“While y’all niggas was out at the Rock The Bells Tour (I was Uptown, gats out, up in coke wars)”
Friday August 03rd 2007,
Filed under: Features,In The Trenches,Not Your Average
Written by:

Shot courtesy of Dallas Penn

Unkut Dot Com‘s New York connect Idris Intifada just filed his report on the recent Rock The Bells show:

When I first heard about the monster line up set for the Rock the Bells tour, I immediately thought, I’m going to get myself a ticket. This thought began to flee when the tickets sold out faster than Myka Nine’s flow and were consequently being sold on eBay for hundreds of dollars. I then concluded that this would be one concert I missed. That is until my homegirl (I see you Andalusia!) hooked me up with the free entrance.

I want to linger on the subject of prices for a little longer, if I may. Firstly, all you rich frat-rock Rage fans played yourself by paying hundreds of dollars for tickets on eBay, when cats were slinging tickets for 20 dollars outside. Secondly, shout out to the Harlem hustler who was charging frat rockers 10 dollars to cross the bridge into Randall’s Island. I can’t at all knock him! Lastly and most importantly, Rocksteady’s yearly free festival, that has always been dope with loads of fresh indie acts, has been displaced from Manhattan like everything else that has poor or ethnic roots in the island of crime. All the while, the high profiting and Coke sponsored Rock The Bells tour sat comfortably in gentrified New York City.

Shot courtesy of Dallas Penn

I’m going to rock with a Fucked-with/Hated-on list format and give you a run down of the show:

Fucked with – Hated on:

Method Man being amped like the ginseng root. The rest of the Wu being kind of lethargic (some had to snort cocaine).

RZA still cursing incessantly. ODB not being there to curse incessantly.

Raekwon’s “Freeway” beard. Where was Ghost?

White frat boys having a nine-man wrestling match in the mud while black folks watched (shout out to Ralph Ellison). White frat boys.

Zack flipping the lyrics to “Freedom” on some anti-Bush administration shit. Anti-Bush lyrics are about 4 years too late.

Rakim Allah. Nothing about Rakim Allah.

David Banner not showing up. EPMD not showing up.

Ikon the Verbal Hologram being offensive. Kweli being positive and corny.

Unlimited Supplies of Rockstar Energy Drinks (both Orange And Guava). 7 dollars for a beer.

Hearing MF Doom rock again (its been a few years, and he’s got mad new hits). Missing most of the indie acts (I had to do some work in order to get in for free and missed out).

The millions of kids wearing army fatigue shorts and Wu-Tang t-shirts. The millions of leftovers from the 90s alternative rock-era.

Undergroundhiphop.com being there. Corporate Sponsorship.

Flava Flav’s stage diving. S1W’s looked less like a security force and more like geriatrics doing the electric slide.

Shot courtesy of Dallas Penn

“Girl-on-Girl Mud Fight” clip:

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76 Comments so far
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Sad state of affairs…..Rock Steady sounded kinda fresh though…….I thought about buying a ticket for Rock The Bells, but I knew in my heart it would be some ole weirdo shit………….can’t front on the line up though, not even Fresh Fest had that many heavy hitters……….A hundred dollars a ticket, whatever…………..Till this day the best show I ever caught was the “Hit Squad” tour…….Redman, Das EFX, E.P.M.D. , D.J. Scratch…..92 or 93……..A small intimate show for the hardcore …………….How can you have a “Rock The Bells” show without L.L. ………….I know James Todd Smith sucked for over a decade, but that is kinda suspect if you ask me…………….Anyway ,those pictures made the concert look shabby as a motherfucker…………HaHaHaHaHa..

Comment by shamz 08.03.07 @

Ummmm wow.where to begin? As a black male I personally will never ever ever go to this show.Look at what white people do to each other and I’m supposed to pay to get jumped by some drunk privileged euros?naaa they can keep that show.I did however go to RockSteady as I do every year because it’s been in Newark ever since they kicked them out of the bx and then out of the westside pier.EPMD(greatest rap group of all time) did show up and they brought along keith murray with them…yaaay.Just-Ice was there and he did all his hits.Chubb Rock was there and he did his hits and a Shabba Ranks tribute(rip).Craig G was there and he dropped some science,even Naughty By Nature was there(jersey reps) and did all the hits. I’m missing alot of acts I’m sure….but you know what? It was FREE AND ITS ALWAYS FREE. Randalls Island looks really suspect in those pictures and clips and I feel safer in downtown Newark. peace everybody

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.04.07 @

yah i was gonna buy tickets for the coachella show to see ratm, they were sold out in less than 30 seconds, my homie went and said the sound engineer fucked it up royally so they sounded like shit, glad i didn’t go, then rock the bells came around, vinnie paz, immortal technique, ratm, wu-tang were just a few of the reasons i wanted to go, then i found out the ticket prices and the fact that i would have to somehow make it all the way down to san bernadino and get work off, then it didn’t seem so plausible, so fuck it, i’ll let my homies report from the front lines for me, explain how there were too many people, it was too hot, the prices for water were inflated, and they couldn’t see the stage, hopefully then i’ll laugh while listening to the aforementioned on studio quality sounding downloaded mp3s, thanks herbs, thanks

Comment by gstatty 08.04.07 @

^^^ Mercilesz… Shabba didn’t die. He’s still alive far as I know.

