D.L. Chandler's frequent thoughts on the world of hip hop and beyond

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Still Political P Diddy and Other Things

The Vote or Die! campaign popularized by Sean “P Diddy" Combs is, in his words , “phase one." The venture with Citizen Change to motivate young voters in getting to the polls actually did what the exit polls seemed to not reflect – that there were more young voters in this election than in 2000. Mr. Combs speaks of building from this and encouraging empowerment through politics – and if you’ve been reading this blog you know how I’ve felt about these efforts to attract the so-called “Hip-Hop vote." I don’t question the mission; I merely question the sincerity of it all. We need to get away from that term and move beyond dangling slogans like carrots in front of eager young adults thirsting for a change. Combs and others like him have money, influence and media connections – use them to push the ideals you want. Getting folks to wear slogan shirts and shake their butts or what have you is just the start. What I feel, and perhaps a little smugly, is that we’ll go beyond the call of duty to make sure we educate our readers and volunteers on what it means to be a part of this democracy. Information is not only empowering, it is now necessary given that mainstream media will choose to continually misrepresent the progressive political progress.

Another thing we need to do is not mope. There were so many long faces the next day. After Kerry conceded (and I swallowed that bitter pill), I decided then to dedicate myself to this fight for political awareness amongst the apathetic even more. It’s about realizing a movement and sustaining it. We must continue to fortify these efforts with the same fervor we did to get folks to the polls – which is a strong point raised by a dynamic writer by the name of Raj Jayadev. It’s amazing when you surf the web trying to see if you’re the only one who feels strongly about moving on and beyond that you can actually find a piece out there written by a like-minded individual. That inspires me to continue this fight.

I can be honest with you all and say that I had no idea how aggressively the GOP went after voters and convinced them that the president should be re-elected. I’m not shocked by the news of it but I was so focused on the outreach I was trying to undertake. Davey D mentions this fact as one of the Bay Area media and personalities questioned in this article from the San Francisco Chronicle. The funny thing is that there is tension in the words from these apparently politically active people. It almost has a sense of cowardice in some ways and defeat in others.
That defeatist attitude cannot do. Nor do we resort to insults and berating those who don’t think as we do. In the meantime, let’s hope the other side continues to dismantle from within because a change has to come; it is now the necessary thing.


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