Neutrality Means Nothing

This week the FCC decided to roll back the regulations on what is now known as “net neutrality”. Basically, the internet providers are going to charge you money based on what you want to use your internet for. Similar to cable companies who offer a “sports package” or a “premium package” with varying channels per package. How many of you are going to get that “social media package”? How many of you can afford internet as is let alone a bundle package?! Imagine missing out on Black Thought’s recent freestyle on HOT97 with Funkmaster Flex! Buffering will make a comeback and we might even have to bring back dial up. The millennials are going to be sick I’m sure but what does this mean for our communities and the culture? I speak on the ills of technology all the time but today I’m going to give it up to the Black and Brown folks who use the internet for the greater good.

Social media is simply a worldwide platform that gives our communities and the culture an opportunity to reach people who have little to no access to anything outside of the world they live in. The internet is what you make it and Black and Brown people have made social media a way to voice their grievances with this capitalist society that has been taking them for granted and taking advantage of them for hundreds of years. I love nothing more than scrolling down my Instagram timeline and seeing accounts like @afroelle or @thepanafrican. Too bad we have Hip Hop music. While everyone is scrambling to find out how they’re going to live without all access internet I’m going to a Best Buy to wait on my physical copies! Since streaming won’t be the same we have to go back to what we know and all I know is Hip Hop Culture will not be silenced. We will be heard!

From “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy to “Why” by Jadakiss Hip Hop music has always been the voice of the voiceless. Hip Hop music has educated and elevated all of us to a level of higher understanding. We created our own platform over forty years ago in the Bronx. Can’t stream? I guess now you have make a choice as to whose album you’re going to buy because physicals ain’t cheap. We will soon sales will mean something again. Soon record labels will begin to make money like it’s the nineties. You all don’t need the internet as much as you think you do, you’ll be fine young people. Maybe if we take our eyes off of the internet and open our eyes to the world in front of us. We won’t be able to “go live” and share that our family member was gunned down by the police in cold blood with a pack of Skittles in hand. No longer will we be able to catch the police violating protocol by chocking a Black man on the street. The days will end when we can champion ourselves and the strides and successes of our people. While they’re trying to silence our first amendment rights we have to get back in the lab and get back to our roots. Those of us that can afford to access the internet freely need to share their platform and maybe social media stunts will end as the revolution begins.

“Our freedom of speech is freedom or death.” -Chuck D (Fight the Power)

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