For my half-dozen faithful readers in this quadrant of the galaxy, I’m going to undertake a partial translation of a Deutsche Welle article published online last Wednesday (May 25). My German is far from perfect, yet I don’t think I’ve missed the mark on any significant detail.
The German press is leftwing times ten; Peter Holmes has often and aptly remarked the number of formerly East German hacks who have found their way into contemporary German corridors of power (including Merkel’s inner circle). The German press, likewise, is pretty much what one might expect of a Fourth Estate essentially run by the Stasi. Unless a volcano is erupting in Indonesia, its stories are nothing but spin and propaganda.
In this case, I found the ideological contortion-act uproarious. We’re already familiar with it on our side of the pond. If you or I uttered in the most discreet privacy a comment containing five percent of the racism or sexism with which Rap music is laced, we’d lose our jobs pronto. But when someone of the right DNA profile makes exponentially worse remarks than anything we’ve ever imagined, not only is all forgiven at once—the fault for the infraction is attributed to us because we have created such a hostile environment for the dear.
Today Gangsta Rap is about rebellion above all else, according to Kathrin Bower, Professor of German Studies at the University of Richmond and an expert in German Rap [naturally]. The “Gangsta-Rapper”, clarified Bower in an interview with Deutsche Welle, presents himself ostentatiously as an outsider, a rebel, someone who deliberately ignores the rules and thereby becomes celebrated.
“The crude flaunting of material possessions, the hostility to women, and the violence in Gangsta Rap are a veiled expression of general rebellion against the worth of the middle class, established society, and political correctness. The fact that the music publisher Echo’s award primarily reflects lofty sales numbers—and thus popularity—points to a disturbing reality, continued Bower: that “the hypermasculinity and provocation of Gangsta Rap are pleasing to young people of extremely diverse backgrounds.”
The most curious thing about that little meditation is how political correctness appears to be identified with the middle class. I wonder if Professor Bower, expert in German Rap and the Modern World generally, really thought that one through. PC orthodoxy is supposed to be aimed at the vicious, greedy, racist tendencies of the squalid capitalist bourgeoisie… but the rapper has both targets in the sites of his weaving (and mostly metaphorical) Glock, so some scuffing up of logical boundaries in pursuit of a brilliant insight must be forgiven.
Then we have the case of a paradoxically successful artiste-critic of the system:
Bushido’s turbulent objectives indicate a broad—and altogether contradictory—target audience: on the one hand, Muslim youths with an immigrant background, and on the other, youths who style themselves “white nationalist” or neo-Nazi. These latter have embraced Bushido even though the rapper’s father is a Tunisian.
This time it is DW, and not one of its professorial interviewees, who’s attempting a barrel-roll that would have made the Red Baron vomit. If Caucasian Germans who cheer on rappers are potential Nazis, then they shouldn’t be standing shoulder to shoulder with Muslim lads… should they? Hmm. A contradiction. Of course, these young males aren’t nearly as bright as the DW staff and its panoply of academic contributors… so another interview can probably explain their pathetically irrational—but not contemptible (never that!)—behavior.
It wasn’t always so. In Berlin-Kreuzberg, young people of Turkish origin have identified themselves with Hip-Hop and Rap since the Eighties in order to address their role as the “other side” in Germany, writes Ayhan Kaya, Professor of Politics and Director of the Europa Institute on Bilgi University’s campus in Istanbul.
In this early form of Rap, the objective above all else was the search for identity. Today, writes, Kaya, that isn’t so much the case. At the moment, he is working on a project about Gangsta Rap whose focus is how the genre has come to serve “the disillusioned Right as well as being an outlet for Muslim youth.”
“This is actually a positive development,” said Kaya in an interview with DW. A possibility for radicalization exists in both groups, and both are similar “victims of globalization, the departure of local industry, socio-economic frustration, alienation, and humiliation.” Hip-Hop is an escape valve for youth who otherwise might have joined radical groups like the so-called Islamic State or the National Socialist Underground (NSU).
Personally, I don’t think Professor Kaya is far off base. I see daylight (if not exactly a Golden Dawn) in this odd marriage, as well. As I have conjectured for some time, people raised in fundamentalist Islam and the disenfranchised “young white male” of the West who only ever hears about his “privilege” must eventually converge upon the recognition that they share significant values. They don’t want to be lackeys to females, their masculinity disparaged and their intelligence derided. They have a suppressed (and sometimes very distorted) but nonetheless powerful desire to serve something beyond themselves rather than eke out a sybaritic postmodern existence of chasing after animal pleasures. They’re not very eloquent on the whole, and so they are apt to counter criticism of their crude behavior by doubling down on it: “Okay, so I’m a pig! Oink, oink! Better keep your distance, or I’ll splash mud on you!” And, yes, they’re largely unemployed; and in a world increasingly fond of fusing humans with machines, their attraction to manual labor and their pride in honest sweat merely draws sneers.
The Left doesn’t want to brand these bad boys as irredeemable, at least when they’re not Caucasian: they’re too patently eligible for victim status. Yet to suggest that they aren’t all wearing pink vagina hats only because some strange mixture of capitalism and PC fascism has nudged them into the margin is to dwell in a fantasy.
Well… where else would you expect to find the denizens of Leftworld?