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Rap Not Music to Whitey's Ears
August 19, 2003 1:05 PM   Subscribe

Rap Not Music to Whitey's Ears A group of alleged white extremists facing treason charges in South Africa has complained about being forced to listen to "black" music while on remand in prison.
posted by turbanhead (14 comments total)

 
"The men face a total of 42 charges, including high treason, murder, attempted murder, terrorism and the illegal possession of weapons.

They are accused of the murder of Claudia Mokone who was killed in a bomb blast in the black township of Soweto last December.

Prosecutors say they also conspired to kill Nelson Mandela by blowing up a car transporting the former president to a public event."
posted by 111 at 1:22 PM on August 19, 2003


I am a young white adult male with fairly diverse taste in music. One summer I held a temporary job where I worked with all women aged 24 through 50. The radio was not allowed to leave the pop hits station. For those unfamiliar with these stations, this station played, literally, about 20 songs on a loop all day for a week at a time. There was also very annoying commentary by two idiot dj's. It wasn't long before I was bringing headphones to work so that I could hear some NPR and drown out the rest of the noise. Thankfully, my boss was very supportive of this.

Back to these white extremists- I guess I can understand. And I don't think "black" should be in quotes- the article sounds like it pretty much is created by and for young black guys. If it's a pop-hits type of black music, these white supremacists will never be rehabilitated.
posted by crazy finger at 1:22 PM on August 19, 2003


Group of racists deliberately say something racist to spark racially-divided debate.

What am I saying. Clearly, this is about the music.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:48 PM on August 19, 2003


I'm not saying that they're not racists, but ultimately it comes down to hating every minute of every day because you can't bear to hear another N'Sync song for the 5th time since lunch.

Honestly, though, having to listen all day to music you dislike is a form of torture. Imagine if you were forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore talk all day- even if you agree with them on some issues, you wouldn't last long.
posted by crazy finger at 1:57 PM on August 19, 2003


Wait... they're in prison and complaining? This is news.
posted by jon_kill at 1:57 PM on August 19, 2003


Honestly, though, having to listen all day to music you dislike is a form of torture. Imagine if you were forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore talk all day- even if you agree with them on some issues, you wouldn't last long.

If I was sitting in a jail in South Africa charged with treason, I sincerely doubt having to listen to unlikabe radio content would make even the top 100 of my immediate problems.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:03 PM on August 19, 2003


Just to add a bit of local context here, the music in question is probably Kwaito which can best be described as slowed down house music with repetive verses and choruses (usually chanted not spoken - listen to clips here). Some of it is cool. But the VAST majority of it is really repetitive and suffers from a lack of artists having access to samples, studio, songwriters and decent production.
posted by PenDevil at 2:22 PM on August 19, 2003


Yes, PenDevil, but what I meant with my previous comment is that's not the point. This story- the fact that it's been written and printed- is racial flamebait. With all the issues that two people in a South African jail could complain about- violence, physical intimidation, subversion of human rights, rapes, starvation, poor health conditions, and so forth... they decide to make a case about the a subject which can easily be adapted into the pubic debate about the social quality of certain ethnicities' choices of music? Doubtful.

This story exists so people have an excuse to enter the "what's with those silly black people and their silly music" theme again.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:31 PM on August 19, 2003


Well I don't think these dudes are going to be worrying about starvation or poor health conditions. They're being kept in C-Max Prison which is state of the art (check out a cell), as prisons go.

And I think the story is more of an excuse to enter the "what's with those silly racists and their aversion to everything black" theme. At least that's how it's being treated here.

These guys have been bitching non-stop in their trial, seeking protection (for some dubious claims) from the very Constitution which they tried to overthrow.
posted by PenDevil at 2:44 PM on August 19, 2003


The article did not state whether or not the South Africa prison played this music to meet the preferred taste of a majority of the prisoners, because the keepers enjoyed it, or specifically and with malice to cause psychological pain to the white prisoners. Maybe those who control the content culturally prefer this music. Perhaps the torture of the white prisoners is an unintended by-product.

However, we do know that the United States has for some time has purposefully employed "music torture" as a tool in the psyops bag o' tricks.

There was the deliberate use of heavy metal music in the siege of Panama which some say was "instrumental" in forcing Manuel Noriega to surrender for trial in the US.

Currently the US military are using music as psyops at Gitmo on the prisoners held there, and there are reports that music is used to break down Iraqi prisoners of war.

If it's wrong for a government/prison to "torture" political prisoners and/or prisoners of war with music 24/7 that is an anathema to their sensibilities, the US also has some accounting required.

Metallica round the clock without surcease? Barney's theme song all day long...all night long? Who wouldn't crack?

Personally, I'd definitely go "technomad."
posted by Dunvegan at 6:09 PM on August 19, 2003


Haha. I remember having to endure blasting SoulTrain on the TV while temporarily ensconced in the youth block of the county slammer for pot busts. Ah, the early seventies.
posted by HTuttle at 7:35 PM on August 19, 2003


Dunvegan, I flet that way having to endure Dashboard Confessional as the opening act for Weezer at the PNC Center last summer... and I had to pay to listen to that torture.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:42 PM on August 19, 2003


Yeah this was definitely not deliberate musical torture using selected tracks to cause the most discomfort. The prison just pipes in a radio station over the PA during the day, and that radio station just happens to be one that plays a lot of Kwaito/Hip-Hop/R&B. Tough tekkie for them.
posted by PenDevil at 1:32 AM on August 20, 2003


That stuck-up bitch, with her lame ballads. Who cares what she thinks of ra...

...huh...?

OH...... whitey.... I thought it said Witney.
posted by Blue Stone at 9:23 AM on August 20, 2003


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