“Don’t turn away from rap music simply because it’s loud or violent or sexist or lewd – which so much of it is. Don’t turn away from the damage and destruction of drugs by simply declaring ‘war’ on them and filling our prisons with the people who use them. Look hard at where the need for those drugs is coming from. Look hard at what’s behind the anger and rage of that rap music. Pay attention. These are symptoms. They are responses. It is not the heroin-filled syringe of the addict that is the problem. It is not the hateful verses of the gangsta rapper that we must outlaw. It is the conditions and circumstances out of which the user and the gangster spring that must be looked at, understood and addressed. Change the world in which the addict lives and you’ll change his need for the drug. Change the world about which the rapper chants and you will change his words and his music.” – Congressman John Lewis of Georgia from Walking With the Wind: a memoir of the movement.
“The system used the main nonviolent themes of Martin Luther King’s life to present a strategy designed to protect its own interests – imagine the most violent nation on earth, the heir of Indian and African genocide, the only nation ever to drop an atomic bomb on a civilian population, the world’s biggest arms dealer, the country that napalmed over 10 million people in Vietnam (to “save” it from communism), the world’s biggest jailer, waving the corpse of King, calling for nonviolence!”
– Mumia Abu Jamal quoted from Live from Death Row