KC Mayor touts Gangsta Rapper as Role Model
All summer long (and earlier) in Kansas City (and perhaps in your city also) the TV news has shown candlelight vigils and similar tributes for the victims of the latest "senseless killing" in the inner city (and the similar incidents which occasionally spill over into other parts of the metroplex).
The wailing, grief-stricken family members of the victims, accompanied by "community activists", are shown addressing their fellow mourners and supporters, and sometimes speaking directly to the TV cameras, appealing for "an end to this violence".
A number of factors are blamed for the deadly violence. The abject poverty of the inner city is often blamed. (Yeah, Right. When the perps and the victims are wearing gold chains, $100 sneakers and driving Cadillac Escalades with 22" gold rims, anyone can see that poverty is a factor!)
Guns (or "the ready availability of guns") are also blamed for the frequent shootings and killings. Some even suggest that guns are "dumped" in the inner city by greedy and nefarious firearms manufacturers and their distributors.
And yet there are other areas, other neighborhoods, where guns could fall like manna from heaven and that would still not cause the residents to pick them up and begin shooting one another!
There has to be a cultural aspect at work. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous "culture" of the inner city is "ghetto culture", which celebrates and wallows in the most negative aspects of ghetto life. And the ubiquitous "music" of the inner city is gangsta rap, which glorifies and glamorizes crime, gunplay, degradation and oppression of women, vile language, and all manner of other thuggish behavior.
Even the mourners at the candlelight vigils, as they drive home, are probably listening to such "music," mouthing the words and moving to the beat.
No one, not even the legions of churchgoing members of the "community" nor their preachers, speaks a single word in condemnation of gangsta rap and the "culture" it has fostered and which it perpetuates. In fact, they will defend this poisonous "music" on the grounds that it reflects the "true" day-to-day life in the ghetto, and that nothing is more important than "keepin' it real."
And Kansas City's mayor is apparently no better.
Mayor Sylvester "Sly" James of Kansas City, MO, elected in 2011, is the second black mayor of that city. Unlike the first black mayor, Rev. Emanuel Cleaver, James was not any kind of "activist" or "community organizer."
A former U.S. Marine, James was a highly successful personal injury attorney before deciding, with no political experience, to run for mayor as an Independent.
So you might think that Mayor James would know better, and you'd think that, as a former Devil Dog, he'd have the fortitude to confront the elephant in the room and speak out against the pernicious malignancy that is gangsta rap, rather than exhibiting what another Kansas Citian, Jack Cashill, calls "ABETTO" ("A blind eye to the obvious").
But no; not only has Mayor James joined NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns (which, if its agenda were to be fully examined and acknowledged, would be called simply "Mayors Against Guns") and Barack Obama in climbing on the bandwagon of blaming guns and guns alone (to the obvious exclusion of my above-cited cultural factors) for the carnage in inner cities across America, but now KC's mayor has crossed over into a tantamount endorsement of that cultural malignancy.
The other day, Mayor James held a celebrity-studded event aimed at discouraging truancy and celebrating local youngsters who had somehow motivated themselves to attend school and were now the better for it. It was one of any number of admirable things that Sly James has done as mayor.
Except that one of the most prominently-featured celebrities was a KC native who has attained great "success" as a gangsta rapper, Tech N9ne.
In case you're not familiar with Tech N9ne (pronounced "Tek Nine") or his "body of work", the rapper (and if it's "gangsta", why isn't it also "rappa"?) was born Aaron Dontez Yates in 1971 in Kansas City. His moniker is a reference to a submachinegun-style handgun that "gangstas" think is just too cool (even if they can only obtain the semi-automatic version).
If it's not enough to be named for a gun, he also mentions lots of other guns in his lyrics, which unabashedly celebrate, glamorize and encourage the gangsta lifestyle (a major tenet of which seems to be that guns are the answer to everything, from a petty insult on up). While he pays a lot of lip service to "a higher power", his "search for God" and his pursuit of perfection in his "technique" and his "art", his actual lyrics and content are a different matter.
Mayor James seems to think that Kansas City should be proud to be Tech N9ne's home, and be honored that he mentions Kansas City in his lyrics, like these from his recording, "Gunz Will Bust";
"Gunz Will Bust"
I know you know this is Kansas City
Where n*gga life don't mean sh*t
So step to and immediately get yo dome split
I pack heat for days run street wit K's and hollow's
On a concrete crusade you made the pill now swallow
You never thought tomorrow
You see me beam up all strapped down wit a pump
Searchin' for the n*ggas on a hunt
Jerkin' on the trigga when I dump
It's not a game dude my killaz will mangle
Anything in my range fool
When hatin' get framed moved
We play the same rules...
Rough n*ggas in the street will bust 4 the bread
And meat deuce 57th Street and 7 deuce be packin' heat punks
Get the f*ck away from we, for we buckin' these mutha f*ckin' G.U.N.Z.
Inspirational, huh? Have you got this, Kids? This is what the mayor of Kansas City thinks should motivate you to attend school and pursue your education, and this is the kind of person the mayor of Kansas City thinks you should have as a role model!
Stu Tarlowe is a regular contributor to American Thinker who lives in the Kansas City area. His own pantheon of heroes and role models includes Barry Farber, Jean Shepherd, Long John Nebel, Aristide Bruant, Yaphet Kotto, Col. Jeff Cooper, Rabbi Meir Kahane and G. Gordon Liddy.