March 12th, 2009
Not only does Jay-Z rake in kazillions and get to hump Beyonce, he’s making America less racist through hip-hop:
“It has changed America immensely… Hip-hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations. Racism is taught in the home… and it’s very hard to teach racism to a teenager who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg. It’s hard to say, ‘That guy is less than you.’ The kid is like, ‘I like that guy, he’s cool. How is he less than me?’ That’s why this generation is the least racist generation ever. You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, enjoying the same music.”
Point taken, I guess. Nevermind that even in the Philly suburbs where I grew up, hip-hop to this day is referred to in some quarters as n****r music (Just a couple of weeks ago I walked right by some lady at a Target in Bucks County as she pointed to some Kanye CDs on display and say “I can’t believe they sell this n****r shit here.”). And that there’s plenty of people who openly lament, rather than celebrate, the effect hip-hop has had on fashion, sports, and culture in general; often it seems like veiled (or not-so-veiled) racism to me. Yes, Obama is president. And yes, lots of white kids love hip-hop. But I have a hard time believing that racism is truly on the decline in the U.S., or that Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg will be hailed 100 years from now for improving race relations in America.