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Hip-hop hogwash in the schools (Michelle Malkin) ^ | 1/15/03 | Michelle Malkin

Posted on 01/14/2003 10:24:28 PM PST by kattracks

Yo, yo, yo. The Los Angeles Times reports this week that teachers across the country are using rap music to "make classical literature relevant."

When I was in school, we studied the major conflicts of "Man vs. Self," "Man vs. Nature" and "Man vs. Society" by reading Shakespeare, Melville and Hawthorne. We copied famous quotations in our marble composition notebooks, memorized verses and soliloquies that have stood the test of time, and immersed ourselves in the creative genius of men and women who lived and loved centuries before us.

But universal themes and great books, which have challenged, enriched and inspired generations of students around the world, no longer hold sway in the modern academy.

At Crenshaw High School, the major conflict being studied is "Man vs. Ho." The revered bard is dead rapper Tupac Shakur. Times reporter Erika Hayasaki enthusiastically describes how English teacher Patrick Camangian got his students talking about the "lyrics" by the late Shakur from an uplifting opus titled "Shorty Wanna Be a Thug": "Blaze up, gettin' with hos through my pager."

Reports Hayasaki: "A lively discussion ensued about sexism, racism and how degrading terms such as 'ho' -- slang for whore -- can be used to dehumanize and divide people. In hip-hop terms, the students were feelin' it."

It's bad enough that the demented scribblings of various hoodlums are being peddled in public high schools as literature. Even worse are the "academic" courses being taught in elite colleges.

Here's a recent syllabus I found on the Internet from Dr. Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, who teaches at the University of Connecticut's Department of History. The course: "Hip-Hop: Politics and Popular Culture in Late 20th Century United States." Among the educational objectives: "to discuss, at a college-level proficiency, the contributions of various artists on hip-hop and the significance of the art form in the United States and abroad."

One unit on "development and evolution" focuses on "breaking, popping, graffiti, (and) colloquialisms," with an emphasis on the great minds of "Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Kurtis Blow, (and) Afrika Bambaattaa." Another penetrating unit is devoted to hip-hop's nouveau riche, and lectures on such important historical figures in rap history as "Lil' Kim, Black Star, Puff Daddy, The Roots, Cash Money Millionaires, (and) Jay-Z." Dr. Ogbar is no softie, however. Students must produce a "creative writing paper" that develops a 200-250 word rhyme. He provides a helpful example and analysis:

MCs think I'm like an artery because I bring the flow,

But I'm really just vain so in case you don't know,

I put out wack MCs like yo momma put out the booty

You think you a big baller, but you the smallest like Rudy . . .

Dr. Ogbar expounds on the "use of simile to insult the opponent by comparing him/her to the smallest child, 'Rudy,' on the popular '80s sitcom 'The Cosby Show.' It can also refer to 'Rudy,' the popular 1993 movie about a small football player, thereby offering a double entendre with idiomatic slang 'baller' (an athlete; also used in reference to someone with wealth and power). The final multi-layered reference is to the smallest character of the 1970s cartoon 'Fat Albert.' This affirms the humiliation of the opponent and offers a witty popular culture reference."

Another syllabus I found for an Afro-American Studies course at Harvard University, "Hiphop America: Power, Politics and the Word," introduces young scholars to the "Hiphop ideology: Representin', Comin' Correct, and Keepin' It Real." And at Pennsylvania State University, I discovered, students were required to attend a "Mos Def Concert" and write "a page concerning Hip Hop Literacies that you observe at the performance." Also mandatory: in-class listening sessions of "old school rap" and in-class "viewing of various female rapper's (sic) videos."

Welcome to the morass of self-absorbed multiculturalism, where urban "relevance" is the be-all and end-all of the intellectual experience. Where teachers are listening partners, rather than imparters of knowledge. Where Fat Albert and Prince Hamlet are equals. Where education has been reduced to the false art of "feelin' it" and "keepin' it real."


Correction: Demonstrating why I majored in English, not mathematics, I reported last week that Washington Teachers Union members pay roughly $700 per month in dues. They pay roughly $700 per year.

©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Contact Michelle Malkin | Read her biography

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events

1 posted on 01/14/2003 10:24:29 PM PST by kattracks
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2 posted on 01/14/2003 10:29:12 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: kattracks
3 posted on 01/14/2003 10:29:46 PM PST by dogbrain
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To: kattracks
4 posted on 01/14/2003 10:30:53 PM PST by wardaddy
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To: kattracks
I like to rap,
cause I'm full a crap!
I got no brain,
so I can't go insane!
5 posted on 01/14/2003 10:34:16 PM PST by Free ThinkerNY
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To: kattracks
All dat be lookin phat on a resume.
6 posted on 01/14/2003 10:37:31 PM PST by lorrainer (Yo)
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To: kattracks
Michelle Malkin:

7 posted on 01/14/2003 10:39:09 PM PST by John Locke
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To: kattracks
"Rap music" is an oxymoron.
8 posted on 01/14/2003 11:39:33 PM PST by Marauder
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To: Marauder
You mean (C)rap music.
9 posted on 01/15/2003 12:07:32 AM PST by starboardside
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To: kattracks
When or IF these black people ever realize what LIBERALS have done to keep them STUPID and UN-PRODUCTIVE and on the Liberal Plantation.....there will be RIOTING and KILLING! My guess is that they are so far down, they will never realize what has been done to them.
10 posted on 01/15/2003 3:12:59 AM PST by Claire Voyant ((visualize whirled peas))
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11 posted on 01/15/2003 2:10:26 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe (God Armeth The Patriot)
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To: kattracks
Gee, I wonder why they come out of high school and college seeming like they know nothing.
12 posted on 01/15/2003 2:21:19 PM PST by Bullish
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To: dogbrain
13 posted on 01/15/2003 3:37:01 PM PST by wingnuts'nbolts
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To: Black Agnes; rmlew; cardinal4; LiteKeeper; hoppity; Lizard_King; Sir_Ed; TLBSHOW; BigRedQuark; ...
Leftism on Campus ping!

If you would like to be added to the Leftism on Campus ping list, please
notify me via FReep-mail.

14 posted on 01/15/2003 4:54:53 PM PST by Hobsonphile
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To: dogbrain
word up???
15 posted on 01/15/2003 5:15:58 PM PST by chasio649
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To: chasio649
Did you ever dig how they have their underwear pulled up to their paps, as the beltline of their pants are below the thighs?

This is called dumbing down on literature, art, and respectable dress.

(c)rap music is junk!!
16 posted on 01/15/2003 5:47:32 PM PST by Astro Boy
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To: kattracks
Needs more study.
17 posted on 01/15/2003 6:30:00 PM PST by Old Professer
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