Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

This was a speech given August 15 1970 by Huey Newton co-founder of the Black Panther Party..here he addresses the issue of Gay Rights… Its serious food for thought coming in the aftermath of President Obama endorsing Same-sex Message…

During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been some
uncertainty about how to relate to these movements.

Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about
homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals
and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed
groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.
I say ” whatever your insecurities are” because as we very well know,
sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the
mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in

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F1 Bahrain: A travesty of justice

This weekend the motorsport spectacle of the formula one will take place in civilian unrest state of Bahrain.

The civil uprising is another feature of the media proclaimed ‘Arab Spring’ that began in 2010 with civilians protesting against their oppressive regimes.

The bloodshed in Bahrain goes somewhat unreported because there has been a mass media blackout in the war-torn country.

Last season the decision was made to cancel this race because of the high quantity of violence that gripped the country.

We’ve already witnessed evidence that Bahrain is not all sunshine daisies with one of the Force India cars blown up.

The going ahead of this race shows, and emphasises, a point that many of us know to be true. The corporate world, designed to appeal to your wants, does not care a single bit about your species.

Humanity is intertwined. Though not blood related we can all relate enough to call our fellow civilians brother or sister. It’s our brothers and sisters who continue to be massacred by the heavy artillery of that government.

The drivers, manufacturers, sponsors and anyone else indirectly involved have shown their alliance to money over justice. A rather fitting tribute to the state of society today anyway.

I sincerely hope that people will take notice of the facade being upheld by Bernie Eccelstone and see through that mirage.

Join this writer in not giving this sport anymore attention by not tuning in again. The more viewers this sport loses, the less these corporations make in monetary gains.

Feelings towards this inappropriate spectacle

Sikh Oppression in India: An Untold Story

“By any means necessary” – Malcolm X

This famous saying by Malcolm X has continued to throw ripples across the world; it spoke to the masses that were being oppressed within the country they grew up in an identified as home. Yet, we often question the statement as to what it actually means. Malcolm spoke on behalf of his African-American brothers and sisters, he along with the Black Panthers’ realised that sometimes violence was necessary. The contrast between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King are evident, this contrast goes beyond America and the civil rights of African-Americans.

India is a country with an estimated 1.2 billion people. The ‘Census of India 2001’ demonstrated that 80% of this large population is Hindu, 13.4% Muslim, 2.3% Christian and 1.9% Sikh. While the tourist side of the world would believe India is a peaceful nation since its independence of the British, many problems still plague India. Multiculturalism comes at a steep price and India is no exception to this rule. Even today there are many reported clashes with Hindus and Muslims (stemming from India-Pakistan relations) and Sikh-Hindu.

India’s troubles within their own society go beyond the widely known problems with Pakistan. After the 1947 Partition where Indian-Muslim’s were given their own country, Pakistan, problems were intensified in setting the boundaries of these nations, epitomised by Kashmir. The state the lies between India and Pakistan, which has been a constant problem for both countries in their attempt to seize jurisdiction.

The creation of Pakistan has given hope to the struggle Sikh’s now face in India. Khalistan is the Sikh hope for the end of a violent, bloodshed, history for Sikh-Hindu relations in India. Many argue when these problems emerged, but there is a common feeling that the real start of today’s problems derive from Indra Gandhi and Operation Blue Star.

Operation Blue Star

Operation Blue Star (3-6th June 1984) will forever remain a dark spot in India’s history. The order by, then Prime Minister, Indra Gandhi to allow the army to storm the highly religious Golden Temple in Amritsar is an action that can never be justified and the direct result of her death.

The aim of this ill-thought operation was the capture and arrest of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a man accused of assassinating a rival member of another Sikh sect. Reports had reached Indra Gandhi that Bhindranwale had taken refuge in the Golden Temple and that rumours had also told of weaponry being stored within the confines of the temple.

The operation, when carried out, was a mess. Gandhi’s office ordered a media blackout of the country and an imposed curfew upon the state of Punjab. The world was blinded and silenced to what was about to be carried out. The timing could not have been worse; the date had clashed with a Sikh annual event, so the Temple played home to innocent men, children and women.

