Ridealong – Tupac, Colin Kaepernick, Protests, and Leadership with Belal Khan
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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to an episode of ride along. I am your host Bill Nelson and I am here with to puck on Motorshow core, aka monozukuri.
Yes, it was clever, very clever trending topics are today trending topics on Mars distant cousin Tupac Shakur died.
September 13 9619 96. Yep, the same year, I learned about who Tupac Shakur was. And everybody my middle school classes, like, Where have you been living?
Us in New Jersey. So yeah, I was in an all black school. And so that was my first year and that actually my second year, my second year, and then that's where it was just like, that's when he changed his name to belong to fit in.
It was also the same year that people told me to go back to the Buddha.
Know, because whenever we study history class, right that people realize they realize, okay, this kid isn't Hindu. Right? Because you're not Hindu. Yeah. Okay. And in fact, they knew that because I would participate with the making fun of Hindu kids.
Kids are so mean and middle school, I know. Right? And, but then when it came to history class, and they talk about
Siddhartha and finding of enlightenment and Buddha, and somehow it would escape from me that, okay, this kid from India, he's not Indian. So he's a Hindu, so he must be Buddhist. And the truth is, they weren't that far off, because the town I was born in is right next to it. Next to what book gap, which is where Siddhartha found enlightenment, aka the Buddha. I see. So that's why when they said that, I was 20, I don't think of the Buddha as Indian. You don't. He's as Indian as Indian gets, found that this philosophy, which now became a religion, and both guys now is the center of pilgrimage for Buddhists. For the longest time, the Hindus actually drove them out. They wiped him
out that they went to China and Tibet, and all these places, I see. And later, when there was peace, again, they allowed them back in. The funny thing is, that was not funny, but it's these guys. They took over the land that was Buddhist land. And so by law, the Indian government legislated that they need to allow the Buddhist to two worship there and whatnot. So the agreement was the Hindus own the land, like them, like, like the Hindu owners, and they lease it to the Buddhists.
So they don't even own the land,
which is tragic on their part.
It's kind of the same story as the guy who founded or co founded, but that came up with Superman. He sold the rights to it, you have the founder of Batman, who may retain all his rights. But that just makes sense because Batman is a winner.
So it makes sense, Superman has been taking ELLs his entire existence, and the guy who made Superman should take an hour for making Superman.
But we salute and we thank the Creator of Batman.
If you're stupid enough to think that the disguise you give your superhero is just that he puts on glasses, and he takes them off.
Except deserve what you got, bro. It says this guy will take his goofy off, nobody will recognize him.
You're like, where's the mark?
In regards to
Tupac? What's the story behind the mother finishing core part of the Black Panthers? Well, he was actually wasn't like mother's mother was He was born in like 1972 or three or something like that. Okay. Born in New York,
moved to Baltimore and moved to California, Oakland. Probably around the time that in Baltimore, he was part of he went to a school for the arts.
He went to college, no high school or middle school for the arts. So one of those like specialty schools, obviously very talented.
In theater and in, in art.
Absolutely. I mean, a lot of these were the, you know, the gangster persona that he did was almost something that was like, created, it's almost something that he actually just developed and personify. Yes. Okay. But if you look at like his early footage, he was like, it's different. The question is, is he really, formerly a gangster?
I think he entered into that world and I think he was comfortable in it.
But he's definitely a product of his environment, the environment that he found himself in and made
his survival instinct just forced him to a top body that and
the things that made him stand out, of course, was his.
His intelligence, his passion for sure. His voice was very powerful. Was he his own lyricist? Yeah, of course. Of course. He didn't. He definitely didn't have ghostwriters. He used to write three songs a day, when he was
actually eight came out of prison. Okay, so
and you hear His voice, you recognize his voice, just from the content to me, he's got a unique rhythm, too.
story goes, he went to Oakland got involved with a rap group there. And Oakland Oakland just says like a roadie someone who travels with them. And
then he ended up going solo, did his first two albums. second album,
was number one while he was in prison.
And the rest is history after this and for
I don't remember, I think it was like eight, nine months, I don't think it was more than a year before he made veil.
And that's when he joined Death Row Records. He joined Death Row Records with Suge Knight and some even more shady characters. And he came out and he just kind of set the world on fire again.
