All over my timeline, I see tiny sprouts of controversy beginning to bud. Something about Trump uses Ice Cube or Ice Cube being a Trump supporter. Now, I’m not a huge fan of O’shea Jackson. I acknowledge his contributions to the pantheon of Black music, and respect his position as a person bold enough to head up a group called Niggas Wit Attitude, (I believe he termed it ”the crazy motherfucker named ice cube in a gang called niggas wit attitude”) in a time when rap music was considered to be the “real problem” in the inner cities. In a time where violent music was thought to be the source, and not the expression of rage amongst Black Americans, I respect him for doing that.
I also respect the work he has done in being the Black equivalent of Adam Sandler, and giving us gut-busting classics like “Barbershop” and the “Are We There Yet?” series of movies: wholesome pictures of Black family fun. And I most certainly respect the vision he has for young Black girls and boys considering his movie company, Cube Vision, put out a film with MGM about a Black female Pop-Warner quarterback that managed to tackle: what happens to failed high school athletes, family trauma, single parent households and being a young Black girl in a not so Black friendly town, all in the span of 90 minutes (The Longshots). Ambitious is what I would call him. Look at what he’s done thus far in spite of his origins. It takes some serious ambition to do that in this land we call America.
So to hear rumors of a seemingly sudden change in his political leanings, piqued my interest, but not really. Again, I’m not exactly a fan. However, it was the gentle nudging of a friend that made me examine exactly what were these new gossip weeds sprouting in my timeline’s garden of information.
The story as it stands right now is half-told. A jumpy, borderline Leslie Pope doing an impression of Olivia Pope-ish tweet from one Katrina Pierson on October 13, 2020 kicked the whole thing in gear. The tweet said:
Leaders gonna lead, haters gonna hate. Thank you for leading! ✊?
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) October 13, 2020
And immediately the backlash began. And now my boy O’Shea is being outed for being a traitor to the Black community after previously stating:
I will never endorse a mothafucka like Donald Trump! EVER!!!
— Ice Cube (@icecube) August 27, 2016
Members of the Black community are pissed because 1) it’s Ice Cube and Trump, 2)out of “all of the established members of the Black Community” Trump could pick, he picked Cube, and 3) because Ice Cube is, and I quote “working with the dark side.”
Every side is the Darkside for us here in America. They’re all the same until something changes for us. They all lie and they all cheat but we can’t afford not to negotiate with whoever is in power or our condition in this country will never change. Our justice is bipartisan. https://t.co/xFIXXpOs8B
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 14, 2020
I tend to flow upstream.
After taking the time to read, examine and reflect, allow me to paint you a more holistic picture of what exactly is happening.
I fear what Ice Cube is dealing with is something Malcolm X once enumerated beautifully here, something I’ll paraphrase as follows: The white liberal is dangerous, because the white liberal only comes to the Black American when it is time to “aid the wheel of progress”—but will simultaneously ignore the cries of the Black Americans crushed beneath said wheel.
That is what I finally saw clearly in the 2016 debates, when both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were asked about their plans for the Black Community, and neither of them so much voiced an inkling of an idea. And now as we veer around the corner to the dreaded 11/3/2020, white liberals are still definitively without an answer to that question.
I believe O’Shea saw this. In fact, I know he did, because he said it. Real loud and clear in a video he posted to twitter on 8/22/2020 titled “But what’s in it for us?”; in which he cautioned black voters to “Stop playing with these people so they can stop playing with you. Make they asses earn your vote.” Of course, because he’s O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube, people assumed he had gone the way of the Hotep (aka “the Nick Cannon”). He was “playing a dangerous game” and trying to “split the vote” when our primary objective as a country right now is obviously “Vote Him Out 2020.”
Except O’Shea wasn’t playing a dangerous game. O’Shea was thinking critically and ambitiously. I know this because on July 1st, 2020, he along with several others, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, penned the constitutional document they termed a “Contract with Black America”. A document in which the undersigned state, out right, that ANY candidate coming to them for a vote should be willing to address and implement the items outlined in the contract.
A bold start, the comprehensive document covers everything from police reform, to unlinking school funding with property taxes, to interest free loans for first time home buyers of Black descent, an accountability seat on the Federal Reserve Board, ending gerrymandering, increasing polling locations and many, many other audacious requests I would expect none other than a Nigga With Attitude to make. And as an extra cherry of motivation, they are requiring that these things be done within the first 100 days of the new administration. I told y’all, this man is ambitious.
He even expressed, rightly so given his new political status, that he expected to be contacted at some point in time by both parties. In the absence of clear demands from his community, him and his people stepped up to the plate and said, “look, this is what we want.”
And both parties did reach out to him. The Democratic Party giving him the equivalent of “we’ll stand with you on this, but Vote and then we can talk about it”; while the Trump administration pulled a move right out of “The Art of the Deal” and basically spun his meeting with them into a sign of his support, a nifty move better known as “Trump uses Ice Cube’s Platform to Secure the Black Vote”.
And it is here where I must let Black America in on the secret the rest of America refuses to admit. They want Trump out because with him in office, the Monty Python-esque shit-show that is politics goes on full display. They don’t want to admit white supremacy is still a thing. They don’t want to know about our screams. They just wanna get back to normal and keep chugging the wheel along our crushed spines; just like they did the first several centuries of the country’s birth.
Unfortunately for Cube he didn’t recognize he was being played by both sides. He came into the meetings a serious ambassador to the community; they chose to treat him like a prop. And apparently, if Tupac was alive, they would have tried to do the same thing with him, given Kamala’s comment on him being the greatest rapper alive; and the Trump campaign’s brilliant follow-up move of setting aside a ticket for the dead rapper to the vice-presidential debate.
This game ain’t nothing new. No more than the Union soldiers who enlisted runaway slaves, nor the British soldiers who did the same, or the French or whoever. They always come to us to fight their enemies for them, but yet are perfectly content with our suffering continually being swept under the rug.
As long as they (powers that be, white majority, liberals, proud boys, whatever) are happy, they don’t care who has to suffer for it.
And I’m sorry Ice Cube had to witness that first-hand and learn this lesson in dealing with them. Because his heart is genuinely in the right place. I’ve seen it in his music, in his business ventures, his films and his investments. He cares about the economic well-being and survival of his people. But like Mr. Deeds going to Washington, I hope he learns the ones in charge never really do give a damn.
Maybe then, we’ll have a chance of getting some things done.
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