A bit of heterodoxy from usually awful The Root, with the unfortunate headline:
Yes, the pop-culture reference is plain, and yes, it’s worth reminding folks now and again that there are black conservatives and black Republicans in the world. So what’s a hip-hop Republican?
The pillars of Hip-Hop Republicanism are economic empowerment, educational choice, access to information and empowering the potential of the individual.
Pillars? Shouldn’t we call these the Four Elements of Hip-Hop Republicanism? Either way, they are all excellent.
So, inevitable Public Enemy quotation? Check! The column is well-intentioned, but the next time somebody gets the urge to write a “We down with” headline, give them an emergency transfusion of wisdom from Thomas Sowell.
Books were not common even in the homes of many white Southerners who could have afforded books. That was just not part of the redneck culture.
My own personal experiences reinforce what scholars have shown from history. When I came out of the South as a child, I was immediately transformed from the top student in my class down in North Carolina to the bottom student in my class in Harlem.
I can remember crying over my homework because I could not do it. At the end of the term, I received a commendation card from the principal as the most improved student in the class — and I was still no higher than midway the class then.
We didn’t have books in our home and I didn’t even know what a magazine subscription or a public library was. It was common in those days for kids coming out of Southern schools to be put back a year in New York — as I should have been.
Sowell is illuminating, and sometimes blistering, on the rejection of literate English in favor of slang like “We down with” as a marker of cultural authenticity among blacks.