Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, better known by his stage name Lupe Fiasco, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He took to the airwaves and posted this rant on Instagram on June 20th after the murders in Charleston, SC. It is worth the read and pretty brilliant.
Just a side note, I read this quote on Redef and thought it was the perfect start to this read.
“In terms of existence, everything is equal.” Donald Judd
A letter. Part 1 Of 3 Dear White Supremacy, First of all you are not really that supreme. While throughout history White Supremacy it must be admitted you have achieved some very dominant positions. These positions have been gained mostly through force or some biological agent such as disease that did a lot of the dirty work for you in advance. I mean anybody can use force on an unarmed populous and anybody can have smallpox. Not judging, just wanted to point out that having a disease that native folks aren’t immune to because they’ve never seen it doesn’t make you strategically smart or tactically superior, just kind of sick. And these dominant positions don’t really stand up to the test of time that long either. There is nothing about you biologically or physically that denotes an innate mode of supremacy. For that matter there is also nothing about you psychologically, philosophically, cognitively, academically, socially, architecturally, culturally or even financially that signifies a higher position above any other group. And to be diplomatic there is nothing about you that denotes innate inferiority as well. So what you really are is something in the middle. You are regular. White Regularity is congruent to all other forms of regularity i.e. Black, Brown, Etc etc. But in regularity there is room for differences and this is where White Regularity shines! Each group gets the same essential universals. Dance, food, music, etc. and it must be admitted that the White Regularity take on these universal institutions has been unbelievably impressive and a great addition to the total world culture. I mean spaghetti and meatballs, Romeo & Juliet, Coldplay, The Tuxedo, lighter that air travel are all world class additions to the collective bucket but they are no less or more impressive than every other regular groups take on the universals either. And if we really wanted to get analytical every invention is built on inspiration from a previously existing invention so the claim of “The Supreme 1st” to do something is highly debatable and except for a few exceptions, impossible! All things human aren’t born from a supreme overlord solely working in isolation.
A photo posted by Lupe Fiasco (@lupefiasco) on Jun 20, 2015 at 7:33pm PDT
Part 2 of 3 Things are created in collaboration and in tandem with other cultures, knowledge structures and movements and more important, People. I mean if those Muslims didn’t catalog all that Greek philosophy for research we might not even know who Plato was. Now whether this collaboration is forced, which is seen so much but not exclusively throughout human history, does not take away the fact that it is done with the help of somebody else. We are supreme as a spectrum of colors in collaboration. One color does not dominate the other nor can it. Sure Steve Jobs was white. But the guy who built the computer was probably Chinese. And the girl who wrote the programs for the computer is probably from Mumbai. And the raw materials that were used to make it where probably first pulled out of the ground by somebody in South Africa. And if you take this highly collaborated upon piece of high technology to an indigenous tribe in the jungles of Brazil they’d probably use it as a boat paddle. And we can go on and on down or up the rabbit hole all day long and you’ll always find a regular somebody relying on the abilities of a just as regular somebody else that another regular somebody doesn’t even care about. White Supremacy is a lie white regularists tell to themselves in hopes that they can get a one way ticket to the top and hope we other colors overhear it. Here’s the bad news, ain’t no top. Here’s the good news though, ain’t no bottom neither! It’s just the regular ole middle where nobody is safe from being influenced by somebody else’s extreme regularness. Is your swastika flag printed in Mexico? Did you know the swastika is originally from Asia and the subcontinent? Did you know black people had slaves in Africa too? Did you know in the world your considered a minority too? I mean you call us niggers and beaners but you gotta ship all your formerly Native American land, backwood sourced ginseng to China to get money to support your meth habit. Meth that’s made with chemicals produced in India. I mean Hitler hated everything about the Jews expect every possession they had. It’s funny how the things you hate so much you have to rely on the most for your survival.
A photo posted by Lupe Fiasco (@lupefiasco) on Jun 20, 2015 at 7:35pm PDT
“It’s funny how the things you hate so much you have to rely on the most for your survival.”The history that details that reliance is very, very interestingly laid out in this wonderful book that I’m about 1/4 of the way through now:The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalismby Edward E. Baptisthttp://www.amazon.com/The-H…
The reviews alone are fascinating. I have a hard time getting through dense historical books. Might be one I should listen to.
His album LASERS is pretty fantastic, if you’re not already a listener. Lyrics at http://genius.com/albums/Lu…
Thanks for posting this, Joanne. I read all 3 parts and noted the interesting closing point about how even the top position on a chain of subjugation is inherently weak:”Without us there is no white supremacy because there would be nothing to be supreme over! That sounds so stupid but sometimes the truth is stupid”.It outlines a concept that is applicable in different areas: If your core definition of yourself requires others for validation, then your foundation/positioning is hollow at best. In this context, a core identity that requires disparagement of others, is equally hollow.
You might like Ta-nehisi Coates’ “Letter to my son” http://www.theatlantic.com/…. Read your daughter’s piece on Medium and your letter back to her, and while Coates’ letter is rooted in a completely different issue, I thought the degree of care, love, and intention in tone was similar. I remembered your post on Lupe, so thought I would leave a comment here.
thanks margaret. will read.