Comment by DANJAMANIA 08.04.07 @

haha this article is really dead on.. i myself am a hip hop junkie, so when i got the chance to go for free i took it mainly cause i got so much love for bootcamp and rakim, and ofcourse there was like 20 other acts…. so minutes of me being there, i catch the last 5 minutes of boot camps 10 minute set, saw a jock dump his piss on some girl, and it started raining like it was armageddon…i really tried staying cause someone bought my ticket for me, but it was too hard watching fratboy rage fans continue to carryout the foolish white people stereotype, starting mosh pits to mos def, throwing glass bottles at peoples heads full of piss and so on… i realized this was the worst show ive ever been to 5 minutes into mos defs set, and i started to look around and really got anxiety from how crazy shit was… so i left hearing mos’ over the loud speaker while i walked out….they didnt even have an exit set up…people were looking at me like i was crazy for leaving the mud pits but really ill stick to shows that dont have a heavy rock band as a headliner or sells 12 soggy curly fries…fuck peter rosenberg

Comment by al roker 08.04.07 @

is that andalusia in the girl on girl mudfight?

Comment by rocks 08.04.07 @

chubb rock sed he did.im jus going on what a jamaican who likes reggae as much as me sed

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.04.07 @

big ups to my nizzle 4rizzle Idris Intifada…we go way back like receeding hairlines…water tower bombing missions..what u know bout that???? FREE RODNEY!!!!!!!

Comment by TSW Squad Deep since '93 08.04.07 @

i went to rock the bells on saturday, and rocksteady on sunday, seeing EPMD at both events. That one common performer is the only thing the two shows really shared. it was like a study in contrast, the corporate sponsored big ticket event vs. the rsc sponsored bus ticket event, and watching EPMD perform at both places it was evident how much of a difference it can make. i mean, they played almost identical set lists at both, but the show was completely different. Erick and Parish exuded professionalism as they ripped through there rock the bells performance, but they got very little energy back from the crowd. On the other hand in Newark, i wasnt alone in singing along with “its my thing” & “crossover”. i guess its just the difference between doing it to get it done, and doing it for the love… and rock steady is all about the love.

Comment by eyse 08.04.07 @

You can hate on white people all you want. yup, i agree it is pretty embarassing to see my fellow white people get cold dumb in the place. but let’s compare Rock The Bells to a typical “black show” (i apologize for having to use this crude term). yes, at a “black show”, you are a lot more unlikely see people embarassing themselves in such a blatant and un-self-conscious manner. but then take a look on stage and see a higher level of embarassment.

let’s face it, people in general are pretty embarassing. white people might be ignorant about black culture, but then a lot of careers are made by selling discs and tickets to those kids. MF Doom would have been long forgotten if not for an army of embarassing white kids.

Comment by eric 08.05.07 @

1st of all I was at Mf Dooms first show(10 yrs ago) in nyc at nuyorican when he changed from peachfuzz to supervillain and believe me the majority of the people there were black and hispanic.2nd there is no such thing as a white hip hop show since everyone you pay to see and hear is black or hispanic.3rd of all I am not embarrassed by hip hop artists at all because I grew up within this culture and actually understand what is going on on the stage.I am not an outsider to the musical form in the least bit.If you pay attention to the Randalls island clip notice one thing…No one is even paying attention to the stage.No one cares about the music at all.They can afford the ticket to get in but don’t really want to be there.I agree with eyse when he said he rather be at a show where there is love for the music.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.05.07 @

I would rather go to a DOOM show with White folks, then a Hurricane Chris show with my fellow Black people. Sorry, had to say it. A-Bay-Bay! And I just copped that MM…Food Special Edition CD+DVD+Poster+Sticker, nice.

Comment by Science Is Drought 08.05.07 @

lol….u think black people go to hurricane chris?lol…white people are responsible for the rise of that mtv shit.dont put that evil on me ricky bobby.white people are responsible for the demise of Hip hop….they support all the trash.when black people and hispanic people were the only people that knew about hip hop it was good.as soon as mtv put on hammer and vanilla ice and young mc hip hop died.we didnt buy that shit either…lol…you must be kidding me….

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.05.07 @

Here we go again……….That kid Eric sounds like some type of idiot……….Black people forgot about Doom, what and the hell would give you an idea like that…….Where do you live?, in a fuckin cave or something….{ no pun intended }……We can sit around and blame white people all we wan’t, but will it change anything?……..I know some white Hip Hop kids that are thorough……They know the history of this shit better than some brothers, truth be told………..Some brothers I know turned their back on Hip Hop 15 years ago when Puffy started ruining shit…………….The problem is black architects of this artform don’t have any control over something they started……point blank……..I don’t care about Vanilla Ice’s, Sage Frances’s, etc or none of those weirdos as long as we have viable alternatives those weirdos don’t even matter………..Don’t try to front on a whole race that would be wack, concidering Robbie {who is probably white} runs the illest site on the web………..Robbie you get a pass, that kid Eric needs a foot in his ass……….Smash up the right targets…………….

