Invite To Fight

When I got a forwarded email late yesterday about the vandalizing of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation for the Arts this past weekend, I immediately replied to the sender asking them to call me with more info. When the sender hit me back with “who is this? what did you want to talk about?”, I realized that I had acted on impulse and had absolutely no clue who sent the email. All I knew was that I was appauled and felt the need to get to the bottom of the situation and spread the word, because at that point, the news of this happenning was only available through loose emails and instant messengers.

Since I don’t live too far from the TASF, I figured I’d go down there to see what happened for myself. I also wanted to speak to someone there and get some information so that I could share it through the various mediums I have access to, including this blog. When I arrived, I could see that the noose had been removed from the Tupac statue’s neck. As I circled around the parking lot a TASF employee came out and pretty much told me that all of the vandalism had been cleaned up, that it was closing time (5Pm) and that he was going home for the day. In essence, they kept it moving.

In that little span of time, I realized that I acted on impulse, with no concrete plan of action, just an idea. I was going off emotion. Most likely, if I were able to get some information, I would have written an emotionally charged blog, possibly passing whatever anger I felt on to a reader, possibly leading them to either do something productive or counter-productive.

Then I thought to myself, I wonder what some of my favorite, and un-favorite, rappers are feeling like right now, or if any of them had heard about this yet?

Were they angry like how I was?

Did they feel attacked like I did?

Did they get the urge to want to drive down to the TASF to check up on things or hop on the phone and call around for more information?

Did they feel like they needed to record a song, the same way I felt compelled to write a blog?

Were they going to hop on the internet and radio to respond to this with the same speed that they do when a silly rumor is getting spread about them?

Not saying that I would really expect alot of rappers to do that. I mean, like so many of them remind us time and time again, they are just “rappers” who “entertain” and “reflect America’s harsh realities”…like candy paint, scandalous hoes, hatin’ ass niggas and ounces of dat kush. I was just thinking those things for the simple fact that so many rappers claim to be “real” like ‘Pac and crown him as their favorite rapper. I wondered what they was thinking since ‘Pac is considered to be the benchmark for “real niggas” everywhere.

But yeah, now that I’ve had a chance to calm down and digest the information I’ve gotten from both people close to the situation, the news and what the notorious Dekalb County Police Department is choosing to share (they’re not telling you that the vandalism was seen by staff members who were planning on meeting at the TASF to organize an anti-police brutality rally the day of) I see it for what it is–an invitation to fight.

As if killing Sean Bell wasn’t enough. As if the Jena 6 situation wasn’t enough. As if blaming young Blacks and rappers for some shit that old White men say isn’t enough. As if the nooses at Columbia University, Ozone Park, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Connecticut weren’t enough. Finally, someone just said fuck it and attacked something and someone that, whether you like it or not, is one of the most prominent figures in Hip Hop and the African diaspora.

Its a slap in the face. I’m asking, what can we do to slap back? Can’t grab any pistols, you know what they do to you if you have one too many guns. Plus, like ‘Dre 3000 said: “nigga they made them gats, that got some shit that will blow out our backs, from where they stay at.” Maybe we should use our brains like how that voice at the beginning of “White Manz World” from the Makaveli album suggessted and push our local and government officials to create laws such as this. That could be a start.

To quote KRS at the BET Hip Hop awards (again), Hip Hop is being asked to step up and speak on issues that aren’t even ours. Well, I think its safe to say that Hip Hop has officially been invited to the party. We kicked and fought not to get involved in anything too heavy. But now, someone has litterally and figuratively took us by a rope and drug us into some shit. What now?

  • Around and Around

    Real good post.

    Garland says,
    As if killing Sean Bell wasn’t enough. As if the Jena 6 situation wasn’t enough. As if blaming young Blacks and rappers for some shit that old White men say isn’t enough. As if the nooses at Columbia University, Ozone Park, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Connecticut weren’t enough. Finally, someone just said fuck it and attacked something and someone that, whether you like it or not, is one of the most prominent figures in Hip Hop and the African diaspora.
    —————-
    Exactly what I was thinking when I heard about the Pac statue.
    So in what major city is the riot going to happen in 2008?