Now when it comes to the whole Tupac Biggie beef, what's that all about? Was that more so just to sell more records? Or was there actual anything there? Sometimes they would say that, okay, so sometimes he held that, like, this is just, you know, like, my perception has always been it's kind of like, the kind of beef that they have in the WWE. To some degree, I think they they definitely were cognizant of that, that this sells records. And I think that record labels recognize that this sells records and conflict and controversies always farmers. Yeah. So it was fun and politics look at look at what the political campaigning of Donald Trump, not even just Donald Trump, but like,
even in the primaries, like Hillary, Bernie versus Donald and, and his other candidates, and even now, Donald versus Hillary, is come to a point where it's like, you don't even like any of them. Yeah.
Tupac could be as, like, ignorant as anybody else as far as the tracks that he creates. Yeah, you know, I mean, people will talk about his, like, multiple personalities or him being
I think they, you know, he mentioned that he's a Gemini, so he has like split personality, or what have you, whatever. We don't believe in any of that. But it is a split personality disorder. Forget it, not just that you just have different emotions that like, one day or one morning, you might feel like introspective. And then in the afternoon, you've forgotten about all of that. And you're with like some friends who are just ridiculous, so you become idiotic with them. And that's just part of being an artist, that is being a part of being a human being. Yeah, right. But artists actually record all of those emotions, right for people to experience from them. But I think when he was in
his introspective or when he was in his socially conscious, or when he was reflecting on society, I think he was the best to do it, you know, just whether it's verses or whether it's just lines that he's had. It's had incredibly powerful moments. One that digs from his tradition of being someone who's always been politically conscious, he was part of the or his mother was part of the Black Panther. So he took from that transit tradition, he used to read a lot as a kid as well as just being somebody who was actually, you know, concerned, you know, about the community that he was in, even if he would turn 180 degrees, he wasn't consistent. You know, one day, he's talking about
saving the black community. The next day, he's talking about shooting up some dudes, you know, okay, I would assume it would be understandable to express hatred towards people within your community, because maybe they're going against the fact that
maybe they're harming the community.
Or was his expression he wasn't like somebody who's like a consistent good guy. Okay. I mean, like, you have people who are just consistent, you know, your your Will Smith, he's just consistent. Good guy. Okay.
But then you have people who play the role of the good guy and the bad guy, so they're the hero and the anti hero that's like Hulk Hogan or Hollywood Hogan back to Hulk Hogan.
Not really, because he he doesn't switch back and fourth, more like your Steve Austin. Okay, you know, I mean, he'll do good guy actions and then the same night he'll do like, really messed up stuff. Whereas Hogan, if he switches to bad guy, Mo he was bad guy.
For like two years, and he switches back to good guy for like two years, and he changes his entire outfit, as opposed to just having within you the qualities of both being a good person and a bad person. So that's what makes them a complex character. Exactly. That's exactly. That's what makes it complex, I guess the culture of protest and expression that even exists even today. You know, we have Colin Kaepernick, you know, his whole thing of taking a knee, and he's protesting the whole situation with the situation of America and black America. And you know, I'm silently protesting that. I guess the question that comes up is, was, was Tupac protesting?
Or was he just being an artist?
He was protesting everything. Like he, he was protesting American empire. He was protesting the way that the black community was being treated, not just being treated the system I systematic oppression against them. Yeah. So he says,
instead of war on poverty, they do a war on drugs, so the police can bother me.
Right. And that's true. Like, instead of declaring a war on poverty they did. They created a war on drugs that criminalized
drug, drug dealers, and recreational drugs and all of these things. So that Unleashed them on the black community, criminalizing the black community and black youth, and putting them in a position where, you know, such a high percentage of them would be going to jail, to the point where they saw it as being some sort of ritual, you know, that you have to do a bit when you grow up. Like that's like, rites of passage or rites of passage, a general population of people. You know, it might be similar more to
I don't know, maybe like apartheid South Africa, or it's a badge of honor. Yeah. It's a badge of honor. It's like getting into college. Okay. I mean, so
he says, you know, it's funny, when it rains, it pours they got money for war, but can't feed the poor.
How many trillions of dollars have been spent on the set off war right now? The war Attorney General? Yeah. Right. So all of this money comes from nowhere,
or comes from somewhere. But when it comes to just homelessness, or, you know, college debt, yeah, college debt are all of these things.
There's no budget for it. Yes. A lot of social commentary, though, is just
very, very, very insightful. I guess the question that comes to mind is how often has protesting ever shaped the course of history in America?
Look at the civil rights struggle. Okay. We had the civil rights struggle, but was it through protesting that, that finally the issue of segregation was lifted in Supreme Court?
