Monday, March 15, 2004

It's for Your Own Good
The Herald's recent report that police officers are monitoring the activities of hip-hop stars and their associates is stirring up chilling memories for black Americans and music historians.
"There's a whole history of all kinds of horrible actions between the police and specifically young black males, and also a broader community,'' DeCurtis said. ``Anything that seems like it's not being done exactly on the book is cause for concern.''

Miami and Miami Beach police argue that one of their goals is to protect the artists. Several high-profile rappers have died violently over the years.

''What would law enforcement be if we closed our eyes?'' Miami Beach Assistant Police Chief Charles Press said. ``Our job is to know as much about things that could hurt innocent people.''

The police have not solved the murders of Tupac Shakur, the Notorious BIG and Jam Master Jay. And today's activities raise parallels to the FBI's Cointelpro tactics against black activists in the '60s and '70s.

'I don't believe for a moment, given my life, when I'm told that `we're focusing on a bunch of black people and really that's OK,' because I've never seen that work well,'' said hip-hop journalist and historian Harry Allen. ``I don't feel safer for this.''[Nitpicker emphasis]
How is that violation of our constitutional rights is always in our best interest.


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