I applaud Snoop Dogg. The hip-hop mogul famous for lacquer smooth, ‘hood-sanctioned rhymes to gangsta rap beats has a new video out that is explicitly political. And, if you think a rap artist using his personal stage to engage in the political discourse in such unapologetic, unencumbered fashion is shocking, welcome to the new normal.
The video depicts America as a nation of clowns being led by a pot-smoking clown-in-chief in the White House. (It’s OK; you can laugh.) At once, the images of adults and children – black ones, white ones, brown ones – wearing clown makeup brought to mind the first “Batman” movie starring Jack Nicholson as the notorious villain, the Joker. That character was written to be a mentally and morally sadistic wannabe funnyman who he was lethal, self-centered and prone to hubris. The madman holds the future of Gotham City in peril by threatening to release an airborne toxin that, literally, has the effect of clowning people. To death.
If there ever was a metaphor to describe what’s happening politically in this country, I think we’ve found it. Or, should I say, Snoop Dogg has. (Thanks, Snoop.) Certainly, one can reasonably argue that rural white voters are about to get “clowned” for voting against their interests to achieve the perception, at least, of an America fueled by white power, under white male control. And they continue to support the Russian Manchurian candidate despite mounting evidence that he is pathological, if not mentally and morally sadistic, himself. What non-whites who voted for him hope to gain from this is still news to me. (Hey, let’s ask Omarosa.) And those that didn’t vote at all, frankly, clowned themselves.
Meanwhile the peanut gallery goes on cheering the clown president and spitting at his detractors. They sop up every grandiose statement as gospel. He tells Congress he will create millions of jobs by revitalizing dying industries. No one challenges the validity – or should I say, strong unlikelihood of that happening. They rail against the Affordable Care Act because Republicans were clever enough to slap President Obama’s name on it to make them hate it, even as millions of the naysayers enjoy its coverage. Less than 100 days in office, our commander in chief is under FBI investigation over his ties to Russia. And his wiretap allegations against President Obama, another attempt to distract away from Russia, have been rejected by every top intelligence official in the U.S. When none of these critically important issues matter to people, there’s some clowning going on. Looks as if he was right when he said during the campaign trail that he could go out and shoot people and still get votes.
The toxic atmosphere that has a percentage of the voting populace (growing smaller every day) wiling out and coming broomstick and pitch fork in hand to defend their leader produces strains that can penetrate anyone’s outcomes and outlook – black ones, brown ones, white ones, every one. That’s what diseases and toxins do; block one point of entry and they will find another and another and another. In just the past few weeks, Medicaid, Meals and Wheels, and Sesame Street have been on the chopping block. Public education is in peril under the new Secretary of Education, who doesn’t know the difference between school choice and an HBCU. Think about it: Black Americans are still fighting for equal, quality education more than 50 years after Brown vs. Board of Education. A crying shame.
While the White House Muslim travel bans and spat with Mexico paying for a wall make headlines, other measures, such as push within the GOP to re-criminalize marijuana have crept into the legislative mix and taken a seat. White people, pot’s biggest users, have nothing to fear though. The “law and order” drum beat you’re hearing is meant to lock up more black and brown people for the same offense, like our government has been doing for decades.
Where’s the counter offensive? I hear a lot of anger but continue to see more apathy in the black community than I’m comfortable with. There is a toxin in the air, folks. Everyone may not be infected but we’re all affected. Snoop’s video drives this point home effectively. For black communities, the stakes are higher than ever and they include everything from healthcare, economic development, education and legacy wealth creation to our very freedom.
America’s under attack by clowns. Don’t be one.
Shawn Taylor is a writer and entrepreneur living in the Chicago area.