One need not have seen the maniacal demented behavior of the so-called Facebook Live Killer, Stevie Stevens to have been overwhelmed by the scourge of mindless violence that has engulfed the human psycho as well as media outlets – not only recently, but over the days, weeks, months, years, decades and centuries. The culture of violence is upon us and has been – with an accompanying tone of desensitization and Hypernormalization, which means people have ‘given up’ and now may simply ‘shrug their shoulders’ at blatant atrocities which interrupt their video game or third helping of flapjacks.
Too often people simply look at the overwhelming matters afflicting the communities we live in and submit to the enormous task at hand. To find an alternative to violence and develop healthy ways to problem-solve around violence. Hip-Hop culture itself developed of an intrinsic need for Peace, Love, Unity, Havin’ Fun and Knowledge, where these powerful principals and practices were scarce and not championed on a large scale. A state of hypernormalization is termed by Professor Alexei Yurchak (Cal Berkley) as a frame of thought wherein, “everyone knew the system was failing, but as no one could imagine any alternative to the status quo, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretence of a functioning society…” An interesting film by the British Broadcasting Company’s Adam Curtis (Hypernormalization, 2016 – available on YouTube) addresses this notion and fatigued and helpless state of mind. So, what is the alternative? Or at least a solution?
Hip-Hop culture has its role is largely sitting on the sideline as an observer – against all of its founding principles and purposes. The Hip-Hop community (Zulu Nation, Temple of Hip-Hop, Union of Hip-Hop, MCs, DJs, B-Boys/Girls) are not required to do anything – what seems to pass for action today is an occasional #BlackLivesMatter rally or even just cell-phone-recording the latest beatdown or altercation – disappointing to say the least. Again, there is one way to begin approaching one aspect of violence. Calling it out for what it is and what it isn’t is one beginning approach. As it relates to religious violence – the calls of ‘Allah U Akbar”, “White Power” or whatever people have to exclaim as they commit wanton, random and targeted acts of violence is to identify the hypocrisy and call out the falsehood of those committing violence agains innocent people in the name of those who would never permit violence against innocent and vulnerable people/beings. That would of course be people like the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Jesus The Christ, The Creator/Great Spirit/The Most High and many others.
I say this to raise the collective consciousness and principle of accountability to those who have committed inhumane atrocities in the name of institutions which proclaim guidance to a state of righteousness and honorable acts. This is not a recent development. The first slaveship was named after Jesus The Christened One – the entire institution would be biblically justified, the continuing corruption of Islam for the gain of selfish gain by individuals and the endless list of justification for violence, corruption and destruction remains a long one. Why validate impostors who are misguided, misled and as a result misrepresent the various spiritualities and religions to fulfill selfish desires and goals. Why not call them to task? Are Ku Klux Klan members practicing ‘Christianity as they profess, preach and practice hatred in the name of Jesus? I think not. Are murderers and bombers of completely innocent civilians (elders, women, children, etc) fulfilling the commandments of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and Islam? I would say hell-to-the-naw. How about the rampant molestation of children – is that a pillar of pride for Catholics and Cathedral? I know many Is the continued replication of inhumanity inflicted upon Palestinians not a model of what was committed agains the European Jews (whom now call themselves Israeli’s) during World War 2? Hmm… Some simple questions to ponder.
Well, these matters are not as complex as we would be led to believe, but what is complex is the hesitance for people to engage in meaningful dialogue and action that could bring peace and wisdom from the wraths and ravages of violence. Or have we been desensitized and Hypernormalized? This is but one, approach – to debunk and call out the impostors who claim that their brand of violence, destruction and inhumanity is somehow justified and a ‘good idea’ or done on behalf of God, Allah and/or The Creator. As if the supreme being needs your raggedy help with anything…
In 1992, I had the blessed privilege to observe and learn from the leadership of Tony Bogard – one of the OGs from Watts/LA, California who was one of the architects of the LA Gang Peace Treaty… He was courageous enough to challenge a culture of ignorance, poverty, violence and mass murder – it cost him his life, but I continue his legacy and it could cost me my own, but in service of those who may not be able to think, speak and/or act for themselves – his service is immortal. Does it not bother you when the imperfect mortals destroy everything around them and the prospects of future generations in the name of God/Allah/The Creator?
What The Dilly, Yo?!
Peace, Love & Courage,
Jose S. Gutierrez Jr.
Jose is an Editor, Writer/Writer, Media Professional, Executive Consultant, Gangologist, Hip-Hopologist Cultural Specialist and Professor. He has spent more than two decades as a professional communicator, organizational strategist, public servant and educator/student – Jose calls Lacey/Olympia, Washington home.