Or was it through legal battle? I mean, it's all together, right? It's not one thing over the other. It's protesting its economic boycotts. It's legal struggle, but you have to bring attention to the issue. If you don't bring attention to the issue, then none of that is going to actually happen. Because I'm thinking about even of apartheid South Africa, what is it that finally got them to lift the apartheid laws? It was it was international sanctions, right? Because I think that was part of the issue where they finally hit him hit the country, on the government scale, where it hit him in the pockets. So I guess the question that comes up as protesting is not tied to economic impact.
Does that make Does that have any effort? It does? It does for sure. When you hit people's pockets, that's the hardest thing you could possibly hit. But in absence of that, you do what you can't question that comes up with what are we bringing awareness to? Because we're not we're like in terms of as as the American community. To you. We're talking about calling, he actually described exactly what he's trying to bring awareness to he simply said
that there is injustice in this country that still hasn't been, you know, addressed. There's police brutality, that still is rampant and hasn't been corrected or,
you know, other injustices that he saw, that he felt,
you know, he wanted to bring attention to, and that's what he's doing. So he's doing it according to his capacity. So why the why the outrage against him taking a knee? That's the question. That's the million dollar question. Why the outrage? Why are people so offended by it?
You know, when it came to Black Lives Matter, people were saying, well, that's not the way that you protest. Don't protest by walking in blocking highways. That's not the right way to protest. Don't protest by, you know, cursing the police. That's not the way to protest. Well, what is the right way to protest that because Colin is not insulting anybody. He's not cursing anybody. He's not blocking anybody's way the guy is simply sitting down and the national anthem is being played. So why is every
nobody's sitting down when the anthem is being played everybody standing up at home putting 90% of people who are watching, watching the televisions, TV. Yeah, that's another issue. But it's like he's talking about respect, right? That's true. But the question to be asked to those people is who will have such outrage? What type of protest would you like? Right? Because the definition of protest is, is supposed to bring somebody awareness and protests are going to be uncomfortable. That's the whole point. Otherwise, if I'm just sitting in my house sitting down while the national anthem is being played, and nobody sees me, and I'm protesting, that's my protest. It's not very
effective. So I guess the question that comes up is, is there anything Islamically that that comes into play? You always say that you said that like eight times today? Right now someone was watching the video is very annoyed. Oh, what did I say? Well, I guess the question that comes up, that's literally the phrase that you use every single time true. Through, there's been a number of rises, I got you to that person was upset, like, Why do you keep saying that? My question that starts swirling in my mind. Next.
question, is there a history of protests? Islamically? And is there a right way or wrong way? I'm looking at the history of like, during Spanish history, what was happening in the, in Persia at the time, right, Persia, Syria, Iraq and the HS. Right, you had the family of the Prophet, we're talking about the grandsons and the great grandson of valuable data at the time. They are they're protesting the injustice of the Umayyads. But every time they get killed, the crucified.
So then you have you have the issue of protests. One of the earliest ones documented is the province of allies, and I'm walking into the Kaaba and at one head of his, and the Muslims are divided into two ranks. In the first, the head of the first one is one of the top and at the head of the second one is Hamza bin abdomen. And this is shortly after the Islamic Amata. Because now, the Muslims have, like two nights right to champions, Hamza and Omar at the head of both. And they walked directly into the Kaaba. And it's kind of like, we're here, right where this minority, we will be respected, and we will worship freely. And there's nothing that anybody can do about it thought that
comes to mind is wasn't the Prophet Muhammad, as I said, at the time, just as noble and respected?
He himself was, okay. He was protected by his uncle.
But after live, Mr. Will just catching hell, and everybody else who didn't have that they were getting, you know.
So I'm wondering Hamza, they could just go out and be like, these folks are under our protection, Don't you mess with us? Well, they just went with them. Yeah, that was what was understood. Right? By their, that they're, they're organized, and they have strength and power
numbers. So essentially, organizational, and political and economic protection, to be able to express and do what you believe.
I don't know about the whole economic and all of that, but they're just making a statement initially, then you have with regards to whether the protests
there Islamic significance, or what have you, they fall into the category of commanding the good and forbidding the evil because when you're protesting, that's what you're supposed to do. And it's known that it becomes an issue of something where you weigh the benefits and the harms. Scholars have spoken for it. And scholars have spoken against it. And those who speak for it will usually say that protests
end up having a lot of
in and of itself. But it'll have a lot of evil. And they'll just point to any particular protest that you go to in any particular city. And they'll say, Look at look at, like, what kind of look at what, what aren't we talking about, you go to any posts, and you'll you'll find a lot of free mixing, you'll find a lot of people
missing their prayers, you'll find a lot of people just partying it up, you know what I mean? As a form of protest. So they're looking at it like that. That's not all.
