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Cop Out?

I found Christopher Sievings essay “Cop Out?? very intriguing. He brought up that the “meaning of a word is determined entirely by its context…It is precisely a word’s miltiaccentuality that makes it a living thing.? The way the black community and the white community views the song is entirely different. This is not saying it is not possible for them to understand one another, or that these views are set in stone, but I believe there is a difference. Sievings quotes, “I hate to say rap is a black thing, but sometimes it is.? American culture is separated, and those separations create different views, of different communities and discourses which influence the way people create meanings for things. For me, this is proof enough that people who are within the black community and discourse are who rap is specifically aimed for. One thing I found particularly interesting is that those who opposed of the song tried as hard as they could to put race out of the question, and say that it was immoral to talk about killing cops. Of course, some of them never even listened to the song, but knew who Ice-T was. Personally, I think that this only highlights the fact that they do have a problem with the ethnicity. If the cops do hurt or kill people based on their ethnicity, then they should be viewed as evil or bigots, and in a crude way the song could be viewed as justice. This makes me think about my friend’s brother who is going to school to be a cop. I hate to say it but he’s one of the biggest racists I know, and he talks about going to be a cop because he can have power over the people he hates and turn them in because he will be more powerful than them. They gave him a test to rule out those with that type of mindset, but it was easily passable if you understood what they were looking for, so I’ve heard. It seems to me that anyone can become a cop these days, and that some people take the job for power, not to protect the innocent, and this may be exactly what Ice-T is talking about in his song. I find it ironic that, even after Ice-T personally withdrew the song, it was still a hit. It’s almost like making such a big deal of the song made his album more sensational than it would have been before, and possibly made it reach more ears of people who wanted to listen to songs for the violent messages.

Sieving, Christopher. “Cop Out? The Media, ‘Cop Killer,’ and the Deracialization of Black Rage.? Journal of Communication Inquiry 22 (1998).

Comments

It's interesting to see this song be referred to as "justice" for Ice-T and other people who can relate to the song, but it's a good point. When you describe your brother's friend, it sickens me to think that there are people like that, who just want power and don't want to do what they should be doing - protecting people. I also agree that it's ironic that the album sold more copies when it was pulled from the shelves.

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