Try to find TEN Black people (that are registered voters) who are now going to vote for Mitt Romney because Nicki Minaj mentioned him in her song. TEN. Then, on election day, check back with the TEN to see if they did. I bet they won’t.
Her lyrics are:
I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, you lazy bitches are fuckin’ up the economy.
Some people assume that Black people are now going to do this because Nicki said so, and people might find a handful of tweets to confirm it, which the media will probably then exacerbate as “most Blacks now have a change of heart” as far as voting goes. (I really hate the irresponsible way that traditional media uses social media. And…as if all Blacks actually listen to her music.)
Some Black people are buying into the idea that we are gullible too, if we think that masses of Black people are now going to vote for Romney because of her lyrics…that somehow the way that we usually vote will drastically (or even minutely) alter? I don’t see that happening.
This isn’t to say that pop culture, music, and celebrity worship doesn’t impact personal or the media’s perception of politics. It can/does. I just don’t see this song having a noticeable effect.
Now, her internalized White supremacy and classism (born out of White capitalist patriarchy) issues that fuel these lyrics (unless she is being flippant and simply trying to acquire more media attention, which in the context of the song, the latter is possible, though even being flippant doesn’t mean these issues subside) are issues that many Black people have. True. No argument on that. Are these issues enough to make some Black people alter their vote if they were going to vote Obama? I don’t believe it. At all. (I can’t imagine it would if Obama’s support of LGBT marriage didn’t alter his perceived support in a major way, despite endless media speculation that declared that he would lose all Black support since Black people are inherently homophobic, according to the media, not according to any actual research, and since homophobia is specifically a “Black problem” to the media, though I swore I saw [in photos…I wasn’t there…I don’t support bigotry] thousands of White Christians at Chik Fil-A… and millions fill the GOP with anti-equality and homophobic ideals…but I digress)
Multiple sources cite that even the concept of being “undecided” is at an all-time low compared to previous elections. People KNOW who they are voting for (if they are voting at all) more than they ever have in any previous election. There were double the amount of undecided voters this time in 2008, versus now.
Then again…okay, I understand the worry because so few votes were the issue in the 2000 election (I LIVE in Florida…I know that drama intimately), and add that to the destruction of ACORN and other voter registration efforts, voter roll purges, voter ID laws, voter suppression, the overwhelming racist sentiment in the country right now, plus some on the left being disappointed in Obama and worry over Minaj “swaying” a vote makes sense…in that context.
I still think it is somewhat reaching and not truly going to amount to what people think. I don’t think she is actually swaying Black registered voters.
But…I understand the anxiety. The stakes are high.
And until the endless, anonymous money funding elections and the electoral college are no longer factors, I am not sure how much any of this truly matters anyway…