songs of love and hate: shoot the boer

Is rap music a cultural commodity basically to titillate and spice up the mayonnaise and white bread diet of the white audience? The hyper-masculine enlivening experiences within a dominant, essentially conservative, consumerist, racist and militant preponderant white society with its labyrinth of jerry-mandered structural walls and few, tottering and dangerous bridges to something more sustainable and fulfilling; nonethless a culture which is pulled in two opposing senses, the incarnation of the Jungian split personality, with its dissociative states, the former real, struggling and losing against the persona and ego, Jung’s “daemon” which can’t be brought to heel in the face of the forces of love and compassion, empathy spit on with neglect and the ugly confidence of money….

Image: Read More: interpreter seeks his own salvation, as he is in danger of annihilation with the vagueness and the void resulting from current false consensus. In Benjamin’s thought, as in traditional Judaism, "the messianic time" bursts into the "now-time." However, in his philosophy it momentarily penetrates the continuity of the vain progress of catastrophic time and creates in it a special extra-temporal point, at which time ceases to flow and a redeemed space of time is constituted, and at which it is possible to try to call things by their true name and to fight the "evil"' celebrating its victory. The struggle for knowledge turns out to be a moral struggle for the good life by an isolated individual, who at most can hope to break the continuum which in principle is always victorious, and to which historical "progress" has been handed over ever since the "first sin." Within this context, redemption is disclosed as an overcoming of history, and as a rescue of the very possibility of moral struggle for the institution of authentic selfhood through the defeat of the principle of individuation and by regarding the other as an object for manipulation for the sake of realizing selfish goals. This salvation proves dependent on a kind of knowledge different from the teleological, the violent, the victorious knowledge, which is always produced out of the vain progress.---

“Shoot! Shoot! Shoot them with a gun / Shoot the Boer (Farmer) / Shoot! Shoot! Shoot them with a gun / Ma, let me shoot the Boer / Shoot! Shoot them with a gun / These dogs rape us / Shoot! Shoot! Shoot them with a gun.” -Julius Maleema

In the case of Julius Maleema, a kind of un-neutered Jay-Z pioneer in the wilds of South Africa, the new frontier of occidental capitalist investment- Walmart in the bantustans- its easy to see that music by Maleema is hardly on the fringes, the stretched margins of the Westen nation state, the end game of John Stuart Mill liberal enlightenment, but rather the lava at its bubbling core of the volcano which erupts at regular intervals with its toxic ash. Instead of being viewed as a disruptive or pathology of the norm, it should be seen as part of the convention, the status-quo, that needs positive reinforcement at regular intervals to secure its status and distinction as the embodiment of the norm.

Throughout American history, white Americans have expressed fascination with black culture. This fascination has often manifested itself within the entertainment industry. Through the voyeuristic mechanisms of radio, film and television, white Americans have been able to safely regard African Americans without having to make intimate contact with them. In order to maintain this distance, according to Ralph Ellison in his controversial essay “Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke,” white Americans have forced African Americans to don masks which conceal their true identity while, at the same time, allow white Americans a safe glimpse of the exotic black Other. Notably, these masks are most often worn for the sole purpose of white entertainment. A deeper purpose, however, lies beneath this mask….

Image: Read More: ---... The dimension linking positive utopianism and the thought of redemption is clarified in Benjamin's negative utopianism (on which we shall elaborate when discussing his philosophy of history) and in the philosophical struggle (as a serious aesthetic game) for the salvation of the soul, which assumes the state of redemption and demands the negative utopian struggle. However, it is already possible to point to the clearly Cabalistic dimension merging into Benjamin's thought, whose yearning for the eternal, for the completely other, suppresses the temporal, the political, the ever-transient within reality. The appropriate political attitude is defined as "nihilion”.(18) Eternity - the completely other, presented by Benjamin in the metaphor of the reality of "the language of paradise" - splinters into small fragments. Only by means of the fractures of contingency and of the awareness of absence can we find redemption, standing beyond the indefinite anticipation of the last catastrophe, which appears as the critique of given reality and as its negation. Benjamin followed Franz Rosenzweig on this issue. He knew Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption, and even wrote a review of it. The personal route taken by Horkheimer and Adorno, who needed decades of development for their thinking to mature, was already apparent in Benjamin's dialectic between the conception of utopia and the thought of redemption, and within the thought of redemption itself....

