Real Playboy Pimps ride The Hip Hop Hummer to Bank
Many people, myself included, believe that young African-American and Latinos don’t vote enough. But voting itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Without any clear idea of what you're voting for casting a bad vote can be worse than not casting a vote at all. Of all the Latino ethnic groups, the Mexicans who vote; have the worst voting track record. They have a notorious history of voting for “family values” quoting Republicans. Even when these candidates run on a platform that disses their community. Mexican leadership in California started to get wise this year and dis-invited Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Mexican- American Day Parade at the last second but it was not a big deal because the leadership offered no analysis of the move, it just seemed like cheap politics. Despite the ineffective move, many Mexicans vote for Arnold for Governor. Economically Mexicans are at the bottom of the ethnic minority totem pole. On average they are less educated, very politically fragmented and they are poorer as a group than African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, etc.
Poor people tend to ignore their reality and try to associate with rich, famous, and powerful people who care nothing about them (The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies analyst will address this later on in this piece). Arnold became the Governor of California and he got approximately half of the Hispanic vote but he also got a sizeable and undeserved share of the vote from many of the young people of the hip hop generation that are Black, Puerto Rican etc.
The Hip-hop generation is mislead because many of the high profile rap artist who get media attention are uninformed or make associations based solely on their personal interest. Hollywood has many of them caught up in its surreal Matrix and since rap (the biggest component of hip hop) is totally crossover now the business ties and interests of people like Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the same as those of people like P-Diddy or Russell Simmons. That is a conflict of interest for the African-American community as well as any working class community, black, white or other. Donald Trump once considered running for political office and could win just as Arnold did. While both Trump and Arnold have a history of indifference or outright prejudice to communities of color it won't make a difference at the ballot box to communities of color. Unfortunately, the rich playboy image is being swallowed by too many voters. It makes no difference to voters that the rich elite ONLY see them as a market waiting to be exploited.
It’s highly publicized that Arnold Schwarzenegger told an African-American bodybuilder that he thought apartheid was good to keep the Blacks in check other wise they would "run the country into the ground” as he put it. Take for example Raymond Santana talking about how Donald Trump poured a boatload of money into advertising in New York newspapers in late 1989, trying to get him and other young black and Latino men put to death for a rape that they did not commit. When they were later exonerated of all charges, Trump never apologized.
I recall a radio personality named Mark Riley breaking it down like this some years ago, “Donald Trump is a flamboyant playboy and not much else. Trump's own researchers say his strongest supporters are Blacks, Latinos, and whites making less than $25,000 a year. How can this be explained? The most logical reason comes from David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Donald Trump spends a lot of his time hanging out with rap stars and other Black celebrities. He's tight with people like Sammy Sosa, Puffy Combs and Russell Simmons. These are just the kind of people young Black men (and women) dream about socializing with. Is this a valid reason to vote for a candidate? History teaches us there are no invalid reasons.” Riley went on to say, “Russell Simmons told The New Yorker Blacks love Trump because he embodies the way they'd live their lives if they had money. Some Trump enthusiasts ought to temper their support by remembering Trump supports New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose has been nothing short of a horror show for Blacks in this city. Supporting a politician because he hangs out with rappers can certainly be done. People should vote for whoever they choose. The problem is simply that it's not smart politics to vote for anyone until you know what they're ready to do for your community. In Donald Trump's case, support should be earned by deed, not photo-op.”
In the case of rappers this was highlighted when Run, of Run DMC, went on TV backing Arnold Schwarzenegger. He supported him although Arnold ran without addressing any political issues. He usually responded to things by basically saying “we need a change” or he can’t recall if asked about his past, but it's no surprise since Arnold was so unconcerned with politics that he had not even voted in 6 of the last 8 Governor elections. Run who is now Rev. Run just happens to be Russell Simmons brother. I love Run DMC’s music but I ain’t no sucker MC. These rap antics are becoming dangerous.
Arnold is entrenched with hip-hop even more right now because he represents the new motor vehicle of rap, which is the Hummer; everybody has one in his or her video. During the 1st gulf war, television coverage of armored Humvees sweeping across the desert helped launch the Hummer, a consumer version of a vehicle that was originally designed exclusively for military use. The initial idea to make a consumer version came from Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wanted a tough – looking, road warrior vehicle for himself. Arnold told Bill O Reilley “Well, I -- you know, I'm very proud of the Hummer, because I created that industry. I went to the Hummer factory and said we should make this Hummer not only a military car but a civilian car.”
At his prodding AM General (what was left of the old General Motors) began making civilian Hummers in 1992, with the 1st vehicle off the assembly line going to Schwarzenegger himself. In addition to the Hummer, The war helped launch a broader sport utility vehicle craze in the United States. Psychiatrist Clotaire Rapaille, a consultant to the automobile industry, conducted studies of post war consumer psyches for Chrysler and reported that Americans wanted “aggressive” cars. In interviews with Keith Bradsher the former Detroit Bureau Chief for the New York Times, Rapaille candidly discussed the results of his research. SUV’s he said are “weapons” –armored cars for the battlefield – that appeals to Americans deepest fears of violence and crime. Rapaille also helped plan Chryslers PT Cruiser which was consciously designed to look like a gangster car of the 1930’s. It was designed, he said to make drivers feel like “Al Capone at the wheel, with a machine gun.” The dodge Durango was designed to look like a savage jungle cat, A strong animal has a big jaw, that’s why we put big fenders Rapaille said. Another hostility intensification feature is the grill guard that SUV manufacturers promote. Grill guards, have no practical urban use for any driving conditions. Grill guards had been initially used in Southern Africa to push Oryx out of the road in places like Namibia. However they make SUVs look angrier especially when viewed through a rearview mirror. They also increase the chance that somebody will be killed in an accident. Ironically this feature makes it more likely that the occupant of a SUV will be killed to be more specific, it has a 6% higher fatality rate than in cars and 8% higher in bigger SUV’s like the Hummer. Deliberately marketed as “urban assault luxury vehicles, SUVs exploit fear while actually doing nothing to make people safer. They make their owners feel safer, not by protecting them but by feeding their aggressive impulses. All this done at the consumers expense because they also get the worse gas mileage a mere 8 miles a gallon. Although Arnold’s special Hummer gets 14 Miles a gallon.
The eerie coincidence is that the wars the rich want fought in the Middle East are over control of oil resources, which they are increasingly dependent on due to their dangerous love affairs with SUVs. These wars are fought by poor people who are fascinated with the rich. This relationship will probably get more exploitive in the up and coming years since the Army is now targeting the Hip hop audience more directly through a marketing relationship with The Source Magazine. Even some of its past employees are shocked. Bakari Kitwana Former executive editor of the Source and author of "The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture." Said, “When I saw the Source was teaming up with the Army, I was outraged, It's a betrayal of their readership. The military has historically used African-Americans, while the country has not done justice to African-Americans.” As Kitwana understands the military is a tool of the rich and used to serve the interest of the rich. The Hip-hop generation has not yet learned that the rich who exploit poor can be rap elite or indirect military media spokesman who come in the form of Commandos. War with Iraq in March 2003 provided a boost to SUV sales, of the Arnold pushed Hummer type, despite a sluggish economy. Another indicator that ordinary people confuse their interest with those of the rich.
Released: October 19th, 2003
The views and opinions expressed herein by the author do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of Playahata.com.