    • http://XXLMAG.com Dekoven

      Okay, this noose around the neck thing is spreading amongst the haterz like wild fires, and yes we need to call upon our elected officals to set policy for such offenses. What I really want to know, and please respond ASAP, is about the individuals who commited this act, and were arrested. Why haven’t their pictures, and names been posted all accross the TV, and web so we know what they look like? Everytime a black man commits an offense, his pics get plastered on tv, internet, bilboards, and bus stop signs. Can someone make the playing field a little more closer to fair??

  • http://www.myspace.com/crockerishiphop Crocker

    As I Caucasian emcee, I can honestly say Mr. Garland that the whole ordeal offended the hell out of me and yeah, my first thought was something like, “I wish those stupid hick motherfuckers would bring that shit around the Upstate of South Carolina.” Shit honestly, I’d just like to get all the prominent members and supporters of white supremacy, line em up Nazi style, and plug every last one of em. People that crave attention will do desperate things to evoke emotion from people…… they took it too far with that though.

  • Fire

    Awesome blog, man. Good job with all the informative links, especially the ones to the Senate and House of Representatives. There are definitely a lot of things that need to be changed, and you highlight them here. Thanks. I never knew about that murder in the DeKalb County police department. That’s some messed up shit.

  • http://www.myspace.com/absolutelyandrea Andrea

    Great blog, Mr. Garland. I know what you mean but saying you don’t EXPECT the rappers to do those things you mentioned, but I DO! and WE SHOULD! i’m so tired of them getting themselves off the hook with the bullshit that they
    1) aren’t role models,
    2) can’t stand up for nothin but themselves… oh, and i’m sorry, freedom of speech sometimes,
    and
    3) are united with the people when they don’t even acknowledge the peoples’ struggles and attempts for empowerment.

    i’m over it all! and you should EXPECT more from them. they have a voice that reaches beyond the country – sometimes throughout the world – and they need to find some responsibility in it!

  • TMB

    “We kicked and fought not to get involved in anything too heavy. But now, someone has litterally and figuratively took us by a rope and drug us into some shit. What now?”

    Great post. I’m very happy to see you get the ball rolling. Hip-hop has the potential to create political change — what’s unfortunate to see is people given the opportunity to make that change who fail to live up to that expectation (recent actions by some the Jena 6 and David Banner for example).

  • smog

    doesnt afina hold that shit down?, im not to concerned about making sure some rapper will respond. im sure she will know what to do.

  • Clint Southwood

    These Keebler Elves make me sick!!!!!!!

    I mean the days of scaring Africans is over have these people been the hood lately. A noose on a statue? A noose on a statue? HAHAHAHAH That’s the best you got I seen and heard about teenagers getting killed in the middle afternoon over rim, girls, drugs, and money you think hanging a noose around the neck of rapper who was killed over the same things kids are dying everyday for “Hood Stripes”. I thought you Kebbler Eleves were smarter than that??? I remeber reading this book when I was in high school called “The Elite Serial killers of MLK,JFK, and Abraham Lincoln” and dude talked about how the people who were funding the war would pay people to go out in the community to start problems and altercation to take away from the real problem at hand. Yeah go ahead and crucify our athletes and entertainers, go ahead and pump guns, drugs, and sex in our culture. But remember it cost more to pay an prison inmate (40K)than a college graduate(25-30K)and we went to war over Oil and Opium. You Kebbler Elves think you slick but contrary to popular opinion there are more Africans going to college than Prison so that means that you can’t no longer hide information(truth) in a book. I hate to sound arrogant but us Africans have bigger and better things to do and build; than to get caught in some race war yall trying to create.

  • durdy burd

    If you ask me personaly im tired of all this raceist bull shit coming from whites and blacks torward each other.I thought this shit was over years ago but its clear to see motha fuckas are to dumb to let that shit go.And if we keep on with this bull shit we will be right back into that slavery point were there will be no freedom anymore.And im dont want it to be anything like that.and just incase your wondering yes im white….And i only put that down because so many people ask me if im white or black.so please people stop the racism going on!!!