Comment by shamz 08.05.07 @

wait now…my emcee INK is white and he’s thorough as it gets.however white people used to diss hip hop and it was good then.now it sucks and they like it. all im saying is if u look at the history of black music in this country as soon as white people started buying it the companies started gearing it towards them which eventually destroyed the various artforms.the majority of white people in this country couldn’t give a damn about art and thats why there is no art within the music anymore. the funny thing is music in this country is segregated and u have to listen to certain stations to hear certain songs.when they talk about the british invasion i laff out loud because all it was was brits who got more black music to listen to then american euros.lol…im laffing right now.england didnt segregate its music scene like the land of the free and home of the slave did and thats y u have all those BLUES oh i mean rock groups from brittain.the whole thing is that white people who r in the know about our music participate and appreciate and make good contributions.these other guys that made gerardo and hammer and vanilla ice and young mc and jesse jaymes rap stars…well lets just say art can do with out them.oh yeah im still not going to that gay ass rock the bells corporate shit.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.05.07 @

Your right fam….True

Comment by shamz 08.05.07 @

shamz… when i say “black people forgot about doom”, what I mean is not that older KMD fans forgot about Zev, but that most of Dooms new, younger fans are white kids. Like I said, let’s be happy somebody is supporting these artists (even if in an embarassing manner).

I totally agree with you that hating on white people won’t change a damn thing. That is my point. If somebody has a problem with new artists, do like Robbie and spread the word about better artists.

Comment by eric 08.05.07 @

From Wikipedia:

“Genghis Khan failed to extinguish or even particularly hamper Islam in Central Asia, if that was even his intent, as the religion continued to define many local inhabitants culturally. In fact, by the end of the 13th century, Genghis Khan’s descendants had themselves become Muslims.”

Comment by eric 08.05.07 @


Comment by MERCILESZ 08.05.07 @

yah eric, really, wtf, aight, there are down whitees, there are down black folk, there are down latinos, there are down asians, i think that what it has to do with is class more than race, corporate sponsorship, the fact that most poor people can’t afford to go to this shit, and the fact that most the shit they play on the radio is wack and often times the only thing inner city yutes have the chance to listen to because they can’t afford to buy cds or own a cpu to download their shit, genghis khan aside, muhfuckas should have to take a damn quiz or hip hop test to get into shows with such historic lineups, and the frat boys that listen to rage, immortal technique, public enemy, the roots, mos def, jedi mind, etc. don’t pay attention to the lyrics and just join the bandwagon like mindless sheep, when you got fools throwin their urine at each other, it ceases to be about hip hop music and turns into a money-grubbing freak show fueled by artists looking to capitalize (emphasis on capital) on corporate branding and whoring themselves out, rage for example is too little too god damned late, as much as i love their message, immortal technique is what zach de la rocha could’ve been had he decided not to sit on the sidelines while the U.S. fucked the world, on top of that you know he must miss the financial stability aside from donating mass amounts of his profits to charities, i’m not sayin that i don’t like my share of dumb it out ig’nant shit, but lets be honest here, conscious or damn near comatose moralities don’t matter when it comes down to the fact that everyone is in it for the money

Comment by gstatty 08.06.07 @

To clarify, I don’t think white kids have better taste than black kids, nor vice versa.

gstat… i agree that class is a major issue. that said, i think there are more cultural and psychological forces at work. It is naive to think corporations completely control the direction of music, or that artists simply give in to “temptation”.

Quite simply, I believe young people today want to feel they are in touch with a sort of Black authenticity. Ironically, only a crude stereotype will accomplish this. Let’s say the music industry decided to promote a well-adjusted, educated, assimilated black man. People would be like, “That’s not a REAL Black man… he is just a normal person.”

People want entertainment and escapism, not reality, even if it comes at the expense of Black people and culture. And don’t think Black kids listen to this crude music because they don’t have money. They listen to it because it creates excitement and it mythologizes Black people. Even Black people fall prey to the myths. Also, this is how Black people are being portrayed to non-Blacks, therefore no doubt Black kids are going to want to be up on it and be a part of it.

With regard to Genghis Khan, I was merely pointing out that the oppressor is often won over by the culture of the oppressed. This was the case with the Mongolians, the Romans Empire, and now white people in America.

Comment by eric 08.06.07 @

Some of you clowns are just retarded.

on another note…

I wouldn’t have paid more then $20 for Rock The Bells.

From what my “sources” tell me…The RockSteady Anniversary was dope (eventhough it was held in Dirty Jers)…so once again…fuck Rock The Bells, and white, college, rich, frat boys playing with eachother in the mud.

Comment by AFFECKS 08.06.07 @

What do you expect when you go to a stadium show headlined by Rage and Wu Tang? Does anyone remember the Rage/Wu tour ten years ago? There were white boy riots at every show. Christ, its a fucking rock concert, not an in depth study of hip hop culture. Sounds like it was pretty fun anyway.

Comment by Mike G 08.06.07 @

I may be late, but i got to chime in. i hit up the Lyricist lounge sponsored “Celebrate Brooklyn” show in PRospect PArk. Laybybug Mecca from Diagable Planets was there and she rocked it. It was a breath of fresh air to see a female mc drop fly lyrics, while being sexy, without lookin like a big butt BET stripper with a blonde weave. (Love you, Ladybug!)

