Wednesday, January 24, 2007

American Terrorist (2006) – Lupe Fiasco

Adding to the flurry of post-Katrina salvos, Lupe Fiasco takes Kanye West’s infamous “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” gripe a step further, accusing the U.S. Government of practicing terrorism against the disadvantaged throughout history by hoodwinking or outright bullying, and then supressing, certain segments of society: steal their land, deprive them of quality education, quash their protests, create distractions to occupy them, exploit ‘em and keep ‘em down. He suggests that manipulation of the economy has inflicted unintended collateral damage across racial boundaries: even the blue-collar Klansman ain’t whistling Dixie as loudly anymore—the price of gas has made cross-burning a costly pastime.

Although his flow at times lacks fluidity, Lupe’s indictment runneth over with bile as he charges the White man with transporting over the smallpox epidemic which eradicated some Indian tribes, importing and lynching slaves, and now bringing terrorism upon the U.S. because of foreign policy regarding Israel. Also, in his eyes, a byproduct of racial injustice has been the stratification of rich and poor, as a government designed to protect its wealthy injects poison, either overtly or insidiously, into certain communities to perpetuate the oppression: casinos and liquor spell gambling addictions and alcoholism for the Native Americans; guns and drugs facilitate the Black man’s unknowing quest to destroy his own people.

It’s unclear why Lupe included the reference to mid-1800s era Chinese railroad laborers and gold miners—they came to America in search of a better life. But in doing so, he missed out on an opportunity to chime in on the current illegal immigration debate. He could’ve dropped a couple more lines in the coda like: “Give brown man keys, park the car / Keep grass short, clean the yard / Raise them kids, mind the crib / but don’t sneak past Border Guard.” Feel free to use ‘em for the remix, Lup!

  • Listen to "American Terrorist" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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