After 5hours of brutality, on part of the army, 492 innocent civilians were confirmed dead. Killed in the operation this defaced and decimated the iconic and holy Temple.

Indra Gandhi & Anti-Sikh Riots

4 months later, Indra Gandhi was made to answer for her crimes by way of assassination. On 31st October 1984, Gandhi’s two Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh & Beant Singh, assassinated Indra Gandhi in direct revenge for her involvement in Operation Blue Star. 33 rounds were fired at the Prime Minister, with Beant Singh being killed in the process and Satwant Singh captured and arrested.

Shocked by these events the Hindu-Sikh relations went down a road it could not ever come back from. The next 4 days a series of riots broke out in the Northern part of India, in Delhi. It is estimated that up to 20,000 Sikh’s were murdered by Hindu mobs in another revenge attack, in direct response to the murder of Indra Gandhi.

Balwant Singh Rajoana

The violent attitude towards Sikh nationals did not end there. Because of subsequent boycotts of elections and most public services by Sikh, in retaliation for the atrocities committed against them, Beat Singh became Chief Minister in Punjab in 1992.

During this time the Khalistan movement had become very active within the state of Punjab, something the Government very much has opposed. Beant Singh took the movement by the throat and became responsible for an estimated 50,000 Sikh deaths within the state on Punjab. The world remained silent and mostly unaware. The genocide of Sikh nationals within their own country continued beyond Blue Star, backed openly by the government.

Balwant Singh Rajoana was a member of the Punjab police force. The man who had once answered to Beant Singh could not take the injustice anymore; he had seen too much brutality under Singh’s regime to not do anything about it.

On 31st August 1995, Beant Singh, along with 17 other people, was killed by way of bomb. Dilawar Singh Babbar was discovered to be the suicide bomber who became responsible for the assassination. After Beant Singh’s death, there was a considerable decline in the number of murders within the Punjab province of India.

On December 25th 1997, Balwant Singh Rajoana admitted to strapping the bomb onto Dilawar Singh Babbar and also being the back-up bomber should Babbar have failed in his attempt. Balwant Singh refused a lawyer, he insisted upon defending himself. Rajoana made no attempt at seeking an acquittal or even to get himself off death row, he simply had the following to say:

 “Thousands of Sikhs were massacred. It is submitted that these murderers have neither been punished nor been punished by any Court of law of the country even after 25 years” – Balwant Singh Rajoana

In 2007 Balwant Singh Rajoana was sentenced to be hung on 31st March 2012. On March 8th 2012 a stay of execution was granted due to the Sikh party, SGPC, filling two petitions to the Indian Government to have Balwant Singh Rajoana acquitted. The stay was granted by President Pratibha Patil as she wanted time to review the case.

“I am happy because Sikh religion has shacked the walls of Delhi government, not because my hanging has been postponed.”

This was Rajoana’s response to the news of the stay of the execution. He is ready to accept whatever fate is coming to him, he has no faith in the Indian democracy system, especially following the lack of conviction over finding those responsible for Operation Blue Star.

Khalistan

In recent years, since Balwant Singh Rajoana’s confession, there has been a decline in the activity of those who continue to press for the independence of Sikh’s within India with the creation of a new state of Khalistan.

What cannot be denied, however, is relations between India and their Sikh population have been torn apart throughout their long history. Bridges have been burn that simply cannot be rebuilt, and while the burning of turbans continues by even political parties (Shiv Sena) no progress can be made in bridging this gap.

If the Indian-Muslims could find the will to create the separate states of Pakistan and India, surely it’s not that much of an ask to create a new state of Khalistan.

Codemn India for hanging Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana on 31st March 2012 at 9 am in Patiala Punjab jail. Bhai Bhai Balwant Singh refuses to plea for clemency from the killers of the Sikh Nation. There has been no justice for the Sikh Genocide in 1984 by the Indian State. Bhai Balwant Singh has lost all faith in the Indian judiciary. India is not a democratic state has it crushes the voice of its minority citizens.  http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31519

Joseph Kony: Colonialism In Disguise?