Have you ever been to a protest without any of these things? I mean, without like, we talked about partying it up and just imagining a club scene.
But it doesn't have to be a club scene. It doesn't have to be like that, but it's still, you know,
like, I know, there have been protests that are like basically a public rave.
Exactly. But that's not like, I mean, they got the DJs keeping the he's keeping the crowd live. Yes. Okay, so that's not gonna fly according to
Islamic standards of etiquette, but then those who say it's okay. They'll say, Well, you weigh the good and the bad and not only that, they don't necessarily
We have to have these things. And why must we submit that these things have to be a part of it.
If you have the right organizers, you try as best as you can. And there's still a lot of goodness that comes out of it, of course of showing people your position on a particular issue and showing whoever it is that you're directing the protest to.
So that they can hear it so that they can hear it. They can hear your commanding of the good, or your forbidding of the evil that that you're trying to rectify.
I guess a question that comes up as I guess the question, yes, this?
Oh, I just forgot my question.
It's gone. It's gone. Let's let's bring it down to a local level. How do you hold people accountable for your protesting, but what are you doing about it? Because it's one thing to protest? Right. It's another thing to actually take steps to rectify it yourself. To rectify yourself. It's all about political change, right? A lot. A lot of these things have to do with policy. Are we doing what needs to be done?
Ensuring on a local level the right people elected? Are there the right laws being looked at? Yeah, then you're talking about a lot of things. You're talking about politics, you're talking to a system? You're talking about economics, you're talking about system? Yeah. I mean, if you can't, if you want to
affect systems and affect change, and what are you doing on a real tactical level, other than shouting and making noise. And that's something that's really, really, really important that people have to pay a lot of attention to, and that we have to organize. There's a reason why Benny Surah, Al is the OMA that's mentioned the most in the Quran. And that's not just so that we can point our finger and say, Oh, Ben, yeah, so IE, what a horrible group of people, it's because we're gonna resemble them a lot. And, you know, part of the characteristics that they have, that was
apparent, no, it's just not gathering on any particular goal. Always scattered. What type of cow what color cow? What, you know, I mean, a million questions back and forth, lots of debate, never submitting, you know, to a greater good. And that's, you know, less, as I said, Well, I'm Jimmy on a one shot days as you consider them to be the same. But their hearts are all scattered. You know, every single one of them, every everybody in the community as a whole is being pulled in a million different directions, or they're pulling themselves, okay? You're not I remember, I remember once going to select the drummer, and that was one of the Messiah that have security outside. And so the
security was non Muslim. And there were two guys talking to each other. And when I was walking in there, like, the one guy was saying to the guy, he's like, Hey, man, if you see the way they pray, Yo, man, they pray feet to feet, shoulder to shoulder, that's unity. And I was like, well, hook Well, that's the way we're designed. That's the way we're supposed to be, you know, every every one is fighting tooth and nail to actualize what they feel to be the most ideal scenario, where we have to recognize that sometimes in gathering over that, which is less than ideal, there's more benefit for us than to scatter and to separate. Seeking that which is ideal. I know, lesson that we learned
from that a beautiful example of that isn't, you know, some teachers won the importance of having leadership and to the importance of submitting to leadership.
Regardless of whether you agree with them or not, of course, you've agreed that they are your leaders, you're going to go with it. That's right. You know, the problem is, is I've said but don't let three people gather and take a journey, except after they've appointed one to be the EMEA. Right. So that's teaching us. One is to be cognizant of this issue of you know what, if we're going to take this journey, we're going to do this project, whatever There should be someone who's in charge, someone who will be the, you know, the decider when we differ and someone who will be the arbitrator and someone who will be the facilitator, and someone who will be responsible. And
that also teaches everybody else to, to submit to some degree,
recognizing that that's how communities go forward.
So whether it's protesting an issue, or expressing ourselves, we need to understand that there's got to be
central leadership that's agreed upon, and however much it irks us what their decisions are, you gotta go follow through. Alright guys, back on the hammer here. So the last thing I'm gonna do is I'm just interesting because you