The Addendum of this post includes the slang meaning of "beat it" tht applies to this song. The Addendum also includes the official Michael Jackson video of "Beat It" and the lyrics to this hit record. The content of this post is presented for cultural, motivational, and entertainment purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners. Thanks to Michael Jackson for composing and performing these songs, and thanks to Dimitri Reeves for his dance performances during those protests.
Also, thanks to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to all publishers of these videos on YouTube. Hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody, about a dozen businesses were looted or damaged and at least 15 officers were wounded. While others were rioting, Dimitri was seen channeling his inner Michael Jackson on top of a truck We were right in the middle of it. On one side there was a fire. On the other side was a police force with riot shields and every thing.
My message to people is just to think before you react. However, the next day the protests were peaceful and included planned or impromptu performances by a brass band, marching bands, drill teams, and roller skating dancers, among others with the intent to change the dynamics and return to peaceful protests. A number of reporters indicated that the atmosphere was somewhat festive "like a block party". He spreading the message of the song. Just listen to the words!
I applaud him for doing positive rather than negative. In the official video for Michael Jackson's record "Beat It", he said those words and gave other advive to two rival gangs who were preparing to fight. Visitor comments are welcome. The lyrics to this spoken word poem are also included in this post. In addition, this post features excerpts from a interview with Saul Williams on the radio show "Fresh Air: The Alternative".
The Addendum of this post features an excerpt from a article about how White Republican candidates used coded language. The Addendum to this post also includes comments about what the term "code language" means, and comments about what I believe is the mistaken idea that African American Spirituals always contained coded language which indicated that someone was planning to flee slavery. I've made an exception to this blog's policy by showcasing this video that includes profanity and by fully spelling those two curse words.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, motivational, and aesthetic purposes. Thanks to Saul Williams and Kirk Thompson for writing this poem. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this poem on YouTube. I do not own this video. One thing that I think a lot of your poetry gets at is how words lack the ability to express the nature of true reality. I think that being able to clearly articulate a thought, a feeling, an idea is possible.
They are imbued with meaning. Our competing parties and politicians give us competing aspirational narratives. Narratives that tell us a story about our history, and narratives that offer a vision of the future Racists, and those who stand by when racist things are said, or actively exploit racism themselves, do not do so with blatant pride for the most part. Open declarations of racism are out of vogue. Which means we must look closely for the deployment of coded language and its aims.
When candidates talk about race without actually talking about race they are acting in a subtle, yet powerful, way to make the discussion about policy and politics into one that is charged with race and racism.
Language is power. It comes from history and walks through to the future. It creates and sustains meaning. It holds the past and forges the present. It matters, and its importance cannot be understated. The phrase is used only as a pejorative, because of the inherently deceptive nature of the practice and because the dog-whistle messages are frequently themselves distasteful, for example by empathising with racist or revolutionary attitudes.
The analogy is to a dog whistle, whose high-frequency whistle is heard by dogs but inaudible to humans. The term can be distinguished from "code words" used by hospital staff or other specialist workers, in that dog-whistling is specific to the political realm. The messaging referred to as the dog-whistle has an understandable meaning for a general audience, rather than being incomprehensible.
While some Spirituals and some other songs sung by enslaved Black people did include coded language sometimes , I think it's idiotic to believe that when enslaved Black people in the American South sung songs such as "Steal Away", "Get On Board", and "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" it always meant that someone was planning to escape from slavery.
Given the dangers of running away from slavery, it's unlikely that people would publicly announce that they planned to attempt that escape. Furthermore, if someone fled from the plantation every time those songs were sung, you would think that the overseers and owners of those enslaved people -not to mention the resident Black snitches- would get wise to the underground meaning of those songs.
Remember that there was a constant fear of slaves rising. What I suspect they sometimes did was change a certain word or phrase. I also don't think slaves would be too happy about someone with a big mouth singing songs that were about escape while planning just that.
I'm not sure if there is an old African proverb that says this, but here's a new African proverb that I just thought of that was inspired by your post: "Big mouths can cause big trouble".
And when it came to slavery, that ain't no joke. Severe whippings, mutilation, and being 'sold down the river' to the harshest form of slavery in the deep Southern states were the penalties for being caught trying to escape slavery. Of course, even today "big mouths can cause big trouble". Maybe it's just as well that this is a text only discussion forum. Bessie Jones indicated that the song "Old Bill the rolling pin" was a coded referent to "paterollers" White patrollers who rode around trying to catch Black people who were off their plantations without written passes.
The words to that song are included in that Mudcat thread. Labels: African American history , African American spoken word poetry , race and racism , Saul Williams , spoken word. Lamb Of God 4. Dream On 5. That's When The Angels Rejoice 6. Alpha And Omega 7. Passin' The Faith Alone 8.
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