In the beautiful days after Barack Obama's journey to becoming the first Black President-elect of the United States, I made a conscious decision to not let last Tuesday's monumental moment get tarnished with the discovery of one of the most shatteringly ignorant statements ever made about African people, Western civilization and human tragedy.
On the red carpet of the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta last week, Soulja Boy, creator of the purportedly disrespectful-ejaculation-endorsing platinum hit song and dance, was asked a question by a journalist. The Rolling Stone writer asked, "What historical figure do you hate the most?"
In what must be remembered as a moment exposing the most imbecilic and witless thinking possible, 18-year-old DeAndre "Soulja Boy" Ramone Way actually genuinely, seriously, responded with:
"Oh wait! Hold up! Shout out to the slave masters! Without them we'd still be in Africa. We wouldn't be here, to get this ice and tattoos."
That is not a typo, nor was it meant as the most facetious, tongue-in-cheek comment in tasteless joke history. This was Soulja Boy's honest answer to the question.
His head is one deep chasm of ignorance.
I'd like to debunk his comment and remind the young man of some facts.
Firstly, Africans had travelled to America before the slavemasters brought them to North America against their will. We wouldn't "still be in Africa" without the chattel travel package.
Secondly, the "slaves's" continent already had diamonds. Lots of them. In fact, Africans risk their lives to mine diamonds in order to remain one of the largest sources of raw diamonds on planet Earth.
Maybe Soulja Boy has never heard of the huge South African comapany called De Beers, which collected $6.5 billion (U.S.) in revenue in 2005, or he also hasn't heard Kanye's Diamonds are Forever remix, OR seen Leonardo DiCaprio's gruesome flick Blood Diamond?
Lastly, some of the earliest recordings of tattooing can be traced to Egypt in 4000 BC, where facial tattooing on young men was a rite of passage into manhood.
Never mind the syntax error of "this ice and tattoos", I can't believe the amount of unbelievable ignorance spoken in one breath.
His knowledge-negligent naivete makes me so very nervous about the future of hip hop culture. At first, I wanted to dismiss it, and throw it to its rightful place on the top of the pile of Stupid Things That Stupid Rappers Have Said. But I decided not to.
We all have a responsibility to make sure NONE of us ever reach the depth of ignorance that is Soulja Boy. In the wake of Obama's triumph, where a man chose to stand up tall and proud, lead by example, and ultimately changed the status quo, I realized something.
We need to send a message to President-elect Barack Obama. He's got a lot of promises to keep and a lot of work to do, but I wonder if he can also establish a schooling curriculum that encorporates a better analysis of African history.
Apparetly some African-American children don't even know a damn thing about slavery anymore!