Chuck D sounds off at DuSable Museum in Chicago

Public Enemy’s legendary front man, Chuck D, unleashed some profound, and enlightening thoughts on a capacity crowd at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago. As part of Black History Month, the museum facilitated the “Crown Royal Black Salutes Chuck D” event and he promptly ripped through a plethora of today’s hottest sociopolitical issues. Handing the “Fight the Power” rapper the mic was akin to lighting the fuse to a bottle rocket in a crowded café: all anyone could do was look on in astonishment — and wince — at some of the things that jettisoned out of his mouth with rapid fire explosiveness. Even his wife, Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, a professor of African American history at the University of California-Santa Barbara, chucked a few spellbinding statements of her own that put the audience back in their chairs. Below are some of the thoughts of the architect of one of the world’s most beloved rap icons: “I don’t like this individualism that’s going on today. This ‘I gotta get mine’ and ‘I.’ We’ve replaced ‘we’ with ‘I.’ When did using the word ‘black’ become a curse word, but [when] did the uses of the word ‘n—–‘ become easy? If we as a people here in the United States don’t find it necessary to connect with the rest of the Diaspora, in order to bring ourselves out of the mental and physical slavery in the United States, then we will always be slaves in the 48-state box they called the United States of America,” said Chuck D. Chuck D’s wife, Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson: “One of the things that I say to my students these days is that African Americans have never been more popular. We are the most popular on the lock up shows on MSNBC. We are the most popular people within the prison industrial complex. We are the most popular people being made fools out of on TV every single day,” she said to raucous applause. Chuck D: “[Public Enemy] found saving grace in the rest of the planet [after American radio stations and video channels stopped playing them]. We were already the most traveled rap group ever before 1998. And since 1998, it’s like, Public Enemy, pull their passports. They don’t want you to leave here, but they don’t want you to live here. So you’re better off dead for this new agenda.” “They have 2 ½ million people in prison now. They’ve built facilities to house 5 to 7 million in the next 10 to 15 years. If they don’t bring forth a new agenda for new slavery for productivity in the United States, expect mass extermination by 2025. And who do you think will go first? “This rite-of-passage thing about going to jail? People ask me all the time, ‘Chuck, what [do] you think?’ I say take every single boy, good ones too, [in] fifth grade and send them to jail for two weeks. Take your lunch sack [to] Cook County Jail. Then, in eighth grade, send them to jail for three weeks. The result? I guarantee you will see valedictorians all over the place [with black boys],” he said to rousing applause. “You know the reason you don’t hear about Public Enemy in your major media outlets? You can’t handle it. Trust me. People always ask me all the time about Flavor Flav. Everybody got a Flavor Flav in their family — especially here in Chicago,” he said as the theater erupted in prolonged laughter. “The reason Flav was in the group is because we’re all from Roosevelet, Long Island [New York]. He and Professor Griff are like night and day and I’m somewhere in the middle of the afternoon. But we never expected Flavor to have a TV show by himself,” as the crowd laughed again. “What did you expect he’d do on TV? The man has been wearing a clock around his neck since 1987. He ain’t supposed to have a TV show by his [expletive] self.” by Terry Shropshire Article originally appeared here: http://rollingout.com/culture/chuck-d-sounds-off-about-flavor-flav-and-race-at-chicagos-dusable-museum/
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