    • Durty

      “And if we keep on with this bull shit we will be right back into that slavery point were there will be no freedom anymore.”-durdy burd

      I think you mean well, but let me tell u something IM NOT GOING 4 THAT slavery shit….ALIVE, and if THAT’S THE CASE IM NOT GOING ALONE

  • G!

    Damn, i didn’t even know that there was a Tupac monument here, whoops!

    http://www.myspace.com/gmanfantastic

  • Durty

    LET ME TELL YALL SOMETHING, THE WORST WAY TO HURT AH MUTHAFUCKA IS IN THEY POCKETS, BLACKS SPEND 725 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY…ON 11/2/2007 IS THE BLACKOUT (DONT SPEND NO MONEY THAT DAY)TAKE CARE WHAT U NEED IN ADVANCE..I KNOW BILLS AND SHIT LIKE THAT CAN POP UP..BUT PLEASE TRY, 11/2/2007

    • Around and Around

      Economically that shit doesn’t work homie. One day does not make any difference, it just defers spending by 24 hrs. It’s proven to not effect the market. All people do is buy what they need/want 24hrs later if they are actually not spending on that day to begin with.

      If you want to try something more positive focus on exactly where you’re spending money and what it is being spent on for the long term. (ie where it comes from, who made it etc)

      • Durty

        I SEE YA POINT AND IT’S AH GOOD ONE….BUT I TRULY BELIEVE THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS. LIKE GAS, WE ALL NEED IT IF U RIDING, BUT I BET IF EVERYONE ALL AMERICANS, STOP BUYING GAS 4 ONE DAY, I BET PRICES WOULD DROP 4 A WHILE. EVEN IF IT DONT WORK IT STILL WORK, CUS WE UNIFYING, AND LETTING PPL KNOW WE AINT TOLERATING THE DUMB SHIT. AND I KNOW PPL DONT WANNA BE TOLD HOW TO SPEND THEY MONEY I GET THAT, BUT IF U GOTTA SPEND DO IT BLACK OWN ON NOV 2

  • bakerboi

    damn good blog , bra. I feel the time is coming for the hip hop community to stop worrying about who’s got the most this and the most that and come back together and get our community straight. Old heads and young heads alike are feeling the pressure in our society. Young people are listening to their favorite rapper, favorite rapper thinking smoking weed, shooting people, sippin sryur and rolling on 24′s is the shit, however when this phase of hip hop passes the community will be left with dope HEADS, death and destruction. In away we have been divided and now the conquering is underway. We need to come together and figure some shit out. and I feel what KRS 1 said, but how can we come out of this in a positive way, Oh make a song about it. No, it has to be more than that. I think the main reason Pac was assignation was that HE HAD THE POWER TO BRING US TOGETHER AND HE WAS ABOUT TO DO IT.

  • az$$rugerman

    Damn, this shit is getting out oF control. I mean when or where will these ignorant parasites strike again. This is an effort to fuel a fire that has been burning since B4 affirmative action. I am not even black and i took offense to these racist occurences that have going on, Shit this is OUT OF line tho… what the fuck is this world coming to..

  • http://yahoo CaesarDuke

    Your right and I going to express how I feel even though I said something on that other tupac article about the same thing but im going to express how i feel racism will alawys exist no matter if you except it or not we have different civil right organizations in the world one of them being the NAACP which stands for national association for the advancement of color people man I have been fighting for civil rights for everyone who encounters racism and that everybody but anyway I have been apart of the NAACP ever since i was a kid and to tell you the truth i am sick of non-violence so i understand what your talking about and your right but tell me this if we do take action than what are we proving that were better than them or that were just as ignorant as them or both tell me please.

  • Bashraka

    This story really hit me in the heart. I think all of us in the Hip-Hop nation needs to challenge these racist white supremicists where it hurts. And expose these suckers for what they are cowards. Believe your local mayor, police officers and media conglomerates can be involved with the Aryan nation and KKK. In honor of Pac, “soliders use strategy and not emotions” to solve issues.

