Wednesday, February 11, 2009

M.I.A. & the Tamil struggle

In today's New York Times there's a frontal attack on M.I.A. for her supposed support of the Tamil national liberation movement. Now, I'm so out of touch with rap and hip hop that it's downright embarrassing; with not nearly enough exceptions, I've never really moved beyond the 1970s in my musical taste. Nor am I very familiar with the Tamil Tigers. This much I do know: when an oppressed nationality is waging an armed struggle for self-determination, chances are nearly 100% that they are my comrades. The Times article, of course, brands the Tamil Tigers as terrorists. This is standard operating procedure. It's the same way the bourgeois press treats the New People's Army of the Philippines, the FARC-EP of Colombia, and any other force fighting for the mass of workers, peasants and oppressed people. When an artist takes a stand for such a struggle, in fact uses her art to promote it, my oh my they go downright ballistic.

As for me, I salute M.I.A. with all my heart. It looks like I may have to leap out of my soul-music comfort zone and pick up one of her records.