Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Racism at The Grammys?

MacklemoreKendrick-GrammyLast night, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) presented The Grammys, a night to celebrate the music industry and recognize outstanding musicians. While Twitter and Facebook were active throughout the evening, the social media world erupted after Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won the Grammy for Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar, the assumed front-runner. Other nominees in the category were Jay Z, Kanye West, and Drake.

Tweets and posts that began as messages of shock from viewers surprised by the announcement of Best Rap Album, soon changed in sentiment as some criticized NARAS for being racist.

The Wall Street Journal addressed the issue this morning in "Were Other Rappers Snubbed By Macklemore’s Grammy Sweep?"
Macklemore is one of the few prominent white rappers, and his big win set up a racially-fueled firestorm on social media both for and against him. “Hip-Hop got robbed last night. That other cat is not hip hop, he’s pop. #Upset,” read one message on Twitter. “Macklemore winning over Kendrick Lamar is just proof the #Grammys are still and always will be #racist” said another.
Another commenter shot back “Some ppl I see saying “Macklemore won cause he’s white” are the same folks saying”ppl that disagree with Obama are racist.” Just stop!”
Those who felt Macklemore's win was the result of a racist NARAS committee were fueled by the artist's text to Lamar later that night in which he shared that Lamar should have won the award: “"You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It's weird and it sucks that I robbed you."

One blogger, Nikki Lynette, expressed true frustration over the win in her post "How I feel about Macklemore winning 4 Grammys & Kendrick winning none.," but turned away from racism and to the problem of few young artists voting for Grammy winners:
You wanna know why I think Kendrick didn't win any awards? It's because there are not enough younger people who are knowledgeable and passionate about rap joining NARAS and voting for what we love. If you don't believe me then go ask your favorite indie hip hop artist if they ever tried to join NARAS so they can vote...Personally, I don't think playing the race card is the solution here. If it was, I'd whip that bitch out and wave it through the air, but nah. Keep the race card in your pocket today, this ain't that.

What is your reaction to the Best Rap Album Grammy response? Do you think the committee selected Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for the color of their skin and as a "safe" option rather than on musical merit? Or are reactions that white performers should not win Best Rap Album racist themselves? Share your reactions in the comments section below.  

On a related note, if you do not follow music awards, check out how Macklemore and Ryan Lewis used their American Music Award acceptance speech to address racial profiling and tragedies such as Trayvon Martin's murder.


Anonymous said...

Interesting commentary from Stephen Colbert
"I do not see race. I've evolved beyond racism. I don't even know my own race. People tell me I'm white and I believe them because I thought Mackelmore deserved those Grammys." -- Stephen Colbert


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