  • TK1

    HELLVA A POST……WE AS BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP!!! AND COME TOGETHER, BECAUSE WE ARE SO DIVIDED AS A RACE…CAUGHT UP IN CARS, MONEY AND WOMEN….

  • dystopia

    Its time for us to say something just like they did after the Imus scandal.

  • bo diddley

    LOL a noose around 2pacs neck! CLASSIC! HEE HEE HO HO

  • ri067953

    Yo, it’s a statue people! Yeah, it symbolizes the hate that some people have for minorities but who gives a fuck what they think. Be outraged when they really start hitting brothers up, be outraged at police brutality, be outraged that incarceration and poverty hits minorities the hardest, be outraged that the hip-hop community would rather talk about broads and smoking dope instead of projecting a positive image so that the fools who put the noose up don’t have anything to point at and say “look at those stupid niggers” Be outraged that the hip-hip community talks a good game but when it comes to voting and making a difference in the community, nobody wants to step up. This incident means nothing. You gotta look at the big picture.

  • joey doe

    holy shit you people are dumb. i lost a few braincells reading parts of this just now, wisen up and maybe in a few thousand years..forget it man too stupid to understand simple logic.

  • Jake

    one word

    LUPE

    now let us wait

  • go git them

    The mutha fuckin supreme court made burning a american flag a felony, some stupid shit like dat felony. Well maybe if it ain’t are ready, and i doubt that it is they should make a noose a felony. Nothing happends to these people us BLACKS got to take initiative and do something, we came to far for this to be happening. tupac was r last Black leader. Jackson and sherpend ain’t shit but stool penguins.

  • N.PIMPIN FROM DA N.o.

    DAMN HOMIE….DEFINETLY THE BEST BLOG I’VE READ ON SO AND U DEFINETLY STATED WHATS NEEDED IN ORDER FOR HIP-HOP TO BECOME STRONGER THAN EVER….STEP UP 2 THE PLATE AND MAN UP LIKE WE SUPPOSE 2!!!! WE GOT MUTHA FUCKAS HANGIN NOOSES AROUND THE NECK OF ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL, POETIC, POLITICAL, LYRICIST TO EVA EXIST….HIP HOP NEED TO MAN UP BECUZ NEXT, THEY’LL BE HANGIN US N NOOSES 4 REAL….LIKE DAVID BANNER NEW SONG “BITCH ASS NIGGAZ” HANGIN A NOOSE FROM THE HONORABLE TUPAC SHAKUR NEED 2 BE SLAUGHTERED!!!!

  • more sicka MC

    Sometimes I wonder if the hiphop community knows how much power it has. Why do you think the establishment tried to demonize and shut down hip-hop from the 80′s?? because they know it could become a force to be reckoned with.

    Why do you think the establishment promoted the bling-bling, whore culture in hip hop, because they knew it would divert black ppl’s attention away from the real sick issues r going on against us.

    Hip Hop is very powerful!! and if we(especially minorities) can use hip hop in situations like these, trust me the establishment will be shook, and will have to respond.

  • http://xxlmag.com kane corleone

    ^^^^COSIGN with N.PIMPIN^^^^^,they do not want war over this shit,thats why they’re doin shit in the dark,its hard for me to speak on what happ cuz these muthafuccas had the nerve to..to…FUCC’EM ALL may they whole family burn in hell

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    It has to be ignored, because the media will take our response and turn it into some bullshit. That’s how it keeps happening.

    Where’s TV-One, BET or MBC (yeah right) when we need them to give our voices some volume on an issue like this? Lord knows that the Fox news nuthuggers are happy. Hell, they might even be responsible for all we know. The TI/YT network is large, but not as big as Hip-Hop.

    If we tackle this issue and go hard (nolo), we’ll end up looking like the antagonists, just like whoever planted the noose wants. And Fox will be more than excited to say we don’t have a sense of humor, or that we still have lingering issues over slavery – as if issues over slavery aren’t justified.

    The noose was planted to make the news. TPAR’s wack ass hasn’t commented on this one…

    More proof that he’s a butt-plunger. Around is like the Jim Jones of his camp – ready to step from under his mentor’s balls and get with the program.