Last night, 6th March 2012, a video went viral that sparked off a wave of cries amongst people who were members of the duo of social media networks Twitter & Facebook. The video talked of the 20-year tirade of the International Criminal Courts’ most wanted man, Uganda’s Joseph Kony. For those who haven’t seen the 30-minute video, Kony is a rebel-army leader who’s crimes lead from systematic genocide to rape, human trafficking & kidnapping children to use a child-soldiers. There is no question the man should be detained and held accountable for his crimes. He has already been indicted into the ICC, so capture was always on someone’s agenda.

Yet, one can’t help but be reminded of a common theme of propaganda, colonialism and rhetoric to convince a mass group of people they are supporting a cause that’s nothing-but humanitarian. In the last 12-months there has already been one example of where the mass public have demanded a military intervention in a foreign country where they were convinced there was a war-lord committing atrocious crimes against innocent people. The country I refer to is of course Libya. Coincidently Muammar Gaddafi was also on the ICC’s list of indicted ‘criminals’ wanted for questioning & trial. While most will call the mission in Libya a success, there are a strong few who condemn the assassination of the Libyan leader, and will also condemn the decision for NATO to bomb the entire country causing many civilian deaths & injuries.

Libya and Uganda have more than this in common however. Both countries are also rich in natural resources, more importantly in oil. According to the video, by IC, American troops entered Uganda in late 2011. Coincidently, that same year oil was found in Uganda, and estimated 2.5 million barrels[1] worth over $70bn.

To emphasis an earlier point, Joseph Kony has been on the International Criminal Courts’ radar for 20-years. LRA is no surprise to America, in 2010 the Obama-administration signed the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act’ “making it American policy to kill or capture Mr. Kony and to crush his rebellion once and for all.”[2] Coincidently they made no move to pursue this until late 2011, the year of the oil.

Other questions lie with Invisible Children’s credentials. Their finances are available for everyone to access, they state ‘total expenditure’ in 2011 was $8,894,630 and that out of this 37.14% was spent directly on ‘Central African Programs’. The independent audit told a different story and it was recalculated that it was actually 31% that was used in the programs.

The sceptic in this author cannot endorse the ‘Stop Kony’ campaign that’s now taken social media like a storm. There are many questions and military intervention by the US is not a solution. Africa has always been subject to exploitation by colonialists. Be it diamonds or oil, the actions of such countries and organizations like the IMF robbed African finances.

America already has a military presence, which most have argued is unwelcome, in Africa known as AFRICOM (United States Africa Command). Their own mission statement states they are:

The United States Africa Command, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.

Former US Congresswoman called AFRICOM a ‘return of colonialism’ and she’s not wrong.

The cause of Kony2012 is a noble one. Of course Joseph Kony has to be caught sooner than later. However, the Imperialist countries have proved time and time again that a humanitarian mission in a foreign country is never just that. In the latest in a long history of such hidden agendas Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have all proven things don’t change in this regard.

It was positive to see the mass public developing a concious and share the crimes of Joseph Kony. Perhaps one day the same will happen with Palestine, where (it could be argued) more atrocities take place on a daily basis. Palestine is known to everyone and ignored by most. Perhaps a 30-minute video on this issue and the same reactions will be seen worldwide. Unfortunately, I don’t see this happening any time soon.

Hip-hop’s Misogynist Society: A Nightmare for Female Rappers

How can we hope to change the world when our fundamental flaws continue to shine through in everyday society? It’s 2012 and the biggest difference between individuals continues to be exploited, the segregation exists and one’s superiority over the other continues to be based on this factor. Gender has been the most exploited difference between societies, since the conception of human life. The evidence comes even in literature; we refer to our species as mankind, we study history. The extent of his sexism goes a lot further than simple vocabulary though, while it can be argued things are a lot more better than they were in the past, which is certainly true, there is still obvious differences which are unfair and unjust in society.

