At the late Allan Bloom’s old stomping grounds:
Charles is a student in my Global History of Hip Hop course. One of the assigned texts for today was “Fuck the Police” by N.W.A. It will be blasting through the University of Chicago’s speakers at 12:30pm. https://t.co/vUYW5Sq6N3 @ChicagoMaroon @uchicagogsu @KofiAdemola @BLMChi
— Guy Emerson Mount (@GuyEmersonMount) April 5, 2018
What will be broadcast over the University of Chicago’s speakers today? Here are some of the lyrics to “Fuck The Police”:
Fuck the police! Comin’ straight from the underground
A young nigga got it bad ‘cause I’m brown
And not the other color, so police think
They have the authority to kill a minority
Fuck that shit, ‘cause I ain’t the one
For a punk motherfucker with a badge and a gun
To be beating on, and thrown in jail
We can go toe-to-toe in the middle of a cell
Fuckin’ with me ‘cause I’m a teenager
With a little bit of gold and a pager
Searchin’ my car, lookin’ for the product
Thinkin’ every nigga is sellin’ narcotics
You’d rather see me in the pen
Than me and Lorenzo rollin’ in a Benz-o
Beat a police out of shape
And when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape
To tape off the scene of the slaughter
Still getting swoll off bread and water
I don’t know if they fags or what
Search a nigga down, and grabbing his nuts
And on the other hand, without a gun, they can’t get none
But don’t let it be a black and a white one
‘Cause they’ll slam ya down to the street top
Black police showing out for the white cop
Ice Cube will swarm
On any motherfucker in a blue uniform
Just ‘cause I’m from the CPT
Punk police are afraid of me
Huh, a young nigga on the warpath
And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath
Of cops, dying in L.A
Yo, Dre, I got something to say
Fuck the police! And Ren said it with authority
Because the niggas on the street is a majority
A gang is with whoever I’m steppin’
And the motherfuckin’ weapon is kept in
A stash box, for the so-called law
Wishing Ren was a nigga that they never saw
Lights start flashing behind me
But they’re scared of a nigga, so they mace me to blind me
But that shit don’t work, I just laugh
Because it gives them a hint not to step in my path
For police, I’m saying, “Fuck you, punk!”
Reading my rights and shit, it’s all junk
Pulling out a silly club, so you stand
With a fake-ass badge and a gun in your hand
But take off the gun so you can see what’s up
And we’ll go at it, punk, and I’ma fuck you up!
Make you think I’ma kick your ass
But drop your gat, and Ren’s gonna blast
I’m sneaky as fuck when it comes to crime
But I’ma smoke them now and not next time
Smoke any motherfucker that sweats me
Or any asshole that threatens me
I’m a sniper with a hell of a scope
Taking out a cop or two, they can’t cope with me
The motherfuckin’ villain that’s mad
With potential to get bad as fuck
So I’ma turn it around
Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound
Yeah, somethin’ like that
But it all depends on the size of the gat
Taking out a police would make my day
But a nigga like Ren don’t give a fuck to say…
So the University of Chicago today allows to be broadcast on its speakers an extremely profane call to murder police officers. This in a city where — according to official statistics:
You ought to be ashamed, University of Chicago. What in the hell has happened to your standards? You need to be made to answer for this, President Robert Zimmer.
This week a University of Chicago police officer — not a Chicago city cop, a university cop — shot and wounded a student who defied repeated orders to stop, and who charged the officer while wielding a long metal pipe and shouting, “Fuck you!” repeatedly. You can see it all on the bodycam footage. The police had been called because this guy was wandering our bashing in windows and committing burglaries. Does the University of Chicago side with this criminal, or with the police who protected the campus from him?
UPDATE: Reader R. Johnson:
This is crazy…totally and completely crazy. And in any other town I would say it was without any rational justification at all.
But this is Chicago, and you cannot divorce this from the context of past actions by the Chicago Police.
Chicago police covertly detained more than 7,000 people at a secret interrogation warehouse straight out of a Bond movie — more than double the amount of prisoners originally believed to be held and grilled there, according to a report.
Of the 7,185 arrestees questioned at Homan Square between 2004 and 2015, only 68 were allowed access to legal counsel, the Guardian reported, citing internal police records.
Previous police records reported only 3,540 bookings over the past 11 years.
“That place was and is scary. It’s a scary place. There’s nothing about it that resembles a police station. It comes from a Bond movie or something,” said attorney David Gaeger, whose client was detained at Homan in 2011 after a marijuana arrest.
At least 22 detainees told the Guardian that they were held for hours or days on end. Many were physically beaten during interrogations. Some were denied phone calls to their families.
Chicago lawyers said they are routinely turned away from the warehouse, a towering brick warehouse that features floodlights and a razor wire fence.
“The reality is, no one knows where that person is at Homan Square,” Craig Futterman, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, told the newspaper. “They’re disappeared at that point.”
Yes, it is inexcusable that a university give voice to this kind of call for violence against police, and there should be some ramifications for that. However, within the context of years of abuse by the Chicago PD that has gone unpunished and unacknowledged save for the courts and a determined press corps, it is not unexpected.
You have warned liberals of the coming push-back from their overreach. I think it would be reasonable to call this a push-back against years of overreach by the PD.
One wrong does not justify another. But it can explain the existence of another.
UPDATE.2: Look, to be clear, if this was only a matter of playing the song in class, of course I have no objections to that. It’s important to study in a course on hip-hop. My impression from the professor’s tweet is that it was somehow going to be played on campus, as part of an anti-police protest led by him. If it was just a matter of an in-class thing, then I withdraw my complaint.