Sunday, October 30, 2011

Under the Influence: Gail Asper Rap Battles T-Bhagg

Under the Influence: UTI explores the relationships between various elements, musical, personal, spiritual, implied, literal, sampled, political or any other random influence that is observed.  ‘Nothing about me is original; I am the combined sum of everyone I have ever known’ - MC T-Shirt

So this one maybe isn’t that relevant anymore because the election has already happened and this is a voting related post. But, here we are.  So once upon a time, there were all sorts of people in influential places that were making videos trying to encourage people to vote, and especially young people.  There are man young people in the North End who choose not to vote (we did have an increase in voter turnout this year in Point Douglas, but we are still under 50% of ppl who can vote, that actually do it).

In any event here is Gail’s vid to encourage voter turnout:

WARNING: Young people, the following video (I think) was not intended to offend you, but just goes to show how disconnected some people are from the way we see the world.

Now, my initial reaction was really positive I like any attempt to get young people involved in making change.  I do however have a couple of key issues with this, especially considering Miss Gail Asper is one of the people that is leading the charge and is being quite successful in fundraising or the Canadian Museum of Human Rights that is being built at the forks. However, I think there are some unintentional (hopefully) insensitivities within her poem that are concerning to me as a young Native person.  ‘Even if you have small pox’?! Wow, what I know about small pox is that it was the illness that wiped out well over half of the Neechie population on Turtle Island when Europeans arrived here. So I think that was a bit insensitive.

However, I was not alone

Enter T-Bhagg

Now I was showing people the Gail Video to see if they thought I was crazy or valid, and we found someone who made a response to Gail’s Video.  While I don’t endorse the activities he talks about, I do gotta say HI 5 to him for making a response and explaining a very real perspective that many people have.  If we have addictions, family challenges and feel like we are being spoken down to in a condescending way, us young folks will deliberately NOT VOTE. Now some say that is damaging to democracy…but I say that IS democracy. That IS the people expressing their voice that the current system isn’t good enough; that we demand better.

I guess we’ll have to keep trying, but for now, these vids will have to do.


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North End MC

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.