Straight Outta Compton: Very inappropriate nostalgia
By Greg Strange
If you believe that the recent Black Lives Matter movement is a sham of tired accusations and misguided priorities, then you can't help but relish the recent release of "Straight Outta Compton," which tells the story of the seminal gangsta rap group N.W.A. Why? Because nothing could assert more blatantly than the ugly strains of gangsta rap what the real problem is in black communities across the country—and it's not racist cops. Here's a small sampling of the lyrics from the title track:
"Straight outta Compton, crazy motherf__r named Ice Cube
Does that sound like black lives matter to you? But here's a movie that celebrates the rappers whose "art" glamorized the gangsta mentality and thus helped fuel the descent into what has become an entrenched social pathology that borders on barbarism. Let's hear it for N.W.A.!
Is this really what people are nostalgic for in the year 2015? Do they really want to celebrate the exemplars of a black "art form" that wallows in and glorifies anarchy, nihilism, criminality, vulgarity and stupidity within the black community?
Here's the black artists that I'm nostalgic for: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Impressions, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, and on and on. See the difference? They made beautiful, classy, positive music that transcended difficult times and that has withstood the test of time.
But in the face of this obvious reality, the Black Lives Matter movement came along with its ridiculous whitewash about white racism. Seriously, this is fifty years after the resounding successes of the civil rights movement and nearing the end of the second term of a black president. Any kind of serious institutional racism was torn down decades ago. Blacks occupy positions in most occupations and at every level of power. Diversity is preached like the gospel on every campus and in every corporate and government institution in the land. The concept of the "microaggression" has even been invented to try and ward off the slightest or unintentional denigration of minorities by members of the dominant culture.
There is, no doubt, some residual racism among police officers. What human being, while putting his life on the line every day, could remain pristinely unbiased in the face of wildly disproportionate black crime? But the number of blacks who are killed by white cops – most incidents of which are determined to be justified – pales in comparison to those that are senselessly killed by each other.
Most black people understand this. They're the ones living in neighborhoods getting shot up by N.W.A. wannabes. They're the ones dealing with the social pathologies that are the result of family breakdown and the gangsta rap mentality. They're the ones getting terrorized by the unsupervised young punks who think they're livin' large like their rap heroes, but are only going to end up dead or in prison.
Just the other day in – where else? – Ferguson, Missouri, a nine-year-old black girl was killed by a stray bullet from an apparent drive-by shooting while doing homework on her mother's bed. Any sign of Black Lives Matter? Nope. That would shine a light on what the real problems are in the black community. Better to wait for the next killing of a black thug by white cops, scream racism to the high heavens and then metamorphose the deceased into a martyred folk hero.
Given such idiocy, it's a pretty easy call to say that the unconscionable waste of human life and potential will continue unabated into any foreseeable future. The only thing that Black Lives Matter is going to accomplish is to get more black people killed. That's because thanks to all the protests around the country and the endless harping about racism, cops have understandably backed off. The result is that crime is up almost everywhere as thugs get to enjoy a kind of criminal renaissance. And as if on cue, along comes "Straight Outta Compton" to provide the soundtrack with inspiring lyrics like these:
"I'm knockin' niggaz out tha box, daily
Yo, weekly, monthly and yearly
Black Lives Matter? You can't be serious.
Greg Strange's web site can be found at http://www.greg-strange.com. (c) 2015 Greg Strange.