American Football is real life, professional Mandingo fighting and I’ve never been interested in watching it, nor have I ever gone out of my way to participate, or observe a peaceful protest. I was also not excited at the headlines stating that one of the sport’s few Black quarterbacks was kneeling to protest police violence. Symbolic victories were, and continue to be lost on me. I was a little confused, although I shouldn’t have been, when the kneeling somehow began to mean disrespecting the troops…? I’m still a tad confuzzled about the correlation, but a flag is a piece of cloth, just like the clothes I’m wearing right now, albeit less useful. And at least half the soldiers I’ve served with are rapey racists, but some of them are folks of color and women who give even fewer fucks than I do about supporting symbolic patriotism, with its long-standing romance with White supremacy. And the national anthem that soldiers readily flee from on every base I’ve ever been to, was written by a White racist, for other White racists, and some of those White racists are on our money and we have to worship and memorialize them like gods forever and ever. And when White people yip and holler “fire em!” (football players) for not doing their “jobs”–in this regard, not standing for the anthem, while still actually playing the blood sport for their White owners immense profit and America’s entertainment–the entire point of something I didn’t really care much about to begin with, is missed, or rather avoided so much that I can’t help but get violently angry and defend the damn football players who I wasn’t paying that much attention to to begin with. But taken altogether, I end up even more pessimistic, and sad, and ashamed than when I started.
Eminem’s verse was trash truck juice with a swig of the White mediocrity we’ve all grown to know and love. No bars. None. And he didn’t say a single innovative, clever, subversive, or bold thing about 45 in support of any kind of resistance, which is doubly disappointing, given his position as not only a rapper, but one of the widely accepted “G.O.A.T.”s who has casually eviscerated niggas like Benzino, Ja Rule, Cannabis and countless others for minor beef; trashed, degraded and bullied female celebrities like Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera for existing; and made whole albums about literally killing his own mother, and the mother of his child. Compared to this, and taken alongside other rapper’s beefs with each other (“Ether,” “Hit Em Up”, Takeover,” etc.), or even RTJ’s anti-45 rhetoric, and after all of the gay bashing Eminem has done, the “egg shells” that he “came to stomp,” are much less a fuck you to the administration, but more of a coded love letter penned by another emotionally stunted man-child.
And Aesop Rock is the best White rapper anyway.