Comment by ron gallardo 08.06.07 @

yeah gallardo i was there .. that was wrong on krs part . hakim was ripppin it and it wasnt like krs was rhyming … anyway .. the folks at rock the bells were wyling out . but i bought the tickets to support the acts .. I was upset i missed bcc (who were one of the early acts unfortunately) and got to my spot when monche came on . One thing i do not like are such huge shows since they are less intimate .. but anyway .. monche did his thing .. as did kweli .. mos def was unprepared and really had a shytty show .. rakim and kapri tore it down as did PE and WU was good even without deini .. I guess since i shelled out loot for the show i have to support my decision . i left before rage got on so i cant really review their ish .. i been goin to RSC since 94 and sadly this was the first time i didnt go .. ITs funny how folks can sit here and judge .. There were a few yrs at RSC when the crowd was mostly white folks .. Doom really prolly has more white fans lets be real.. i wentto RTB for the music and yes i was annoyed by the drunk antics by them young white folks .. However we complain when we cant get a good hiphop show and we dont support the real acts cuz its “too expensive” but my people sell out summer jam in a matter of hrs . lets quit the bullshyt and put our money behing the artists we like and stop making excuses

Comment by dolo 08.06.07 @

summerjam tickets are given out by hot97…they buy all the tickets…..all of them….thats y its sold out……..

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.06.07 @

LOL yall hate on rage? They are like some early indie underground hip hop shit.

Comment by Dub One 08.06.07 @

classic thread.

gotta agree, massive shows are the worst way ever to get your culture fix. seen any footage of woodstock? say no more. and the ‘palooza scale shows do tend to be more about the crowd.. from my limited experience.

anyhoo, anyone notice Hip Hop become that little bit more wak around the release of Beat Street (in Australia)? that’s when my cracker ass got into it. sorry team. my bad.

Comment by Tiny Tyrant 08.08.07 @

merciless . they hand out alot of promos but dont get it twisted .. And dont lie to yourself acting like RSC aint been mostly white some years lol ..

Comment by dolo 08.08.07 @

naa not to my experience…i usually see everyone there.besides…who’s on stage?

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.08.07 @

well mercilesss i beg to differ on the RSC crowd. .i went a few years and it was mostly white folks ..

Comment by dolo 08.10.07 @

Laugh Out Fucking Loud at Americans and how they’re still caught up on the race shit.

You dudes need to get over that shit, honestly. All of you. Fuck it doesn’t MATTER! You had a festival with the all-time greatest line-up (pretty much) and you’re still finding stuff to complain about.

Just enjoy it.

Hey Robbie, what offensive shit did Vinnie Paz drop?

Gotta love the Hologram.

Comment by Coxman 08.10.07 @

Coxman… one could also choose to ignore global warming… but that doesn’t mean it will go away.

Comment by eric 08.10.07 @

no but it is retarded that you’re still so hung up on it over there. From what i cn gather mixed- race realtionships are nearly as hot a topic as soundscan numbers in the states these days.

Comment by step one 08.10.07 @

Dris held it down. Good article. Flashbacks to the 10 point Tibetian Peace Concert breakdown in Ego Trip

Coxman and Step One: You Sound White

Racism is a major issue in every part of the western world, whether or not the US Supreme Court wants to acknowledge it. 500 years of slavery does not just go away.

PS: I’m white too.

Comment by Therm 08.10.07 @

I want to retract my statement about David Banner. He represented here.
Kweli still comes mad soft.


Comment by idris intifada 08.10.07 @

I think people forget that the Civil Rights movement here in the US was only 50 years ago. Slavery not only affected race relations in the US, but we still see the ramifications in Africa. But regarding the concert, it sounds like the music was secondary. Peace

Comment by turtle 08.10.07 @

Im White.

Doesn’t mean shit. You dudes think the divide is a racial thing.

It isn’t. its a class divide. Ive got mates from all over the globe and a lot of them live in Melbourne, where I come from. They’re all just happy that they’ve gotten out of a war torn shithole ie the Sudan, Lebanon etc. Honestly race doesn’t mean shit. If you’ve got enough coin the colour of your skin is irrelevant.

They see beyond that “the man is holding the black man down bullshit”. The man holds the white, yellow and black man down. They don’t care what colour your skin is.

So why do you?

Comment by Coxman 08.12.07 @


Until I stop seeing only blond-haired, blue-eyed “Aussies” on television, I’ll continue to believe that Australia is as racist as anywhere.

And how are you qualified to speak on America’s race relation issues?

“Caught up in this race shit” – Have you read any of the history of the 20th century? What a comment!

Remember that Australian Aborigines didn’t get the vote until the mid 60s. Which utopian-bubble-suburb of Melbourne do you live in!?


Great site, by the way. A lot of knowledge here – thanks.

Comment by Tony M 08.12.07 @

Hey Cox…How many aborigine friends you got? oh thats right your government killed them and stole all their land….Hmmm sounds like good ole USA

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.12.07 @

are you dudes serious? I grew up in the, what you guys call the ‘outback’ but what we call the bush.

my mother spent her nursing years up in the Cape York Peninsula in Aboriginal communities helping young children be born and helping their mothers cope with the self destructing nature of those communities.

my Father, Alastair Cox, ran a property 300, 000 acres large and his overseer, the second in charge, was a half-caste named Bes Murray. Who is also my god father. The property is called Yanga Station, Yanga meaning ‘Mother’ in the local aboriginal dialect, and was just bought by the New South Wales state Government. It has a lot of historical Aboriginal artifacts on there and is a precious Jewel in the history of Australia.

Google it. its all on the Internet.

