Thursday, April 30, 2015

Party for your Right to Party

The organization where I instruct spin classes had a recent complaint taking offense at the use of “Ghetto Rap” music in classes. The writer called it misogynist.

I take offense at this complaint. I call it racist.

Ghetto: a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.

By calling it "Ghetto" Rap, the implication is that Rap music is offensive when it is made by poor, urban, minority populations. However if the music is made by wealthy, white people, A-OK. Or the writer might just be suggesting that misogyny is only a problem in the "Ghetto." The complaint was unsigned so it wasn't possible to start a conversation with the writer on biased language.

Today, I thought I’d acknowledge that complaint by playing the Beastie Boys “Fight for your Right (to Party)” followed by Public Enemy’s “Party for your Right to Fight”. Neither song is misogynist, but both are certainly rap. Regardless, I'm sure I'll ultimately get slapped down. The Public Enemy song praises the honorable Elijah Muhammed. That's a big no-no in my small, super-christian town. The Beastie Boys talk about your Mom finding your porno-stash, but I doubt that will push any buttons. 

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