Allen Poe is prepping for Thanksgiving debates.
I live in the thick of the bible belt, somewhere at the intersection of Kim Davis’ waning ideals of cultural religiosity and a multitude of fever-pitched movements demanding equality for historically oppressed groups, that black lives should matter and that confederate statues should be moved from places of public prominence. The public discourse around pressing social issues has been reduced to the inarticulate finding their voice in a binary language of either-or; leftists are snowflake-cucks, the right are fascist racists. Centrism is taboo. Any semblance of a common ground likely lies in a goddamn meme.
We carry out the vitriol yearly in a never ending waxing and waning tide of passive-aggressive social media posts reaching their inevitable head during the holidays when family is forced to sit down together in an attempt to reconcile their irreconcilable differences.
Today’s America feels like an ever-widening chasm of they, divergent to the point we feel the fractures among us quickening. In his latest video for “You Grew Up,” Oddisee gives voice to not only stories that highlight these dynamics, but also to the historical social systems that serve to sort us into our boxes. Demographically speaking, I should’ve been well into the box labeled “white kid who likes rap but hated Dead Prez.” These are indeed Contradiction’s Mazes and as Oddisee points out we are drawn to acceptance and repelled by exclusion, we “try to change our realities but settle for what’s real enough.”
What is deemed real enough begins its ugly gnawing on humanity early, as evidenced by a simple conversation between my elementary school aged daughter and her classmate who at the height of last year’s campaign season posited that, “Trump wants to protect us from the Muslims, they want to come here and hurt us.” That day after school I didn’t have a meme handy to dispel the myth she was presented, but I do have the art of modern giants like Oddisee to guide our discourse, and in this dystopia it isn’t hard to appreciate what bits of truth filter through.