So yeah, I guess I do now a little bit more about that subject than Tony M and Mercilesz. I’ve seen the tragic affects of alcohol and domestic abuse on Aboriginal communities. I’ve seen old school friends of mine go down the same path. This is all firsthand experience.

As for the ability to comment on the US, I’ve got a great amount of knowledge about that subject. Once again its a class divide.

Did you not read the KRS interview? He touches on this directly!

Comment by Coxman 08.13.07 @

so i guess my point was, which I didn’t really make, is that African-Americans haven’t grown up in the conditions that Aboriginals have.

You were an enslaved race and that will naturally create a great divide. But, as an example, it doesn’t matter about the colour of your skin to have a great divide. I mean the English used to enslave and treat the Irish like animals because they were a ‘lower’ race then them. And the Irish are white as fuck!

It doesn’t matter about the colour of the skin, its about the unnecessary division of groups of the “enslaved” working class. Once you unite those people, regardless of race or religion, is when a true change in the way society is run will occur.

And the dudes in charge don’t want that to happen. So they keep promoting this type of shit and unfortunately the majority can’t see thats whats being done.

Comment by Coxman 08.13.07 @

Fine- but perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to start with the “Laugh Out Fucking Loud . . .” comment if you were after a sensible discussion, eh?

Comment by Tony M 08.13.07 @

Im hearing ya Tony M

Comment by Coxman 08.13.07 @

of course african americans and irish and aborigines have a similar experience. u know not of which you speak.Why is your mother helping people do things they had done thousands of years before the British Criminal population got there?Someone was birthing aborigine babies right…I mean they were there when you got there right?Then you speak of a caste system….The racism of that country is so deeply imbedded in your language/culture you don’t even know it’s there.We have a caste system in this country as well IT’S CALLED RACE….black and white duhhhhh…now which is the higher caste….which just got the right to vote in 1964 but had to pay taxes for hundreds of years…isn’t taxation without representation tyranny? I think a white guy said that…And the Irish being white? thats hilarious..Irish people are called Black in england and were sold on the same auction blocks as africans in this country…u better read a book homie…We have something called catholic school in this country designed for the specific purpose of teaching Irish kids there abc’s and multiplication table..don’t you know it was illegal for “non-white” catholics in this country to even go to school with protestant “whites”…i mean geez…everything you say shows me how much you don’t know although you are attempting to do the opposite.by the way the reason why all these people suffered the same plight is very simple….RESOURCES..The Brits don’t have em’ and Ireland,Africa,Australia and America do.The Brits had to destabilize the populations in order to take over the land and minds of the invaded countries and there are two ways to do it…1 create a caste/class/race system thats pits a society against each other and 2 terrorism/violence. I mean I don’t know what kind of shabby educational system they got down under but they are doing a good job of keeping it’s citizens blind and in line cuz damn….u r lost homie.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.13.07 @

Cox here’s your 1st assignment..read The Prince by an old italian dude named Machiavelli..the book gives you the blueprint for european world domination and was written before the european dominated a thing or even left europe…oh yeah it has nothing to do with Tupac either. 1

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.13.07 @

mercilesz I have a greater understanding of 40, 000 years of Aboriginal culture than can possibly understand. I grew up embedded within that culture. Surrounded by it. They are a truly great culture with incredible knowledge about nature and history of man. After they are the first great migratory race on the Planet.

If you think Aboriginal culture was perfect before white people arrived in that country YOU ARE WRONG.

There was the same abuse of power in their culture as in nearly all others on this planet. Aboriginal Elders were superior to the rest of the tribe. To the point where to even look one in the eye would be a severely punishable offence. They would get the best food, choice of women etc. Don’t even get me started on the suppression of women in that Tribal system.

Your ignorance is laughable. Please don’t try and inform me on aboriginal customs and ways. My mother was trying to push life expectancy of aboriginals beyond 30-35 year average. Before White people came to Australia Aboriginals would, maybe if they were lucky, live to their late 20s early 30s.

Aboriginals never had to pay taxes, I don’t even know where you pulled that from. Your knowledge of Australian colonization is weak. Please look into it a bit more before you make comments on my countries history. They worked on White owned properties for the right to live, eat and bring up their families there. Land which they had lived on for thousands of years and which they were the true owners of. But they were never taxed.

Are the Irish Black? No. Do they still have the same suppression that they once had? No. The System is Wealthy and the Non-Wealthy. Thats not debatable. Fact is not debatable. If you have the coin then you have power.

Your Tupac line is hilariously creative and funny. Maybe you be an emcee with that quick wit.*

*Please note the double coating of sarcasm on that comment. If you actually want to now Aboriginal history, TRUE Aboriginal history I can put you in touch with Aboriginal historians. It truly is a fascinating culture.

Comment by Coxman 08.13.07 @

u r insane cox.im glad im not from australia cuz they got kids running around brainwashed.how could u even dare to say that the BRITISH CRIMINALS WHO FOUNDED AUSTRALIA…CRIMINALS MIND YOU..BROUGHT BLACK PEOPLE SCIENCE IN AUSTRALIA AND RAISED THE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY?ur too far gone in the colonial bullshit..please throw out ur rap tapes immediately and join the neo nazis…they would love to have someone as uninformed and ignorant of world history as u r…please put down ruyard kiplings “the white mans burden” and just go help kill more natives.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.13.07 @

Clearly you’re an idiot. I’ve grown up with both White and Aboriginal history instilled within me.

