Mos Def(initely) Worth Thinking About

Generally I stay away from political commentary on this blog. However, the other night I caught the most recent Real Time with Bill Maher, featuring Professor Cornell West, and Mos Def. Mos Def brought forth an issue that I found fascinating and sad – primarily because it forced me to really contemplate the ‘bubble’ I live in, and the major divisions that continue to persist in this country (but which are constantly swept under the rug).

As frequently happens, the topics of Iraq, Bush (show was taped September 7th) and Civil Rights permeated the debate. After Bill questioned Mos Def about W’s approach to foreign policy, Bill then turned to discussion of 9/11. When prompted, Mos Def unwaveringly stated that he does not believe that Bin Laden was involved in 9/11, or, that any other so-called terrorists are a real threat:

“I don’t believe it was bin Laden today, I don’t believe it was never him. I think it’s some dude just standing, I don’t even, I can’t even believe. I don’t even, I’m sorry, I’m from the projects, I know danger. I don’t feel no danger from that sh*t, those mother-f**kers.”

Excluding the pure crazy talk, Mos Def’s statement that he knows ‘real danger’ because he’s from the projects (and as he later states, because he’s black) is very powerful stuff. The images of 9/11 are surreal to most of us, but to the less fortunate and to the minorities who deal with immediate terror and worry on a daily basis, what are a few images on CNN? What are images of foreigners burning US flags when Americans feel oppressed and targeted in their own country?

Mos Def further stated that we (the Government) have been terrorists for years through Jim Crow, Japanese American internment, etc…so why would he believe that someone else was responsible for 9/11?

I thought this was a very tragic commentary, but one very worth discussing.


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