Artistic expression is in fact one of the most powerful and salient forms of communication that exists throughout the history of mankind. Indeed there have been numerous works that have utterly transcended cultural, linguistic and ethnic boundaries to captivate the masses. Michelangelo and his ethereal murals on the Sistine Chapel, the structural phenomena that are the Pyramids of Egypt, Leonardo Da Vinci’s timeless classic that is the Mona Lisa … And the list could go on.
Artistic expression, when executed correctly, can be a powerful and awesome thing. Artistic expression, when executed incorrectly, can be a powerful and awesome thing. Which brings us to the music video released by Hip-Hop icon Snoop Dogg depicting him shooting a man dressed as a clown who resembles President Trump but who—for all kinds of legal purposes— is called “Ron Klump“.
When Snoop Dogg is referred to as an icon, it is intentional. For some three decades he’s been one of hip-hops most trusted, revered and enduring voices. His platform is nearly indestructible, his power unfathomably immense, his reach international, his influence immeasurable. As such it is our opinion that the above mentioned video goes too far in expressing distaste for our nation’s leader. The depiction of the assassination of an American President isn’t funny nor is it conducive to bringing the healing and peace that our country needs so badly in this juncture in time.
It’s no secret that EOTI is no fan of a Trump presidency which is why this platform is utilized to challenge its policies, its procedures and its overall and fundamentally ghastly approach to governing. Even so, Donald J. Trump is indeed the President of these United States and some may find him detestable as an individual, the office he holds must be respected. One cannot separate the man from the office in this case. One cannot dress up an actor to look like the president then state that the attack was solely meant for the man. Those images are powerful and can stir ideals in fertile and susceptible minds that can cause a whole heap of trouble.
If an artist like, say, Toby Keith, who is a Trump supporter, made a video of the same nature about former President Barack Obama? We who support the former president would cry foul and vent our disgust and probably even call Keith a racist. So, this dangerous overture by one of the most loved, revered, admired and respected voices of his generation should not be seen as “okay” or funny or in anyway acceptable or palatable. All that said, this is America and freedom of expression is our right for sure. The call here is not for Snoop to apologize or even take the video down. I mean, Trump never once apologized when the video came out of him expressing his love for sexual assault came to bear. Snoop put it out there because he believes in it. That’s his right. However, the call here is that individuals in Snoop’s position should not do what is oft said we despise Trump for: rallying the masses around the sentiment of negative emotion, fear, anger and rage.
For all intents and purposes, the office of the President of the United States is in fact one of our most treasured national symbols. For better or worse, we all look to it for guidance. We may not like Trump but we should all want his presidency to succeed in a manner that benefits the people. Which is why, in the hopes of righting the ship, we hold him accountable to his lies, mischaracterizations, attempts to suppress the free press and discrimination against a whole religious class with his nefarious “muslim ban”. Trump has given plenty of policy ammo to discredit him, we don’t need to stoop to his inflammatory level to express our distaste.
Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins
United States Congress: (202) 225-3121
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