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Fri Nov 25, 2016, 06:07 AM

Read this from start to finish - it's that good

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/benjamin-zephaniah-brexit-donald-trump-racism-christmas-interview-a7437171.html
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Leonard Cohenís recent death meant a lot to him. His first experience of Cohenís music was someone giving him a copy of his track ĎLast Yearís Mení, at a time when Zephaniah rarely listened to music by white people.

"The same thing happened with Bob Dylan, with his song about a black boxer ['Hurricane']. And I thought Ďmy gosh, this white Jewish guy is writing about a black guy who was wrongfully imprisoned'. And it might sound naive but at the time I was like, Ďwhite people care about us!'."

One of the most poignant things Zephaniah remembers about Cohen was an interview where he spoke about splitting rhymes, and noted that the people who were doing that best at the time were rappers and hip hop artists.

"And I thought that was very great of him just because he noticedÖ thereís a kind of intellectual type that complains and says people arenít engaging in poetry like they used to.

Zephaniah has been put off mainstream politics of late - and what that political system delivers to the public - after recent events in Britain and in the US.

"Youíve got a lot of people who donít understand politics themselves... so when someone similar comes along and starts blaming the blacks, the Mexicans, the lesbiansÖ youíre gonna vote for them."

"I think the bottom line isÖ Trump does not know much about politics," he adds, becoming more specific. "He can shout slogans and have ideas like the man in the pub - someone who doesn't think about politics unless itís over a pint at the weekend. But he doesn't really know what heís doing.

"Sometimes people say to me, why donít you get involved in politics properly? And I say absolutely not - Iím an artist, and when you go into political office, the reality is that you have staff andÖ itís different from campaigning.

Since the EU referendum, Zephaniah says that he has experienced the kind of racism that he hadnít since the 80s - an incident where, days after Britain voted to leave the EU, a man driving past shouted: "The Europeans are going and youíre next n****r."

And itís troubling to watch the documentary that he made 11 months ago, where he speaks about Enoch Powell and the National Front. Because you realise that the rhetoric they used sounds awfully similar to certain politicians today.

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Reply Read this from start to finish - it's that good (Original post)
malaise Nov 2016 OP
Hortensis Nov 2016 #1
malaise Nov 2016 #2
Hortensis Nov 2016 #3
malaise Nov 2016 #4
Hortensis Nov 2016 #6
spanone Nov 2016 #5

Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Nov 25, 2016, 08:53 AM

1. 'After the result they felt that they could be racist

they had that confidence'

Umhm. As evidenced by the election, though, our current huge, existential problem is bigoted political partisanship. In America, blacks are about 13% or less of the population. People who sympathize Democratic are over 50%--and we have all become a target of hostility and even hate from the other half.

Yes, racial hate from some is a big part of the reason we are all hated. But an inborn, oversized fear of and hostility toward change, toward differences, toward the unknown underlies all the negativity of the right.

We are living an era of rampaging change, when every year brings differences from what was, when no one knows what the future may bring. Conservatives are handling this very poorly and striking out. Some focus their nastiness on skin color. All are focusing it on Democrats. We are the enemy they blame for all they fear and reject.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 25, 2016, 10:24 AM

2. Nice post but I'm not sure it's fear

I think they really think they are superior and hate 'the other'.

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Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 25, 2016, 01:56 PM

3. Some, yes, but, Malaise, don't forget many studies have been

done on conservatives, identifying various types and how they react. Only certain types of conservatives are malignantly racist. Anger at other conservative groups, who are comfortable with diversity but always these days end up voting with people with racist agendas, is fully justifiable.

BUT, to insist they are all malignant cancers on society may well have cost us this election. Many decent conservatives were angry at the constant accusations of being racist from the left and the complete ignoring of their other motivations, and this rejection of who they are and what they care about from the left was a significant factor that kept some from breaking--finally!--with their party to vote Democrat, or to not vote at all.

This is the election when the right should have broken apart, and the left's massive and very foolish bigotry and hostility against them worked to keep that from happening. Instead, the right went united against us to the polls, even if disagreeing profoundly on much else.

This days political bigotry has become a very grave danger to our republic and may well end up destroying it.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 25, 2016, 07:13 PM

4. I expected the right to break apart

I'm still trying to process this madness

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Response to malaise (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 25, 2016, 07:19 PM

6. Yes. I find myself crying at little things, like sad

bits in movies, and I figure that fear of, and sadness about, what this election has uncovered must be behind it.

Perhaps that signals a new, very deep schism in our nation -- between those who are horrified and scared, no matter party, religion or color, and those who are chortling happily. If so, good. A unified right has been truly disastrous beyond anything some of them must ever have imagined possible.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Fri Nov 25, 2016, 07:15 PM

5. K&R...

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