Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coon Huntin' With Conservatives

Coon Huntin' With Conservatives:
WRDU's Pistol Packin' Mamas

Paul Scott

"Lay that pistol down, Babe. Lay that pistol down
Pistol packin' mama. Lay that pistol down."
Al Dexter

Back when I was a kid, Grandma used to tell me stories about coon hunting. No, I'm not talking about our furry little friends with the Zorro masks, I'm talking about the old derogatory term for black folks. See, in the South, a few generations back, when black folks got too uppity and started having delusions of grandeur about running for President or some other foolishness, the Good Ol' Boys would pack their rifles and do a little "coon hunting" to put them back in their places. I thought about Grandma's tales when I heard about Rush Radio's upcoming event.

On June 5th, Raleigh NC Clear Channel affiliate, WRDU's, Morning Rush Morning Show, will sponsor, "Girls With Guns" an event that, according to their website "will provide an overview of firearm safety and training in the basic operation of several different types of firearms." After the training the ladies will be able to perfect their "newly acquired skills at an open shoot." Don't worry, the hubbies aren't going to be left out as they are encouraged to grab their guns and participate in the "sniper shooting contest."

Now, it is not unusual for radio stations to do promotions. Urban stations often throw swim suit jammie jams with scantily clad women walking around in bikinis. However, conservative radio stations are different, they have target practice parties with Sarah Palin wanna-bes totin' semi-automatic weapons.

If you have listened to 106.1 FM's, Morning Rush you will know that every morning they have a list of folks whom they diss , ad nauseum; African Americans, Latinos and of course, the big man, himself, President Barack Obama.

Since, it's conversion to conservative talk, WRDU has been a haven for disgruntled white folks who feel that this country is being snatched from their clutches. Usually, the format is just Obama bashin' and folks blowin' off steam about illegal aliens and welfare cheats but when you throw guns into the picture, that's a whole 'nother story. Maybe the station owners never heard that racists and rifles don't mix.

Ever since the '08 election there have been those who believe that Blacks and Latinos are taking over America and any day now the Feds are gonna run in and start snatchin' guns, leaving the Good Ol' Boys with no way to defend themselves.

It has been reported that right after the election, gun sells rose, dramatically. Also, during that period, a Georgia store owner caused quite a stir when she held an "Obama Gun Sale."

Recently, Sarah Palin was quoted as saying, "Obama would ban guns if he could," further fueling the flames of Right Wing paranoia. This leads us to where we are now, conservative radio stations holding heavily armed group therapy sessions.

What would happen if the local Hip Hop radio station announced that they were going to sponsor a "Gangstaz with Gunz" party at a shooting range in the 'hood? You can bet that anti-violence activists would be holding prayer vigils from now till kingdom come, begging black folks to stop the violence and follow the teachings of Martin Luther King. However, when Right Wingers pick up rifles, there is no such outcry.

Fortunately for some, urban radio stations are more interested in "gun buy back programs," and trading weapons for Lil Wayne CDs than passing out ammo.

The fear of "Negroes With Guns," has always superseded the 2nd Amendment. It was not until events like Robert Williams arming his "Deacons for Defense" to protect the black folks in Monroe, NC back in the 50's or the Black Panther Party storming into the Sacramento State Capitol in 1967, that gun control even became an issue.

This double standard is a classic example of what writer, Tim Wise, refers to as white privilege. In his recent article, "Imagine if the Tea Party Were Black" he defines white privilege as " the ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be."

Sure there are some that would argue that there is nothing sinister about a few friends getting together at a firing range to chew the fat over the issues of the day. That seems innocent enough. (And Hitler's Youth March was just a 5k run.)

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they used a giant poster of the First Family for target practice.

Let's keep it real. Nobody buys a gun unless he prepares to use it. With the rhetoric being spewed daily on Rush Radio, I think that the intended targets are obvious.

The last thing this community needs is a bunch of paranoid, pistol packin' mamas and papas with itchy trigger fingers.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Promise of Hip Hop

The Promise of Hip Hop

Paul Scott

In a Hip Hop world full of testosterone, it is rare to find a female rapper, especially one with her head on straight. One such artist is New York's Promise.

Originally born in the Sunshine State, Promise, who also goes by the stage name "Pretty Beast" (because when it comes to rhymin', she's a beast on the mic) moved to the Big Apple at the age of three. Like many youngsters, she fell in love with Hip Hop in junior high school. She names Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and Lauren Hill as her major influences.

"I started off with poetry but I love music, says Promise. "There was no other way to get my feelings out."

Although, the artist would not go into detail about the feelings that she needed to express she says that she has been "through a lot of things" dealing with "abuse in some way."

One thing that she would open up about was the issue of the adoption of African American children. As an adopted child, herself, she weighed in on the current trend of white entertainers like Angelina Jolie, Madonna and now, Sandra Bullock adopting black babies.

"All people should be allowed to adopt black babies, " says Promise. "Love is love."

The "twenty something" emcee also spoke about the few female rappers that are currently receiving radio play. Although Hip Hop legends such as Queen Latifah, rapped about respect, the raunchy subject matter of artists such as Nicki Minaj is the polar opposite. However, Promise says that she's not gonna knock their hustle.

"Art is art and everyone has a different perspective, she says. "Personally, I wouldn't do it. I'm different."

