisely number the blacks who were tortured and murdered during the neo-slavery period, after Reconstruction. The Tuskeege Institute figures tell us that between 1882 and 1951, well over 3,000 blacks were lynched. Many consider the figure conservative and indeed it must be when one considers the lack of value placed on black life during that period. Many died during that period as slaves being rented to corporations and buried in mines. Others were flippantly disposed of in the woods. We will never know.

What we do know is that Emmett Till was brutally murdered in 1955 and his murderers walked free. Also, his killers later told their story to a magazine, unashamedly admitting their guilt and still it did not matter. We also know that in 2013, Lil Wayne rapped that he “beat the pussy up like Emmett Till.” This is quite simple. In the face of all this history, for Wayne to flippantly compare his sexual prowess to the brutal murder of a black child, he is clearly detached from black suffering. It is obvious that he feels, in his own mind, he has risen above a history of black oppression and does not at all feel attached to it. It’s as if it doesn’t matter to him. It doesn’t move him: he’s above it and free to reference it void of reverence.

Again, I cannot imagine this in the Jewish experience. Rich or poor, it is understood that Jewish suffering must be remembered and treated with a certain reverence. Wayne clearly does not see the slaughter of millions of black people as anything worthy of remembrance, nor does he carry any sensitivity to it- it’s not his history (so he believes). In a sense, he has disassociated himself from the whole of blackness. When black conservatives appear detached or distant from “blackness” (however that is defined) they are routinely demonized as uncle toms. Well, what makes Lil Wayne different?

4 comments

Duane Terrell

Now that Lil Wayne has been repremanded and has agreed to pull the leaked song can we get back to the business of ending the day to day murder of blacks by other blacks?

Devan Franklin

The sad part about it is that Lil Wayne would probably be highly upset with being called an Uncle Tom! I think in his minds he thinks he's blacker than King, Malcolm or Emmett Till ever were.

It’s the misinterpreted effort of redefining blackness. We've all been proponents of redefining or recreating blackness; not being ashamed of being black, not being ashamed of our hair (especially our girls), not taking the word "nigger" or "nigga" as an insult but as a term of endearment. That’s all well and good to an extent; however the lack of reverence and honor given to our forbearers disregards the reason for our need to be redefined. If there were no problems, what are we trying to change? If everything was all peachy, why do we need to take control and recreate what it means to be black? We get stuck in being so proud and so black, we forget the reason we need to take pride in who were are; because generations before us were told they were not worthy of equal treatment and equal rights and that they were inferior on every hand.

Lil Wayne thinks he can rap about whatever he pleases because he's just that talented, but he forgets that he would not have a platform if numerous black performers more talented than him did not fight for the right to the stage he is on now.

D.M Hopewell

…agreed and noted. however, let's be careful not to buy in to the media created hysteria about black on black crime- people tend to kill people who look like them. who do you think are killing Chinese people?

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