You haven’t.

Also if you had knowledge of the situation within Britain at the time you would know, though you don’t, that a lot of those criminals were Political prisoners. Yes a lot were Murderers and Rapists but also a lot were people in high positions demanding huge changes in Society.

If you are going to drop knowledge please research it first.

Comment by Coxman 08.14.07 @

i think this conversation proves that, when it comes to race. civility might be more of an issue than class.

my assessment of this little back-and-forth is that things got off on the wrong foot when Coxman suggested that class — not race — is the most important factor in – ahem – RACE relations.

I think Mercilesz’ main point is that reducing racism to class doesn’t convey how Americans deal with or think about race.

A lot of people outside the U.S. don’t realize that a large percentage of African-Americans are not simply trying to be economically and politically equal to white Americans. If this were the case, then yes, Black people would try to ignore race and just blend in and “get along”. But I would say most Black people in America want to be accepted in this society without having to abandon Black culture and identity

Comment by eric 08.14.07 @


Comment by MERCILESZ 08.14.07 @

mercilesz… generalizations are at the heart of racism. ironically, you are full of them.

Comment by eric 08.14.07 @

cmon eric….cmon…really…cmon eric really now….race is a european concept created for conquest….its not based on generalizations at all.its a pseudoscientific concept created to justify the enslavement of people and the taking of their land.why r we in iraq? why did we kidnap aristide?why did we try to kidnap chavez?why have we been trying to kill castro for 50 years? we want THIER LAND..damn am i talking to college students and high schoolers or what? its like you guys are kids or sumthing

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.14.07 @

eric u r confusing racism with prejudice. racism is an institution that is used for conquest while prejudice is a generalization

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.14.07 @

many racists understand that we have the same DNA and that black people are not subhumans, yet they are still racist. the pseudo-scientific origins of racism have been widely discredited… yet racism persists.

Racism is not the same from person to person, nor from generation to generation. When one reduces racism to a single dynamic, it ignores the fact that racism has a wide range of manifestations and causes. Racism can vary widely from person to person. And racism is very much a cultural and psychological beast. That is why it is so hard to get rid of. A white person sees a black man driving a nice car and wonders… “Is he a drug dealer? Is he sex-crazed? Is he violent?”. That’s not some evolutionary theory from the 1500s. That is a psychological pathology. It is partly the result of cultural conditioning and propaganda, and it is partly the result of individual insecurity and fear.

Racism today has a lot of cultural, economic, and political elements to it. I don’t deny that class plays a big part in keeping racism alive. But at its heart, racism is about culture and psychology. We have a culture of racism in the U.S. Many white people find racism to be a convenient answer to some of life’s most common and universal questions: whom should I be afraid of? and whom should I blame for my problems?

Comment by eric 08.14.07 @

OK, no doubt, let’s delineate.

Could you give me an example of racial prejudice w/o racism, and vice versa (racism w/o prejudice)? I tend to think of the two as hand-in-hand.

Comment by eric 08.14.07 @

ok heres one dominicans are good at baseball:prejudice
black people have no soul and it’s ok to enslave them: bartolome de las casas (racism) :speaking on the same dominicans who play baseball in the majors.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.14.07 @

ok, no doubt, i agree w/ you in some respects. the first example seems more a stereotype, rather than prejudice or racism. some people might, in fact, idolize dominicans for their prowess at baseball, in the same way that Eric Clapton idolized Delta bluesmen.

the 2nd example is clearly overt racism, although i wonder how relevant such doctrines are to modern racism. modern racism may have its roots in these doctrines (much like anti-semitism has roots in The Elders of Zion), but it seems the current wellsprings of racism is more a function of segregation, media portrayals, class, culture, crime.

I can’t deny the roots, but then again, as another example, knowing that AIDS originally came from a monkey (or a laboratory 😉 doesn’t bring us any closer to a cure or preventing it from spreading from person to person. In other words, the blame game is important, only for its historical or ethical implications, not so much its practical value in solving the problem.

Comment by eric 08.15.07 @

Eric: good point.

Cox: It’s true that there is not really any such thing as “race”. But it is very real as an ideology that lies close the formation of the US, and the broader modern world.

I understand your desire to eliminate the issue of race, so we could focus on class based abuses of power. However, race often divides the lower and middle classes from uniting against the ruling class. This was a concious tactic of the antebellum slave masters. It continues today as politicians lure poor whites away from voting their economic interests by promising to roll back desegregation. I blame these politics for the recent supreme court ruling on school assignment rules in Seattle and Louisville.

Basically, race and class are inexorably tied together in this country. We can only move forward if we acknowledege the impact and significance of both.

Comment by Therm 08.15.07 @

eric and Therm : glad to hear two Americans(?) with a healthy and interesting outlook on the issue of Race and Class division.

It IS important to blame and name people(s) who have erred in the past. At some point in time most races/organized groups have been in a position of power to abuse another. England to Ireland, Europe to the Rest of the World, Mongolians to Europe, China to Tibet, Japan to Korea, Turkey to the Kurds, Sunnis to Shi’ites and vice-versa, Catholics to Protestants, Germans to the Jews, Jews to the Palestinians etc etc the list goes on and on.