…Black culture, this seemingly exotic entity, also intrigues whites because of its ability to offer them an opportunity to act out against the conventions of mainstream white society. In her essay “Eating the Other,” bell hooks contends that, in accordance with this fascination, “ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.” Significantly, only white males are permitted to express this fascination. ( Bell Hooks )

…but pennant races are often decided on the final day of the season, the final out, so the old adage of hanging in when things look their bleakest is a summation and affirmation of Viktor Frankl and the will to meaning, ultimately knocking out the will to power and the will to pleasure. At least in the optimistic view….The question of whether these kinds of shocks, a Maleema video as esthetic experience , as the individual becomes conscious of sensation and emotion as things in themselves, and the more common, ordinary and likely experience, in which they stimulate and are linked with a call to action, an incitement, that reinforces patriarchy, obscures the inherent qualities of the art form, and implies that the work has little or no meaning in themselves other than as a commodity, another fragment in Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.

As Donald Kuspit as said, ” it requires a sort of willing suspension of belief in the world of action. The world of action’s indifference to esthetic experience , even denial and dismissal of it as inhibiting the action necessary to survive in society, does not help matters…”

…ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s singing of the words “shoot the boer” amounted to hate speech, Judge Collin Lamont ruled in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday. “The singing of the song by Malema constituted hate speech,” said Lamont. The words undermined the dignity of people and were discriminatory and harmful. ”No justification exist allowing the words to be sung… the words were in any event not sung on a justifiable occasion.” Lamont said it was not relevant whether the words were not exposed to some people of society. ”If it is exposed to a portion of society then it is relevant.” Words are powerful weapons that could lead to disastrous actions and even genocide, Judge Collin Lamont said on Monday. ”The words of one person inciting others…that’s how a genocide can start,” he said in handing down judgment in a hate speech case against ANC Youth League president Julius Malema….

Image: Read More:’s-tune-full-of-death-and-despair/ ---Julius Malema is not just any “freedom singer.” Many consider him the most popular person in South Africa and believe him to be a future president. He is the leader of the Youth League of the African National Congress and the hero of millions of young (very militant) ANC supporters. In recent weeks he has threatened the sovereignty of neighbouring Botswana, claiming that country’s government doesn’t reflect the views of Africa. He has commended Robert Mugabe on his seizure of white-owned farms and promised to do the same in South Africa. He also threatens to take over white-owned businesses and properties, and to nationalize banks and mines. This young multi-millionaire benefitted handsomely from dubious tender contracts. Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress claims that the song in question, Kill the Boer, kill the farmer, is part of their “struggle” history and sho

never be banned. The song itself is ominous: “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot them with a gun / Shoot the Boer (Farmer) / Shoot! Shoot! Shoot them with a gun / Ma, let me shoot the Boer / Shoot! Shoot them with a gun / These dogs rape us / Shoot! Shoot! Shoot them with a gun.” More than 3,000 farmers and their families have been murdered by young black men since 1994. The majority of them were tortured to death.---

Lamont said in determining the outcome of this case the court had to analyse the meaning of the words in the “shoot the boer” song, and its effect on society. Single words and a group of words had “elastic meanings”. The words Malema sang had not been forgotten as they were derogatory and hurtful.He said the response of the public was relevant to check the entirety of its context. Genocide was defined as “the deliberate and systematic destruction” of an ethnic, religious, or national group. Lamont likened the songs by Malema as those sung by soldiers when they were at war. ”Soldiers in battle don’t treat the enemy as individuals but as a thing [a unit].” Lamont said the difference was that soldiers were singing to celebrate.A video of Malema singing “shoot the boer” was shown during his hearing. ”He executed rhythmic movement… making the shape of a firearm… and certain gestures were made,” said Lamont. An armed person was one in power and one who intimidated, the court found. Lamont noted that unfair discrimination remained rooted in certain structures of society….

Read More:’s-tune-full-of-death-and-despair/

…Racial discrimination of one group or community over another could not be justified, and certain groups did not enjoy “superior status” over others in a democracy. Since apartheid, transformation had been difficult for some in South Africa.”Certain members [of the public] embrace the new society, others found it hard to adjust… it will continue for some time. There can be no transformation without pain,” said Lamont. The court heard that the Constitution provided for equality, and the eradication of social and economic inequalities. South Africa had international obligations under the United Nations for peace and unity including the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, and discrimination against women. Lamont traced South Africa’s history from the period before settlers started arriving in South Africa, through the years of white minority dominance.He described it as a case of “social conflict” and launched into a long explanation on the context, background and history of the struggle against apartheid.

