How do you speak “truth” to power when it’s your guy in power? You don’t. Behold the latest Obama tribute from will.i.am, now a rebel without a cause:
One of the lyrics to the original version of that tune is this:
“Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism. But we still got terrorists here livin’ In the USA, the big CIA The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK”
That line likens the CIA to a terrorist organization. Apparently making such an incendiary charge with Barack Obama sitting just steps away was too much — after all, Obama will be in charge of the CIA as of tomorrow. So when the verse came up, the singer instead rapped these lines:
“Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism But we still got terrorists here livin’ In the USA, … no education and we got that racial hate”
Seconds later the camera cut to a smiling and approving President Elect Obama.
One of the amusements of the Obama years will be watching the counterculture transition from inveighing against The Man to trying to get The Man reelected. The iconic Obama poster designed by “iconoclast” Shepard Fairey was the first small data point in that evolution. This politic bit of self-censorship is another, although I admit, I didn’t expect the agency that plays Snidely Whiplash in so many lefty fantasies to be absolved so soon. Then again, even by the standards of most Obama cultists, will.i.am’s always been unusually devout; if the avatar of Change asks you to suspend your criticism of the government in the interests of Hope, how do you tell him now? Exit quotation: “It seems odd to have a VIP section for a concert about unity.”