If we, and I think that eric and Therm may have already reached this conclusion, as the Human Race acknowledge these faults we can move on. We can together, to quote Bill Hicks, explore Inner and Outer Space together instead of being caught up on the past. We live in the now, not what happened 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 or 2000 years ago. We should be taking advantage of the now instead of still being caught in the past and what our forefathers have done wrong.

I didn’t enslave or kill any Aboriginals, Japanese people my age didn’t kill any of my Grandparents during WWII, Germans my age didn’t kill Jews during that same war, White Americans don’t own any Black slaves. But I and like minded people can work to resolve those differences and ignorant attitudes that just continue to heap blame on certain people JUST BECAUSE OF THE COLOUR OF THEIR SKIN, NOT WHAT THOUGHT PROCESS OCCURS IN THEIR MIND, is most defiantly not learning from those past errors.

There’s two types of people in the world, those with an Open Mind and those with a Closed Mind. I can understand that some people won’t have their minds (ie Chakras) opened overnight but its up to those who have to help influence the rest and maybe one day we can all get their.

No offense to you in my comments Mercilesz but your incoherent ramblings, and Im not saying my are the most concise, do worry me about your thought process a bit.

Comment by Coxman 08.15.07 @

the reason why what i say is incoherent is because you aren’t well read enough to understand.if i have a book in hebrew and i cant read it does it mean the book has no words in it or does it mean im illiterate. seriously. oh yeah prejudice is a stereotype. race is an economic and political institution designed to justify the taking of other peoples resources.one cannot say we aren’t living in the past because there is no future without a past.the genocide of the indians and africans in this country through slavery was the most important event in the western hemisphere.that event created entire new countries and cultures of people that had never or would never had existed otherwise.lets start with a couple…cubans,jamaicans,puertoricans,hatians,brazilians,dominicans,colombians,and african-americans all would not exist if it wasn’t for slavery.now with that in mind think about this,that means if all those groups are a product of slavery then all of those cultures are A PRODUCT OF SLAVERY as well and the ultimate conclusion one must come to is that the CULTURES OF THOSE COUNTRIES ARE CULTURES OF SLAVERY.The inevability of the matter is that will never change just like the chinese still speak chinese and the europeans still speak broken latin.If our kids are taught not to care about the past which is what most european masters want from their colonies then they will never be prepared to change the present.Cox i want u to really think about this….my grandmother was a sharecropper in south carolina so in reality i am only one generation out of slavery.my father was born in the forties….black people couldn’t vote,attend a public school or a university,get treated at a hospital or even eat in a resturaunt legally in this country until 1964….1964….1964…he was damn near an adult by that time. just to put sumthing else in perspective for u using hip hop….diamond d was born in 1970 and el da sensei was born in 1968….i ask u cox what ancient far away times do u speak of when u talk about the african american experience in this country.like i said you have no idea of what you speak so go pick up a book or two for real.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.15.07 @

Who could deny that slavery has shaped this entire hemisphere? I don’t see anyone here suggesting otherwise. Has someone here suggested that we forget the past?

While I do agree that historical knowledge has great power, I do feel that some of us escape into the past as a result of feeling powerless in the present situation.

As a non-religious person, I say with confidence that I find the tendency of religious people to look to the past — for answers to current problems — to be one of the greatest perils we face. We need look no further than George Bush & Co. for an example.

To use another metaphor… we might have made a wrong turn on the road, but that doesn’t mean we should drive all the way back to the fork to understand where we should go next. I totally reject the theory that “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” THERE ARE PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR HISTORY AND YET STILL PERPETUATE THE CYCLE OF IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE (religious people, I’m looking at you).

We have the tools right here in the present day to understand the situation and to make a positive change. All we need is the will and the ethical framework. Personally, I would prefer not to look to the past for my ethical framework. I think it is pretty easy to see who is being wronged in our society; and the strategies to address those wrongs are in good supply. We just need to find the will and the non-religious ethics.

Comment by eric 08.15.07 @

MERCILESZ you missed the point of my post. Read it again, i won’t bother addressing you any longer.

eric – once again man, totally agree. You’ve got a good thought process bro, we need more of people like you out there.

have a good one fellas

Comment by Coxman 08.16.07 @

eric there is no history in roman christianity judaism or islam which is what i’m sure you are refering to as religion.i know why you think there is but there isn’t.Those religions use allegory as literal history in order to what?justify the taking of other peoples resources by downplaying the contributions to the world stage made by others.in fact the history that you don’t know is what you are doomed to repeat.check out the counsel of nicea and see what you learn about “religion”. religion was used to launch wars all over africa by the romans the arabs and then the europeans and religion is one of the most necessary elements in slavery.wow it’s just that you have no idea what happened on earth at all and that’s why you talk but have no solutions.you don’t know the problems.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.16.07 @

eric think about this. have you ever noticed black people don’t have their own religion?There is no black god for black people.black people are either in the arab army of islam or the europen army of christianity.that is not by accident. the arabs and euros needed to control the minds of their enslaved populations so they destroyed the 1st religions of the earth which were formed in africa and made some twisted political propaganda machines we now call the major religions.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.16.07 @

Christianity spread through Europe via the Roman Empire. The Romans, while occupying Judea, were not Christians. While occupying the Middle East, their subjects became Christians, and thus the leaders eventually became Christians. JUST LIKE THE DESCENDANTS OF KUBLAI KHAN BECAME MUSLIMS. What this means is that the so-called “EUROPEAN” religion of Christianity IS ACTUALLY A BROWN MAN’S RELIGION. Jesus was black, remember?