Even socially conscious rapper, Erykah Badu, recently raised some eyebrows when she sang semi-nude in her latest video, "Window seat."

"I know what her vision was; expression of her self expression," says Promise. "But am I going to let my five year old cousin watch it?"

The artist's sense of social responsibility goes way beyond rap music, as she is also head of an organization called "Promise Makes a Difference Through Music."

Promise says that she formed the organization because of her experience working at a group home for six years.

The owner of a production company says that she teaches young women how to produce music and has taken her program from Long Island to other parts of New York. This is her way of teaching young girls to express themselves in a positive manner.

"Sometimes we don't take time to tune in to what young people want, feel and need," she says.

Promise personifies the classic line from Hip Hop group, Dead Prez, "It's bigger than Hip hop."

"Music is just a tool. Behind it is education."

To reach Promise, contact or 877-352-4842 ext 125.

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Great Race Debate: Time to Put Up or Shut Up!

The Great Race Debate:
Time to Put Up or Shut Up!

Paul Scott

Back in the day, we used to settle arguments over who was the best rapper by engaging in something called "battles." Instead of yellin' "you suck" from the safety of the back of a dimly lit auditorium, rival rappers would grab a couple of mics, jump on stage and let the best lyricist win. However, with the coming of commercialization as well as the Internet, battles for rap supremacy have , largely, been reduced to nasty comments posted at the end of Youtube videos. As it is with Hip Hop, so it is with the fine art of public debate.

While debate has been a time honored tradition, nowadays the art seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur. No longer do we have ideological debates such as Abraham Lincoln vs Stephen Douglas or competing ideologies such as those of Booker T. Washington vs WEB Du Bois. Instead, public discourse has been reduced to cowardly catcalls and Tea Bagger talking points.

This is especially true in this country when it comes to addressing the taboo topics of race and class. Although Americans seem to love the "idea" of having a national conversation about race, in practice, as Attorney General Eric Holder put it, we are a nation of cowards.

Historically, the issue of racism is only put on the front burner after a "Martin Luther King" assassination or a "Rodney King" beating is caught on videotape. Otherwise, it is business as usual.

To be perfectly frank, "racial discussions" have only been used in this country as a type of sedative to calm black folks when they get riled up. At best, they are, simply, used as ventilation devices to let African Americans blow off steam in a controlled environment.

It is the same routine, every time. CNN does a "black outage" story, which is followed by a town hall meeting by some Human Relations Commission. The climax comes when a hand picked black leader issues a widely televised call for calm, reassuring white America that there will be no violence. End of story.

However, during this white male dominated, racially charged climate, I have heard no calls for calm nor media outlets seeking an anointed "white leader" to give a Martin Luther King quote urging non-violence. Matter of fact, the Right Wing incendiary rhetoric has been encouraged as being "patriotic." So the discussion on race in 2010, has been a one sided argument hogged by conservative radio commentators who overnight, have seemed to acquire Ph.D's in African American History, thus, feeling, uniquely, qualified to explain the black experience to their listeners.

The anonymity of social media has also added to the dilemma, as it has allowed mild mannered Jim Bob, the friendly auto mechanic ,by day to transform into "Granddragon666," defender of white supremacy and enemy of all things black, on the Internet, by night.

As columnist Leonard Pitts wrote, recently, "when people don't have to account for what they do, they will often say and do things that would shock their better selves."

Instead of having the guts to debate in a public forum , loud mouth cowards hide behind computer aliases and viciously attack well researched, competing ideologies with cheap one liner "trailer park tweets."

So the sanctity of public discourse has been reduced to something reminiscent of "Statler and Waldorf," the two old fogies from the Muppet Show, heckling Fozzie Bear from the safety of their balcony seats. (I remember, as a child ,wishing that just once, Kermit and the crew would bum rush the balcony and pimp slap the both of them.)

If Robert Williams challenged racism, militarily, Thurgood Marshal challenged it , legally and Martin Luther King Jr, challenged it, morally, it is our challenge to pick up the mantle of scholars such as the late Dr. John Henrik Clark and challenge it, intellectually.

So now is the time to put up or shut up !

To barbecue or mildew..

To (Censored)...Ok, I can't use that one but you get the point...

I am, personally, issuing a challenge to all the race "haters" to engage in a series of public debates dealing with the issues of race and class .

Don't get it twisted. This is not an attempt to issue an Afro-centric apologia or justify my existence to the pleasure of white America because as Du Bois once asked, "what on Earth is whiteness that one should desire of it?"

This is about the self identity of future generations of African American children. Black children need to know that even in the face of a vicious Right Wing rhetorical attack , not all black men and women are tremblin' in a corner mumblin' " ain't nobody here but us chickens, boss."

We, as black folks, must plant in the mind of each black child that you must be the guardian and custodian of your own history, first and foremost. Don't let anyone else tell your history, you must tell it yourself.

So the call goes out to any and all who are bold (or arrogant) enough to accept the challenge. From Right Wing radio hosts to Internet pseudo-intellectuals. We can debate on a street corner or in a college auditorium, it makes me no matter.

However, I feel obligated to warn you to borrow from the Hip Hop group EPMD, intellectually speaking

"If you think about battlin' you'd better come prepared, come with your shield and your armored gear."

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Any organization, educational institution, etc that would like to facilitate a debate contact (919) 451-8283 or