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Iconic rapper and defector from the controversial NWA, Ice Cube was a pioneer of gangster rap music. Gangster Rap Made Me Do It is one of Ice Cube’s most prolific pieces. Released in 2008 on his album Raw Footage, Cube reflects on America’s damming state of affairs, sarcastically claiming these could be blamed on the emergence of gangster rap.
Shunned by the media, gangster rap often glorifies barbaric themes, including: the degradation of women, and the use of violence against your fellow man. Emerging in the mid 1980’s and gaining popularity in the early 1990’s, gangster rap played an important role in highlighting police brutality in black communities. A retort against the system highlighting the plight of inner city black Americans, gangster rap was embraced by those in the struggle. What the media saw as a sinful endeavor was actually a cry for help, one that still echoes today.
Hear no evil. See no evil. Those tearful echoes are painful remnants that Chip Kelly, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles appears neither to desire to hear or see, even though he coaches in the National Football League which is 68 percent black. To that point, Kelly is not the only coach, nor is football the only sport where cultural misunderstandings occur. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it is important for us to understand cause and effect.
So, let us start in the black community with some alarming stats you may or may not be aware of.
- Since 1973 black women have had 16 million abortions, or almost half of the current black population in America
- 72 percent of all black American children are illegitimate
- 38 percent of black Americans are in poverty and another third are borderline
- For every 100 black women not in jail, there are only 83 black men who haven’t been incarcerated or had an early death
- 1 out of 3 black men can expect to spend time in prison
What do these numbers mean?
These numbers are indicative of a deep seeded and interwoven disease within the black community. Abandonment. Absentee black males have plagued the black community, and as a result generations of children have suffered. The cause of abandonment produced a fatherless society.
The first effect of a fatherless society is the inability for children, especially males, to healthily relate to one another. Male relatability varies as a result of an individual’s experience. In short, black males in the aggregate will have a difficult time relating to other black males, but an even harder time relating to non-black males whom exist outside of the scope of their experience. Therein lies the problem; it is a root cause of black on black crime, and it gives us insight into the difficulties black males face breaking into corporate America.
The second effect of a fatherless society is self-loathing. Self-loathing is a psychological condition that causes people to attempt to abdicate their own personal responsibility. Until the black community as a whole confronts their systemic plague of abandonment, issues with relatability will continue.
That being said, it takes two to tango. Relatability is not solely an issue of the black community. Corporate America, specifically Chip Kelly in this instance is part to blame. As a coach and a leader, relatability is Chip Kelly’s responsibility. Whether he accepts it or not, it falls on Chip Kelly to help his player’s grow as men.
Is there truly any surprise that spousal abuse, drug use, and criminal activity are rampant in the National Football League when players are treated like animals? Chip Kelly is not the biological father of any of the players on his team, however; he is representative of a father figure and is the father of his team. Chip Kelly like many other coaches, has the opportunity to bridge a gap in a fatherless society and offer true intrinsic healing. Unfortunately, we continue to see players come forward and claim he is not doing so.
What good father alienates his son? The one who is only concerned with winning championships. It appears that this is where we have arrived in the NFL. The players are just a number, like money is just a number, to be manipulated and used until they no longer have value. Yes, the players are compensated well and they should be, but if we fail to help players grow as men, then we have done them a disservice. That disservice falls on the NFL, Roger Goodell, the owners and the coaches. Money has poisoned a beautiful game, but like Ice Cube said, “Blame it on Gangster Rap.”