Remember Ja Rule?
No? If you’re a hip hop fan you do. He had a decent run in the early 2000’s. I was never personally a fan of his, but to each his/her own. He was released from prison in 2013 after tax evasion and weapons possession charges, but apparently Mr. Rule has been making some moves since being reintroduced to the world as a free man.
Ja Rule was on Fox Business, a fine media outlet (LOL), the other day. He was busy trying to pitch some kind of, but not really credit card venture called Magnises. My scam detectors immediately went up, but mostly because the name sounds like an off-market Viagra rip-off. I became doubly skeptical when Ja Rule and his… er… professional Caucasian (needed for Wall Street cred, of course) failed to describe what their kind of, but not really credit card does.
Anyway, after awkwardly explaining how, like hip hop, Magnises brings together the poor and the affluent (I kid you not), Ja Rule weighs in on racial tensions in the US and the aftermath of the Freddie Gray killing in Baltimore. Now, before I make fun of Ja Rule’s response – because I’m totally going to do that – let me first say that this was a set up by Fox Business. They knew damn well ahead of time that a rapper who penned such timeless classics as “Holla Holla” and “Livin’ It Up” wouldn’t be the best person to make poignant social commentary. Even if they didn’t know this for a fact, a half-hearted educated guess would suffice. This is Fox Business after all.
So what does Ja Rule think about Baltimore?
“With what’s going on in our urban communities with the police, somebody needs to be the peacemaker to bring it all together. To make things better on that front. I don’t know who’s the guy to do it. I don’t know who’s going to step up and be our leader so to speak, to go out and say the right things and do the right things. But as long as we keep marching peacefully, that’s the best way to get our point across.”
Alright, I’m not going to make fun of Ja Rule’s answer as much as I said I would. To be fair, who the f*** cares what Ja Rule thinks? He was only there to sell some kind of, but not really credit cards. Even his professional Caucasian left him out there to stammer his way through questions he was obviously unprepared to address. Also, he at least went the safe route and tried to encourage a little peace.
Ja Rule wasn’t even trying to pretend as if he was about to risk the threat of breaking a sweat when it comes to the craziness that’s going on in Baltimore. I’m sure he’s seen The Wire. He probably has some preconceived notions that were only exacerbated by recent events.
Should Ja Rule be expected to be any type of leader? No. That said, his words are indicative of a truth many of us don’t say aloud. You know, that same way a kid lacks social awareness enough to call a woman fat even if she’s obviously pregnant to everyone else. Much like Ja Rule, that kid was just saying what he was thinking.
Ja Rule is thinking someone who’s not him needs to tell people in Baltimore to chill the f*** out.
But that type of thinking can be problematic in its own right. It minimizes the power we all have to affect change in this world, leaving us free to sit back and simply comment about what’s going on around us rather than playing an active role.
Kind of like praying for something to happen rather than putting forth your best effort and letting the chips fall where they may.
But that’s a different story.
I suppose the point I’m trying to make is I think Ja Rule is honestly saying what a lot of people are thinking. No one actually wants to deal with that situation; it’d be easier people just got along and were treated fairly. But that doesn’t seem to be happening so it’s easier to hope that someone handles this.
Because Ja Rule has kind of, but not really credit cards to sell. Doesn’t anyone understand that???
Anywho, I’m not here to hate on Ja Rule. Playfully poke fun at him? Sure. But I really care more about that mindset of waiting for someone else to address something. I’ve heard a lot of opinions out there regarding issues in our society. Hell, I’ve written a number of my own as well. What I hear FAR less are people saying what they can do to affect some type of change. I’m not even saying THAT’S a problem. However, I think we need to cut some slack for the people who are dealing with this. Yup, even the people with which you disagree. Why? Because it’s tough to be in that situation.
It’s tough being a cop in a city (and in many cases, country) that doesn’t trust you.
It’s tough having a skin color that has historically and currently yields unfair treatment.
Both of those points BARELY scratch the surface of what’s going on, yet they alone are very difficult issues to resolve when so many people have differing opinions. In fact, it’s so tough, this is why waiting for someone to come in and Superman their way to a resolution is more of a wish than a plan.
We all have the power to change this world. We’ve been doing it this entire time; it just seems small when you only focus on yourself. But your contribution is real. Don’t sell yourself short, Ja Rule. You can be the change you want to see in the world. We all can.
Peace out, party people.