For all the benefits hip-hop has given the world in the last 30 years, it still remains, sometimes, as backwards as Jim Crow laws were. Legends have been made in the hip-hop industry; some of these legends have made contributions in society which are sometimes unheard of. Public Enemy are perhaps the most outspoken group in the history of the genre, the first group to use social commentary and music to raise awareness of issues going on in the world.

Social commentary has always been an agenda of hip-hop. The foundations of the genre lay with civil rights for most young-black artists that came out in that era, but also in terms of criticising nations, like America and Britain, invading other nations. From issues stretching from Iraq to Palestine to Afghanistan, these artists are no longer ignored for their views, but embraced.

It, therefore, seems illogical that a sense of misogyny still lies in hip-hop. Female contribution in hip-hop is rare, it’s there, but it’s rare to see. To make it into the industry now as a female artist a sex appeal is required. The sex appeal isn’t personified any more than in new-entry rapper Nicki Minaj.

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Onika Maraj broke into the music industry when 25 and was an instant hit on the internet. She became a hit because of, not only her music but, proactive looks and her use of innuendo in her lyricism. While her music continues to be a mainstream success her sex appeal has never unheard of her when the topic comes up. She has often been criticised for her decision to self-exploit in order to get heard, however the simple argument must be addressed… Is it her fault?

“The female rappers of my day spoke about sex a lot . . . and I thought that to have the success they got; I would have to represent the same thing. When in fact I didn’t have to represent the same thing.”

– Nicki Minaj, 2009

Her words suggest an inner-conflict. She doesn’t believe in her image, but she knows without that image she would perhaps not have the success she has now and if growing up that’s the way it had to be done, again, can we blame her for her decisions?

Veteran female rapper Lil’ Kim experienced similar routes. She, as Minaj does, had to use perverse innuendo in her songs to attract the attention from the, largely, male dominated industry. She had to adapt her style in order to satisfy the consumer needs of the musical genre she had chosen to take up.

“Unfortunately it’s a male dominated world. It’s been like that for years. All you can do it make yourself known and make a spot for yourself as a female.”

– Lil Kim, 2004

There are exceptions to the sexual-exploitation rule when it comes to female rappers. Artists known as Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, Erykah Badu and MC Lyte enjoyed commercial success, to an extent, without having to disrobe or get plastic surgery. Today there is an underground section within hip-hop that shines a candle to the careers of such, said, female artists. Fans that remains loyal to the artists who didn’t choose the road of exploitation in order to gain recognition.

However until there are greater strides made into the industry, where the message is clear for any types of females to enter that art without having to reduce themselves to such levels, the problems will persist. It would be unfair to blame the artists who do choose to go down the other road in order to enjoy the life-styles they do, because they want to get their talent discovered without having to do the unnecessary work they would otherwise be required to do.

Recently, highly successful, artist Jay-Z and superstar wife Beyoncé had a daughter. Upon this birth Jay-Z has vowed never to utter to the word ‘bitch’ in his song. A bit late, some would say, for a man who already has an impressive tally of 15 albums. In-fact one of Jay-Z’s most popular songs has a popular hook, ‘I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one’. An excellent article in The Guardian details how this is only the beginning of correcting the sexist atmosphere such artists have created.

Women of History: Assata Shakur

The name ‘Shakur’ in today’s society has, usually, one primary thought. That thought is of hip-hop veteran, legend and dearly departed Tupac Shakur. A rapper who was gunned down in his prime of making music which spoke to not only American’s living in his type of surroundings but the whole world. The jump from Tupac Shakur and Assata Shakur is not as great as you will believe either.

Assata Shakur is the step-aunt of the rapper known as Tupac. Her story does not have any links to Tupac, however he has cited her as inspiration and that’s not without basis either. As to the status of Assata Shakur on this date, not many know. Her story took her from Queens, New York to Havana, Cuba. Once her story is told, it will be no wonder that Fidel Castro fought tirelessly to prevent her extradition to America so that she would be incarcerated for crimes the nation had brought against her.

