NegusWhoRead
Politics & Race
Kid Rock and K.I.S.S. Can’t Criticize Black Protests Until They Address White-On-White Crime, Poverty and Drug Abuse

In recent news–at an apparent attempt at regaining relevance–southern rocker, Kid Rock is among the latest group of almost forgotten public personalities to weigh in against San Francisco 49er, Colin Kaepernick and his widely publicized refusal to stand for the national anthem at games. During a recent performance at Fenway Park in Boston, while singing “Born Free”, Kid Rock made the unfortunate choice to yell “Man F**k Colin Kaepernick” met by cheers from the audience. This is of little surprise when you consider that Boston is one of the most racially segregated cities in the country; as well as the fact that Kid Rock sports a Confederate Flag as part of his stage set, which actually originated as an emblem of the Ku Klux Klan prior to being adopted as a universal emblem of states below the Mason/ Dixon Line.

In similar fashion, vintage rock band KISS, during a performance in Worcester, MA took subtle shots at Kaepernick. In the middle of their concert, Paul Stanley said, “You should remember: patriotism is always cool. Loving your country is always cool. Standing up, respecting and honoring our military is always cool.” It’s ironic and rather hypocritical when you consider that Kid Rock sports the historic enemy flag to the American flag at his concerts  and KISS always declared that the only nation is the KISS nation; yet both declare offense at a socio-politically based objection to the national anthem. Hypocrisy aside, there is a deeper issue of concern: the failure of artists like Kid Rock and the band KISS to use their influence (?) as a platform for healing in their own communities and among their own fan bases.

Instead of focusing on Kaepernick, right-wing and anti-Black artists should be addressing the issues of white-on-white crime in America. According to the US census, white people are approximately 79% of the nation’s population. According to the FBI statistics, 82% of the crimes committed against white people are by other white people. When you consider that Black people account for less than 13% of the population; 90% of 13% is a whole lot less than 82% of 79%. When you also consider the fact that there is a crystal meth and heroin epidemic in trailer parks and poor and middle-class white urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the nation; it would be far more productive to use their platforms to address these issues.

We are in an era where musical artists need to become more sensitive to the issues effecting their fan-base, like poverty, drug abuse and crime. Ignoring these issues and trying to draw attention away from them, like trying to criminalize a person for exercising their constitutional rights is being remarkably irresponsible. While they’re on stage yelling about Kaepernick and their misunderstanding of the word patriotism, one of their fans is likely overdosing in the bathroom or parking lot at their concert. A life could have been saved.

Again, when you consider that, according to the Census Burea, over 60% of the welfare recipients in the US are white, why are these multi-million dollar earning artists placing attention on the wrong things? Why aren’t they at their concerts leading chants like, “We want paychecks instead of welfare checks!” or, “We want jobs, not food stamps!” Maybe then their concert promoters would be able to stop lining up ticket sale dates with when they expect welfare checks arrive.

Just like Colin Kaepernick, they have the right to free speech and expression; but just like him, they should consider using their platforms to address the cornucopia of deplorables that are destroying the communities from whence they came. 

About the author

Mwalim DaPhunkee Professor (MJ Peters) is a multifaceted essayist, playwright, historian, humorist/ satirist, performer, and educator. He is a tenured professor of English and Black Studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and former host of the syndicated radio show “Blackademia Today.”

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