You say I don’t know what the problems are.

Well… you tell me… what are the problems?

Comment by eric 08.16.07 @

Sorry for the shouting. i just noticed that you stopped shouting. apologies.

Comment by eric 08.16.07 @

#1 judea is an allegory,it’s not a real historical place. I want you to read about the counsel of nicea so you can learn the history of christianity and it’s impact on europe and africa.#2 the biggest problem is that black people and hispanic people in south america have been stripped of their land.without land one has nothing and the powers that be don’t intend to give it up so how do you propose africans and hispanics can get their land back without being massacred.thats the problem that has plagued the 3rd world for hundreds of years.religion plays a big part in this because the neither the hispanics nor the africans have their own religion.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.16.07 @

wow those r some big letters howd that happen?

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.16.07 @

well, nothing quite kills the mood like saying “I want you to read ______”. It is condescending.

1. Judea. To me, Judea simply denotes the land known as present day Israel/Lebanon area. The entire area was colonized by the Romans. You are quibbling with me. Please stay on topic.

2. Land. Well, with regard to peasants and agriculture… I guess I agree. Although, since “whitey” controls international agricultural trade, even if blacks/latinos (and the asian 50% of the world you forgot to mention) owned their own land, they would still be subject to the whims of capitalism.

This theory of land also conveniently ignores the fact that about half the world lives in cities. Most people are laborers, not owners. I wish it weren’t like this. But let’s be realistic, at least.

I think the fundamental flaw in your utopian vision of a world where each brown person owns 2 acres of farm land is the principle of economics of scale. It is more efficient for agriculture to be done on a large scale. That said, theoretically, farms could be nationalized, but that has only happens under dictatorships. Not a good trade-off, if you ask me.

Most importantly, an economic system where people own small, individual parcels of farmland leaves these farmers incredibly vulnerable to both agricultural prices and the weather. This is why most small-scale farmers (e.g. white farmers in America, lest ye assume it is only brown people) leave their farmland and move to a city.

3. Religion. I think we agree for the most part, although I don’t think replacing whitey’s religion with a non-whitey religion is the answer. And, as I think I mentioned. Judaism/Christianity/Islam are originally an impoverished (and dare I say… enslaved) brown-man’s religion. I don’t think a “religion of their own” (which is just plain racist, btw) is a good idea. A new “brown people religion” would probably just be coopted and turned on and used against the very people who started it. Oh wait… that already happened… it’s called hip hop. :)

Comment by eric 08.16.07 @

yup. something is buggo with the comments.

Comment by eric 08.16.07 @

hip hop is not religion, I’m not talking about people owning acres, i’m talking about people owning their god given land and using the resources in it for the good of the country. right now that is not happening. africa and south america are very plentiful in resources but the africans and south americans dont own it.i want you to read about the counsel of nicea so you can see what christianity has become…a tool for oppression. it isnt condescending to recommend books it’s helpful. i wish someone had told me about these events when i was in middle/high school.

Comment by MERCILESZ 08.16.07 @

Well, FYI… I’m not in high school. I’m a 32 year old w/a BA in political studies. So yes, I think i can say it comes off as condescending.

my comment about hip hop being religion was levity. comic relief. irony. lightening of the mood.

Let me condescend for a second. Your mind is stuck in the past. i already said i agree christianity oppresses people, and I grew up going to church… i have witnessed it. why can’t you listen and accept some basic words from my mouth. lord have mercy.

with regard to this “ownership” thing. Have you taken any economics classes? Development econ? Have you done anything but read books and discuss them with some street corner Marxist crackpots?

Can you be specific at all about this “ownership”. Do you mean nationalization? Do you mean kill whitey? Do you mean Fidel? Do you mean Robert Mugabe? Do you mean Idi Amin? Do you mean Papa Doc? Baby Doc?

How can one separate people whose histories are intertwined? What do we do in Haiti? Brazil? Colombia? Mexico? You seem to be suggesting a new form of dispossession. It sounds like you want to remove white people from power, based on history and skin color, not current events.

Am I wrong?

Comment by eric 08.16.07 @

eric your knowledge is much appreciated.

cheers mate.

Comment by Coxman 08.17.07 @

coxman… glad we connected. between the three of us, i think we share a fundamental view: that we need to deal with these global issues in a non-violent manner. or, at least I hope this is our shared view. respect to mercilesz. i appreciate the discussion.

Comment by eric 08.17.07 @

It has been a good one. Im just going to add one more thing to it.

Ive spent that last four months in Greece and Turkey. In Greece I spent the majority of my time with my cousins Greek boyfriend and his mates. Its been a most educational trip I must say.

Their attitude towards this topic is simply this : every nation/race of beings has their day in the Sun. Power ebbs and flows from one sphere of influence to the next. It may last 500 hundred years, it may last 50 but the one consistency is that groups of people in power get lazy. And the hunger of the other groups of people spurs a natural changing of the guard.

White people haven’t and won’t always be the most dominant race of people on the Earth. History tells us that. Probably the next most dominant will be the Chinese. Power breeds arrogance in the ruling group and contempt in those who they control.

Give it time and we will all see. Maybe it will even be in our lifetimes.

Comment by Coxman 08.18.07 @

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