During a panel discussion on Morning Joe Wednesday morning, co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, along with guest panelist Bill Kristol, came to the defense of the white University of Oklahoma fraternity members who were caught on video singing a racist song. In the minds of all three of them, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat brothers who sang “there will never be a n*gger SAE” were influenced by profane lyrics in rap music. Specifically, they Mika placed blame on Waka Flocka Flame, a hip-hop artist who had performed for the frat in the past and pulled out of a future performance after video of the chant was made public Sunday.
After presenting a news report about the racism flap, the hosts brought on Urban League president Marc Morial to discuss the incident and what needs to happen moving forward. After a bit of a discussion, Brzezinski brought up Waka Flocka Flame and some of the lyrics from his song. She then asserted that he and the rest of hip=hop were really to blame for a bunch of young, white, privileged men chanting a song about not allowing a black member in their frat and preferring they hang from a tree.
“If you look at every single song, I guess you call these, that he’s written, it’s a bunch of garbage. It’s full of n-words, it’s full of f-words. It’s wrong. And he shouldn’t be disgusted with them, he should be disgusted with himself.”
From watching the segment, it seemed that Mika nearly passed out from the vapors after reading a sample of a black rapper’s lyrics. She was not alone in demonizing hip-hop culture and laying the blame squarely on its shoulders for the SAE controversy. Both Kristol and Scarborough, two rich, middle-aged white guys, jumped headlong in the “blame blacks for whites being racist” pool. Kristol pointed out that “popular culture is a cesspool” and nobody should be surprised “when a bunch of drunk 19-year-olds repeat what they’ve been hearing.”
Meanwhile, Scarborough used that as a jumping point to insist that white kids aren’t learning racism from their parents, friends or neighborhoods, but instead it is being instilled in them by black rap music.
“The kids that are buying hip-hop or gangster rap, it’s a white audience, and they hear this over and over again. So do they hear this at home? Well, chances are good, no, they heard a lot of this from guys like this who are now acting shocked.”
Just to hammer home their point a little more, Mika ended the segment by smugly stating that she wishes Waka Flocka Flame wouldn’t be so self-righteous when criticizing the OU students, implying that he is as much to blame due to his music’s content. By the end of the discussion, you would have thought it was the SAE frat bros who are the real victims in all of this.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
Obviously, context is lost on Mika, Joe and Kristol in regards to this incident and why it has absolutely NOTHING to do with hip-hop culture. In the infamous video, we saw young, white males proudly chanting a song where they declared “there will never be a n*gger SAE” and “you can hang ’em from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me,” all to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. It had nothing to do with rap or blacks being able to say the n-word with impunity. They weren’t repeating what they heard from a black rapper. Trying to conflate the two is a huge leap and logic and nothing more than shameless victim-blaming.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).