WHILE THE RAP BASHERS MARSHAL THEIR FORCES.....
While Jason Whitlock and Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey begin to use Don Imus as a political football to blame rap music for our society's evils....
While bi-partisan culture warriors and comrades Hillary Clinton and Sam Brownback rush to get in on the action....
While everyone who talks about the culture in this way continues to ignore the reality of the hip hop/R&B charts where the strongest women's voices anywhere in our mainstream culture--talking 'bout Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Ciara, Shakira, Jennifer Hudson, Keisha Cole, Kelly Rowland, Eve and the young women in Crime Mob for starters--are more than holding their own as they always have in the rap era thank-you-very-much.....
Here are some women's voices that need to be heard, with the message that shows why all the rest of this matters--
April 15, 2007
Home to New Orleans
To the Editor:
An April 10 news article praises Edward J. Blakely, the executive director of New Orleans’s Office of Recovery Management, for having a “clinical, outsider’s eye” when in fact his eye is blind to the human rights of New Orleanians displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
According to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, people forced to flee their communities as a result of a natural disaster are “internally displaced persons” who have the human right to return to their communities.
In your article, Dr. Blakely pointedly denounces the right of return, describes New Orleanians as “buffoons” whose culture is rife with racism, and hopes that “new Americans” will replace New Orleanians trapped outside the city.
History has shown that violating the human rights of a group of people begins with disparaging their character, expressing contempt for their culture and portraying them as unworthy of the places they live.
Dr. Blakely’s recovery agenda denigrates the humanity of people struggling to find a way home to New Orleans.
Monique Harden Nathalie Walker
New Orleans, April 11, 2007
The writers are co-directors of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights.