In 2011, a young black female rapper named Chapter Jackson produced a parody video called; "It’s Free, Swipe Yo EBT." The video went viral and has had more than 1.2 million hits on Youtube. I played it on the air at the time, and blogged about it, writing:
"Moocher Nation has its anthem. (And yes, I know it's a satire... which is encouraging in a way. (CAUTION: Very explicit language. Definitely NOT work safe.)
I also devoted a segment of the show to talking about how edgy it was. Over the last year and a half we’ve played excerpts several times, including a short excerpt last Thursday.
Cue the unhinged left.
Here’s the letter that the chairman of the state Democrat Party, Mike Tate, wrote to my boss Steve Wexler on Friday:
"I’m writing to see what measures you are taking to respond to the airing this past Thursday by Charlie Sykes of a virulently racist parody of food stamp recipients.
"The material is racist on its face, so I ask how it was aired?
"The source material was produced by a white segregationist whose work is celebrated by neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups. I also am curious just how Sykes or his producers stumbled upon this little sugar plum. How did Sykes and his crew come upon this?
Tate goes on to demand (again) that I be fired.
"This type of race baiting is not worthy of the state’s largest radio station and is PLENTY worthy to justify removing Sykes, whose entire show seems based on a foundation of white resentment and who has a long history of racial insensitivity."
Neo-nazis? White supremacists? Segregationists?
For students of this sort of thing, this frothing-at-the-mouth race baiting was the stock in trade of now defrocked Democrat spokesman Graeme Zielinski. Although stripped of his role as party spokesman, Zielinski remains on the payroll and is back to his conservatives-are-neonazis rants. He is obviously now Tate's ghost-writer.
But even by Zielinski’s standards this is bizarre stuff, deep in the fever swamps of his paranoia.
Actually, Tate/Zielinski are way behind the curve. The video is hardly obscure or breaking news . On Youtube, it has had more than 1.27 million hits.
(Speaking of Moochers, A Nation of Moochers" will be coming out in paperback on April 13. I’m sure Tate/Zielinski won’t like that either.)
So my listeners are quite familiar with it, even if Tate/Zielinski never heard of it. (I’m guessing that at the time it came out, they were too busy unsuccessfully trying to recall Scott Walker so maybe they just missed it.)
So what’s the video about?
It's a powerful satire/parody by a bright young black woman named Chapter Jackson. It's not about race: it's about behavior... and welfare programs run amok. On her Facebook page Chapter says: "I write, arrange and produce my own songs. I love to write about subjects people don't like to talk about. …"
This is what the artist wrote on her Youtube page:
"Chapter plays roles in her music videos using "Satire" which is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon."
She is tough young woman. In the interview below, Chapter explains that she was abused as a child and felt her mother was just having kids to get benefits. She went on to get a college degree so she wouldn't be dependent.
This is the artist who Tate/Zileinski describe as "virulently racist."
But listen to what she has to say for herself: in this video she talks about her work and in the segment from 2:10 to 3:45 she describes her reaction to the EBT and welfare issue.
In what way is this "racist on its face?" I would love to hear Tate/Zielinski debate the question with Chapter herself. Something tells me that's not going to happen. And I doubt that any of the media who repeat their charges will bother to talk with the singer herself, because that would blow the narrative all to hell.
The language in the EBT is admittedly sometimes crude, (thus the language warning back in September 2011) but it is hardly unusual for rap. Consider these lyics from Barack Obama’s new BFF, Jay Z.So that can’t be the problem for state Democrats (who obviously don’t have a problem with rappers using the n-word, the f-word, he b-word, or even the c-word.)
The real problem , of course, was that the video was highly politically incorrect, which is why the speech police are unhappy. And why they want to use it to shut me up.
Their tactic here is to imply that we shouldn’t pay any attention to Chapter or to her message. Instead, Tate/Zielinski focus is on allegations that (1) a guy named Christopher Jackson is the real force behind the video and that (2) his work has been posted on some racist websites.
BTW: Isn’t it awfully condescending and racist to suggest that the video is the work of a middle aged white guy, rather than the young black woman who made it?
"While browsing Marty Nemko, a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report's blog site I found a disturbing essay of one man's account of what it's like to teach students of color."
I have no idea who also printed the essay or whether they had his permission to do. And I don’t care.
If a neo-Nazi website reprints a Dan Bice column, for example, does that make Dan Bice a neo-Nazi? If a Communist Party website reprinted a rant by Mike Tate, would that make Tate a Communist? That sort of guilt by association seems a bit of reach even for the new neo-McCarthyite race baiters.
Chapter's work stands on its own. It's edgy. It's provocative. And it gets people talking.
Bottomline:I’m not going to let crackpots from the right or speech police from the left tell me what I can say or what I can play. And I'm not going anywhere.