Ms. Shakur’s story starts in, the musically rich city of, Queens, New York. Born as JoAnne Byron, her upbringing wasn’t stable, to say the least. A series of relocations from when her parents divorced, to running away from home, to staying with her aunt, she led a rocky road of dealing with, the witnessing of the, suffering of her people. By the prime age of 20, she had already been arrested for a chain-lock protest outside her college for lack of Black-education.

3 years later, upon changing her name to Assata Shakur, she joined the famous Black Panther Party. This did not last for long, as well as being a stronger pusher for black rights Assata was also expressed strong feelings about a misogynistic society. She left the party and joined the Black Liberation Army as well as the Republic of New Afrika.

At 24 Shakur was shot. She was involved in a struggle with someone in a nearby apartment in which she had enquired as to whether a party was going on, when there was a negative reply a struggle ensued where she had been shot with her own revolver. Assata credits this incident as a focal point in her life, because it was at this moment her fear of being shot had evaporated. The prime age of 24, Assata Shakur was now ready to take on the world.

Future convictions consisted being implicated in armed bank robberies, assaults on police officers and other petty crimes. By 1973, Shakur had built up a résumé of crimes in which an FBI profile was being created; her luck had gotten her past any serious charges. A series of dismissals, acquittals and one hung-jury had prevented Shakur being imprisoned in any way.

This was all set to change in May 1973. In a police stop involved two white police officers and Assata Shakur with 2 accompanying parties, a shoot-out occurred. One police officer was killed with his own gun; one of the males with Assata was killed. Assata and the remaining police officer had been wounded, she and her partner, Sundiata Acoli, got away but were later apprehended in a man-hunt.

Her trial was flawed from the second it was created. The black-revolutionary, who fought for black rights & equality, was tried with an all-white jury. This within itself created a mass conflict of interest for that jury-pool, a fact which was not considered by the judge. Expert witness showed Assata had been shot while her hands were up, in a surrendering action. She had always maintained her innocence but, unsurprisingly, she was convicted and imprisoned for life in an all-women’s correctional facility. Assata Shakur escaped this facility.

Fidel Castro’s Cuba welcomed her with open arms. Cuba’s relation with America, especially after Castro & Guevara’s Cuban Revolution, had never been great. America was so infuriated by Cuba that she took out a trade-embargo upon the neighbouring island, an embargo which still stands today. Castro gave Shakur political asylum in Cuba; under those terms Cuba had no obligation to extradite Assata Shakur back to the United States for prosecution.

“They wanted to portray her as a terrorist, something that was an injustice, a brutality, an infamous lie”

– Fidel Castro

Today Assata Shakur remains a beacon of inspiration. Her story took her from a background which was full of uncertainty, oppression, racism and cultural prejudice to a strong, mature woman who held her own against any man or woman. Her fundamental beliefs had never abandoned here, even when she was shot at the age of 24 she still carried on her fight for her cause.

The whereabouts of Assata Shakur today remains unknown. It is still widely believed Assata is still alive and living in Cuba. In 2007 Assata spoke out to the world via a website dedicated to publishing her own writings and other articles in regard to her life.

“I am 60 years old and I am proud to be one of those people who stood up against the ruthless, evil, imperialist policies of the U.S. government. In my lifetime I have opposed the war against the Vietnamese people, the illegal contras – war in Nicaragua, the illegal coup in Chile, the invasion of Haiti and of Grenada, and every other illegal, immoral and genocidal war the U.S. government has ever waged.”

– Assata Shakur, 2007

As with most civil rights cases, hip-hop has paid an enormous tribute to Assata Shakur. None will perhaps be more famous as rapper Common (real name, Lonnie Lynn), his 2000 song entitled ‘A Song for Assata’. Common mentioned he had travelled to Havana to meet with Assata and discuss this song with her. She had been happy to help and contributed with her own words,

“I know a whole more about what freedom isn’t
Than about what it is, cause I’ve never been free.
I can only share my vision with you of the future, about what freedom is.”

– Assata Shakur, ‘A Song for Assata’

Assata Shakur is Welcome Here