Wednesday, November 30, 2005

District 5 Diary: "Dangerously Racist"?

Joe:
Gun violence has roots among the youth of the African-American community's hip-hop/rap/gangsta "culture," if the jive-turkey bullshit I see in the videos can even be dignified with that word. You can play the race card, but that's just a way of trying to shut down down debate.

Where do these young men---a small minority in the community, to be sure---get the idea that it's okay to shoot people for whatever reason---drug turf battles, gang conflicts, robberies, or random, drive-by murder? They get it from the music they listen to, the song lyrics that accompany the music, and the videos that the rap "artists" make. I hear young men chanting rap lyrics as they walk down Divisadero, crude, nursery rhyme-like garbage, full of anger, aggression, and contempt for women. Of course the ghetto neighborhoods of SF---the Fillmore/Western Addition and Hunter's Point---need "programs" in the traditional progressive sense of the word: job training and jobs, better schools, after-school programs, more cops on the beat, etc. But none of that will protect vulnerable young people from the pervasive rap/hip-hop media that glorifies guns and macho posturing, degrades women, and features fancy clothes and expensive cars. Even their hand gestures and body movements are highly stylized and inauthentic as per the dictates of the culture.

Supervisor Maxwell, introducing her futile, Stop the Violence hearing before the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 1, said, "We are in a war, so who is supplying the guns?" The gun aspect of the war may be the easiest part of the struggle. Another question Maxwell should ask is, "Who is supplying all the garbage inside the heads of these young men?" This may actually be the hardest part---the cultural war, the war of ideas, which isn't even being waged, by you or anyone else.

Subject: Gun Crime in the City
From: Joseph Blue
Date: Nov. 30
To: Rob Anderson

You sound like a complete idiot. And your statements approach the level of being either uniformed[sic] or dangerously racist. What I was talking about was crime throughout the city and not simply crime in black areas. I am concerned about all the citizens of San Francisco that have been affected by this crime wave. Your statements on black culture are some of the most over the top comments I have ever heard in my life. But sense[sic] I do not know you---or care to know you---we have nothing to talk about.

Joseph Blue


Subject: Gun Crime in the City
From: Rob Anderson
Date: Nov. 30
To: Joseph Blue

Joe:

What exactly do you think my "problem" is? You don't think that there's an obvious link between the hip-hop/gangsta culture and guns? As long as young black men think it's acceptable---even cool---to shoot people for relatively trivial reasons, the shootings will continue. It's simply not credible to blame city government for not stopping the murders as long as this kind of mentality is common among young black men. As a leader of your community, don't you have a responsibility to speak out against this culture?
Regards,

Rob Anderson

Subject: Gun Crime in the City
From: Joseph Blue
Date: Nov. 30
To: Rob Anderson

I forgot to say---you have a problem that I cannot help you with. If you believe that black culture has deep roots in violence you undoubtedly need more help than I can give you.

Best Wishes
Joseph Blue

Subject: Gun Crime in the City
From: Joseph Blue
Date: Nov. 30
To: Rob Anderson
HOGWASH

Joseph Blue

On 11/30/05, Rob wrote:

Joe:
I submitted this response to your message on crime, but PROSF didn't post it.

Regards,
Rob Anderson


Subject: Gun Crime
To: PROSF
Date: Nov. 29
From: Rob Anderson
Comrades:

Joe Blue is generating a lot of heat about gun crime but no light. The notion that Mayor Newsom and the City of San Francisco can come up with a policy or a program that can quickly have an effect on gun violence is nothing but demagoguery. Gun crime in SF---and in all our big cities---has deep cultural roots in the black community. Blue would be a bigger help if he launched a cultural war against the gangsta/thug culture fostered by the rap/hip-hop trash that permeates the lives of young black men. We also have a national political culture that makes acquiring guns much easier than it should be. Add that to the rap/hip-hop garbage, and you end up with the ugly situation that we now have in all our major cities.

Regards,
Rob Anderson

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