I created GlobalGrind a few years ago for moments like this. Lupe Fiasco, one of the great poets of his generation, made some comments that didn't sit well with a lot of people, when he called President Barack Obama a "terrorist." I decided to reach out to Lupe to give him a platform to further explain why he felt this way and discuss the overall state of our country, our politics and the world.
This is a transcript from our conversation.
Me: Lupe, it is good to speak with you. I heard there was a lot of talk about the comments you made a few days ago about the President, and I wanted to give you a chance to further discuss your thoughts. I respect you as an artist and a poet and I think your opinion is important to the national discussion on where our country is going. I kinda understand that some of our foreign policy has been very hurtful and sometimes we do things that are not conscience. I didn’t really think that Obama was any more aggressive about our business interests or America’s interest in terms of the foreign policy then of the previous President, and in fact, I believe there have been changes under this administration that have been really good, like his speech in Cairo or ending combat operations in Iraq. So I just want to get clarity on your words so I can send them out there and that people understand because America in the past has made some horrible choices. Our footprint on the necks of people around the world is not really understood by the American public. When you think about 300,000 or whatever number of innocent Muslims we killed in Iraq, or when you think about some of the choices we’ve made that have hurt people but we only count our dead in Iraq. We don’t count theirs. We don’t know the amount of Islamophobia the country exudes and we say things like “we’re going on a crusade” and these things are scary...What do you think?-
Lupe: America was based on a hypocrisy and what we had done is basically an extension of that hypocrisy. I think that the Constitution was a hypocrisy in the sense that the same way you look at somebody like Glenn Beck as a hypocrite. On one level I agree with a lot of stuff that Glenn Beck says — this is to give you context for me and where my statements come from — I agree with the ideals that he speaks about when he talks about family values and when he talks about taking care of your own community. He talks a really good wholesome kind of game. The problem is, he’s not talking to anybody but white people. It’s really just the intention and the context of it. So there’s a certain level of hypocrisy that exists in America. And it started back from the Constitution and all the people who wrote the Constitution and everything that they put in there it was good game, but all those people had slaves. The majority of the people had slaves or were sympathetic to slaveholders or were direct recipients of money from slavery and things like that and had businesses that dealt with plantations and people that had slaves. There’s a certain level of hypocrisy that existed from the inception of this country all the way up until today and we’re really just facing the remnants.