Letters for Friday, May 23, 2008

• Try a little understanding

• We rise above

• From the central scrutinizer

Try a little understanding

This letter is in response to Garrett Williams’ letter (“Hip hop rap, a malignant cancer,” Letters, May 22):

Having worked as a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles County for 11 years prior to moving to Kaua‘i, I saw first-hand the ills of the inner city. Rather than stand on the outside and maintain an “us versus them mentality,” I chose to use my love of real hip hop music and incorporate it in my job. What I did specifically was record and perform anti-drug and anti-graffiti raps to elementary school children in South Los Angeles. Based on my endeavors, I was videotaped by two national television shows. One show was called “Extra,” the other taping aired on CNN. I was also a panelist at a rap music seminar during a dialogue where the topic of discussion was misogynistic lyrics.

Being that I am a hip hop artist/producer myself, I was deeply disturbed by your analogy that proponents of hip hop are like drug pushers.

Based on that logic, children should never watch Disney shows because they produce artists like Britney Spears who is a walking endorsement for promiscuity, alcoholism and is the poster child for being dysfunctional.

That would also mean that children should never watch movies of any kind. Because while there are some good movies out there, children will eventually gravitate to the filth that is R-rated movies that promote drug use, violence, and God knows what else.

You were correct in saying that some rap music is crude and violent. And while I could easily say that violence and crudeness is just a reflection of what these artists experience, that would be a cop out (no pun intended).

The truth of the matter is that artists should be responsible for the music and lyrics that they put out. Radio stations should be mindful of the impact the glorification of drugs, violence, and promiscuous songs have on our youth. And ultimately, record companies, as well as the sponsors that endorse them, have to be held accountable for the millions of dollars spent on the promotion of only negative rap music.

Just for the record, the artist (4WORDS) that performed at The Relay for Life that you attended is an above-average student who is about to graduate from Kapaa High School. One of the songs that he performed at the event was dedicated to his mother who is a recent cancer survivor. Before you wrote your letter, did you think of the ramifications your views would have on the people involved in such a positive event?

The unfortunate reality is that we live in a capitalistic society. As long as companies are making money off of the negative, it will continue. We as a society need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we can do as individuals to make a positive impact. I am hopeful that your letter can spark a positive dialogue that gets us closer to that reality.

Let’s not make rap music a scapegoat for all of societies’ ills. All types of music are only a reflection and microcosm of a much bigger picture.

Roderick Green, aka “C.R.A.S.H.” (Creating Rationale Among Senseless Humans)


We rise above

This letter is in response to “Hip hop rap, a malignant cancer,” Letters, May 22:

Freedom of speech is the American way, poetry is one expression that should never be suppressed.

Below are the lyrics to one of the songs Tommy Patch aka “4 Words” performed at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life:

There’s a lady I know, that’s one of a kind,

And no other woman ever comes close in my mind,

Growing up a troubled child, she always kept me focused

Always kept my head right, away from hocus pocus,

Never left me hopeless, always kept me lifted,

Always let me know that the sky is the limit,

Now I’m reaching past the sky to other galaxies high,

To continue to build, and to keep it alive,

And alive, I kept it on stage tonight,

All power kept alive with the strength and might,

It was only recent when she had the battle of her life,

And during that battle she knew she had to survive,

She’s here right now still standing strong,

So strong, that I just had to write this song,

To let you know about the journey that we went through,

And some of you in the crowd can probably relate too,

It was a difficult struggle but we still kept faith

Along with countless others who supported and prayed,

Chemo, surgery, radiation, a challenging way,

Her name’s Lori Patch, she’s the reason I’m here today,

Verse 2:

RISE: for knowledge, wisdom, hope and understanding,

RISE: for all your loved ones and your family,

RISE: for those who are with us no longer,

RISE: for every day that’s making us stronger,

RISE: for all the current undergoing patients,

RISE: for keeping optimistic motivation,

RISE: for all those who made it and survived,

RISE: for everybody keeping it alive,

RISE: for everything you know that’s true,

RISE: for me, and rise for you,

RISE: for them, rise, don’t fall,

RISE: for one, rise for all.

Lori Patch


From the central scrutinizer

To the unfortunate woman who was exposed to an impoverished illegal immigrant recently (“Kaua‘i to be overrun by illegal immigrants?” Letters, May 22):

We are so sorry. We know only people of a certain class of wealth belong here.

Sadly, most of the local people who live here are descendants of these type of poor immigrants. We’ve been trying to price these people out forever but they are as resilient as termites and we have not as yet found a tent big enough for the whole island.

Bear with us. To our hip hop hating neighbors (“Hip hop rap, a malignant cancer,” Letters, May 22), we have decided on an island-wide ban on any books and music that might reflect the anger from inequality in the ghetto. We feel it’s best to keep our kids in a wealth-created buffer of ignorance. Please let us know if you have any more issues with these riff-raff or their music.

Jason Nichols



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