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In an article for KultureKritic.com, Dr. Boyce Watkins speaks firmly and directly to the influence of hip hop music that we hear on the radio. While Dr. Watkins says that hip-hop culture is rooted in empowerment, he also notes that far too much of the message being delivered by many of today’s artists, most of whom are black males, encourages toxic and poisonous behavior. Dr. Watkins says that these “delivery boys of death” are encouraging our young men to make decisions that are going to lead them down the path of self-destruction and not encourage them to make good choices. Similar to drug dealers, they are individuals being financed by an outside force to bring destruction to black America.
I was speaking this morning to the family of Maria Lloyd, the woman who wrote an open letter about her experience of having a father who was given 15 life sentences for drug distribution during the 1980s. During our conversation, Maria mentioned that one of the comments she saw in response to her open letter consisted of a woman who lashed out at her because her mother was hooked on drugs.
Maria said that she felt the woman’s pain because she herself has lost relatives to drug addiction. She also stated that in the drug war, the primary culprits were not just the actual dealers, who were primarily young people seeking a way to make money in a bad economy with poor educational opportunities. An even bigger culprit was the federal government, which made deals with international groups that allowed them to sell their drugs in America, as long as they sold them in the black community.