Signmark is yes, another “def/deaf” rapper, clearly benefiting from the apparent music industry rush from traditional to “deaf” rap as a way to galvinize a huge new market if not entre into the “disability” demographic. Just for reference, that’s about 20% of the planet that’s been pretty systematically ignored.
And not just in music although this is where it’s starting.
We actually predicted this merging of “gimp” and “rap” culture several years ago. We were so convinced that we tried to interest the chief disability adviser to the then nascent Obama presidential campaign, that this was a particularly fertile sector of the economy (and of course his base of support). Not to mention the basis for a kick butt online campaign.
We didn’t get very far, despite this individual’s assertion that we “were probably right.”
Maybe next year.
We aren’t very thrilled with the way, in general, that the Obama administration has treated the issue of disability and gimp rights. Neither he or the Missus have even visited Gaulludet University, the nation’s top/only university for the deaf less than five miles from the White House and whose students pioneered the use of mobile technology and political campaigns long before he ran for office. But that’s not the point of the blog.
We do think that under this administration, there finally seems to be a blooming of modern disability talent (from “activists” and “artists” to what we hope is our for-profit business and others like it) as it becomes clearer that not only is PWD discrimination not acceptable, it’s a stupid business strategy.
Very few businesses these days (large or small) will so easily dismiss if not turn away the gimp dollar because they don’t want to comply with federal law.
As Dr. King once said about race, you need “activists” and you need “politicians.” What’s terrific about the new PWD Pride movement is there are a lot of “activists” who are also moving into the commercial and entrepreneurial worlds (including we hope ourselves), blending activist understanding with an eye for the bottom line.
You see that theme too articulated clearly in the video below.
What you will also hear is a form of both “gimp” pride and “gimp” rage. It is powerful coming in the form of “black” voices.
They get it and you can hear that in both the lyrics and the intonation.
Discrimination is discrimination, no matter what the source or the target. It’s a powerful audio-visual presentation and gives the able-bodied a very brief but tolerable look inside the head of a PWD who’s not going to take it any more. A way to understand discrimination from a common point of reference for everyone else.
What you also see is a piece of specifically “Deaf” culture as distinguished from more generalized “gimp” culture, but the good thing about this video is that the concept (and appropriately given its venue, rap) and the contained, intelligent rage is absolutely relevant to just about any of us with disabilities. Any kind of disability. Or even the able-bodied who understand the power of “self” and the need to establish a self-identity frequently at odds with the mainstream.
Powerful without being preachy.
One little correction though since this is a serious topic and while we encourage “artistic” license, we also think it’s important to teach the correct course of civil rights history. Technically, the rights of deaf individuals (along with other PWDS) have been on a very gradual (and far too slow) trajectory towards real equality since 1973 with the passage of the Rehabilitation Act. In 1990, Congress passed the ADA and in 1991, they passed the 1991 Civil Rights Act. See our Legal Eagles section for more of an explanation of these and other statutes which affect the rights of this community.
That doesn’t rhyme as well, though and it’s PWD general rather than deaf specific. And with all art, it’s the thought that ultimately, counts the most. And we are absolutely uncritical in the overall way this is presented. Right on target.
As a result, we not only recommend giving the link below a watch, but guarantee that when you do, you will think about the lyrics on this one for days.
- [video] Signmark See the Music 19 6 2011 Smells Like Victory ??????? ??????? (camerastyloonline.wordpress.com)