As expected, Kendrick Lamar's belief that his vote doesn't count has caused a firestorm. Lamar's proclamation that he “doesn't' believe in voting” likely raised the click-through rate on the Truth Is Scary website, and inserted the young rapper into the spotlight for his political views.
Although Lamar is like one of many, both in Hip-Hop and beyond, who have expressed distrust in the government, the League of Young Voters Education Fund has offered up a response to his words. Rob “Biko” Baker Executive Director of the LYVEF would like to use this latest political development as an opportunity to invite Lamar into a discussion on the matter. “I respect Kendrick Lamar's opinion,” Baker said in a statement to Hip-Hop Wired. “He isn't the only young leader frustrated with the state of political process. But by not participating in this, and future elections, Kendrick Lamar is giving the very people he is frustrated with more free rein to continue to pull the levers the way they want to.”
Baker happened to be in Lamar's hometown of Compton, Calif. over the weekend, and got a bird's-eye view of the potential change that the 25-year-old can bring about, should he choose to accept the mission. “If Kendrick inspired his neighbors to think seriously about the strength of their vote, we could begin to alter the popular discourse, and more importantly the economic policy of local and statewide government,” he continued. “I've seen it happen before, and I believe poor people in Compton can be mobilized to improve their living conditions. We have to stop thinking about ourselves as individual actors, and take out collective strength more seriously. I would love to chop it up with him.”
Despite the record numbers of Black people who helped put President Obama in office in 2008, 2012 is expected to see a drop, due in part to the crippled economy. According to a Pew poll, Black citizens made for a steep decrease in confidence in the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 43 percent of Black men ages 18-29 hold full-time jobs, while only 58 percent of those older than 16 have full or part-time work. However, the findings do not include full-time students rn prisoners, the latter of which account for 37.3 percent of the inmate population, down from 39.4 percent in 2009.
Lamar has yet to respond to Baker's invitation, or clarify his voting views (if need be).
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