He said the apartheid system left wounded memories to the survivors, and described democracy as a “negotiated transition”. Certain aspects of the past may “never be fully reversed”, but reconciliation and national unity were meant to heal the divisions of the past.The African National Congress consisted of the “suppressed majority” of apartheid.Malema was not in court, even though his disciplinary hearing before the ANC was put on hold for Monday to allow him to attend proceedings.Outside court, a small group gathered to show their support for Malema. “We will follow Malema anywhere,” one of them said.But in contrast to the usual rousing singing and sea of supporters, the pavement was starkly empty.A police officer said there had been no application for a gathering permit but police had prepared for a “spontaneous gathering”.AfriForum Youth, which is part of the rights lobby group AfriForum, opened a civil case against Malema in the Equality Court after he sang the words “dubhula ibhunu”, which translate to “shoot the boer”, at a number of ANC Youth League gatherings last year.It believed the words were threatening to minorities, a threat to the safety of Afrikaners and farmers, and that the phrase was hate speech.Malema and a host of ANC witnesses disagreed saying it was part of the party’s history and should not be taken literally. Read More:


According to Dr. Keith Clark, black society has traditionally been labeled an “outlaw” culture. Notably, black culture, as manifested in rap and hip-hop music, is most often embraced by white youth. Thus, it makes sense that young, white, male teenagers, when trying to assert and define themselves against the dominant group, turn to black culture in order to do so. Accordingly, in describing why rap appealed to him and his male friends, Andy says, “It’s kind of like an escape; it’s like its different.” Essentially, he implies that young, white men are drawn to the escapist and exotic aspects of rap and little else. Given the fact that my white informants reported that their interest in rap waned dramatically once they grew older, it is a short-lived embrace, for these youth most often “outgrow” this fascination.

In keeping with Andy’s emphasis on escape, rap also provides these young men with an opportunity to rebel against mainstream society and parental rules due to its adulterated content centered upon such taboo subjects as sex, drugs and violence. Read More:

…Bell Hooks:To white dominated mass media, the controversy over gangsta rap makes great spectacle. Besides the exploitation of these issues to attract audiences, a central motivation for highlighting gangsta rap continues to be the sensationalist drama of demonizing black youth culture in general and the contributions of young black men in particular. It is a contemporary remake of “Birth of a Nation” only this time we are encouraged to believe it is not just vulnerable white womanhood that risks destruction by black hands but everyone. When I counter this demonization of black males by insisting that gangsta rap does not appear in a cultural vacuum, but, rather, is expressive of the cultural crossing, mixings, and engagement of black youth culture with the values, attitudes, and concerns of the white majority, some folks stop listening….

image: Read More: traveller girls celebrating. Dale Farm. Hooks:One cannot answer them honestly without placing accountability on larger structures of domination and the individuals (often white, usually male but not always) who are hierarchically placed to maintain and perpetuate the values that uphold these exploitative and oppressive systems. That means taking a critical looking at the politics of hedonistic consumerism, the values of the men and women who produce gangsta rap. It would mean considering the seduction of young black males who find that they can make more money producing lyrics that promote violence, sexism, and misogyny than with any other content. How many disenfranchised black males would not surrender to expressing virulent forms of sexism, if they knew the rewards would be unprecedented material power and fame? More than anything gangsta rap celebrates the world of the "material, " the dog-eat-dog world where you do what you gotta do to make it. In this world view killing is necessary for survival. Significantly, the logic here is a crude expression of the logic of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

…The sexist, misogynist, patriarchal ways of thinking and behaving that are glorified in gangsta rap are a reflection of the prevailing values in our society, values created and sustained by white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. As the crudest and most brutal expression of sexism, misogynistic attitudes tend to be portrayed by the dominant culture as an expression of male deviance. In reality they are part of a sexist continuum, necessary for the maintenance of patriarchal social order. While patriarchy and sexism continue to be the political and cultural norm in our society, feminist movement has created a climate where crude expressions of male domination are called into question, especially if they are made by men in power. It is useful to think of misogyny as a field that must be labored in and maintained both to sustain patriarchy but also to serve as an ideological anti-feminist backlash. And what better group to labor on this “plantation” than young black men. Read More:

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