Consumerism, Commercialism & Indifference ...
The question remains is if it’s working. Certainly, a lot of major companies that sponsor voter registration events are pandering for those youthful eyeballs and the advertising dollars they help to generate. Throwing a few thousand dollars to a school or youth center in the “hood‿ here and there supposedly gives them some sort of credibility with the real people. These are the folks who are in the trenches suffering at the hands of the establishment – apparently this is where apathy breeds most often. With the upcoming Political Hip Hop Convention in New Jersey, there is hope that a new progressive movement can finally take hold and be regarded seriously. This approach, while ambitious, still has the usual set of suspects and a gaggle of people who never made themselves to be political beacons before. Pardon my seemingly negative stance – I truly do hope that these men and women get this right. I still have to question it if only to understand the true underlying motive.
Sean "Puffy" Combs , record label executive and current Broadway actor in the play “A Raisin In The Sun‿, is back in cahoots with cable network MTV to host a new politically-themed showed called “Project Change ‿. Not to blow anyone’s spot but didn’t Sean Combs attend a Simmons-sponsored political event a few years back encouraging young people to vote when he himself wasn’t even a registered voter? This is precisely the worry of many active and progressive thinkers when it comes to the huge task of getting young people to the polls. If the youth voter movement paid as much attention to the facts as they do the videos and music of these beloved icons, would these events they sponsor ever take hold? We can’t foresee the future but we can hold these so-called leaders accountable. One of the qualities of being a leader is to admit when you’re faulty. Let’s hope that won’t be an oft occurring event. We’ll give them a chance to prove us wrong.
For an interesting look into Hip Hop Activism, read Don Hazen’s piece over at Alternet.