    Around, I applaud you for leaving your chaperone at home this time. Tee-Pee is nothing but a mosquito on XXL’s scrotum.

    Garland is winning. The South is winning. Tupac is still winning, even as they try to shit on his legacy. I love it.

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    What would be good right about now is a mixtape, sponsored by XXL, using your earlier idea about putting the news out consistently through the music.

    That way, Focks News wouldn’t be able to stop the message from spreading. And if the rappers could agree to whatever terms necessary, the shit would be perfectly legal.

    But of course that’s not likely. Or is it?

  • http://www.myspace.com/thabandana ALGEBRA

    This scandalous hoes won’t rest until they destroy HIP HOP they’re tryin so hard to provoke the black community, this pussy ass fuckin melicholitic lunatics just cant stand the fact the black community in america has some identity, they cant just accept it that black has a hero, respect the dead. Imagine if i took a hammer and pelted any of those white vissionaries statues, i will be all over the news, the playing field must be fair, America claims to be a champion of equality, well i dont see any equality if u are attacking other races…fuck every white man outta there..if its the hate u want i will give it to u…TUPAC IS A HERO AND HE WILL BE FOREVER REMAIN TO BE, JUST LIKE GEORGE WASHINGTON….BACK OFFF

  • d.severe

    It is incorrect to label all public references to hanging as directed towards the African American community, especially in late-October, specifically in the above linked example in Connecticut. The noose is a widely recognized symbol of death and is not the domain of black America. Perhaps in parts of the American south but Connecticut?(Connecticut, really?) Death by hanging has never been restricted to one race of people. If anything, it is the one of the most equal opportunity forms of execution the WORLD has know. ANYONE REMEMBER SADDAM HUSSAIN?

    While the TASF incident is disgusting and an obvious reference to racial hatred, let us be careful not claim yet another symbol of death for the African-American community. The celebration/mockery/acceptance of death that is the Halloween holiday should not lead to unwarranted labeling of fellow Americans as racist.

  • yaboy po

    good shit bruh you know i been down since the rezidue days you right tho

  • RON FROM GA

    piece from ABC news coverage of vandelism to tupac shakurs’ statue by a caucasian male:

    Shakur was a no-talent criminal, like the majority of “artists” in gangster rap. If his mother wanted to send a REAL message to kids, she would have commissioned a statue of Tupac’s gunshot corpse bearing the legend “I Was A Loser: Don’t Follow My Example”…

    WE NEED TO REALIZE THAT WE STILL GETTIN TREATED LIKE THIS TODAY AND BECOME MORE AWARE PEOPLE.

  • http://myspace/wilpowermusicproductions Sir Wil

    Yo this is Sir Wil of myspace.com/wilpowermusicproductions and I know this isn’t a surprise to all of you out there right? This country was built on racism and there will always be people who hate us.

  • Rich Arte

    Good post bruh, better than I’ve been readin lately. I’m personally tired of all this shit too, something needs to be done. I’m also tired of white people leavin racist comments all over sites on the internet, hiding behind a computer. These remarks and actions spark up a historical hate between races, though we are in a new day and age. Equality still doesn’t exist because the backbone of the country has racist history. As long as the white man runs the country, he will not penalize the white man for degrading the black man. It’s like going against the grain. That’s like two rich men robbing a poor man and splitting it amongst themselves. Guess where the black man lies???

    Having dealt with racism firsthand, it does affect me emotionally, and makes me want to cause physical harm to the aggressor. For whatever reason, racists think other nationalities are inferior when we are all created equally. It’s hard to not react when faced with racism, it depends on the situation. I would agree that something needs to be done…what? I don’t know.

  • Magnum V.I.

    Just like when a black is suspected of commiting some type of offense, and his picture is posted all over news, bilboards, and bus stops. I want to see the fool that did this picture posted everywhere. Then when his ass walk down the street everybody will look at his azz crazy, or even two piece’em one time.

    Churches Nia

  • Hello

    Wilson, who is African-American, has not been charged with a hate crime, and is being held on a $1500 bond. DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said that investigators had no reason to believe the attack was racially motivated

    Read your own website once in a while retard.