August 30, 2002– Hip-hop wordsmith Eminem recently released an animated video to his song “White America,” a clip that criticizes the United States, calling it the “Democracy of Hypocrisy” and “Divided State of Embarrassment.” The video is laced with vivid images of people urinating on the White House lawn, a Columbine-like school shooting, the Constitution being ripped in half, Eminem being hung in front of a lynch mob and other shocking images.
In the song, Eminem says, “Surely hip-hop is never a problem in Harlem/ Only in Boston, after it bothered ya fathers of daughters startin’ to blossom/ Now I’m catchin’ the flack from these activists.”
In an interview with CNN, critics of the rapper compared Eminem’s influence to that of Charles Manson, the mastermind behind a long string of murders in the ’60s. According to published reports, Manson simply had a mental influence over his followers, The Manson Family, who committed the murders on his behalf.
Darrell Scott, whose daughter was murdered in the Columbine shooting spree, likened the rapper to Manson, because of his effect on his millions of fans.
“Eminem represents an influence on the lives of young people. And we really need to take a long look at the influences that come across the media and entertainment,” Scott said to CNN.
In songs like “I’m Back,” Eminem has mocked the notion of having an unnaturally powerful influence over the minds of listeners.
“I take each individual degenerate’s head and reach into it, just to see if he’s influenced by me if he listens to music,” he said in the song, “And if he feeds into this shit he’s an innocent victim and becomes a puppet on the string of my tennis shoe.”
On his 2000 CD, The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem expressed a reserved sympathy for the shooters in the Columbine tragedy since they were reportedly bullied and were exacting vengeance on random students in April of 1999. In several songs, like “Brain Damage,” he quips about being bullied in school.
After the premiere of “White America,” Scott said that the public should cease to purchase Eminem’s records, all of which have sold millions of units.
“I encourage young people that are listening to please not spend your money and be entertained at the expense of my daughter’s death and the 12 other precious people who were killed at Columbine,” Scott continued.
In a prepared statement, Interscope Records defended the rapper, saying, “Eminem is an artist. He creates art. He does not do it so that the media can use it and solicit angry responses from the public. He does it for fans.”
The video for “White America” was produced by award-winning producers Guerrilla News Network and has been deemed too controversial for television.
Of the video, GNN said in a statement, “In order to fuse GNN’s underground political culture with Eminem’s profane anti-American rant, we pitched a concept that would ‘place the viewer in the body of Eminem as he moves through the media-drenched environment that is the subject for his critique of American society.’ In this way, we were actively seeking to divert the emphasis from the cult celebrity of Eminem and have the video be a platform for a broader and hyper-visual critique of America itself.”
Of course Columbine drama is a touchy subject. Eminem’s video “White America” caused a lot of controversy. The parents from Columbine High School were upset when the new video was released.Darrell Scott thinks Eminem makes jokes about his young daughter’s death.
Eminem expressed his sympathy for the killers and also explained his point of view: “Columbine is so touchy. As much sympathy as we give the Columbine shootings, nobody ever looked at it from the point of view of the kids who were bulllied- I mean , they took their own life! and it was because they were pushed so far to the edge that they were so mad. I’ve been that mad!”
Eminem has been bullied at school and he can relate to what is going on in the mind of a kid who gets bullied. People should think before judging so fast, they should try to analyze each side’s point of view.
It’s so frustrating, humiliating for a kid to be beaten up every day at school.
Interscope defended the right to artistic expression for Eminem.
The political statements made in White America are to be taken seriously. Eminem envisions America’s violent society and troubled youth. We should not be too sensitive to the harsh reality that is shown in “White America”.
Because of his own harsh childhood, Eminem stands next to the youth, he helps us to understand young people better.
Eminem’s art is not supposed to be politically correct. He is not supposed to please the vast masses of listeners, but to expose the truth, even if his vision is scary and shocking some sensitive people.
Eminem has the courage of his political opinion, which encourages us to show our criticism and not to accept empty political speeches wherever they might come from.Marshall Mathers has shown his critism towards the American government. But some people seem to forget that he loves America…it is funny to notice that the last sentence of his song “I’m just playing America, you know I love you.” is always forgotten intentionally by people who think he is totally anti American.