I've spent a lot of time over the past few months complaining about
so-called revolutionary artists who stay silent on the sidelines when
the real battles are waged. Take, for example, Common, who I presume
was dining with Obama last month during NATO, while protesters were
being brutalized by cops with broad shoulders and small brains.
the flip side of this spectrum would be the forces at Strange Famous.
B. Dolan, Sage Francis, and company have for years pitched
people-first, corporations-last rhetoric – and backed it up with a
truly commercial-free hustle that's attracted a legitimately
grassroots fan base. But over the past few in particular, they've
stepped beyond even the most radical precedents that hip-hop has seen
line with his noted history of staunchly supporting LGBT rights,
Dolan is in Minneapolis today, where he'll spend the next two days
demonstrating for CeCe McDonald, a trans woman of color who is being
sentenced for allegedly murdering a man who attacked her. It's a
story of unimaginable injustice that led to a plea bargain last
month. (Read extensive documentation from advocates here).
having been targeted by swastika-branded homophobes, McDonald has
been further victimized by Hennepin county jailers and prosecutors.
Ugly as it is, this scenario is not an aberration; according to the
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “violence against
LGBT people is up 23 percent, with people of color and transgender
women as the most likely targets.”
Along with a horde of other activists and MCs, Dolan will be present
at McDonald's sentencing today at 1:30 (CST), then at the subsequent
press conference and protest later on, when she's scheduled to be
incarcerated. He doesn't have that George Clooney star power, but
hopefully with help from Twin Cities heroes like Slug, Dolan will
bring some much-needed attention to this obvious tragedy.