Rap star Immortal Technique says the whole anti-Wall Street movement is rooted in a slow erosion of civil liberties, in which a violation of basic rights sparked the nationwide wave of protest.
“More and more people are realizing just how disenfranchised they are. They are realizing just how little control they have over their own democracy,” he told RT.
The rapper believes that what is happening now in the United States is mirrored in other parts of the world, where people are opposed to the use of centralized power and yet want the system to be more efficient.
“They would almost surrender their freedom to more efficient government – similar to what Russia will have to deal with when they decide whether Putin is going to come back into power,” he said. “There are a lot of people who will think: ‘Oh, functionality over the visage of democracy’ that exists there. So I think the entire world is really dealing with that now: will it be oligarchy, autocratic regime that’s more functional because it’s backed by corporations, or more of a democratic regime that could be hit-and-miss on certain things, may take a hit on jobs.”
Immortal Technique pointed out that people in his country have been forced to face the same kind choice dilemma because the entire idea of what the United States of America is has been perverted.
“The idea of America is to give democracy and freedom to people, but I think that now, more than ever, it’s become about placating people and about pacifying them, so they don’t ask for the amount of freedom that they are guaranteed, almost like when police stop you and then they get offended that you seem to know your rights,” he explained.
“My answer to that has always been: listen, if we were 20,000 deep right then and there, we could have torn downtown to pieces. We didn’t. When you were macing women in the street, we could have ripped the village limb from limb, but we didn’t, because we don’t hate America. We love America and we want it become a better place,” he continued.
Speaking of apparent triggers of the OWS movement and US President Barack Obama’s role in the crisis, the rapper says that so far, Obama has been getting away with many things, because “he is 10 times the campaigner than he is a president.” Now, when his ability to fulfill his own promises has been questioned, the overall discontent of ordinary Americans has increased.
“When [Obama] came in, he came in with the idea that he was going to reform things. And when that was not met, when the criteria that he set up himself for what the reform would entail was not completed – I don’t think that created the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it definitely added fuel to the fire,” Immortal Technique concluded.