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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Obama Condemns Ludacris

Barack Obama condemned a song by Ludicrus that attacked John McCain in a number of crude ways.

As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to," said spokesman Bill Burton. "This song is not only outrageously offensive to Senator Clinton, Reverend Jackson, Senator McCain, and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics."

Some on the right are already treating this with cynicism making snide references to another supporter being thrown under the proverbial bus. It's true. Barack Obama has done a lot of distancing throughout this campaign. That said, I for one am glad that he has taken a stand against rappers. Though to be fair, it is extremely disingenuous for him to proclaim that he has always taken this stand. Here was Obama's posture not but two years ago.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, contemplating a run for president, met privately Wednesday with rapper Ludacris to talk about young people.
'We talked about empowering the youth,'' said the artist, whose real name is Chris Bridges.Bridges was in town to launch the YouthAIDS ''Kick Me'' campaign to raise HIV/AIDS awareness during a stop at Northwestern University in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.

The gathering at Obama's downtown Chicago office was a meeting of two star powers: Obama, who enjoys rock star-like status on the political scene, and Ludacris, who has garnered acclaim for his music and acting.

By meeting with Ludacris (real name Chris Bridges) right before announcing his run at the Presidency, he legitimized him and the music that he performed. To proclaim now that he has always been against rap music is just flat out not correct.

That said, while I am no fan of Barack Obama making a speech in order to quell controversies, I do believe this gives him an opportunity for a great speech that would give him his Sister Soulijah moment. Right now, he can give the speech about all that ills the African American community including the pernicious lyrics of rap music, out of wedlock births, and absentee fathers. That would be a speech of supreme political courage and one that would be applauded on both sides.

It would also be an opportunity for him to show leadership that the African American community has lacked ever since the death of Martin Luther King. If Barack Obama can lead the way in condemning the mysoginy of rap music, out of wedlock births, and absentee fathers among a host of other social ills. If he can make the case that lifting oneself from poverty takes personal responsibility and move the message from victimization that would go a long way toward making a difference in the community. The African American community is in dire need of a true leader that preaches self reliance and personal responsibility over victimization. Barack Obama has an opportunity to take that message to the masses. I, for one, hope he does.

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