Nicholas Whitaker, a student at Harvard University, wrote an op-ed in the Harvard Crimson, where he tells a harrowing story of going to a sorority event with a DJ who played, *gasp* hip-hop music and white people around him repeated the lyrics.
Whitaker, who acts surprised that there was a lack of rampant homophobia at the Greek life event, writes what happened at the party:
And then “Gold Digger” came on.
Any black person who’s ever been to a college party knows what happened next. My friend and I were dancing with a larger group―all white, and all strangers. Jamie Foxx sang the hook, Kanye jumped in, and two white men, bigger than me, older than me, and louder than me, looked me in the eye and yelled out “She ain’t messin’ with no broke NIGGAS.”
Shocked, Whitaker writes that he “immediately left the dance floor. I was truly and honestly shaken. I’m sure the two wanna-be Yeezys meant no harm. But their actions held more at stake than the spine-chilling history of the word, and how it terrifies me when it slides out the lips of a white man.”
For now, Whitaker says it is OK that white people listen to hip-hop and rap; he has granted white people that permission for now. But, he wonders, what happens when more white people want to be rappers, like Eminem? ” What happens when white people get tired of being the guest, and want to become the owner? These days, there are more white hip hop artists than ever. And, like chameleons, they decide to blend in with an updated version of blackface. They wear chains and locs. They twist their tongue to “sound black.” How many of these artists, I wonder, spoke out after Flint, or marched with Black Lives Matter? They perpetuate mindless consumption and appropriation of black culture without acknowledging or caring about the community who uses it as a means for freedom and expression of grievance.”
Whitakers grievances personally are long and winding. He complains that white people were playing an anti-cop song called “F*ck the police” at a party, presumably without consulting him first on their music choices.
Worst of all for Whitaker? “I’ve seen sorority girls wail to Drake and then rationalize their vote for Trump the next morning. Too many white people think they’re entitled to hip hop, but not responsible for the people hip hop was meant to save.”(emphasis mine).
Whitaker does offer a saving grace; if a white person wants to listen to ‘his’ music, then they should also have to support Black Lives Matter or other political actions Whitaker deems acceptable.