Sunday, April 6, 2008

F the Police

F the Police. I saw this line in someone else's blog, and I have to admit it made me a little uncomfortable. It was in context with a musical festival which featured rap music. I like to think of Rap as missing one crucial letter - C, at the beginning. But I have to admit that I like some of it. Tobi Mac for instance. The "C"Rap I dislike is that which spews the message of hate. F the Police. Or hoes and bitches, a total disrespect for the femine influences in the world. What's ironic is that a majority of these "C"rappers were more than likely raised by a woman, either an aunt or grandmother. Not their dad. I work with these troubled youth and I understand their anger. A lack of a secure and affirming family structure of epidemic proportions in this culture is breeding anger. It is creating a self sustaining pattern of fatherless homes. It is bad. I do not, however, condone their message of violence.

And I was thinking about F the Police. What does that mean? The Police are nothing more than a reflection of the culture at any given time in history. The institutional enforcement of the norms of society. They are not an autonomous group out there on their own. They are legislated, regulated, and given the stamp of approval by whatever governing body who are voted in by the populace. So do we totally label (and you know how I hate labels) Police by one individuals dealings with a bad officer? Do we label all Christians by the actions of One Christian (you can fill in the name)? Do you wished to be viewed by the actions of Rev. Wright, or Jerry Falwell, or Benny Hinn, as representative of what YOU are? (Plug in your profession, and now think of someone who isn't representative of your ethics in that profession, and you see the point.)

I know many police officers. They have families. They attend church. Many are bi-vocational pastors, big brothers & big sisters, deacons, food bank volunteers, givers. A positive influence in their world. Most got into that line of work because they are servant hearted. Like Christians SHOULD be. They are geared toward helping people. Yes, there are some that are in it for the power trip. Met them too. I have also met pastors who share these same traits - both servant hearted and egotistical. I do not hear of many of these young rappers with the aforementioned attribute of servant heartedness. It appears that most come from their own ego's and extremely worldly motivated by perceived power through violence, substance abuse, bling, and the degredation of women. This does not give legitimacy to their anger.

So F the Police? I think not. Maybe its F the Individual who will not take responsiblity for thier own actions. Maybe its F the People who enable others to use excuses as crutches for where they are. Maybe its F the Haters who build walls instead of bridges.

Word from the Prophet: If the message isn't love - then the message is wrong.


KJ said...

wow. well said. And an interesting perception of the police. You're right, they are governed by "us' essentially.

I've dealt with the mentality you describe of "C"rap music (and I aggree) with TJ. BET, unfortunatley, has been a mainstay in my home the last 4 years. We've had many talks about the way women are spoken of and displayed both in lyric and video. Maybe, maybe some of those conversations have found a good place with him. He watches BET much less than he used to; he treats his girlfriend (of 4 years) really well. It's been a fine line though...I know that I come from a "white" and "white women" perspective. I'll never know what it's like to be a black man. So guiding him with, hopefully, universal opposed to white vs black cultural dividing lines...has been tricky.

nonprofitprophet said...

KJ - when you think of how Jesus views a person - BET, MTV, ABC, CBS, NBC, and others really miss the mark and do a dis-service.
I wish being a Hope Monger could be a reality. That being American was more important than skin color, that focuses on inclusiveness instead of diviseness would be what we were about. It looks like we still have a ways to go. ~npp

Melinda said...

Yeah. I hear what you're saying. But I also hear what they're saying. I don't really talk about it much, but I have a son in prison. He entered the system when he was only fourteen with no prior offenses and never really made it out of that culture. So, in getting to know him (it's often like he's a different person...he's 22 now), I hear a lot of stories about the abuses of authority, including law enforcement.

While I don't think abuse is by any means widespread, it's incredibly frustrating when it happens even a small percentage of the time. Hence, poetry erupts, albeit resentful and downright hateful.

It's uncomfortable speech. Big time.

(Thanks for commenting over at the's good to see you. I linked ya.)

nonprofitprophet said...

hey Melinda! thank you for the link. I understand the prison thing, more than you will probably ever know... and I know that the frustration comes through in this venue. I wished there were a way to this segment of society take their realities and making something positive out of it, instead of feeding into the negativity.
On a lighter note, when are they going to start rappign about Exxon Mobile and gas prices?